Sunday, September 05, 2010
Clarifying "stealth jihad"
Qaradawi has predicted that Islam will soon conquer Europe, but that this conquest will come not "by the sword but by preaching and ideology."
This prompts me to articulate a formulation to clarify what I have found amiss in the connotative implications of articulations presented heretofore of stealth jihad.
The articulations heretofore have the focus backwards: In their formulation, Muslims are hiding non-violent jihad. But in actuality, what Muslims are hiding is violent jihad. That's what stealth jihad is all about: the cloaking of the dagger -- or, as Hugh Fitzgerald, quoting Chaucer, refers to as the "smyler with the knyf under the cloke". The way that Spencer and others (including Fitzgerald) articulate stealth jihad, more often than not, it almost sounds like they think the danger of Islam is in its non-violent expansion itself, as though that non-violent expansion does not, or need not, include violence necessarily in its train.
But the precise purport of that Chaucer phrase is that the smile is hiding the knife, not the other way around: and the knife is, when the rubber meets the road (i.e., when the Westerner finally wakes up to the horror of Islam and therefore consequently refuses to submit), the sine qua non of Jihad. For, in order to force someone to submit, who refuses to submit, one must use violence -- either to terrorize him into submission (which also works, as a spectacle and menace, to cow others into submission), or to winnow out the ones who refuse to submit to the end, through massacres.
Of these expositors of stealth jihad, we can surmise the motive for their errant formulation: They feel forced by the stupidity of our surrounding Western society which, with its dominant and mainstream PC MC, remains so blind to the dangers of Islam and its Muslim carriers, and their blindness admits of only the narrowest most delimited definition of the danger -- viz., the "tiny minority of extremists" who conspicuously deploy ultra-violent tactics -- to err on the other side of the equation: i.e., to frame their warning as one of calling attention to the non-violent infiltration of Muslims and insinuation of Islam in our society, such that their message seems to be detaching non-violent jihad from violent jihad altogether.
This is precisely why, for example, journalist Lisa Miller of Newsweek balks at the concept of stealth jihad: she is balking at a straw man -- but a straw man, I'm afraid, which our expositors in the still inchoate anti-Islam movement have helped fashion through their unclear formulation of that concept. As documented in a previous Jihad Watch notice, Lisa Miller wrote:
As for his "stealth jihad," it's virtually impossible to imagine how such an event would--logistically--occur. Would the construction of an Islamic prayer site near Ground Zero inevitably lead American women to wake up one morning and find themselves veiled and confined to their homes?
Lisa Miller's instincts are correct here. Since our expositors of the concept of stealth jihad have tended to effectively decouple it from violence, the logistics of its success becomes reasonably baffling -- at least with regard to a civilization as sophisticated and powerful as the modern West. Were we talking about an archipelago of primitive fishing villages in the 8th century A.D. (i.e., Indonesia), the logistics of a relatively unviolent take-over by Muslims would make more sense (though even with regard to the Islamization of Indonesia, I suspect its non-violent nature has been exaggerated to the point where it has become a myth no less tenacious than the "Myth of Andalus"). But we are not talking about a primitive and weak society: we are talking about the most advanced and powerful civilization in all history: the modern West. And alongside that, we are talking about its purported take-over by probably the most regressive and among the weakest cultures in modern times: Islam, whose followers would not have been able to succeed in attacks on the West thus far had they not had available money, were they not possessed by an astoundingly driven fanaticism impelling them to mass-murder, and were they not being coddled by the very same civilization they seek to terrorize and subjugate.
The way that our expositors frame the concept of stealth jihad, with its curious detachment from violence, the only sense one could make out of the threat being warned about in terms of a potential success would be a scenario where Westerners allow Islam to take over the West by increments over time without one shot being fired. This "sense", of course, is preposterous, because we are not talking about a benign ideology taking over, but an ideology that goes profoundly against Western values and is in most of its respects actually criminal with respect to Western laws.
To salvage the "sense" here, one must do another operation of decoupling: one must decouple the notion of potential success from stealth jihad. Thus, the appropriate concern and threat we have to face from stealth jihad is not that Muslims will actually succeed in taking over the West through non-violent osmosis over time -- but rather that they will accomplish two things short of that:
1) over time they will increasingly infiltrate more and more deeply into our societies and institutions, making it easier for them to plot major terror attacks that will far surpass 911
2) over time they will increasingly destabilize our societies in myriad ways, as described by a Jihad Watch commenter, "dumbledoresarmy", in the comments section of that same notice on stealth jihad I linked above -- though it is noteworthy that most of the destabilization caused by Muslims along with their increasing aggrandizement in our societies described by dumbledoresarmy is riddled and bristling with violence.
Thus, for the Lisa Millers of the world (who, unfortunately, are still dominant and mainstream), the concept of stealth jihad remains, as an academic she quotes put it, "...ever-so-slightly goofy" -- so long as in our exposition of it we curiously decouple violence while at the same time we curiously attach the potential for success.
Incidentally, in the follow-up notice about Lisa Miller which Spencer published (on how the Muslim Brotherhood appreciated her support), Spencer wrote of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood memo:
Eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house -- that's the very definition of the stealth jihad modus operandi.
That phrase, actually, does not describe the modus operandi of stealth jihad: it describes the goal of stealth jihad. The modus operandi of stealth jihad is to hide the various ways by which Muslims will be trying to realize that goal -- and among those ways will be necessarily included violence.
Note: I said "trying to realize that goal" -- I didn't say they had a chance to succeed. It's in the trying where Muslims will continue to destabilize our societies and will continue to perpetrate violence in myriad ways -- including riots and looting (e.g., France, Netherlands), harassment and intimidation, sudden jihad syndrome attacks, lone wolf attacks, more concerted terror cell plots, and the occasional commando mission (e.g., Bali, Mumbai, Madrid, London, New York City; not to mention dozens of unsuccessful attempts at same).
When Qaradawi, one of the most respected Islamic clerics and scholars today (and assumed by many Westerners to be a "moderate" and a "reformist"), says that the conquest of Europe will come not "by the sword but by preaching and ideology", it is reasonable for us to assume that he is lying precisely about that sword. He knows that the conquest of such a formidable foe cannot come without the sword -- but he also surmises that the sword, in the hands of an Islam still suffering debilitative weakness, needs a cloak: in his case, the cloak of non-violent Dawa.
Finally, it is important to stress that since Muslims are now, have been for the past 300 years, and will continue to be, incapable of formal military assaults on the West, the violence they will pursue as a necessary conjunction to their stealth jihad will fall under two categories:
1) a stillicide of various types of violent acts by a certain number of Muslims who, because they seem contrasted to the larger numbers of Muslims not doing any violence, will continue to be labelled as a "tiny minority of extremists".
2) continued covert plots aimed at spectacularly large, horrific and damaging attacks in the indeterminable future.
With regard to #1, it may seem counter-intuitive, but there is good reason to suppose that in fact the seemingly non-violent behaviors of the stealth Muslims are actually helped by the violence of their brethren as noted in #1 above: the more that their brethren perpetrate those various types of violence, the more our PC MC society anxiously hastens to believe in the harmless and peaceful existence and intentions of "most Muslims". So, in this case, violence is positively helping the stealth jihad, and the stealth jihad continues to cloak the connections they have -- material and/or ideological -- to their violent brethren.
With regard to #2, the continued belief in, and support for, the non-violent Muslims among us (and continuing to immigrate into the West by droves) will tend to ensure that Muslims penetrate more and more deeply into our societies and institutions, thus becoming more and more capable of succeeding in deploying the kinds of attacks that require deep penetration and trust -- attacks that will exceed 911 in horror, terror, lives lost, and damage to infrastructure.
That is the proper concern we should focus on in our exposition of stealth jihad: not the incoherently formulated and conceived threat of "creeping Sharia".