Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Efraim Karsh: Islam's Imperial Dreams

Efraim Karsh, apparently one of the few university professors left in England that has not submittted to dhimmitude, has an article at WSJ Opinion Journal about Islam's imperialistic goals. It is an interesting artice although he uses the word 'Islamist' which I and many others consider a copout. It will be interesting to see if the Muslims in England sue him for blasphemy, or 'hate speech' or being rude or whatever when his new book, "Islamic Imperialism: A History," goes on sale.


Islam's Imperial Dreams
Muslim political ambitions aren't a reaction to Western encroachments.

BY EFRAIM KARSH
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

When satirical depictions of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper sparked a worldwide wave of Muslim violence early this year, observers naturally focused on the wanton destruction of Western embassies, businesses, and other institutions. Less attention was paid to the words that often accompanied the riots--words with ominous historical echoes. "Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it," declared Khaled Mash'al, the leader of Hamas, fresh from the Islamist group's sweeping victory in the Palestinian elections:


This is because our nation is progressing and is victorious. . . . By Allah, you will be defeated. . . . Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good.
Among Islamic radicals, such gloating about the prowess and imminent triumph of their "nation" is as commonplace as recitals of the long and bitter catalog of grievances related to the loss of historical Muslim dominion. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly alluded to the collapse of Ottoman power at the end of World War I and, with it, the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate. "What America is tasting now," he declared in the immediate wake of 9/11, "is only a copy of what we have tasted. Our Islamic nation has been tasting the same for more than 80 years, of humiliation and disgrace, its sons killed and their blood spilled, its sanctities desecrated." Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's top deputy, has pointed still farther into the past, lamenting "the tragedy of al-Andalus"--that is, the end of Islamic rule in Spain in 1492.

These historical claims are in turn frequently dismissed by Westerners as delusional, a species of mere self-aggrandizement or propaganda. But the Islamists are perfectly serious, and know what they are doing. Their rhetoric has a millennial warrant, both in doctrine and in fact, and taps into a deep undercurrent that has characterized the political culture of Islam from the beginning. Though tempered and qualified in different places and at different times, the Islamic longing for unfettered suzerainty has never disappeared, and has resurfaced in our own day with a vengeance. It goes by the name of empire.

"I was ordered to fight all men until they say, 'There is no god but Allah.' " With these farewell words, the prophet Muhammad summed up the international vision of the faith he brought to the world. As a universal religion, Islam envisages a global political order in which all humankind will live under Muslim rule as either believers or subject communities. In order to achieve this goal, it is incumbent on all free, male, adult Muslims to carry out an uncompromising "struggle in the path of Allah," or jihad. As the 14th-century historian and philosopher Abdel Rahman ibn Khaldun wrote, "In the Muslim community, the jihad is a religious duty because of the universalism of the Islamic mission and the obligation [to convert] everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force."

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3 comments:

George Mason said...

John,

I want to plug what I regard as an essential to understanding Islam, and it fits right in with your piece. It is Raphael Patai's magnificent book The Arab Mind. This link takes you to our review, done a good while ago, for anyone to get a quick overview of this book.

No one makes the case better than Patai for the effect of the fusion of the Arabic language, with all the cultural heritage that comes along as baggage, and Islam. Both grew up together in Araby at the same time. Even Arabs who are not Muslims cannot escape some effects conveyed by their mother tongue in shaping their lives and societies--even Christian Arabs have some behavioral characteristics in common with Arab Muslims.

People often remark quizically about why Islam seems so powerful. This is one of the major reasons. (Going further here and now would tax readers' time severely.)

However, I cannot recommend this book too highly. It has NO PEER, and it has been excoriated by postmodernists and all of the rest of politically correct/multiculturalists.

Oh, yeah. The book is a damned good read. Fine writing.

friendlysaviour said...

When will the day come when these enemies of peace and security are seen for what they are.
When they shout their objectives as loud as thet do, can anyone be left in doubt as to their determination to defeat our "Western" cultures from within and without?
Spain and Italy are in the target line for the biggest shocks of all as the Religion of Pieces sends waves of love in the form of bombs and bullets.
It may be some way off, yet it is plain that the common enemy is far ahead in planning it's next stage of offensives.
To be so confident as the mouthpieces of islam are, it is clear to this writer that something big is underway.
Can we rely on the luck and success of our security forces to out-wit our "brothers who love to spill blood ?"
The mention of "al andalus" is a codified signal to the faithful as to where a future target lies.
They have made it clear that Rome also,is a prime target and of great significance due to the power of the Catholic church as a rival to islam.
I think that the last Pope kissed the Koran so publically because he knew that by this he might stave off Italy as a target for a while. He had little to lose being so close to his passing away.
Readers of these blogs know that such weaknes is merely an invitation to the jihad to grow stronger and our dalliance with Moderate Islam is a mere sop to our unwillingness to face the facts.
The fact that islam will have to beconfronted in the European-theatre one day. The longer our genuflecting politicians leave it, the worse will be the conflict.
The arab mind respects a powerful foe and disrespects those that lick their feet, for appeasments sake.
That is one reason GWB is right to remain in Iraq.
Stepping backwards now would unleash a new sense of purpose in the jihadists worldwide.
An uneasy peace prevails our Free Continents, but for how much longer?

Always On Watch said...

I'm glad to see George Mason mention The Arab Mind. I read it early on in my post-9/11 research. Invaluable resource!