I’ve been saying for a long time that Islam needs to reinvent itself, if it ever hopes to integrate with the West. Of course, none of us are seeing any serious move on the part of Islam to make those steps to integrate, so we’ve been resigned to the inevitability of war.
In our hope for a different future, most of us have attempted to make parallels between the Catholic Church and Islam. Just like Islam, the Roman Catholic Church has been violent, legalistic and oppressive. And, just like the Roman Catholic Church, we argue that Islam too could reform and turn away from its violent past.
Those that point out that Islam has yet to do so are shouted down by historians who talk about an unfortunate series of events that have kept modernization out of the grasp of Muslim civilization. They say (quite loudly) that the Islamic Caliphate in the late 1400s through the 1600s was on the verge of its own Renaissance when they were kicked out of Spain in the West and forced to fight off the Mongols in the East. This militarized the Islamic empire, they argue, and kept Islam in a dark age of violence and ignorance.
But that presupposes that Islam CAN be modernized. What if we are wrong? What if Islam CANNOT be modernized?
I believe Catholic Christianity was able to be ‘modernized’ precisely because Catholicism was NOT biblical. It was not true to the text of the New Testament of the bible.
In Christianity, the truest expression faith pushes us down the path towards pacifism.
The opposite is true about Islam. In Islam, the truest expression of faith pushes the ‘believer’ towards Jihad. And, the Islamic principle of Naskh or ‘abrogation’ nullifies all the verses in the Quran that might refer to peace.
So, the question remains. Can Islam be modernized? Can it have a renaissance?
I’m beginning to think that it’s not possible. I’m beginning to think that Islam is just too fragile, and I’m not alone in this. The Catholic priest, Fr. James Schall writes:
The fragility of Islam, as I see it, lies in a sudden realization of the ambiguity of the text of the Koran. Is it what it claims to be? Islam is weak militarily. It is strong in social cohesion, often using severe moral and physical sanctions. But the grounding and unity of its basic document are highly suspect. Once this becomes clear, Islam may be as fragile as communism.
I found the above quote in David Goldman’s article in Pajamas Media, Father Schall on the Fragility of Islam. David writes in his article:
A tiny minority of analysts, [David Goldman] included, have argued instead that Islam cannot be reformed or situated in democratic institutions; its militancy, rather, stems from the realization that it cannot survive modernity. “Koranic criticism yet may turn out to be the worm in the foundation of radical Islam,” I wrote in 2003. Much of the Muslim world is repeating the West’s transition out of traditional society, but in lapsed time.
That is the subject of my forthcoming book, How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying Too).
An index of Islam’s loss of faith is the unprecedented collapse of fertility in many Muslim countries, most notably Iran. The average Iranian has six siblings, but will have 1.5 children. The Persian nation will not survive this demographic collapse. There are seven working-age Iranians to care for each set of parents; in the next generation there will be one and a half. That is an impossible tax even for industrial nations whose per capita GDP exceeds $30,000, and an unimaginable problem for a country with a per capita GDP of only $6,000. Iran is going to die.
Why so few children? Just as Fr. Schall suggests, we will find when we poke through the rubble that Muslims are as rare in today’s Iran as Communists in the Russia of the 1980s. According to a BBC account Iran has the lowest mosque attendance of any Muslim country at just 2%.
Now, you would think that this is good news. And, it IS good news – in the long run.
Unfortunately, you have to get past the ‘short run’ before the ‘long run’ happens. And, as Islam continues to fail, it will engage in ever greater cycles of repression and violence. These ‘death throes’ could (and will) do terrible damage to anyone within reach of Islam.
So, the good news of the decline of Islam has a terrifying element to it.
But, there is another bit of chilling news that I’ve just received over the past few days, and no one is talking about it.
Remember what I talked about a few days ago of a cache of man portable surface to air missiles that Ghadafi had stockpiled when the rebels took over? Some 15-25,000?
Well, I’ve heard from the people at Geostrategy Direct, that Hamas has requested something like 25 surface to air missiles from the rebels. Apparently they either want to shoot down passenger airliners taking off from/landing at Ben Gurion International Airport. Or, they might be asking for longer range missiles to take down aircraft overflying Israel.
Whatever the case, this is going to be worrying news for Shrutei Bitachon Clalli – Israel’s intelligence community (of which, Mossad is only one part).
It is true that some of these weapons are almost 30 years old, and most may misfire, but all it takes is one of those missiles to work. If Hamas succeeds in shooting down a 747 with over 400 passengers on board the Israel-Palestinian conflict, will have been changed forever.
Oh, and Hamas is only asking for 25. Please remember that there are up to another 24,975 missiles still running around that Hamas can ask for, if the first 25 don’t work.
Here’s an interesting video that puts this fact (among other facts) into perspective as it talks about Israel’s need for defensible boarders:
All it takes is one terrorist, with one working missile, in the right place, at the right time, to change the face of this conflict forever.
How long will it be before this happens?