In light of calls for the assassination of the Pope, the "death of the West" and the ongoing denial by pretty much everyone that this is a religious war...
I wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to read this penetrating Op-Ed by Mary Jackson in the "New English Review" (here's an excerpt):
"...Islam is not a religion that allows compromise, whether in women's dress or in politics. Any softening, any doubt or weakness and the whole house of cards could collapse, for what cannot bend must break. Many argue that Christianity is also uncompromising. As regards salvation, perhaps it is. But it has always had to compromise in this world, since separation of Church and State, of God's and Caesar's, is essential to Christian doctrine. Not so Islam, where there is no separate sphere for religion. As Theodore Dalrymple put it in a recent article in City Journal:
The specific (and baleful) contribution of Islam is that, by attributing sovereignty solely to God, and by pretending in a philosophically primitive way that God’s will is knowable independently of human interpretation, and therefore of human interest and desire—in short by allowing nothing to human as against divine nature—it tries to abolish politics. All compromises become mere truces; there is no virtue in compromise in itself. Thus Islam is inherently an unsettling and dangerous factor in world politics, independently of the actual conduct of many Muslims.
I agree wholeheartedly. As Ibn Warraq said, there are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam. A distinction should be made, not between fundamentalist and moderate Islam, or between Islam and "Islamism", but between Islam the ideology and Muslims the people. Muslims may or may not practise Islam. To the extent that they practise it, they are a danger to society. If they do not practise it, or practise only certain rituals, but do not renounce it, the true Islam remains intact for the next generation to discover.
The fundamental question is whether Islam as a private faith would still be Islam, or whether such privatization would spell its doom. I think it would spell its doom. In this sense, I am an Islamic fundamentalist. The choice is between all and nothing.
A bleak conclusion, but a realistic one. All or nothing. Burkha or bikini. Islam or the West..." (Read the entire piece)
So poignant and succinct...and so very true.