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Defeating Political Islam
on October 23, 2009
I purchased this book primarily to learn the views on political Islam and Jihad from a "non-white" European/North American. As the author points out, India has been victimized by Islam perhaps more than any other country on the planet with the exception of Arabia itself. However, unfortunately, all too often during the past several decades or so, Indians have, in the name of political correctness and "non-aligned" movement solidarity stemming from the Nehru/Nasser aliance, white washed the centuries of ethnic cleansing perpetrated on them by Islam, as well as the more recent predations. So, it was quite refreshing to learn that at least some Indians are beginning to re-examine their past so as to better understand the threat to their future. Whether one agrees with the author or not, one should read this book for the sections on India if nothing else.
His primary thesis is that militant Jihad can never be defeated unless the philosophical underpinnings of political Islam are discredited and eliminated. Unfortunately, he points out, that political Islam itself (and ultimately Jihad) can never be eliminated unless the theological underpinnings of Islam itself are discredited and proven to be false. Contrary to what certain intellectually challenged critics claim, he is not advocating the mass extermination of Muslims or any sort of persecution. In fact, he makes the point several times that military responses to Jihad are not the solution, though they may be needed from time to time to gain short term breathing room. Rather, his main point is that the only way to defeat political Islam and subsequently eliminate Jihad, is to
subject the Islamic trinity of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sunna to the same scientific and scholarly scrutiny that Christian doctrines have been subjected to over the last several centuries. Use science, he says, to first convince the westernized, intellectual Muslims of the errors of their religion, and then this will eventually trickle down to the masses in the third world countries. The Western powers could speed this process up by setting up TV and radio stations beamed to the Islamic world where their scriptures would be analyzed by experts and held up against the findings of science. In the process, the numerous contradictions and outright silliness of most of literatures in their holy trinity of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sunna, would become apparent to all leading to a mass defection from the religion. He warns, however, that such an effort would likely unravel Christianity as well as religion in general gets de-mythologized by science.
I wanted to give this book five stars for the author's unique approach to dealing with Political Islam and for his invaluable recounting of the true (and very grave) situation in India. However there were a few issues that prevented me from doing so. One was his tendency to repeat himself rather often. Another issue was his tendency to accept the position of the apologist Steven Swartz that the virulent form of Sunni Islam sweeping the world today is entirely the fault of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabism. In so doing, the author undermines his own thesis that it is Islam itself that needs to be dismantled. By placing all of the blame for virulent Islam and Jihad on the shoulders of the Wahhabis (bad though they are), he is, in a sense, letting the MB and Sayyid Qutb off the hook. Then there is the matter of minor factual errors. For example, on page 69 he makes reference to "the Saudi tribes Muhammad was a part of." Historically, the Saudis did not appear until the 15th century, and then the ruled only one tiny village near Riyadh. They did not become major players until they wedded themselves to the Wahhabi doctrine in the 18th century. So, there were no Saudi tribes during the time of Muhammad. What the author should have said, was Arab tribes. Unfortunately he made that same mistake several times throughout the book, projecting "the Saudis" back into historical times and geographical areas when and where they did not exist.