September 14, 2004

Sacred Terrorism

Mark makes an interesting find at MEMRI. It is an Iranian arguing that Islam and Western liberalism (classical liberalism, not the Marxist spouting that is generally called liberalism) are fundamentally incompatible.

I've had the honor to attack your liberalism, your civil society and your human rights. I am honored to say that the forces of heresy… the forces of God's enemies and of the Muslim's enemies… Isn't it true that these are the infidels' forces? If it is possible to do something so that the infidels will be seized with fear and trembling, then this terrorism is sacred. Go ahead and write: "Abbasi is the theoretician of violence and of sacred terrorism." This terrorism is sacred. We have been claiming this for a long time. The Lebanese Hizbollah was nurtured by these hands. Pay close attention! Mr. Khatami, this is not violence. It is the dialogue between civilizations that is tying the hands of organizations like Hizbullah. Do you see these hands? These are the hands that have nurtured Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad.

The thing that is most worrisome to me is that this doesn't worry me: we've known for a long time that this is a common view among the jihadis. While there are some Muslims who have come to an accomodation that removes the violence from Islam, there are many who have not, and some of these are willing to kill women and children to advance their hatreds.

There are certain disagreements where the disputants do not share even basic premises, and neither side can give up its premises. In some of these cases, one side is evangelistic about their premises, and will not rest until everyone else adopts them. In some of these cases, the evangelistic side is willing to kill or die for their beliefs. This is such a case.

I think we should accomodate their desire to die for their beliefs. The person quoted here by MEMRI, for example, is clearly an enemy of the US. The problem is that the war as legally defined, and the war as it actually is in the real world, are not the same. Until we actually name the enemy, we will be limited in our ability to defeat our enemies. Our enemies, it should by now go without saying, do not suffer under this limitation: they know who they are fighting and they are willing to do anything to win. Are we? Sometimes I wonder.

Posted by Jeff at September 14, 2004 09:19 AM | Link Cosmos
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