Daniel Pipes fisks a proposal by Reuel Gerecht, who finds profit in comparing the political histories of Iran and Algeria to make his point — which seems to be this: give the Islamic radicals enough rope and they will hang themselves. That is, if they come into power, as they have in Iran, the resulting widespread “disaffection” will be enough to bring the Islamoterrorists to defeat. If not now, then soon.
Mr. Gerecht uses as his contrast the case of Algeria where the military intervened in the elections and brought on eternal civil war. The country remains a violent and deeply divided place, which he claims it would not be had the radicals come to power and then been voted out. Eventually.
Leaving aside the untold suffering that this idea has already brought to Iran, let’s consider Mr. Pipes’critique and solution.
Obviously, Daniel Pipes disagrees with this novel and radical approach to the problem of Islamic terrorism. For him, the middle way provides the best solution. Rather than begin with elections, these ought to be the culmination of a long process that includes establishment of the rule of law, freedom of speech, property rights, etc. Once these are in place — and it would take years — only then would elections make sense.
Mr. Pipes is right in theory. However, there is one problem which he doesn’t mention: none of these ideas — private property, freedom of speech, etc., — are compatible with any kind of Islam, be it moderate, radical, or some peace-loving Sufis. As Fjordman puts it in “Camel Economics”:
|Time is long overdue for some brutal honesty: Islam cannot coexist with Western society. All its basic tenets are hostile to every single idea on which liberal democracy and Western civilization are founded. Islamic culture cannot be integrated into the West any more than fire can be integrated with water.|
One needs only to add that the converse is also true: Western culture cannot be grafted onto Muslim culture. The graft will not take; the body politic that is Islam will slough it off. What else can you expect in a society in which only Muslim men can ever be full members of the commonweal and that this law is written into the very heart of Islam?
Aren’t we forgetting something here? In the good old days of the Soviet Union, the most equal of its citizens were the members of the Communist Party. This arrogant elitism has appeared in many forms throughout history. It has always been defeated, though not without a blood-and-toil response on the part of those it would seek to subjugate.
It’s the same old un-freedom song, no matter how they try to transpose the key.