Friday, September 01, 2006

A stupid idea for your consideration

All rational, intelligent and educated people, whether they admit it or not, recognize that our problems have their origin in the large numbers of disaffected people of the Islamic faith.

It is axiomatic that we cannot kill them all; nor can we win in a propaganda war when the authoritarian governments and religious authorities who rule these people control access to information. Our current experience indicates that creating democratic institutions is very difficult, if not impossible.

Thus, we find that we cannot convince them - by propaganda or the introduction of democracy - to stop attacking us; we cannot defeat them militarily and we cannot effectively defend ourselves against them without gutting civil liberties.

What do we do? Our only choice seemingly is to withdraw from the world stage, close our borders and resign ourselves, as have the Europeans, to the occasional attack.

Of course, the occasional attack could be a nuclear one, but, while we could lose upwards of a million people if a moderately-sized nuke were detonated in Manhattan, we might then win this war militarily by turning much of the Middle East into a lake of glass for the next 100,000 years. Even then, however, we would likely face other Islamic extremists from Asia or those who have emigrated to Europe. Thus, we find that even as we kill more and more of the Jihadis, their deaths seem only to serve as a greater enticement to others - and we are forced to accept that for every 100 we kill, 250 are created. Again, we are brought face to face with the fact that there is no military solution short of overthrowing the entire Middle East and/or killing all Muslims. Now, if that seems unacceptable, then where are we left – and what do we do?

The key to this situation (which we have known all along) is the one thing which unites all those who violently oppose and attack us.

Here is one avenue that we have not investigated. It is an avenue which I expect we will not try as it will be anathema to perhaps half of American citizens. The avenue falls generally under the heading of “convincing”, but would still require a great sacrifice and loss of life in the attempt.

That avenue is conversion.

The acceptance of a modern religion by those currently of the Muslim faith would obviate the misguided religious fervor that animates the violence perpetrated against us.

As has been done since the founding of the Church in the aftermath of Jesus’ execution, those of the faith have gone to all parts of the world and proselytized for the acceptance of a faith based on love and community. And, just as in the olden times, many will die for their faith in the attempts.

We needn’t focus exclusively on Christianity, but of the major religions, it is the least hated by Muslims. Judaism, well, forget it. Hinduism has been at loggerheads with Islam on the subcontinent for centuries. Buddhism might work, but Christianity has the great benefit of a supreme leader in the Pope – for Catholics, and the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury for many Protestants. Other Protestant denominations are small enough that democratically elected supervisory boards effectively manage affairs. Having one person or a small group of policy makers means less chance of sects which advocate and engage in activities counter to the main stream of religious thought.

Today, of the affected areas, Christianity has the greatest foothold in Africa. It is North and East that the message must travel.

This may well be a staggeringly stupid idea. Certainly, five years ago I would have thought mad anyone who proposed it. Yet, re-read the first five paragraphs above and then ask yourself what other ideas and options are out there?

The only thing that is crystal clear in our situation today is this: Either we will drag the Islamic world into modernity or they will drag us back into the medieval. And since a medieval world containing nuclear weapons will not remain a world for very long, even the most outlandish ideas ought be considered.


Anonymous Ron Goodwyne said...

I'd love to convert the Muslim world to Christianity. I disagree, however, that we can never defeat them militarily. I would agree that we probably won't defeat them militarily but that is because we lack the will to do so.

Islam and the Islamic world function differently than the west. A different mindset exists there that Americans seem incapable of comprehending. Their mindset responds only to strength and the willingness to use that strength.

Our weakness in twofold. First, while we possess the strength necessary, we generally lack the collective will to use that strength and the Islamic world knows that. Second, even when we have political leaders who are willing to use our strength, our enemies know that our leaders are temporary and they can wait us out.

I am convinced that ultimately we in the west will have the necessary will. That will occur when enough damage has been done to use through inaction and appeasement. The only question then will be, do we still possess the strength.

10:53 AM  

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