Readers have responded in a variety of ways to my warning that Islam is headed for a Civil War. The most common responses, whether in agreement or (more common) disagreement with my statements, miss the signal facts of my presumptions. I have examined the historical evidence of Islam, and when I say that the vast majority of Muslims prefer peace, that in no way means they shall have it. Always, the majority of Islam has desired peace, and few acts of violence are supported by the mainstream of Islam. Iraq’s Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jafari, understands this. Addressing the matter of political opposition from Moqtada al-Sadr as an example of advancing democracy in Iraq, al-Jafari writes:
“During my term as elected prime minister, Sadr's group has not attacked any coalition troops. Furthermore, Sadr and several Sunni leaders are now catalysts for maintaining the peace in Iraq, calling on their followers not to retaliate against terrorist provocations, which aim to ignite civil war.”
Islam, as I have said before, is a religion of a number of sects, some of which are militant and some distinctly apocalyptic in nature. The ‘Mahdi’ virus shows up from time to time, generally inciting violence not so much out of a vision for the future, but out of individual lust for power and misappropriating Islam as a vehicle towards that power, and corrupting the hopes and dreams of young men to recruit them to that end. Al-Jafari makes a critical observation when he points out that despite the image cast by the MSM, “the Iraqi people have demonstrated their bravery, determination and resolve”. There are good Arabs and good Muslims in this fight on our side, and the West needs to support them and show solidarity with them, on all levels.
Yet it is a grim fact that the few which seek violence have been able to act with relative impunity within the Muslim world, and so the terrorism embraced in the 20th Century and now has a historical character and bloody tradition in those murderous sects which favor terrorism. There can be no question that the Jihadists will continue to carry out terrorist acts until such time that they feel they are strong enough to conduct outright wars of conquest. This is the pattern from History, and there is every reason to believe that the template is still in use. Understanding that template is vital to seeing the risks and opportunities ahead for the West.
The Jihadists operate on the strength of three key assets:
1. Mideast Education Limits
2. Arab Culture
3. Media Manipulation
Most Americans, even the ones who believe the lies from Michael Moore, are aware of the signal accomplishments and historical milestones of human history, and are willing to grant credit to the Arabs, the Chinese, the Greeks, Romans, French, British and so on, as well as to key American contributions. This balance allows for Americans to view the world realistically, and to make improvements where needed. While it was amusing to see Spike Jones and cartoonists lampoon the Nazis and Japanese Empire, the American citizen was under few illusions about the peril posed by Hitler and Tojo. This candor added credibility to wartime correspondence, and when the Allies began to win the claims were believable because the U.S. had been straight from the start. The forces for Democracy have always found straight talk an asset, as evidenced by the Soviet fear of Radio Free Europe. The Jihadists, on the other hand, have taken the shorter road through controlling history and culture in schools. The extensive use of Madressas has allowed Jihadists to bring up a generation unaware of Western values or objective history. As a result, many Arabs are actually unaware of the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party thugs in Iraq, or the bloody history of Hamas and similar groups.
Also, Arab culture is causing problems for the West. Simply put, Shiites especially are possessed of an inferiority complex, largely brought about by their leaders’ decisions. In both World War I and World War II, the Arabs too often backed the wrong horse in Germany, and the Shiites were especially poor predictors of who would win. The German resolve and martial discipline seemed fine attributes to the Shiites, never seeing the deeper character of the British and Americans. To the Arabs, the Americans always seemed a bit too casual, too free in their ways, and this has often been mistaken for weakness. Look at the 9/11 attacks; only a madman or a man badly mistaken about the character of the United States, would believe that a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center would lead to a collapse of resolve and determination. Only a very great fool would fail to consider the character of America in such a decision.
And of course, the media played its role. Not only Al-Jazeera, which is still learning the basics of journalism, but CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC have played a game of money and influence for so long, it’s no wonder so many Arabs see us as mercenaries and hedonists; they judge us by the network narcissists. It’s actually a good thing we sent troops in, for Arabs to see our best young men in person. Unfortunately, the average Arab sees an America very different from the real one, and the Jihadists will certainly make the most of that opportunity.
Bottom line, the coming Civil War for Islam will be a nasty one. Almost no one sees it, but it will change the faith for good or ill, and cost millions their lives over the next half-century. The West must be concerned because, unlike an ordinary civil war in a single country, Islam's Civil War will be global, with all the weapons of terrorism, fascist evangelism, and cultural conquest employed. With the exception of Antartica, every continent will be affected, and will suffer cost.
Spain, Italy, and parts of France, along with the present Macedonian coastline and the Baltic regions are likely to fall to Jihadist control.
Shi'a and Sunni will battle for reasons both historical and personal, cultural and religious, and with great emotion and destruction. Shortly after the first European country falls under JIhadist control, an Arab nation will lead an alliance against the Jihadists, most likely to include Egypt, Jordan, and the small Sheikhdoms, with the Jihadists forming along the axis of Iran, Syria, and Yemen. The fate of Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia remain uncertain now, though Bush's efforts in Iraq have given the West a chance to save that nation.
At its worst, a Muslim version of the Inquisition will be created, with atrocities committed beyond present imagination. Our only hope to mitigate the carnage and destruction is to install stable representative democracies wherever we can.
(to be continued)