The Slow Theocratic Revolution

Andrew McCarthy takes the radicalization of Turkey as an opportunity to trace Islamists’ strategy for cultural hegemony (subscription required). That Turkey has been a partner to the West, he notes, was a result of efforts by Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Ataturk) to keep Islam out of government, an intention that appears now to have been circumvented. In opposition to Ataturk, McCarthy places Hassan al-Banna, the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1928:

Banna was neither a dreamer nor an ivory-tower scholar. He was a thoughtful, patient, practical man of affairs. He meticulously schemed his revolution as a ground-up, self-consciously civilizational mass movement. It started with the Muslim individual and built outward to the family, the community, the town, the city, and finally the Muslim state. In each phase, the aim was to instill, install, and spread sharia. This is the divine mandate known as jihad.

Given the building blocks — individual, family, community, and so on — the strategy sounds like a dark inverse of the United States’ increasingly abandoned method of instilling its citizens with individual initiative and a thirst for freedom. Of course, freedom can be a messy thing, not easily handled from the top down. People are not perfect, so any governing system that places people’s rights at its center will sometimes face long, arduous corrections of course. Consequently, the West has become insecure about its imperfections while at the same time accepting other cultures’ flaws, assuming the same intention to correct them and ignoring that other guiding lights, notably sharia, not individualism, are at their center.
McCarthy goes on to argue that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has leveraged this Western quality to install a gradually more radical government in his country:

It has worked like a charm. Echoing European sentiment, successive American administrations, seduced by the mirage of an evolving Islam with a Westernized Turkey at the fore, crowned Erdogan a leading “moderate.” They even seemed unembarrassed when the prime minister ridiculed the very suggestion that there is such a thing as “moderate Islam”: Such a term, he admonishes, is “very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” With the West’s imprimatur and no emergent secular opposition, the AKP increased its electoral share to nearly 50 percent in 2007. …
In a 1991 memorandum, the Muslim Brotherhood’s American leadership described the movement’s work as “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” by “sabotage.” Islam’s Western apologists — many of the same people who hailed Erdogan as a moderate — dismiss such assertions as farfetched chest-beating. Look at it, though, from the Islamist perspective. The Soviet Union, humiliated by the Afghan mujahideen, is no more. The Twin Towers, iconic symbols of Western economic might, have been reduced to a haunting crater. At the U.N., an organization easily bullied by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an American administration joins in a resolution condemning Israel for defending itself against jihadists pledged to its annihilation. And now, after an 80-year struggle, Turkey — whose defection spawned the modern Islamist movement — is back in the umma and helping lead the civilizational jihad.

The current question of history is whether the great experiments of the Enlightenment and the United States, which in their essence, strive to force all social structures — from government to religion — to work through the individual human being, can stand against ideologies that self-consciously operate in an organized way to achieve regional and global domination.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Recommended Reading:East to Tartary by Robert Kaplan
Anyone who read “Balkan Ghosts” by he same author annd then saw what transpired will not be surprised.
I realize that merely by recomending an author,some here will be imediately turned off any possible value to be found in their writings.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

It would be much easier to take Justin’s current diatribe against the religion of Islam if I could recall anything that he wrote in the past which complimented Islam for its many accomplishments. I cannot recall a single piece with his name on it that did anything but take pot shots at the religion. He seizes on the word Jihad and drags it down to it’s fourth meaning which is war against unbelievers who threaten the faith.
Islam distinguishes four classes of Jihad: Jihad of heart (spiritual purification, Baptism of fire, to put it in Christian terms), tongue (akin to the Christian idea of “Testifying”), hand (support of the faith by right action, (akin to what Christians call “Good Works”) and finally,sword. Justin sees only the fourth because it enables him to maintain his own Jihad contra Islam.
He tells us Islam must be kept out of government, and at the same time insists that his religious views (on abortion or marriage, to name two) should become part of our government. Apparently, religious intrusion into government is okay if it’s his particular brand, and it’s anathema if it isn’t.
Somehow the building blocks of Islamic society proffered by Justin’s latest bete noir, Hassan al-Banna — “individual, family, community, and so on” are bad; our building blocks of Libertarian individualism and “family values” (however they are defined), and a community of individual states are good, apparently because we pray to the right god. And we never have done any wrong to anyone.
OldTimeLefty

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Lefty’s comment displays such a tortured rationalization of Islam that it can only come from his quoting talking points received from a pro-Muslim propaganda source.
For him, and everyone, I recommend the dispassionate analysis of Bernard Lewis in his “Islam: the Religion and the People”.
Although before the 20th century Islam was relatively “tolerant” toward others in its society, it did explicitly treat minorities as second-class citizens. Over the past 100 years, and especially since the 1960s, a new, virulent strain of Islam has emerged that is violently intolerant and bent on destroying Western civilization so that Islam can conquer the world. It doesn’t require all 1.3 billion Muslims to believe in this cultish doctrine to cause global mayhem.
The demographic invasion of Western countries by Muslims who overburden their welfare systems and do not contribute to their societies, but do have large enough families to eventually dominate the “democratic” process, has been amply documented by Mark Steyn in his “America Alone”. Until relatively recently, Muslims would not voluntarily emigrate to non-Muslim countries, as a matter of Koranic doctrine.
Why don’t American Leftists condemn the “hate speech” of imams who advocate real violence and the destruction of their host societies, while they decry the “hate speech” of those who advocate Voter ID, border security, and right-to-work laws?
Because they are sick hypocrites, that’s why.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Many of our leftist bloggers are remarkably tolerant of a medieval religion that hands out barbaric punishments for “crimes”like adultery and immodest dress.
Honor killings,let’s not forget that religiously sanctioned practice.
The mantra of “anti-Zionism”as a cloak to express anti-Semitism,even subscribed to by self hating Jews eager for acceptance into the left wing fold.
OTl wouldn’t last long in an Islamic theocracy,because the first time he complained,he’d get some lashes.
Amazingly,the same leftist dopes who become apologists for Islamic barbarity are the first to whine about any hint of a death penalty for people who commit REALLY bad offenses.
Inside every American leftist is a hypocrite fool.
Anything inimical to the well-being of this country forms their belief system.
If the people of this state are ever insane enough to elect a David Segal to Federal office,we should be hit with a metorite the size of dump truck.
I suspect that in an Islamic state the people running and contributing to RIF,Kmareka,Huffington Post,and the Daily Kos would be losing their heads.Literally.
We have other non-Western religions here such as Hinduism,Buddhism,the Sikh religion,and some others that coexist peacefully with Christianity and Judaism,
Islam is by its very nature aggressive,intolerant,and constantly crusading.
Evangelical Christianity seeks to convince;Islam seeks to force its beliefs at the point of a “sword”.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

joe, You start with Many of our leftist bloggers are remarkably tolerant of a medieval religion that hands out barbaric punishments for “crimes”like adultery and immodest dress. Where did you get that statistic, or are you making an unfounded assertion? Could you name some of the “many” leftist bloggers who expressed tolerance for “barbaric crimes”? You continue by calling Islam a medieval religion. What on earth makes you say that Islam is medieval religion? It was founded around 600 CE in the Middle East. Medieval institutions began in Europe some 400 years later. You know this, but you let your prejudices get in the way of your reason. You conclude with Islam is by its very nature aggressive, intolerant, and constantly crusading. Evangelical Christianity seeks to convince; Islam seeks to force its beliefs at the point of a “sword”. Guess what! We have another case of what you freely assert, I just as freely deny. Because you say so does not mean it is so. You present no argument here. You simply make unsubstantiated statements. I’m very disappointed. Look at the other comments in this thread. Most of them say Leftists do this; Leftists think that. They go nowhere. I made 4 basic statements, to encapsulate; 1) Justin froths at the mouth when he writes the word “Islam” so it is impossible to expect that he will treat the subject objectively, 2) There are 4 levels of Jihad, and only the fourth is used to exclusion of the other three. This shows little or no understanding of the religion or its practices, 3) Justin wants Islam out of government, but insists that his religion be represented in government- see his writings about abortion and marriage, 4) The man says that individualism, family and community applied to Islam is “bad”. The… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Basically, Justin 100% follows what other people tell him to say (that is, conservative talking points) and then convolutes them even futher.
Missing are the diatribes against priests messing with tens of thousands of little boys, the critiques of the Spanish Inquisition and all the other various realities of history.
The sad thing, really, is that in his mind is IS NOT all the same. One is forgivable or able to be slid under the table because some God (or mans representation of such) said so.
An actually original thought would be a nice thing, rather than just repetition of all the others….most of whom get paid (in one way or another) big bucks to spout. One can almost understand those who whore out for big bucks (Palin, etc.), but it’s harder to grok those who parrot along.
I never thought I would say that Palin is smarter than Justin, but unfortunately she has risen up on the chart. Base desires are easier to understand (money, fame) than myopic ideology.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

And with that, Stuart crosses the line and loses the privilege of commenting on Anchor Rising.
As always sincere apologies will be reciprocated.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

OTL-I have studied Islam and its rise as well as Islam’s relation to modern Middle Eastern government in some course,albeit many years ago.Of course the largest Islamic country is not in the Middle East.
I base my comments on what I have read and observed and feel exactly zero need to explain myself further.You and other leftists always try to put people who disagree with you on the defensive.
I will not play that game.I don’t have ‘prejudices”-they’re opinions.I couln’t care less if you agree or not.I doubt you would.I’m not trying to sell you a car.
I cracked up when you said I was “prejudiced”about ACORN.If by that you meant I was glad to seet hat organization driven out of existence,you’re right.
Hve you got anything better than “freely assert,freely deny”.
BTW I base my opinion of Islam’s militancy on the statements of their leading mullahs with little dissent from “moderates”.
Show me ONE Islamist state where your precious “human rights”are respected.I won’t hold my breth.Remember,I said “Islamist” state,not a secular state that is basically Islamic.There are such places-Indonesia,Tunisia,Malaysia,Turkey,and a few others.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Justin-Stuart is not the type to apologize considering his superior attitude.Often a sign of an insecure person.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

hey OTL-do you “freely deny’the state sanctioned death sentence on Salman Rushdie issued by an ayatollah?Or those on numerous other people?You’re ridiculous sometimes in your striving to be contrary.
Christianity quit killing heretics by the early 17th Century.
Women ahve almost no rights under Islam.How do you leftist feminist friends feel about that?

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“do you “freely deny’the state sanctioned death sentence on Salman Rushdie issued by an ayatollah?”
In a way, he would have been lucky. In Iran, 100 women have been stoned to death this year alone. There is no crime that could justify such a sentence, much less the minor or non-existent “crimes” that most of these women were guilty of. The same goes for many of the other – barbaric is an excellent word, Joe – sentences that have been carried out by radical Islamist governments, federal and regional, against both men and women.
A billion people around the world peacefully follow the teachings of Islam. The problem is that there is also a small, radical element guilty of the most heinous abuses of human rights in the name of Islam. Inexplicably, some Westerners want to deny the existence of this group. This is unfortunate specific to those Westerners because it makes them inconsistent on the subject of human and civil rights.
It is more than unfortunate in the bigger picture, however, because this small, radical element actually comprises the government of several countries and is, therefore, inflicting such barbarity with the power of the Prince. Those who deny the existence of this small percentage, then, serve their interest with this denial and silence.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

I know quite a few Islamic people who either follow Islam like I follow Judaism(NOT)or just want to live and let live.No problem,but none of them want to get noticed for criticizing Islam because they are afraid of the terorist clique that controls numbers many times their size. If you convert from Christianity or Judaism,or Hindu,or Buddhism,or virtually any other religion to another,you may lose your friends but not your head. Most leftists are out of touch with reality-they are the perpetually discontented even if they led privileged lives. My wife converted from Catholic to Protestant many years ago and her family didn’t say boo.They attended the baptism of my son and daughter without a second thought. That is how civilized people behave. OTL thinks 600AD is prior to medievl times.That’s debatable-it’s the period called the Dark Ages.In my study of history it was within the range of medieval history. In numismatics,Islamic coinage is considered medieval at its inception. I’d LOVE for some of the bleeding heart feminists on our local blogs to have to live for a few months in an Islamist state.They might even forget to badmouth Christians for a few minutes. nancy Green at kmareka says she’s a pagan.OK.A study of comparative mythology shows that pagan beliefs were widely held and are still given their due in many parts of the world.far be it from me to judge pagans.They harm no one. But then she says she’s a Unitarian.Is the Unitarian church monotheistic?Is it Christian?It’s a big overbulit place on Benefit Street.Hardly humble.I know some people who were “born into”Unitarianism”-they are neither strange nor way out in left field.Very nice everyday people. I think there may be an element of the Nancy Green types-dissatisfied with what most people think of as normal.I have read her diatribes against… Read more »

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

joe,
I recognize you as an honest person with sincerely held beliefs. The word, “prejudice” can be applied to everyone still walking this earth. I have mine. You have yours. Somebody else has somebody else’s. Anyone who has ever wrinkled their nose in disgust at a strange and newly offered food is expressing a prejudice. There are degrees of offense that prejudices cause, some affect only another person, some offend an entire race or gender. I do not mean to pass judgment with the use of the word.
When you say things like, “you and other leftists…” you are no longer talking to me, but are on a soap box.
I am still waiting for you to respond directly to points 1,2,3,and 4.
OldTimeLefty

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

And with that, Stuart crosses the line and loses the privilege of commenting on Anchor Rising.
Justin, can you explain the “That”. What exactly did Stuart write that got him the ax? Let me know, since I honestly can see no problem in what he wrote, I need to be advised as to the exact nature of his transgression so that I might avoid it in the future.
I’m going to miss Stuart.
OldTimeLefty

Justin Katz
11 years ago

“… Justin 100% follows what other people tell him to say … An actually original thought would be a nice thing … Palin is smarter than Justin … myopic ideology”
I’ve had enough creative insults from an anonymous and arrogant man who clearly lacks either the capacity or desire actually to understand what others are saying and frequently responds to arguments barely related to those offered. Insulting a contributor as a stupid drone is not mitigated by layering attempted cleverness on top of it and constituted the final straw.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

“Palin is smarter than Justin.”
The only way you can take this as an insult is to agree that Palin must be what many Democrats believe her to be in the intelligence department.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

OTL-I have often put specific questions which you ignored,but no matter,let’s see:
(1)I don’t think Justin “froths at the mouth”over Islam.he sees Islam as a major threat to Western values and as intolerant.That’s a legitimate concern.
(2)The fourth level of Jihad is what is being used as a basis for mass murder nowadays.Whatever exists on paper,real people are using it as an excuse to kill other real people,Haven’t you met people who obsess on the Book of Revelation to the exclusion of other Scripture?
(3)Islam makes no distinction between government and religion.I don’t see how Justin’s opinion on abortion makes him a theocrat.Nat Hentoff,a noted civil rights advocate and avowed atheist,is pro-life precisely he believes life is all one has,there being in his opinion,no soul.
I don’t adhere to any religion,yet am not an atheist nor agnostic at all.I am pro-life.
Many people oppose same sex marriage because they think it’s wrong.They’re not necessarily religious people.Some religious people support same sex marriage.It’s sort of a wash.
(4)I am not sure what you mean.
I’ll be honest-I can’t always follow Justin when he gets too philosophical-philosophy,sociology,and economics were always my personal version of Ambien.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

OTL-try kaplan’s book I mentioned in the first response abbove.His other books are just as good.He always writes from having been “on the ground”.Kaplan was embedded with the Fedayeen during the Afghan campaign of the USSR and wrote accurately of that situation.
All of his books have been uncomfortably prophetic.He hasn’t a particualr agenda that I can discern,but he does have opinions.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Phil-Democrats may make fun of Palin,but if they didn’t fear her charismatic effect on many people,they’d studiously ignore her.
I never underestimate the intelligence of people I oppose.
Most people I think of as destructive to American society are really quite intelligent,just misguided or evil,depends on who we’re talking about.
Having a superior IQ and seeing clearly don’t go hand in hand.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Phil:
Incorrect. One needn’t agree with the accuracy of a surface statement in order to understand that the sentiment that it conveys is an insult. In a related way, not caring what Stuart thinks does not negate the principle that commenters should understand that they are guests and therefore not spit at the hosts. That their expectoration misses its target and lacks phlegm does not excuse the attempt.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

I find it hilarious that the other Leftists are trying to portray Stuart as an innocent victim. They are so predictable. Of course, if they don’t like the system here, they are free to leave for more comfortable surroundings. It’s as true for AR as it is for America.
I understand that Greece and Venezuela are in advanced stages of creating their Socialist paradises. Perhaps the members of the Leftist cell here would be happier in those countries.
Kudos to Sheriff Katz for removing the thug whose constant bullying disturbed the peace this community.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Stuart has a kindred spirit on kmareka-househusband “Klaus”-another odious,condescending asswipe.
RIF is rife with similar creatures.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Kudos to Sheriff Katz for removing the thug whose constant bullying disturbed the peace this community.
Posted by BobN at July 12, 2010 9:06 AM
Is it peace you seek?

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Monique,
I never denied the Rushdie fatwa. I think it’s terrible. however, I do not place the onus upon Islam, but upon certain preachers who spew hatred. Why do you bring it up? I don’t like what Hitler did. There are quite a few people who have done terrible things. Do I have to name them all?
You also said, “The problem is that there is also a small, radical element guilty of the most heinous abuses of human rights in the name of Islam. Inexplicably, some Westerners want to deny the existence of this group.” I wonder what Westerners deny the existence of this group? I have met many people who are opposed to our Middle East military and political policies, but none of them think that killing people who are branded as infidels is a good idea. Who have you been hanging with.
I might also say that certain Westerners, of the “Towel Head” persuasion think and act like their radical Islamic counterparts.
Finally, I agree with your statement that it is “unfortunate specific to those Westerners because it makes them inconsistent on the subject of human and civil rights”, only I extend its application to apply also to those hate filled Westerners of the right, or do you say there are none? I say Devil in the kitchen, devil in the yard. Better deal with the one in the kitchen first. Old Italian Proverb.
OldTimeLefty

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

OTL-there sure are some hate filled right wingers around-I don’t have any use for them if their hate is based on race/religion/ethnicity-if they hate people for what they do,okay.
There are some leftists who are consumed by hate.
Hate is not a rare commodity.
If hate is not irrational,it can be a purifying emotion.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Civil, honest on-topic discourse here and elsewhere would be just fine. Stuart was incapable of that. The others aren’t much better, but perhaps his example will be instructive.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Maybe “the others” need to be re-educated. In a civil kind of way, of course.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

It doesn’t surprise me that a Progressive’s first thought would be the “re-education” used so widely by the Left’s Communist and Fascist role models. Government control of education as the primary means of indoctrinating the people was one of the foundations of Bismarck’s system, which John Dewey used as the basis for the education system we have today.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Thanks Bob. That was certainly civil. Why would you call me a “Progressive”? My grandaughter has been calling me “Goofy”. I think I like it better if it’s all the same to you.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

BobN
Read some history and quit conflating the Left with Fascism. Fascism is a disease of the Right. You are using the Nazi tactic of “the big lie”.
Get it straight and maybe you can contribute something besides hate.
OldTimeLefty

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