The title of this blog are words in a speech Ayaan Hirsi Ali gave recently to the National Press Club. They obviously fell on deaf ears when you read the editorial pages or opinion pieces written. The underlying reason why the lefties and wobbly Republicans like Lugar and Warner want to surrender is because they think the Muslims ARE half-wits who can respond only in violence. Many also believe the world's oceans are going to keep the violence from coming to our shores. IMO bigoted folks like this are wrong on both counts.
First thing is let us make a moral distinction between Muslims and Islamists. Ms Ali put it this way:
Muslims are diverse. Some, like Irshad Manji and Tawfiq Hamid, want to reform their faith. Others want to spread their beliefs through persuasion, violence or both. Others are apathetic and do not care much for politics. Others want to leave it and convert to Christianity, like Nonie Darwish, or become atheist, like me.
Islam unreformed, as a set of beliefs, is hostile to everything Western.
In a free society, if Jews, Protestants, and Catholics have their own schools, then Muslims should have theirs, too. But how long should we ignore that in Muslim schools in the West, kids are taught to believe that Jews are pigs and dogs? Or that they should distance themselves from unbelievers and jihad is a virtue? Isn't it odd that everywhere in Europe with large Muslim organizations, demands are made not to teach kids about the Holocaust, while in mosques and Muslim bookshops The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is distributed?
And what about in Muslim lands, where Jews, Catholics, and Protestants cannot have their own schools, or churches, or graveyards? If Muslims can proselytize in Vatican City, why can't Christians proselytize in Mecca? Why do we find this acceptable? If Christians, Jews, and Atheists take to the streets in large numbers to protest against their own elected governments in objection to the war in Iraq, to the war against terror, why don't Muslims march in equally large number against the beheadings of Western aid workers? Why don't Muslims stand up for their own? Why are Jews and Christians and Atheists in the West the ones fighting genocide in Darfur? Why does it pass unnoticed in Muslim lands when Shias kill Sunnis and Sunnis, Shias by the thousands? It doesn't add up, does it?
It is important to understand how radical islamists make absolutely no separate distinction between the church and the state. They are one and the same to these folks, and this is totally contrary to Western life. Ms Ali details the stark differences between the USA and Islamic countries in the world:
As a woman in the West I have access to education. I have a job, and I can change jobs as I wish. I can marry the man of my choice, or I can choose not to marry at all. If nature allows it, I can have any number of children I want. I can manipulate nature and freeze my eggs. I can have an abortion. I can own property. I can travel wherever I want. I can read whichever book, newspaper, or magazine I wish. I can watch any movie I want or go to the museum of my choice. I can have an opinion on the moral choices of others and express my opinion, even publish it. And I can change my mind as time goes by. I can establish a political party or join an existing one; I am free to change parties or give up my membership. I can vote. I can choose not to vote. I can stand for election to office or go into business. This is what makes the West so great.
In Muslim lands, except for a very lucky few, women are denied education, have no job, and are forced into marriage with strangers. In the name of Islam, women are denied the right to their bodies; they cannot choose whether to have children or how many to have. They have no rights to abortion, and often they die trying to get one. They cannot own property, trade, or travel without the risk of robbery or rape. Most women (and men) live in state and religious censorship on what to read (if they can read at all) and what films to watch, and they have hardly any museums or art they can enjoy. Of the 57 Muslim nations that are members of the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference), only two are democracies. Both are frail and corrupt, and both face the risk of being overtaken by the agents of pure Islam. Turkey has a safety check in the shape of the army and Indonesia none. In none of these countries--except for the usual show-pieces to delude the West--are women allowed to establish their own political parties, play a meaningful role in one, vote, or run for office.
This obsession with subjugating women is one of the things that makes Islam so low. And the agents of Islam--from Riyadh to Tehran, from Islamabad to Cairo--know that any improvement in the lives of women will lead to the demise of Islam and a disappearance of their power. This is why, among other things, they are so desperate to cage in women. This is why they also hate the West.
Please don't be fooled by the few shrill voices--in or out of the veil--that enjoy the status quo and betray their fellow women.
I know there is a war fatigue in the USA that has set in, but we need to think instead of responding like half-wits. It is madness to think that we can just stop fighting and then all of the islamist terrorists will stop fighting too. It doesn't work that way, and it never has. We also should not think we are in a global war against all Muslims. We need to make the moral distinction between a diverse large percentage of the world's population, (Muslims) and the politics of the radical islamists. All of the other great religions have reformed from their rudimentary beginning, and I still hold out hope for reform in Islam.