In yesterday’s Washington Times, Diana West has a review of Moothy Muthuswamy’s book, “Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.”
A few bits of the review below the fold.
. . . it is great luck to come across a book like Moorthy S. Muthuswamy’s “Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.” It contains all the answers to the questions looming over our widening and deepening presence in “AfPak,” and more.
In short, the United States fails to understand Pakistan – whose army, not incidentally, sports the motto “Faith, piety, and holy war in the path of Allah” – for what it is: a member state of what the author calls “the axis of jihad,” which also includes Saudi Arabia and Iran. These three nations – with their arm’s-length proxy armies of the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hezbollah – are the most aggressive purveyors of what the book describes as “political Islam,” the jihadist creed based on Islamic doctrine that is destabilizing the world, from India’s Kashmir region to Britain’s old mill towns, from all of Israel to Parisian banlieues.
. . .
Mr. Muthuswamy urges, for example, a propaganda campaign against political Islam akin to that waged against communist ideology. It would target “educated Muslims” in the West, he writes, who “would benefit from the local media and the government propaganda machinery willing to discredit the theological roots of political Islam.”
That they would, but here’s the rub: how first to deprogram the “local media” and the “government propaganda machinery” of their politically correct outlook on the world, including Islam?
. . .
What “Defeating Political Islam” tells us is that the United States, in fighting the so-called war on terror, not only has allied with nations that can never be our friends – which explains the incorrigibilities of the AfPak theater, for example – but also has effectively shunned friends, such as India and Israel, that would love to be our allies.
It all makes perfect sense; in some ways, it’s even obvious. Survival strategy usually is. Which isn’t to say that “Defeating Political Islam” won’t come as eye-popping revelation to its readers. I only hope they won’t take the book’s urgent message to heart too late.
I will most likely be giving Muthuswamy’s book a miss. [Clarification #1: Going by the review of the book, I am sure that it is a very valuable book and that it should be widely read.] Unless one has been living in a cave in some remote island in the middle of the Antarctic ocean, one cannot avoid concluding that “political” Islam is a problem.
What exactly is political Islam anyway? Does it come in various flavors such as economic Islam, biological Islam, chemical Islam, social Islam, etc? As far as I can tell, there is only one sort of Islam, the sort that we read about every day. I think people say “political Islam” instead of just “Islam” to have some sort of an escape hatch. [Clarification #2: It was pointed out to me that the title of the book uses "political Islam" to identify the fact that Islam is dominantly a political ideology with a token spritual component.]
One cannot fail to notice that when it comes to most dogmas and ideologies, most people don’t hesitate to say it like they see it. But when it comes to Islam, many non-muslims slip into mealy-mouthed prevarication. It is clearly CYA action. Fear of violence drives their caution. Those who do speak up, though, stand out and are lightening rods for the wrath of the faithful. [Clarification #3: I am making a general point here. The juxtaposition of this and the mention of Muthuswamy's book title is unfortunate as I really don't have any grounds to believe that he is afraid to speak the truth. I apologize for giving that impression.]
Some do write fearlessly. The late Samuel Huntington wrote with brutal honesty, “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards.”
Who was this man, this Samuel Huntington? From the Wikipedia:
The LA Times columnist Jonah Goldberg observes that Professor Huntington, whom he called “one of the lions of 20th century social science,” was not shy at spotting trends and making predictions but he did so based on a solid grasp of the facts. Goldberg reports that Huntington’s 1996 “The Clash of Civilizations” work:
“was deeply, and often willfully, misunderstood and mischaracterized by those who didn’t want it to be true. But after 9/11, it largely set the terms for how we look at the world. In it, he argued that culture, religion and tradition are not background noise, as materialists of the left and the right often argue. Rather, they constitute the drumbeat to which whole civilizations march. This view ran counter to important constituencies. The idea that man can be reduced to homo economicus has adherents among some free-market economists, most Marxists and others. But it’s nonsense on stilts. Most of the globe’s intractable conflicts are more clearly viewed through the prisms of culture and history than that of the green eyeshade. Tensions between India and Pakistan or Israel and the Arab world have little to do with GDP.“
I love the phrase that Goldberg uses — “nonsense on stilts.”
Pakistan is building even more nuclear bombs. Why? Because it wants to destroy India. Why? Because India is not Islamic. But let’s remember that the people of India and the people of present-day Pakistan were once part of the same civilization. What changed? The people of one part follow Islam and the “holy war in the path of Allah” as the Pakistani army motto says. Remember Kashmir? Well, once the entire population was Shaivite. Then it changed and now the remaining non-muslims have been killed or driven out.
Bloody borders and bloody innards.