From, “The West must stand up for freedom—and acknowledge the link between Islamists’ political ideology and their religious beliefs, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, WSJ. Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of Infidel (2007), and Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation (2015).
Perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam…
What we believe about Islam truly doesn’t matter. This type of violence, jihad, is what they, the Islamists, believe.
There are numerous calls to violent jihad in the Quran. But the Quran is hardly alone.
In too much of Islam, jihad is a thoroughly modern concept. The 20th-century jihad “bible,” and an animating work for many Islamist groups today, is “The Quranic Concept of War,” a book written in the mid-1970s by Pakistani Gen. S.K. Malik. He argues that because God, Allah, himself authored every word of the Quran, the rules of war contained in the Quran are of a higher caliber than the rules developed by mere mortals.
In Malik’s analysis of Quranic strategy, the human soul—and not any physical battlefield—is the center of conflict. The key to victory, taught by Allah through the military campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad, is to strike at the soul of your enemy. And the best way to strike at your enemy’s soul is through terror.
Terror, Malik writes, is “the point where the means and the end meet.” Terror, he adds, “is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose.”…
If we take the position that we are dealing with a handful of murderous thugs with no connection to what they so vocally claim, then we are not answering them. We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.
This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement.
We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.
What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets… The West must not appease, it must not be silenced. We must send a united message to the terrorists: Your violence cannot destroy our soul.