Friday, February 10, 2006

Radical Islam is an Inferior Culture

In my two-part series where I argued Western media should stop running the Mohammad cartoons (here and here), I made the assertion that radical Islam is an inferior culture. I would like to discuss further.

By culture I mean not just a belief-system or a religion but an entire way of life that supersedes all other influences and systems. Thus, a radical Muslim might live in Denmark but is not part of the democratic culture because the radical Islamic culture eclipses every or nearly every aspect of the Danish democratic culture.

A moderate Muslim, on the other hand, does not place his or her religion over all other cultures or systems. The very nature of moderation is a willingness to accept and tolerate influences and ideas outside of one’s own personal beliefs. By these definitions we can say that, for moderate Muslims, Islam is their religion and only one part of their culture. For radical Muslims, Islam is their culture.

And, as a culture, radical Islam is inferior. Just as inferior as is Nazism or Communism. Just because radical Islam was born of religion does not mean it deserves any less scorn than do the inferior cultures born of more secular origins. And, just as we eradicated Nazism in World Ward II and all but eradicated Communism in the Cold War, we must eradicate radical Islam in our current war.

We can certainly do this without attacking Islam itself. Germans and Japanese moved away from fascism and embraced the democratic culture. Russians moved away from Communism and have moved far closer to the democratic culture. Can we not then put our effort into moving Muslims away from radical Islam and closer to democratic culture? Isn’t that really the only hope?

We have to stop viewing radical Islam as a religion and start calling it what it is: an inferior culture the threatens the entire world.

Fascism. Communism. Radical Islam. Those are the three great enemies to freedom that we’ve faced in the last century. I do not know how we defeat this new enemy, but I do know we cannot afford to appease or to ignore. We may, from time-to-time, have to make strategic choices for temporary calm, but we can no longer afford to believe radical Islam can be contained. It must be eradicated or so thoroughly weakened as to pose no real threat.

Finally, we cannot afford to forget that moderate Muslims are our allies in this. Just as it took the East German people to tear down the Berlin Wall, so it will take moderate Muslims to tear down the theocracies, expel the radical Imams and embrace the culture of democracy.

This is not a war on terror. This is a war on radical Islam.

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