‘Chanting "God is Greatest" after the 71-to-36 vote, Hamas lawmakers hugged and kissed Ismail Haniyeh, their teary-eyed prime minister-designate who vowed to not to abandon the fight against Israel.
"The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration," Hamas lawmaker Hamed Bitawi said. [Bold-emphasis added by prof bug]
'Tuesday's comments stood in contrast to a more conciliatory speech by Haniyeh on Monday in which he stressed the new government's push for peace and dialogue'. (Reuters' Dispatch, March 28, 2005, with Italics added by prof bug)
Can't be! No, doesn't really mean it! . . . this Ismail Haniyeh, the new teary-eyed PM-designate of Hamas.
And why can't it be true?
Well, because Professor Robert Pape has spent 335 pages of white-splashed work assuring us that suicide terrorism has nothing to do with any substantive religious creeds or traditions, let alone --- as he tells us in chapter 7 of his stupendous excuse-making cover-up book, Dying to Win
--- to do with any specific varieties of Islam whatsoever, including radical fundamentalism Islam and notions of Jihad. And to prove it, he does two things
that we'll look at in today's buggy article --- itself, please note, a direct continuance of the previous article in this lengthy series on Pape's extravagant cover up of Islam's almost total monopoly of suicide terrorism since 1980: specifically, a good 94.4% of all the suicide terrorist groups active between that year and the start of 2004.
And remember: in this, as in all the other buggy articles on Pape's book, the views and criticisms unfurled in this series are strictly those of prof bug's --- even as he as striven each time to back them up with plenty of evidence.
TWO FISH-STORIES AND SOME MISUSED SOURCES
First Pape Fish-Story in Chapter 7
We get the usual make-believe data-set laid out in a two-part table, plus a head-spinning, incomprehensible explanation in a half-page footnote that shows how his, Pape's Alternative-Universe statistical correlations derived from Fantasy-land data can find no sound relationship between known al Qaeda bombers as of the end of 2003 and Islamic fundamentalist traditions of a noticeable sort in their native countries. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
. Or so we'll see in Part One today.
Note in passing, if you've just joined this series on Pape's shell-game book, that being wrong is nothing surprising in Dying to Win
. The surprise would be to find almost anything that's right . . . including simple division in which, somehow, 3/38 ends up in a pie chart as 71% on p. 205 . . . a knowledge of 2nd grade math apparently beyond the talents of Dying to Win's
16 research assistants, 20 scholarly readers, and Robert Pape himself. Come to that, to paraphrase Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman --- the dramatist played in a film, fittingly enough, by Jane Fonda --- even the "ands", "buts" and "or's" in Pape's book seem fishy. (For a summary of most of Pape's make-believe data-sets and statistical blunders --- not all! --- click here.
To show how wrong this fish-story stuff about Islamo-Fascist fundamentalism is in Pape's chapter 7, the Mad Hatter data-set, reproduced faithfully in an earlier buggy article, will be trotted out for one last display in the second part of today's commentary. With at most two or three exceptions of the 66 identified al Qaeda bombers down to the end of 2003, they all hailed, to a man, from Islamic countries with strong fundamentalist movements --- which Pape, in line with certain specialists and Islamic spokesmen, call Salafis. Pape himself denies this. And his proof lies in the let's-pretend data-set that you'll soon encounter, along with his extraordinary efforts --- which no honest researcher would ever stoop to --- to rest his entire statistical correlations on just one case among dozens of others: Morocco.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
As it happens, Pape is entirely wrong about Morocco. Contrary to what he claims --- resting those on one book, published in 1993 --- Morocco has one of the largest Salafi movements in the entire Arab world. Assume, however, Morocco didn't. What then?
Well, any competent scholar would have treated Morocco as an outlier and examined it with great care, delving deeply into its domestic politics and religious movements to see what was what. Not Pape. Far from being competent, he doesn't strike prof bug as any more upfront and open-minded in chapter 7 than he does in any of the other chapters of his book, itself --- as the previous articles have argued, with hopefully lots of convincing evidence to back up prof bug's views --- little more than a protracted snowjob that seeks to whiteout the almost total dominance of Islamic groups in suicide terrorism between 1980 and 2003's end: or 95% or so of them.
Not that you'd ever suspect this from the avalanche of white-stuff thrown down on every page of the book. Nor, come to that, would you suspect that rampant Jew-hating conspiratorial lunacies abound in all of Islam, not just among radical fundamentalists. The wilder the conspiratorial paranoia, the more gleefully much of the world's Muslim population --- over 60% if we can generalize from the Arab population of 300 million who denied Muslims were even involved in the 9/11 attacks on American cities (as a Gallup Poll of 9 Arab countries found months later) --- latch onto them. And of course there were no Jews found among the dead in the Twin Tower ruins, despite the identification of several hundred Jewish corpses by New York authorities afterwards.
No Need For Prof Bug To Say More Here, Is There?
Four articles alone, after all, were dedicated to the topic of Muslim Jew-hatred in late 2005, and it's been mentioned and documented several times in this series on Pape's whitewash stuff. Those who want to read them again, or for the first time, need only click on the sidebar table-of-contents on this or the home buggy page --- specifically on the heading labeled war on terrorism
--- to find them all. As for the lurid psycho-ward lunacies about Jewish control of the world, charged with eruptive, high-pulsating paranoia that seems rampant throughout Islam, you might also find three buggy articles on the topic written in late May and April 2006 immediately after the Pape series ended: click here
; here too;
Too bad there aren't more leaders in the Arab world like the King of Jordan, who recently criticized the anti-Semitism in Muslim circles world-wide --- not that even he, a decent Arab leader, could do more than speak in careful, half-candid ways only . . . however understandably so. After all, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt
was killed by Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in 1981 for making peace with Israel two years earlier.
And too bad, come to think of it --- however predictable it might be --- Robert Pape didn't include the Sadat assassination in his make-believe data-set on p. 15 of Dying to Win.
In every respect, the act fits his definition of suicide terror: terrorism that entails suicide for the terrorists from the outset or runs a high risk of the terrorists being killed. But then, when you're busy ordering whitewash for your lengthy work --- all
of the numerous glitches, omissions, errors, blunders, and botched statistical stuff not at all random (a sign of a remarkably careless scholar), but rather forming, each and every one, a consistent pattern of concealing Islam's near-total monopoly of suicide terrorism after 1980 --- you can't be too concerned with one more non-random slip-up, can you?
For the cover-up and distorting smoke-and-mirrors presentation of suicide-terror groups active between 1980 and the start of 2004 --- at any rate, on Professor Pape's counting --- click here.
You might want to read the material right above the table and below it for some added light on Professor Pape's scholarly work. Somehow, there were 21 omissions in the corrected buggy table on even a conservative count . . . prof bug omitting two or three more likely suicide terror acts that might fit the Pape definition because of some lingering ambiguities
Crackpot Lunacies Embraced at the Islamic Summit in 2003 by 56 Heads of Muslim Countries
Yes, the wilder and more paranoid the views embraced by Muslims, the more gleefully they're embraced, it seems, as excuse-making and ways of making sense of the world --- especially their own countries' backwardness. Or as the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, told the 56 heads of Muslim countries who attended the Islamic Summit in his country at the end of 2003,
"We produce practically nothing on our own, we can do almost nothing for ourselves, we cannot even manage our wealth."
And of course, Mahahtir went on, Muslims are dissed by the rest of the world as a result.
"I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation," Mr. Mahathir went on to say. "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right." He added: "Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly.
But wait! What are the causes of this extraordinary backwardness and humiliation? Something, after all, must be responsible for the backwardness --- technological, scientific, economic, and educational --- that mark all 56 Islamic countries world-wide. Naturally, it can't be anything related to Islam itself, or its various cultural spin-offs. So what then?
Well, as it happened, Mahathir himself gave the eagerly awaited explanation --- which drew the 55 other Islamic leaders swiftly to their feet, their thunderous ovation filling the hall: Jews
. Yes, the world's 15 million Jews
who rule only one tiny country, Israel with 6 million people --- a quarter of whom, Palestinian Arabs, enjoy the only full legal and civil rights that Muslims not living in the Western world enjoy --- are responsible for the backwardness of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims in 56 countries. In Mahahtir's ecstatically applause-drawing explanation,
" We are up against a people who think. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so that they can enjoy equal rights with others."
So Jews --- who apparently have invented all of modernity, and to dominate others --- rule the world, pulling strings everywhere . . . the essence of all modern Jew-hating racism, however it's served up: whether by Nazi Social-Dawinian pseudo-biology, Fascist fears of Jews who control socialism, communism, capitalism, liberalism, and what have you, or by crackpot, semi-literate imams, sheiks, publicists, intellectuals, dictators, and terrorist leaders who either embrace Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism or (in the case of most Arab dictators) manipulate it demagogically to divert attention from their gangster-like kleptocratic rule that has produced bankruptcy, resentment, and bewilderment among their countrymen.
Hamas' Crackpot Paranoids
One more crazed paranoid projection is worth setting out here, if only because it brings us back closer to Pape's whitewash stuff about jihadist Islamo-Fascism. Jews not only, it turns out, control the world in various ways --- including, pace Mahathir, by inventing all modern ideologies for purposes of dominating others --- but also rule America's Christian Churches! Yes, Christianity in the US is itself in the hands of stealthy Jews (all of whom, as our Hamas observer should have added, wear Buck-Rogers Space-Yarmulkes that wire them directly to the head of the World Jewish-Conspiracy who lives on one of Jupiter's hidden moons, the better to stay out of harm's way from Islamic crackpots):
"A PROMINENT HAMAS member of parliament has explained why most American Christians support Israel. The churches are run by "converted" Jews who are exploiting Christians for Zionist purposes. "Even the churches where the Americans pray are led by Jews who were converted to Christianity, but they were converted to keep controlling the Americans," Sheikh Mohammad Abu Tir explained on an American radio show on April 7."
Never mind. The death-embracing Jihadist Kabooming proudly voiced by the new Hamas Prime Minister in the Palestinian Authorities might be joined by the most crazed of conspiratorial idiocies --- the more crazed, it seems, the more enthusiastically voiced and embraced --- but for Robert Pape, his 16 research assistants, and apparently 20 scholarly chums who read his manuscript, they have absolutely nothing to do with the (non-existent) near total-monopoly of suicidal terrorist groups since 1980.
Nor is that all:
More Confusion in Pape's "Rigorous" Social Science Work
Pape's stumble-bumble howlers seem to have no bounds. In his mental world, there can't be any paranoid fanatics or loonies with influence in Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad or al Qaeda. The reason: it's contrary to his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism.
All suicide terrorists, you see --- besides being "community-minded altruists" acting only to protect themselves and their compatriots from democratic military oppressors --- are strictly "rational" types. Oh?
Well, no surprise really. Pape, who claims to be a very rigorous social scientist --- thanking his colleague at Chicago, John Mearsheimer for the inspiration --- doesn't seem to know the difference between instrumental
rationality. The former has nothing to do with the latter. It is strictly a means-end relationship, in which the mental world and preferences of an agent are taken for granted, and the agent is assumed to be intent on finding the best way to maximize his chances of achieving what he or she wants.
Even paranoids in a mental hospital can calculate this way. In one such hospital in Illinois with well over 600 patients, for instance, the staff allowed patients in each ward --- 12 wards in all --- a voice to elect a council of spokesmen-leaders to represent them. Altogether, there were 93 members on the councils. According to a 1965 article in the Journal of Conflict Resolution
that probed council members --- the researcher directly interviewing them, then comparing his results with the professional psychiatric staff --- paranoid-schizophrenics on the leadership-councils were over-represented by 400% . . . whereas all the other council-members were under-represented. Yes, four-hundred percent --- a figure worth considering. Somehow --- Being Paranoid to Win
--- they were able, by weighing their alternatives and calculating their chances, to get the necessary votes and enjoy overwhelming representation on the councils.
Even a Hitler or a Pol Pot or a Mussolini was pretty adept at seizing power, holding it, and then going to war . . . with some victories at the beginning. In the end, of course, their megalomanical goals led to the total destruction of their systems and entailed their death. No matter. The rigorous Professor Pape doesn't seem to know the difference between their substantive mental worlds of his Kabooming Kablooies and their calculated efforts to blow themselves and their enemies to smithereens. And to the extent he glimpses this difference and tries to deal with it in chapter 7 of Dying to Win
, he undertakes his usual sugar-coated approach --- something we'll see in a few moments.
[The article, "Psychopathology, Decision-Making, and Political Involvement," was by Brent M. Rutherford and appeared in the Journal of Conflict Resolution for 1966. Rutherford, generalizing for theoretical purposes, noted that severe psychopathology is unlikely to mark the leaders of long-standing, solidly institutionalized democracies: candidates for high office, at any rate, have to undergo a long scrutiny in public life by their political colleagues and opponents as well as by the media if they're to be nominated and convince an electorate to vote for them in open debate. By contrast, it's ruthless totalitarian and authoritarian dictators who seize power by the gun and hold it that way who are likely to show the strongest abnormal tendencies toward extreme paranoia and be able to act on them.]
Is that surprising"?
Nor Is That All
Pape, the self-proclaimed champion of scholarly rigor, doesn't show the simplest awareness of how even [instrumental] rational-choice theory has been shown by social psychologists for four decades now to be a misconceived way of studying even much economic behavior, never mind political agents and organizations --- an insight that has landed three of them Nobel Prizes
for their impact on economics. Why at least one of his 16 research assistants and 20 fellow scholarly chums who read his manuscript didn't clue him in on these matters remains a puzzle . . . unless, of course, you're willing to join prof bug and infer that Pape is something of a Simple-Simon whitewasher.
And Pape, supposedly a specialist in international relations theory --- who seems to know nothing about international law (in one interview last summer, he said the US use of "smart bombs" that presumably, with full legality, take out military targets with unusual accuracy was no different from the use of "suicide terror" that, illegally, target civilians) --- also seems to know nothing about Alexander George's path-breaking work, followed by other psychologically informed IR specialists, on the problems and shortcomings of rational-choice deterrence theory. The work started appearing in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it has subsequently been incorporated into a large part of deterrence-thinking, as well as in the theoretical work on "coercive diplomacy . . . to the point that the defenders of a-priori deductive rational-modeling have had to deal repeatedly in numerous symposiums trying to find ways to fend off the criticisms, and with at best, in prof bug's view, limited success.
For some clarifying comments on the debate about nuclear deterrence --- the political and technical conditions of stable deterrence, as well as the theoretical disputes over deductive rational-choice deterrence as opposed to empirically derived general insights into stable deterrence --- they appear in an appendix at the end of this article. Click here
to jump ahead to that appendix.
PAPE'S SECOND FISH-STORY EXTRAVAGANZA
"From: Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders" [
A bin Laden-issued Fatwa, entitled "Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders" that declared war and death on all Americans, civilian and military as the enemies of Islam.]
"World Islamic Front Statement (February 1998 Fatwa)
"In compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:
"The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."
We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it."
Pape's Sources for His Understanding of Islamic Fundamentalism: A Brief First-Look
The more you probe Chapter 7 of Dying to Win
, the more unreliable its arguments turn out to be.
Early on, between pages 105 and 108, Pape takes up the widespread criticism that Islamic fundamentalisms embrace jihad and a duty to wage endless warfare against the world of infidels, and he argues that the criticism is wrong and misconceived. To show this, he draws on a smattering of sources --- in effect, 13 or so --- and misconstrues the most important of those that he largely relies on: the introduction to an anthology by a post-modernist follower of Foucault, Roxanne Euben; the introduction to a more serious anthology by Mansoor Moaddel and Kamran Talatoff; and the cited view of Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Note that he only refers to the introductory chapters of the first two books, and simply quotes Nasr in passing.
Later on, we'll probe in detail these three sources and how Pape misuses or misconstrues their arguments and methods.
In particular, as you'll see, Euben's apology for Islamic fundamentalisms is as methodologically cumbersome, strained, and misleading as any typical post-modernist blah-blah. Moaddel is a far more serious scholar, a good sociologist who has done field-work in the Middle East, but Pape --- who cites only the introduction and may not have read the book's selections themselves --- seems not to have noticed that the modernist writings all end in the first part of the 20th century, whereas the fundamentalists monopolize the latter half, and all of them are stridently hostile to democracy and human rights, are crammed with self-righteous animosity toward the West, and appear to believe that a purified Islam of an imaginary sort --- ruling by strict, totalitarian-like Muslim law (Sharia) --- will alone return Islam to righteous paths, glory, influence, power, and eventual triumph in the inevitable struggle with evil infidels.
Nasr, described by Pape as a "widely respected scholar", adheres to a small sect of Sufi Islam, a mystical (or quasi-mystical) set of traditions with a Shi-ite thrust in his case, who --- as prof bug will show --- has endorsed the continued use of "force" against Muslims and apparently all others until they are all converted to the one and true form of Islam . . . which, in typical totalitarian manner, will erase all boundaries between public and private life and ensure --- again in typical totalitarian manner --- that its theological credos and laws infuse not just all political, administrative, and legal domains, but all private life, cultural life, and even science. Simultaneously, Nasr's expressed desire to submit all of public and private life to the Sharia lies at the heart of all totalitarianisms, whether of the left, right, or theocratic: their overwhelming aim is to shatter all civil society in the name of their pure ideological fantasies, while using a variety of coercive pressures to force everyone to conform to the norms of the new emerging wonderland . . . always, without exception, complemented by concentration camps, secret police, and the total obliteration of all civil and political liberty. Nasr even claims, explicitly --- as do all totalitarian advocates --- that the use of force to such ends isn't "violence as ordinarily understood".
These, it seems, are the three main sources for Pape's views on Islamic fundamentalism, and that's why we'll probe their arguments at length later on.
OTHER PAPE SOURCES
John Esposito, a Pape-Like Apologist
As for the 9 or 10 other sources that Pape footnotes between pages 105 and 107 --- the extent of his treatment of Islamic fundamentalisms --- they are mostly well-known apologists for radical Islamic fundamentalism like John Esposito, and even then Pape almost always refers to a few pages . . . often, no more than a handful. Pape, for example, draws on Eposito's Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
, 2002, in footnotes 12 and 16, for a total of 5 pages --- not that the other pages in his book are any more reliable, Eposito having long argued during the previous decade that Islamic fundamentalism was essentially a democratic social movement that had no violent tendencies toward the US or the rest of the West, let alone any tendencies to spawn widespread jihadi terrorism. The creation of Islamic terrorism, the book also argues, is the fault of the West . . . especially US foreign policy.
No surprise really.
In an earlier book that appeared before 9/11, Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality,
Esposito had flatly denied that any such thing as Islamic terrorism actually existed --- even though several other scholars, not beholden to the Middle East Studies Association that Esposito headed for a year, had analyzed at length the roots of Islamic terrorism and predicted its future use of terror against the US and other Western countries.
Esposito's Biases Bursting Out All Over
Years after 9/11's terror massacres --- and those in Madrid, London, Turkey, Indonesia, and several Arab countries --- Esposito, in a talk at Georgetown University where he teaches, admitted that Islamic terrorism did exist (!), but once more located the root-cause in American foreign policy. "At one point" in his talk, according to an article by an auditor at the talk
, "Dr. Esposito characterized American foreign policy as approving the rape and murder of Arabs in Palestine by Israelis and then, to make it OK, offering a little foreign aid to build houses for those who survived."
Then, to make matters worse --- with his ideologically inspired apologetics for Islamic terrorism spilling out all over --- Esposito denied in response to a question from the floor that . . .
his post-9/11 views had changed; he flatly denied that in his earlier book he had concluded Islamic terrorism was a myth. He claimed that he had in fact found such a threat in radical Islam and suggested that the questioner should reread the pre-9/11 book.
But the questioner was not alone in believing that Dr. Esposito had changed his tune; Dr. Esposito stated during his talk that he had been giving the same answers for many years. Patrick Clawson, Deputy Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in reviewing Unholy War in Commentary, remarked that in his pre-9/11 book Esposito "argued that Islamic fundamentalist groups did not present a menace." Esposito had written "Many Islamic movements have turned from revolution to reform, and have "joined the rising chorus of voices calling for political liberalization". As a result, Dr. Esposito had concluded "while they are a challenge to the outdated assumptions of the established order and to autocratic regimes, they do not necessarily threaten American Interests."
Another questioner, apparently harrassed by the moderator of the talk, then posed another question that the auditor who wrote these words described this way:
After being pressed [by the moderator], the questioner stated his question concisely: "If one were to apply Occam's Razor, would it not be likely that the proximate cause of Islamic terrorism was the funding from Saudi Arabian petrodollars of madrassahs and mosques world wide that are used to spread the pernicious doctrine of Islamism?" Dr. Esposito was quick to deny that also. Esposito's response was, no, that if you ask a man on the street in these countries they will say that they object to American foreign policy aiding Israel and supporting repressive regimes in the Middle East.
The auditor's summary of the talk and the exchanges that were permitted with the audience is worth noting in detail, not least because Esposito's blatant whitewashing to Islamist terror exactly parallels Pape's in Dying to Win:
"Esposito equated the violence of terrorism and murder of innocent civilians as resistance of the same kind that we Americans used during our Revolutionary War.
How bizarre. I couldn't help but think that we were just across Massachusetts Avenue from the headquarters of the General Society of the Cincinnati. Had he declaimed there that there was no difference between the American revolutionaries at Bunker Hill and the Islamist terrorists murdering school children at Beslan and Ma'alot, or blowing up civilian buses, he might have been lynched.
Second, he said jihad is always defensive, in defense of Muslim land, and so on. A person with his background should have known that Islamists divide the world into the Dar al Islam, the domain of Islam, and the Dar al Harb, the domain of war. He surely should know that radical Islamists such as Sheik Abdullah Azzam say there is a collective obligation to extend the domain of the Dar al Islam until shar'ia law is supreme over the entire world.
Third, he argued that since the Israelis admit they are using reasonable violence, they are no different than the Islamic terrorists who believe their violence is reasonable. But "terrorism" is "the use of unlawful force and violence to achieve a political objective when innocent people are targeted" such as bombing a civilian bus, or murdering schoolchildren. It seems to me that, contrary to Professor Esposito, there is a significant difference between the Arab use of unlawful force and violence and the Israeli use of reasonable force which is lawful when used in self-defense.
It came to me finally that the program was dedicated more to the struggle for the American mind than the mind of Islam. Another person at the program evidently thought so too and asked why the club could not have a more balanced program. He suggested inviting Dr. Daniel Pipes. . . "
Esposito and His Fellow Middle East Studies Friends
For Martin Kramer's own long, devastating dissection of Esposito's Unholy Terror
, click here
. For an overall summary of Esposito's harmful influence on American Middle East studies --- mirrored in other heads of the Middle East Studies Association like Juan Cole of Michigan and Joel Beinin of Stanford, not to mention virtually every other president of that association for years and years --- see this appraisal in Kramer's landmark work on the frivolities, ideological biases, illusions, and outright defense of radical Islam: Ivory Towers in the Sand
Beinin, a notorious left-wing radical who blames the US for practically everything bad in the world, headed the Middle East Studies Association in late 2001 and 2002; among other things, despite 9/11's terror attacks, he defended the total absence of any grappling with Islamic terror in the MESA's nearly 1000 papers in its 2001 and 2002 annual conferences. Apparently, it's better to leave the most pressing issue in Middle East Studies languishing in a murky mist than confront the realities of Islamic terror head-on. Doing so, it's clear, would bring the MESA's members' overwhelming ideological biases --- many lavishly funded directly or indirectly at Saudi financed Middle East Centers in US universities ---into the glare of blazing disbelief on the part of all but Islamists, Islamist apologists, and left-wing ideologues entrenced on way too many campuses.
For another take on Beinin, see the article
by David Horowitz.
As for Juan Cole, MESA's 2005 chairman, he's not only an apologist for Islamic radicalism and terror, he tried to use his post, among other things, to encourage his chums to dig into Dr. Martin Kramer's past and see if they couldn't come up with some dirt to bury him under
. The encouragement, needless to say, was done secretly, but one of the chums showed some conscience and informed Kramer of the cabal. That cabal is typical of the kinetically charged pc-mentality that marks the psychology and mind-sets of true-believing pc ideologues in academia: they can't stand probing, well-informed criticisms of their work, they are usually narcissists working out their identity-problems in their teaching and scholarship and bristle and scream at any of their critics, they can't tolerate honest, no-holds-barred exchanges with their critics, they resort to dirty stratagems when they are embarrassed (hate-speech codes, kangaroo courts, tolerating or actively encouraging student Storm-Troopers to invade the classrooms of non pc-professors, cabals, and the like), and the value of their scholarly work and teaching is essentially worthless when cashed in . . . when it isn't actually harmful and destructive.
The Quartet That Pape Noticeably Misconstrues or Misuses
With four exceptions, the remaining 5 or 6 writers footnoted by Pape between pages 105 and 108 hardly differ from Esposito's soft-soap lathering of Islamic radicalism, and it's senseless to delve into their writings.
Not so the four exceptions in Pape's sources, all of whose insights into radical Islamic fundamentalism and violence are either misconstrued or misused by Pape
The first exception is a book on fundamentalisms that appeared in 1996, a collection of original chapters by diverse writers. The four editors are all good, truth-seeking scholars
. . . including Timur Kuran at Princeton, a specialist on economics. Many of the chapters are illuminating as well. But note: only about a third of the 25 chapters are devoted wholly to Islamic fundamentalism, and none of those 8 chapters remotely predicted the eruptive outbreak of jihadi terrorism of the late 1990s and especially since 9/11. By contrast, the two chapters on Jewish fundamentalism and violence in Israeli policy exaggerated the degree of conflict between Israeli fundamentalisms and the large majority of secular Jews in the country when it came to negotiating with the Palestinians over Gaza and the West Bank, both up to the 2000 Camp David Accords and the follow-up offers in the era of Prime Minister Barak, and since then . . . just as they exaggerated the likelihood of violence and terrorism by disgruntled Israeli settlers and supporters if the Israelis ever withdrew from Gaza and, it seems --- given the new policy of building a wall and separation -- from the West Bank.
At no point does Pape refer to any of these matters, even though his own book didn't appear until 9 years later . . . plenty of time in which to assess the reliability of the chapters on Islam and jihadi terror. Similarly, he ignores the chapters --- say by Martin Kramer on Hezbollah, who has emerged as one of Pape's biggest critics in academia --- that conflict with his own sugar-coated views of Islamic fundamentalism and suicide terrorism.
A second exception mangled far more by Pape is Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist who knew the Taliban and Taliban totalitarian system in Afghanistan as well as any outsider, roaming the country during its rule. His 2000 book --- Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
(Yale) --- catalogues in depth the brutality of the Taliban, their extensive use of repression, terror, and public beheadings as well as their cruel mistreatment of women in the name of "purified Islam", but you would never know this from the citation Pape makes to the book in footnote 14 of Chapter 7. The footnote, along with that of another writer, is strictly limited to illustrate a totally anodyne one-sentence reference to the Deobandist Salafi influence on the Taliban! Once again, Pape obviously hasn't either read the book he cites or is whitewashing a mass-murdering totalitarian thrust built, it appears, into all Islamic fundamentalisms.
A third exception is a Christopher Blanchard, who wrote a brief study of 6 pages on "The Islamic Traditions of Wahhibism and Salafiyya"
in 2004. Once more, Pape takes a research effort by someone else --- top-skimming as it may be --- and manages to overlook a key point about the growing thrust toward hostility to the West, jihadi violence in the name of spreading Islam, intolerance, and the Saudi support of Sunni fundamentalisms of all sort.
" . . . It is worth noting that there are Salafis and Wahhabis who believe that violence should be a last resort and, if used, should be the final stage in a long process of personal transformation, purification, and self-discipline in which each Muslim should engage and which ultimately will lead to the establishment of a pure Islamic state. These "reformists" oppose violence on the basis of the Prophet Muhammad's own practices; however, their rejection of violence is not absolute and is debated in the face of defending perceived threats against the Islamic religion [italics added by prof bug]."
The final exception is Mark Sageman, an uncommonly gifted scholar trained in psychiatry and a former CIA agent whose own extensive, first-hand knowledge of radical Islam is markedly at odds with Pape's nationalist theory of suicide terrorism. Quite a combination, no? Once again, a work Pape cites is is either markedly misconstrued or misused by him. Sageman's personal and scholarly insights into Islamic fundamentalism and terror couldn't differ more from Pape's sugar-coated work. In particular . . .
. . . Three Huge Differences Stand Out with Pape's Aplogetics and Sageman's Work on Islamic Fundamentalism and Jihadi Terror
Sageman, who has published widely on radical Islam --- see the book that Pape cites, but clearly either didn't read or misconstrued --- worked with al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the cold war and has more recently stressed the jihadist and religious roots of modern Islamic terrorism since 1990 or so. For that matter, he stresses the religious nature of the tiny handful of non-Islamic terrorist groups since then. By contrast Pape, you'll recall, argues in Dying to Win
that religion substantively has nothing to do with suicide terrorism. If it influences the nationalist struggle to use suicide terror against oppressive democratic military occupiers, it is only secondarily and indirect: first off, the oppressor must be of a different religion, and then that difference aggravates the fears and hatred of the oppressive government and its people, demonizing them and making suicide terror a more moral course of action that they have resorted to only as a last desperate effort to achieve national self-determination for their compatriots.
Sageman's arguments couldn't be more at odds with this view, yet Pape, even while citing Sageman, makes no effort to note any differences at all. Consider just this trio here:
1) For Sageman, a psychiatrist, the roots of jihadist Islamic terrorism are psychological --- in particular, a sense of alienation and lack of purpose and meaning among the jihadists who, by a self-selecting, bottom-up form of recruitment into localized networks that they create, embrace radical Islam and terror against infidels and apostate Muslim allies as a way of overcoming their emotional distress and finding new meaning and commitments in life. Pape's superficial understanding and dismissal of these psychological roots has already been emphasized in this buggy article, and for that matter in several earlier articles in this series: specifically, his confusion between instrumental and substantive rationality.
2) In Sageman's view, if radical Islamic religion didn't function as an ideology in serving these personal needs, then the disaffected, mentally confused young Islamic men wouldn't be drawn to the jihadist terrorist networks. Pape's arguments, by contrast, see religion as derivative and secondary in influence, with nothing specific in Islam conducive to the horrendous spate of suicide terrorism carried out by jihadi radicals since 1980 --- 94.4% of all suicide terrorist groups between then and the start of 2004, the years studied by Pape. Not, please recall, that Pape's fantasy-land data-tables and smoke-and-mirror presentation of even the few accurate nuggets in those tables would ever let you know that Islam has a near-monopoly of such suicide terrorist groups.
3) Sageman's lengthy stress on bottom-up self-recruitment to the terrorist networks --- which draws on the biographies of 175 terrorists --- also stands in strong contrast with Pape's views. Dying to Win's Part II emphasizes a process of top-down recruitment by leaders, organizational influences, and the impact of constant, careful indoctrination. Who's right here? Well, Pape has no experience interviewing captured terrorists as Sageman has, let alone ever acquired the sort of first-hand knowledge Sageman did as a CIA agent working alongside al Qaeda, Taliban, and other Afghan resistance movements to the Soviet-backed Afghan government after the Soviet intervention in that country in the late 1970s. (For Sageman's 2004 book, Understanding Terror Networks, click here.)
What emerges, then, in Pape's treatment of Islamic fundamentalism at the start of Chapter 7 --- remember, for 3 pages and no more? Relying on a few sources, most unreliable --- and the four that are reliable misconstrued or misused by him --- Pape unfolds little else than a typical Dying-to-Win
whitewash job of radical Islam and its almost total monopoly of suicide terrorism since 1980.
And that's not the end. It gets worse for Pape.
Because the Jihadist Fundamentalists Claim That Islamic Traditions Clearly Justify and Encourage Jihadi Violence and Terror, and They're Right
What Robert Pape says in chapter 7 --- that jihad has nothing to do with Islamic suicide-terror, any more than Islamic groups happen to have a near-total monopoly of suicidal attacks since 1980, a good 94.4% of the total --- happens to conflict head-on with what such authorities on Islamic credos and traditions as Osama bin Laden and the new Hamas Prime Minister in the Palestinian areas happen to say? Or, come to that --- as you'll see in a few moments here --- with what the Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary dictator of Clerical-Fascist Iran after 1978, said from a Shi-ite position? All of these authorities, whether Sunni or Shi-ite, insist that waging jihadist-war against infidels in the name of pure Islam is the duty of all Muslims everywhere.
Are These Authorities Representative of Islamic Thought over the Last 14 Centuries?
The clear unequivocal answer: yes, they are . . . despite apologetics written for Western audiences in the last few decades. On this score, there is historically a standard Islamic consensus in all varieties of its legal traditions: click here
for an illuminating, detailed analysis. As we'll see, the only debate in Islam that has historically occurred is two-fold: 1) When should jihad be waged, and 2) Who has the legitimate authority to order jihad.
Not that you would gather any of this from Dying to Win
, a matter spelled out at length in part four of today's buggy argument. Simply note in passing that Pape spends well over a dozen pages analyzing Hamas in Dying to Win
--- and almost as many on Hezbollah (and maybe more) --- and not once mentions jihad
or "death for the sake of God [as] our highest aspiration"
. They're just further examples of Pape's fantasized theory of suicide terrorism --- nationalist groups driven to desperation by their democratic military oppressors, fighting as "community-minded altruists" for limited rational goals of national self-determination. As you'll see, his lengthy treatment of bin Laden and al Qaeda is equally sugar-coated and preposterous.
Small wonder, given his non-stop apologetics and sweet sugar-coating of Islamic fundamentalism, that Pape ends his book on a note of sheer appeasement regarding our terrorist enemies.
In an astonishing Alice-in-Wonderland use of language, he offers up a new strategy for "Victory in the War on Terror" that entails, among other things, some direct negotiations with bin Laden and with the other big-wig heads of Al Qaeda and its imitators world-wide, in which the US government will appease their "legitimate" nationalist grievances by offering up a series of carefully grafted concessions.
What's the Truth?
Jihadist warfare and the use of violence of any sort against infidels and apostate Muslims are part and parcel of Islamic traditions going back to Mohammed himself --- and, we'll also see, in all variants of Islam, yes even in Sufi mysticism, a claim that will be backed up later in this article with long quotes of the founding Islamic father of Sufism: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, a 11th century Islamic scholar. To the hilt, he backs the standard version of jihad --- armed violence and warfare against the infidels in the service of Islam, something (so he adds) that should be resorted to every year by the faithful just to keep the infidels on their toes.
Put differently, jihad warfare and the theocratic and moral obligation to engage it by Muslims against infidels is a 14-century tradition that must be continued until they are all either 1) converted to the One True Religion, or 2) submit as docile dhimmi-subordinates acknowledging Islamic law and superiority while paying annual large jizad tribute-taxes and avoid questioning anything about Islam's laws, rule, dominance, and truth, or 3) are killed off. The disputes in Islam, to repeat, aren't about this obligation and duty, rather over two other matters that we'll delve into at great length in Part Two today: When should jihad be resorted to --- yearly, as the Sufi pioneer al-Ghazali argued explicitly, or less often? --- and Who the legitimate authority to order it to begin
As for the other conception of jihad --- a struggle for self-mastery (itself originating, it appears, with al-Ghazali too --- we'll also see that it has almost always been interpreted, historically, by Muslim authorities in both the Sunni and Shi-ite versions to be at the service of the political and theocratic state of the Muslim community world-wide.
Totalitarian Control: The Inward Thrust of Islamic Fundamentalism
Jihad warfare and terrorist violence of all sorts are the hallmarks of all Islamic fundamentalisms --- including, much as certain Salafi members themselves might disagree, the resort to suicide terrorism. Note though, As the previous buggy article argued at length, there's an inward thrust to all Islamic fundamentalism, including Sufism (a small mystical sect traced back largely to al-Ghazali's thought), about how to organize and govern a just Islamic society. It turns out that this inward thrust is unqualifiedly totalitarian in nature.
Specifically, the aim is to establish total theocratic control over all public and private life alike, with absolutely no exceptions. In the public arena, that means total Islamic control and law over all politics, economics, and jurisprudence, and in the private arena it means total Islamic control and low over all social, intellectual, cultural, religious, and private life . . . no exception whatever. For proof, Pape --- unwittingly, presumably unfamiliar with the sources he relies on for his views of Islamic fundamentalism in chapter 7 (as we'll see in depth) --- consider the views of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, whom Pape calls a "widely respected scholar". A Sufi Muslim, Nasr
is quoted at length by the ingénue Pape as an example of moderate Islamic fundamentalism. As it turns out, Nasr insists that for Islam there can be no distinction between Islamic control over public and private life entirely . . . the only way to ensure "equilibrium" in human life and overcome man's "fallen nature".
Note the remarks carefully. In Nasr's view
, even scientific study should be subject to Islamic credos . . . which is what we mean, normally, by totalitarian control --- the total
ideological dominance of every sphere of public and private life, backed by the smack of the religious secret-police and ruthless force. In effect, the more radically ultra the Islamic credos and norms happen to be, the more ruthless will be the force used against any dissent.
Q: Does that lead to the idea that religion has to do with every part of life -- government, private behavior, everything?
A: That's right. There is no domain, according to Islam, where God's will and God's laws do not apply. There is no extraterritoriality to God's creation, you might say -- in the same way that theologically we say God created the whole world, not only part of the world. He created the whole universe. Islam sees that as meaning one's religion should also encompass the whole of life. Of course, this is not religion in the narrow, usual sense of rituals one performs in a mosque, or a church, or a synagogue. The principles of religion should apply to ethics, to morality, to politics, to economics and even to domains of knowledge and art -- to everything
As we'll also see later on, the "widely respected scholar " also offers up in the same interview an apologetic account of "jihad" that is common to Sufi Islam --- a small mystical sect that is regarded as heretical by all mainstream varieties of Sunni and Shi-ite Islam, along with the various "brotherhoods" it has spun off like the historically terrorist Muslim Brotherhood --- but that is flatly contradicted by the most influential Shia theologian and political leader in modern history, the Ayatollah Khomeini . . . the architect of the Shia revolution in Iran in the late 1970s and the supreme leader of its totalitarian system.
Here's Nasr's Claim about Jihad, and Ayatollah Khomeini's Rebuttal
As it happens, however, Nasr himself argues for applying force against (apparently) both infidels and apostate Muslims in the name of true Islam and the need to overcome man's "fallen nature", and what's more, the use of force this way is not "violence as ordinarily understood." We'll see this later. For the moment, though, consider the contrary views of by far the most authoritative and influential Aytollah in Shiite Islam of the modern era, the Ayatollah Khomeini . . . the head of the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s.
Khomeini's claims, set out at length later, make it it clear that Nasr's views on jihad aren't only apologetics, but are entirely wrong. Yes, entirely wrong. And those who want the proof now can click here
to find the Ayotollah's categorical, no B.S. insistence on the theocratic and moral duty of every Muslim to carry out violent jihad against infidels everywhere, all the time, until they are all defeated or subjugated or killed off; and mainly just killed, killed, killed.
You decide who is more "widely respected" in Islam, the "widely respected" Sufi scholar sitting comfortably in a university office in Washington D.C. whom Pape relies on (a Sufi of a Shi-ite thrust) --- or the Ayatollah Khomeini . . . revered everywhere in Shi-ite Islam as not only the greatest Ayatollah of modern times and the religious revolutionary par excellent,
, but the Supreme Leader of the totalitarian Iranian Islamo-Fascist system for several years, whose public views on any issue whatsoever --- regarding private or public life --- were, like Hitler's (der Fuerherprinzip in action)
, the last word possible on it. Yes, believe his word and adjust your behavior accordingly or die. That was your choice. It still is.
The elevation of the Fueherprinzip
in Iran is even written into Iran's constitutional system. According to it, the Supreme Ayatollah, first Khomeini and now Khameini (his successor after 1990), is the final arbiter not just of all governmental activity, but of all economic, cultural, legal, intellectual, and religious life. He's the final arbiter in a totalitarian Islamo-Fascist system, where --- as Pape's "widely respected scholar" observes in his own way --- no sector of life, public or private, is free of the Mullahs' control and their interpretations of Islam.
Far from Being a Misconception, These Totalitarian and Jihadist Tendencies
. . . . are the inevitable thrust of all Islamic fundamentalism when it is either in power without challenge or senses that such power is near.
And even the devout Salafis and Sufis in the fundamentalist wings of Islam who would genuinely
deny these totalitarian and jihadist tendencies --- as Nasr possibly does despite what he says as we'll quote later --- are at best very tiny minorities in the larger radical jihadist fundamentalist movements these days. Their voices count for little or nothing as bulwarks against the jihadists. For that matter, you hardly hear any protests from them about al Qaeda, its affiliates world-wide, and its imitators everywhere. At most, a few Salafis and Sufis will say that these terrorist groups don't represent the "purified" Islam they're in favor of imposing on everyone, right down to the tiniest aspect of "ethics, to morality, to politics, to economics and even to domains of knowledge and art -- to everything."
As for politicized fundamentalist Islam, the only time it compromises with these totalitarian thrusts is out of political exigency, as when it has to win a majority of votes in an electoral democracy (as in Turkey or, in the brand new, half-controlled voting systems in the Palestinian Authority and Egypt), or when it faces relentless coercion and violence from one of the Arab or other Muslim dictatorships.
When, by contrast, full power is obtained --- as in Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan, Sudan, or Iran --- the unrestrained theocratic urges to erect total control, regulation, and dominance of all public and private life of the subject-population emerge on full luminous display . . . including the continued use of domestic terror against any infringements and the active creation of or support for jihadi terrorist movements abroad. Only when, as in Saudi Arabia, the jihadis turn against the local gangster dictators do we witness even a minor change in the external support, with a couple of rhetorical flourishes of local elections for men as a gesture to American power and commitments to promote democratic changes in the Arab world.
HOW PAPE'S SUGAR-COATING OF AL QAEDA MASS-MURDERING TERRORISTS TURNS ACRID AND POISONOUS WHEN EXAMINED.
""Moussaoui told jurors that Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Koran searching for verses to support his assertions. One he cited requires non-Muslim nations to pay a tribute to Muslim countries . . . We have to be the superpower. You have to be subdued. We have to be above you," Moussaoui said. "Because Americans, you are the superpower, you want to eradicate us."
"I was putting my trust in God, so from an Islamic point of view, yes," Moussaoui responded, acknowledging that non-Muslims might view his testimony as harmful to his case. [AP,/2006]
" In some ways, you know, people that don't exist are much nicer
than people that do." (Lewis Carroll again)
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all
Or as Pape puts it on p. 125, the "altruistic, community-minded" Islamic Kaboomer movements "might well simply collapse" if we play it cagey like in Pape-ways, withdraw militarily from the entire Muslim world, stop trying to push for internal changes and reforms, stop worrying about Islamist fundamentalism --- itself shown to have no strong ties to al Qaeda? Shown by whom? By our statistical wonder Prof Pape himself, that's who --- our careful quantitative scholar testing for the ties in another . . . well, flagrantly bogus data-set, which relies on one case, Morocco in part two of the table 13, pp. 110-11, to demonstrate that the alleged ties prove to be wholly imaginary under the stupefying scrutiny of our selfless statistical scholar.
The outcome? Well, believe it or not . . .
Once Again, Reality Trumps Pape
Look yes look
at Pape's goofed-up table that appears in two parts . . . Pape emerging, by now, as bumbling Mr. Magoo of quantitative botch-jobs
Before we delve into this swampy mess, a word or two about Mr. Magoo and Pape's uncanny resemblance to him, perceptually speaking (maybe intellectually too, come to that).
Once again, Pape's botched statistical work looks to prof bug like the bumbles and fumbles of a statistical-spouting Mr. Magoo, the hilarious cartoon-character For those of you lucky enough to have seen the side-splitting cartoon series, Magoo was chronically unable to see anything or anyone properly, bolstered by a mulish refusal to admit to anyone --- least of all himself --- that he badly needed glasses. In the upshot, as he stumbled around the house or out in public streets, he was as liable to confuse his young nephew in a raccoon coat with a wild Grizzly as he was to think that a striped tammy-cat was an escaped tiger from the local zoo. Every time he proved wrong, and yet he kept plugging away. That's the key, mulish wrong-headedness and a total incapacity to get things right.
Reminds you of who exactly?
Assuming you're still afloat, concentrate for the time being on part two of the Pape table.
It's there that Pape claims to be showing that, statistically viewed and tested, there's no correlation between known al Qaeda Kaboomers on the one hand and any countries with strong Salafi (read: radical Islamist) influences where they grew up at some confidence-level he hasn't deigned to tell us about. Leave aside the Magoo-like goofs in that 2nd part's data. Even with the distorted data intact, the claim that Pape makes here is extravagantly hard to fathom . . . yes, even for those of us who know statistics decently.
To make sure prof bug's not exaggerating, here's the strained and oddly cryptic explanation --- found, as usual, tucked away in a footnote on p. 297 --- that Pape sets out to clarify his reasoning on p. 111. As you hack and hew your way through it, you wonder what he was dreaming about when he wrote it.
"Footnote 27. To be clear: At most, al-Qaeda suicide terrorists are twice as likely among Sunni Muslim populations that have been influenced by Salafism than from other Sunni populations. However, they are ten times more likely among Sunni Muslim populations from countries with an American combat presence and twenty times more likely among Salafi-influenced Sunni Muslim populations from countries with an American combat presence than among Sunni Muslim populations in their countries. This means that American combat presence on the Arabian Peninsula increased the expected number of individuals willing to carry out an al-Qaeda suicide attack against Americans, such as the September I I attack, from ten to twenty times. Assuming that the number of suicide attacks is directly proportional to the number of individuals willing to execute them--a reasonable assumption, since the number of suicide terrorists per al-Qaeda attack has varied only within a narrow range and has been as small as one-then increasing the number of suicide terrorists by a given factor (ten to twenty times) will increase the number of expected suicide attacks by that same factor (ten to twenty times)."
If you do, you win the buggy first-prize: your picture exhibited on the buggy site --- next to Mr. Magoo's if you prefer, or alongside Professor Pape's if you are self-sadistic --- provided you send in an intelligible translation of his garbled enigmatic claim.
In the meantime, we have to turn once again our attention to the Magoo-like feint-and-fudge stuff in Pape's data as laid out in part two of his table. Guess what? Every two of the three countries there that he claims have no strong Salafist movement happens to be wrong . . . but especially the key country, Morocco. It supplied 12 of the alleged 18 al Qaeda Kaboomers, or so Pape insists in Appendix III, and yet it had no strong radical fundamentalist movement. Huh??? Back here on planet earth, it turns out that one of the two or three largest Salafi-influenced fundamentalist movements in the 21 Arab countries exists in Morocco . . . 4 million strong in a population of 30 million!
Note for his absurd space-based statement, Pape relies on a book published in 1993, nothing else . . . and apparently wrong even at the time. For a reality-based view full of insight by a French scholar, click here.
What Can You Say in the End?
Probably this. To judge by Dying to Win's
astonishing voyages into fantasy-orbit, Pape's mental world emerges in prof bug's opinion as a motley mess of contradictory assumptions, moralizing beliefs, hardboiled realist theorizing, and left-wing credos that he takes for granted and that seem to underpin his apologia for ruthless Islamist terrorists. How much the resulting mess in his book derives from Mr. Magoo-like naiveté, funny fumbles, and perverse stubbornness on the one side --- and how much from other motives on the other side --- is something nobody can say, and probably not Pape himself. He's a man, to judge by his TV appearances, not much given to candid insight and introspection into his own mind . . . or so it seems to prof bug.
So then, when all is said and done, what can we infer --- or to be more accurate, what can prof bug say by way of his own personal interpretation of Pape's underlying assumptions, beliefs, and moral axioms that he sees at work in Dying to Win
Well, simply this: in his opinion, it's an odd, off-the-wall mix of hardboiled realism and softheaded credo-stuff that seem to jostle for priority in the dimly lit substructures and basement of Pape's mind, no?--- all the credo-crap, moreover, of the sort so beloved by the inveterate readers of The Nation
and on display there from 1945 to 1991 during the Cold War too. And alas, all too familiar for those of us who have lived through the last 40 years of weirdo intellectual life on our country's
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.
--- Lewis Carroll
BACK TO PAPE'S MAIN SOURCES FOR HIS WHITEWASHED VIEWS OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM
When you get down to it, there's really no surprise in Pape's bleach-work of radical Islamist fundamentalism. Quite apart from his apologia that conceals its near-monopoly of suicide-terrorism between 1980 and the end of 2003 ---a towering dominance that has shot-up to skyscraper proportions the last two years --- his sources for his extravagant bleaching-efforts turn out in chapter 7 to be mainly three sources, plus four or five others that are by well-known apologists for Islamic fundamentalism like John Esposito, who completely unforsaw the eruption of jihadi terrorism on 9/11 and repeatedly elsewhere. And as we saw, Pape badly misconstrues the three works that he also cites between pages 105 and 107, whose writings clearly conflict with his whitewash stuff.
Those three sources, recall, are:
1) a 21 page introduction to another collection, this time of contemporary Islamic writers, whose book-title Pape typically gets wrong [ Moaddel, Mansoor and Kamran Talattof, eds, . Modernist and Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, Pape substituting "Modern" for "Modernist];
2) A 16 page introduction to an anthology put out by a post-modernist follower of Michel Foucault --- Foucault convinced that the modern democratic world is unrelievedly totalitarian in its control of individual life;
3) a book by an Islamic philosopher who regards the West as "evil" (the philosopher's own term). Click here
for the latter's views set out in an interview.
The Three Sources Examined
1. The Moaddel-Talatoff Reader . . .
is, typically, misinterpreted by Pape . . . assuming he ever read even the introduction carefully, rather than just cite it after one of his 16 research assistants handed him a summary statement of it.
The book, as it happens, is divided into two parts --- the efforts in part one by Islamic scholars and imams to try finding ways to reconcile Islamic credos and traditions with modernity, and the efforts in part two by fundamentalists to reject modernity as western and evil and restate the eternal validity of some purified ancient Islam as the only way to organize contemporary society. The modernists, without exception, all lived and wrote in the 19th and early 20th century . . . early meaning down to WWII. By contrast, the fundamentalists who appear almost all wrote in the mid- and late-20th centuries . . . which means, in consequence, that in Moddel's and Talatoff's view there are no important modernist writers at all whose works bear on contemporary late 20th-century work.
Revealingly, too, contrary to what Pape argues, the 15 fundamentalist writers all agree that western society is evil, that modernity is therefore evil too, that "true freedom" is found in subjugating humans to Islamic laws of a rigid and early medieval sort, and that among other things warring jihad in spreading Islam world-wide is desirable . . . to the extent that any of them discuss it (mainly Sayyid Quth, the arch radical Islamist thinker of the 20th century . . . a source of influence on Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalist terror groups and movements of all sorts, including al Qaeda.
Nor Is That All
Even the modernist writers, however --- well-intentioned as many were --- not only have failed to exercise much influence, if any, on contemporary Islamic thought and social and religious life, their works in the reader are largely defensive, intended to show how a little adjustment of Islamic traditions here and there will bring mainstream Islam into line with the dominant currents in modernity: market capitalism, industrialization, democratic liberalism, socialisms of all sorts, the nation-state as the basis of organizing the world's populations in legitimate ways, female liberation, the end of slavery, and universal human rights backed by a rule of [secular] law . . . of the sort that the UN Charter itself embodies. The same is true of secularism . . . which doesn't mean the end of religion, rather the separation of religion from political, social, economic, and private life, with freedom of religion and the right to organize your own life according to your own lights part and parcel of modern liberal democracy.
To a man, the Islamic fundamentalist writers in the reader reject these modern as evil and threatening to Islamic purity.
Not Surprisingly Either . . .
. . . no such efforts to fashion an Islamic society have been made with success by any Muslim country with the partial exception of Turkey --- its secular revolutionaries led by Ataturk driven, back in the post-WWI era, to a drastic "westernization" of their country only after two centuries of uninterrupted decline: the crash of its European and Arab empire, economic and technological backwardness of a flagrant sort, and the loss in every war that it fought in the 19th and early 20th century. What happened then is well-known. Reduced to a tiny Turkish-rump, itself threatened with Greek seizure of Turkey's European land on the western side of the Dardanelles, the country was in desperate conditions, and Ataturk proved a far-sighted leader. He began his systematic westernizing campaigns; the alphabet was Romanized, Islamic garb was abolished, the constitution spelled out explicitly that Turkey was henceforth a secular country, and to reinforce this latter change, he abolished the age-old Caliphate.
A Sidebar Clarification?
The results in Turkey?
Despite these westernizing trends --- all pushed from above by a moderate military elite and many members of the small middle-class for almost 9 decades --- Turkey remains a relatively poor, half-industrialized country that still continues to struggle without success to introduce a rule of law, equal justice, and a respect for legal and political rights. A country of 71 million people that is in NATO and has applied for membership in the EU, its society is half-modern and half-traditional --- both in customs and economic development. More specifically, its per capita income is around $8200 in purchasing power parity . . . high for the Muslim Middle East except for the corrupt, kleptocratic oil-rich Arab countries and Iran, but not high for a country that began systematically industrializing 84 years ago. More worryingly, a fundamentalist reaction has set in, and though the ruling Islamist AK party has proved fairly moderate since its election to power three years ago, it really has no choice: not least because the Turkish military, the citadel of Ataturk's revolution-from-above, has stepped in before and dismissed the head of the party from politics in the late 1990s and even imprisoned him briefly. His fundamentalist party in those days --- the Welfare Party --- was itself declared by a Turkish court to be unconsitutional, a menace to Turkey's constitutionally enforced secularism.
What of the future?
Full of uncertainities. If, as is expected, the AK wins the next parliamentary elections, then --- say, over the next decade or so--- we'll be able to judge more accurately whether a fairly institutionalized Muslim country that is officially secular has continued to be governed by a moderate fundamentalist party or, oppositely whether it has pursued a far more divisive, Islamist program. The latter, if it occurs, is bound to produce a reaction among Turkey's military and westernized middle class and bureaucratic elites, and violence, terrorism, and civil war are likely to ensue. We'll also be able to judge whether Turkey remains a loyal and reliable ally in NATO. As for EU membership, it seems an increasingly dim prospect . . . what with the growing reaction against Islam, Islamic minorities, and Islamic terrorism in West Europe these days.
If, oppositely, the AK and other fundamentalist movements in Turkey remain moderate, then --- along with what we hope will be an increasingly stable, electoral democracy in Iraq --- the Bush revolution initiated with the toppling of Saddam Hussein's brutal totalitarian system in 2003 will have a far securer future . . . along, we hope, with growing democratic changes in other Middle East Muslim countries.
Back to the Moaddel book. In another writing, Moaddel
--- a professor of sociology who has done some good empirical work in the Middle East --- argues, rightly, that the distortions of modernity and blatant economic and political failures of the "secular" dictators who came to power in North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran not only stained secular modernity to the core in the eyes of most of the Arab and Iranian masses, but left fundamentalist Islamist movements as the only social and political alternative for voicing effective dissent . . . and even then, often at great cost what with the efforts by Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, and Algerian dictatorships to crush any serious opposition ruthlessly, without mercy.
The Pape Take
By now, all too predictable. He notes none of these trends. If he did, he'd be unlikely to spin out his make-believe data-sets and instead find that not only has Islam an almost total monopoly of suicide terrorist groups between 1980 and 2003 --- a trend intensified since then --- but that the main targets of these jihadi terrorists have been dictatorial Muslim governments and countries.
In the end, then, you're left with the usual questions regarding Pape's use of the Moaddel-Tolatoff reader: tersely put, did he Pape even examine the 20-page introduction carefully? It seems doubtful: either he did sloppy work once more, or relied on his research assistants, or glossed over the nature of the writers in his larger laundry-job to bleach out the almost total monopoly of Islamic jihadist movements in suicide terrorism since 1980. Or maybe, come to think of it, all of these motives taken together.
A parenthetical sidebar point: As a good sociologist, it's a shame that Moaddel has collaborated with a literary specialist on Persian literature to produce an anthology that errs in several ways: you'd never grasp from the writings in it of either the modernist writers or the more recent fundamentalist ones that Italian Fascism and Hitlerian Nazism exercised a big influence on the Baathist Parties and movements in Syria and Iraq, that the same was true of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1930s and during WWII, that the Mufti of Jerusalem (the spiritual head of the Palestinians) was a pro-Nazi who took refuge in Berlin during the war, was a chum of Hitler, helped organize the mass-murdering Bosnian SS-Division, was condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal for war-crimes, and eventually found refuge in Egypt where he mentored Yasser Arafat . . . going so far as to claim that Arafat was a blood relative of his. Maybe, one day, a more comprehensive, fuller account of Islam's struggles with modernity will be produced by the two authors.
2. The Second Book Relied on by Pape, If Only On Its Introduction . . .
. . . is an anthology of Islamic writings over the ages entitled Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism
(Princeton, 1999), Rosanne Euben its editor --- with Pape drawing only on her weighty 16 page introduction, nothing else. That, of course, makes him a near expert, along with the introduction by Moaddel and Talatoff. Euben, please note --- not that Pape himself does --- is a post-modernist radical. You get an idea of her post-modernist hokum from the very title of that introductory essay, "Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalist and the Limits of Modern Rationalism (Princeton, 1999), p. 3-16. A strange source no matter how viewed, but doubly so for a self-proclaimed statistical researcher and "scientific" theorist like Robert Pape, no?
You get an even better idea of Euben's formidable grasp of Islamic fundamentalist from a brief review that appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies
, 37 (2005), which begins:
"According to Euben, the current scholarship on Islamic fundamentalism is an exercise in disciplinary power, which dictates the parameters of enframing the identity, meaning, and function of Islamic fundamentalist movements without reference to the adherents' own understanding of their political behavior. In other words, within Western rationalist discourse, Islamic fundamentalism serves as the irrational Other to the intelligible Western Self. Hence, it is no wonder that modern rationalist scholarship focuses exclusively on the function or on the socio-economic and political "causes" of Islamic fundamentalism and dispenses with the "reasons" those Islamic fundamentalists uphold.
"The author, however, finds hermeneutics less susceptible to the distortions of power than the social-scientific models parasitic on rational discourse. She therefore applies the hermeneutic/ dialogic method of understanding to give voice to a set of subjugated truth claims. To achieve such an understanding, Euben emphasizes the moral/epistemological necessity of Gadamerian "openness" and, at the same time, reminds us of "the finitude of our capacity to understand complex matrixes of meaning in part constituted by systemic inequalities of power" (p. 42). The first two chapters of the book set this agenda and establish the methodological basis for a thick description of Islamic fundamentalism in subsequent chapters."
Our Conclusion About Euben?
The usual suspect stuff. Specifically, for Pape, any source on Islamist fundamentalism --- which he whitewashes throughout his book --- is apparently welcome no matter how directly it contradicts his own "social-scientific models parasitic on rational discourse," provided it's in line with his own laundry-job stuff.
Can we look forward to Pape soon writing a book that "applies the hermeneutic/dialogic method of understanding to give voice to a set of subjugated truth claims" . . . maybe validated this future time not by a (catastrophic) exercise in logit modeling, but the use of purified, non-parasitic, and wholly irrational
citations of all those formidable French-Thinkers-of-the-Month that so bemused and influenced a whole generation of literary scholars, gender-studies specialists, minority ethnic-scholars, and other brainy intellectuals freed from the illusion of rational analysis and unable to write a clear sentence on how to pour a glass of water without spilling it? Will this future work be followed as Dying to Win
has been by lengthy television interviews with Professor Pape, who will remind the riveted, wholly enthralled spectators of "the finitude of our capacity to understand complex matrixes of meaning in part constituted by systemic inequalities of power" . . . all "enframed" by the "moral/epistemological necessity of Gadamerian ‘openness'"?
3. As For the Third Source Pape Relies On, . . .
. . . it's the "widely respected scholar", Seyyed Hossein Nasr, whom we encountered earlier in this buggy analysis.
He's a Sufi, you'll remember . . . a tiny and mystical Islamic sect of at most a few million Muslims world-wide, even if its doctrines have had a wider impact. Recall his squirming apology for jihad cited earlier. Now consider this other piece
of tortured language and strained smokescreen analysis of Islam's historical stance on dividing the world strictly into two arenas, one ruled by Islam and the other by infidels with whom Islam is perpetually at war until they are all either converted to Islam or submit to Islamic rule as inferior dhimmis acknowledge such rule, paying special taxes to it, and deferring in all aspects of life to Muslims themselves:
"There is an older puritanical and often rationalistic reform movement, or rather set of movements, that seeks to return to a strict application of the Shari'ah . . . in the name of an early, puritanical Islam considered to have been lost by later generations. To this category belongs the Wahhabi movement . . . the Salafiyyah of Syria . . . and the Muhammadiyyah of Indonesia . . . One can also include the Ikhwan al-muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood], founded in Egypt . . . a movement that is still strong in many Islamic countries, especially Egypt and the Sudan, and the Jamaj at-I islami of Pakistan"
Note, first off, that all these movements referred to by Nasr rxcept for the Muhammadiyyah happen to be terrorist organizations: click here
for Jamaj at-I islami of Pakistan. And for the Syrian Salafiyyah, click here
A Different, More Revealing Message
, note next, is a stronger statement --- for all its beating-around-the-bush circumlocutions to camouflage its endorsement of Jihad --- by Nasr, Pape's "widely respected" source:
"In conclusion it must be emphasized that since Islam embraces the whole of life and does not distinguish between the sacred and the secular, it concerns itself with force and power which characterize this world as such. But Islam, in controlling the use of force in the direction of creating equilibrium and harmony, limits it and opposes violence as aggression to the rights of both God and His creatures as defined by the divine Law.
"The goal of Islam is the attainment of peace but this peace can only be experienced through that exertion (jihad) and the use of force which begins with the disciplining of ourselves and leads to living in the world in accordance with the dicta of the shar'ia. Islam seeks to enable man to live according to his theomorphic nature and not to violate that nature. Islam condones the use of force only to the extent of opposing that centripetal tendency which turns man against what he is in his inner reality. The use of force can only be condoned in the sense of undoing the violation of our own nature and the chaos which has resulted from the loss of equilibrium. But such a use of force is not in reality violence as usually understood.
"It is the exertion of human will and effort in the direction of conforming to the Will of God and in surrendering the human will to the divine Will. From this surrender (taslim) comes peace (salam), hence islam, and only through this islam can the violence inbred within the nature of fallen man be controlled and the beast within subdued so that man lives at peace with himself and the world because he lives at peace with God." [Italics added by prof bug.]
Substitute Communism for the Italicized Words
In case you miss the full thrust of this specious piece of contrived, camouflaged apologia on behalf of Islamic doctrines, read it again but substitute "True Communism" for "Islam" and "History" for "God" and then note the strained effort to justify the use of force as a jihadist duty to spread Islam globally --- which duty also befell all sycophantic Communist followers of Marxism-Leninism or Marxism-Maoism or Marxism-Pol Pot variety to spread its truths world-wide --- you will have a clear grasp of the totalitarian rationalizations that Pape finds are the views of a "widely respected scholar" (Dying to Win
, p. 107.
To assist you in re-conceptualizing the thrust of Nasr's views, prof bug will do most of the work for you . . . with the words in italics substituted for Islam and divine will and God.
"The goal of Communism is the attainment of a [Socialist, Non-Imperial ] peace, but this peace can only be experienced through that exertion [of class-warfare and warring struggles against imperialist capitalist countries ] and the use of force which begins with the disciplining of ourselves and leads to living in the world in accordance with the dicta of Marxism-Leninism. True Communism seeks to enable man to live according to his free, post-alienated nature and not to violate that nature. Communism condones the use of force only to the extent of opposing that centripetal [capitalist] tendency which turns man against what he is in his inner reality. The use of force can only be condoned in the sense of undoing the violation of our own nature and the [capitalist ] chaos which has resulted from the loss of equilibrium. But such a use of force is not in reality violence as usually understood.
"It is the exertion of human will and effort in the direction of conforming to the Will of History and in surrendering the individual human will to the Historical Will. From this surrender (taslim) comes peace (salam), hence Communism and the New Man, and only through this Communist society can the violence inbred within the nature of fallen [capitalist] man be controlled and the beast within subdued so that man lives at peace with himself and the world because he, the New Communist Man, lives at peace with the Course of History."
Observe Nasr's Evasive, Abstract, And Bombastic Language
It's no accident.
Totalitarians almost always write like this, you see. Yes, exactly like Nasr, whatever his own personal commitments to mystical Sufi Islam might be --- its members seeing themselves as humanists (whereas the entire Sufi sect is considered by all legal traditions in Sunni and Shi-ite Islam as heretical, if not apostate); and yes, exactly like Lenin or Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot.
One and all, they resort to the same inflated, camouflaged, beating-around-the-bush language. Only some Fascists like Mussolini and Hitler, evil through and through though they were, at least used forthright language: they believed in killing off their enemies, by the millions or more, and said so. It's the Communist totalitarians who use bullshit language, as Nasr does in his own way (or so prof bug believes). And just as Stalin didn't mind killing off tens of millions in his Gulag to achieve his goals, or Mao even more tens of millions for his goals, or Pol Pot a few million here and there, not to forget the existing miscreant-sociopath in North Korea who has killed a few million more by starvation . . . all this mass-murder, 100 million or more, achieved in the name of creating Paradise-on-Earth --- AKA, the New Communist Man --- so "the widely respected scholar" Seyyed Hossein Nasr," to use Pape's terms for him on p. 107 of Dying to Win
, believes it's not only a morally good thing to use force against infidels and apostate Muslims until "fallen man" has submitted in Islamist ways to God, but --- presumably even if tens or hundreds of millions have to be killed in jihadist manner --- "the use of force is in reality not violence as usually understood."
So what then is Nasr saying really?
Well, cut away all his contrived BS-circumlocutions, and it's apparently this:
"Islam, in my view, morally and theologically obliges its faithful to use force against infidels and apostate Muslims until they are all either converted to the one true Islam, or submit as subservient dhimmis to Muslim rule, or are killed off . . . at which point "fallen man" is redeemed from his evil nature and a redeemed human nature full of equilibrium ensues, and at that same point, global peace under Muslim dominance will also prevail.
"In this jihadist recourse to force, moreover, its use isn't "violence as usually understood." How can it be? It's motivated for a Heaven-ordained purpose to enable man to fulfill his true nature and live in peace around the world.
"Short of that --- without the forceful transformation of fallen human nature in the name of a true purified Islam, with all individuals living under the full control of its laws and beliefs --- humans will continue to live sinful and fallen lives, be prey to their base urges, and continue war and violence. No other religion serves such Divine purpose to redeem man's fallen nature and establish "true" peace and equilibrium in life. And, to return to statements of mine in an interview [linked to earlier], not only does purified triumphant Islam not allow individuals free-will and judgment in their private lives that doesn't correspond to a reinvigorated Sharia, the Sharia should subjugate all spheres of human life, public and private, to Islam's credos and laws --- whether in politics, economics, culture, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, tolerance of religious and other diversity, and in all intellectual and scientific inquiry, "
Is This A Fair Translation Into . . .
plain language of Nasr's inflated equivocations? In Prof bug's view --- yes, it is.
Specifically, whether Nasr intends it or not, the thrust of his convoluted minced-word abstractions is to endorse both the jihadist use of force and an unequivocal totalitarian control over every aspect of human life, private and public.
The use of jihadist force --- read: compulsion and, if need be, full warfare --- isn't even "violence as ordinarily understood" because it's the only way for a regenerated pure Islam to spread Islam world-wide and save all mankind its "fallen-man" status.
Something else too. Sufis --- in addition to being a small mystical sect that draws on HIndu and Jewish traditions as well as Islamic ones and claims to be pacifist --- are not necessarily pacifist at all. The original thinker that Sufis trace their views back to was himself not free of endorsing jihadist warfare against infidels --- we're talking about Al-Ghazali, who lived in the 11th century. And for that matter, the Muslim Brotherhood that originated in Egypt in the late 1920s and is the basis of most "Salafi" extremist totalitarian jihadism these days was heavily influenced by certain Sufi currents afoot earlier in the 20th century. (For sources, click here
All of which leads to a related question:
Is Sufism Inherently Peaceful and Non-Violent?
Sufi spokesmen claim it is, in which case any use of terrorism, say, by the Muslim Brotherhood is therefore a perversion of Islam, especially as Sufis like to interpret it. Yes, always a perversion. Or is it?
Go Back To Sufism's Origins
Yes . . . back to the writings of al-Ghazali, the 11th century mystic considered by all Sufis as their root-inspiration and greatest writer.
As it happens, al-Ghazali --- like all Muslims in the Middle Ages --- fully endorsed mainstream Islamic jihadist concepts as warfare against infidels at the service of Islam and the Islamic state. The evidence? Well, on al-Ghazali's endorsement of jihad warfare --- which, Sufi's pioneer writer urged, should be resorted to by Muslims at least once a year --- Dr. Andrew Bostom
is the first to have translated al-Ghazali's writings on the subject. In an interview in 2004, Bostom noted the following comments:
"Below is what Al-Ghazali actually wrote about jihad war, and the treatment of the vanquished non-Muslim dhimmi peoples (from the Wagjiz, written in 1101 A.D.):
…one must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them...If a person of the Ahl al-Kitab [People of The Book – Jews and Christians, typically] is enslaved, his marriage is [automatically] revoked…One may cut down their trees...One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide...they may steal as much food as they need...
…the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim's, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue…. 4 (Emphasis added.)"
As Bostom Goes On To Note:
"Moreover, Al Ghazali's views regarding non-Muslim dhimmis – which were typical of the prevailing written opinions of Muslim theologians and jurists during the Abbasid-Baghdadian Caliphate – resulted in tangible acts of dhimmi persecution, as recorded, for example, in this contemporary chronicle from Baghdad by Obadyah the Proselyte, in 1100 A.D.:
…the Caliph of Baghdad, al-Muqtadi [1075-1094], had given power to his vizier, Abu Shuja… [who] imposed that each male Jew should wear a yellow badge on his headgear. This was one distinctive sign on the head and the other was on the neck- a piece of lead of the weight of a silver dinar hanging round the neck of every Jew and inscribed with the word dhimmi to signify that the Jew had to pay poll-tax. Jews also had to wear girdles round their wastes. Abu Shuja further imposed two signs on Jewish women. They had to wear a black and a red shoe, and each woman had to have a small brass bell on her neck or shoe, which would tinkle and thus announce the separation of Jewish from Gentile [Muslim] women. He assigned cruel Muslim men to spy upon Jewish women, in order to oppress them with all kinds of curses, humiliation, and spite. The Gentile population used to mock all the Jews, and the mob and their children used to beat up the Jews in all the streets of Baghdad…When a Jew died, who had not paid up the poll-tax [jizya] to the full and was in debt for a small or large amount, the Gentiles did not permit burial until the poll-tax was paid. If the deceased left nothing of value, the Gentiles demanded that other Jews should, with their own money, meet the debt owed by the deceased in poll-tax; otherwise they [threatened] they would burn the body.5
"Simply put [says Bostom], the views of the much lionized Al-Ghazali are identical to those of countless classical and contemporary Muslim theologians, including Qaradawi, who justify jihad terror, including the "incidental" killing of non-combatants, and the sacralized inferiority of non-Muslims. And second tier apologists such as Ormsby also choose to not to discuss the theological realities which are at the root of the unique Islamic institution of jihad itself, expressed eloquently by the contemporary scholar Bassam Tibi:
"At its core, Islam is a religious mission to all humanity. Muslims are religiously obliged to disseminate the Islamic faith throughout the world. "We have sent you forth to all mankind" (Q. 34:28). If non-Muslims submit to conversion or subjugation, this call (da'wa) can be pursued peacefully. If they do not, Muslims are obliged to wage war against them. In Islam, peace requires that non-Muslims submit to the call of Islam, either by converting or by accepting the status of a religious minority (dhimmi) and paying the imposed poll tax, jizya. World peace, the final stage of the da'wa, is reached only with the conversion or submission of all mankind to Islam…Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a fulfillment of the Qur'anic command to spread Islam as a way to peace. The resort to force to disseminate Islam is not war (harb), a word that is used only to describe the use of force by non-Muslims. Islamic wars are not hurub (the plural of harb) but rather futuhat, acts of "opening" the world to Islam and expressing Islamic jihad.
"Relations between dar al-Islam, the home of peace, and dar al-harb, the world of unbelievers, nevertheless take place in a state of war, according to the Qur'an and to the authoritative commentaries of Islamic jurists. Unbelievers who stand in the way, creating obstacles for the da'wa, are blamed for this state of war, for the da'wa can be pursued peacefully if others submit to it. In other words, those who resist Islam cause wars and are responsible for them. Only when Muslim power is weak is "temporary truce" (hudna) allowed (Islamic jurists differ on the definition of "temporary"). "
Or, To Jump Ahead To the Present Day, Consider the Views of
the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood at present. Bostom, as it happens, has analyzed his fiery fiery endorsement of jihadist terror too. . . Mohammed being, so Sheik al-Qaradawi says, the first and greatest of Islam's greatest religious warrior. More to the point, al-Qaradawi fully embraces
offensive jihad in the interest of spreading Islam as a full-fledged duty of Muslims at times, who will be rewarded for death in battle by immediate dispatch to Paradise.
As Memri summarized one of his lengthy rantings, "Sheik Al-Qaradhawi argued that there are two types of Jihad:
"A Jihad which you seek, and a Jihad in which you repulse an attack." In the Jihad which you are seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way. The repulsing Jihad takes place when your land is being invaded and conquered… [in that case you must] repulse [the invader] to the best of your ability; if you kill him he will end up in hell, and if he kills you, you become a martyr [Shahid]…"
"There are various ways to prepare for Jihad: there is mental preparation, there is physical preparation, and there is material preparation, meaning the preparation of the weapons. The messenger [Muhammad] prepared all his friends first mentally since equipment and weapons cannot fight by themselves, but rather need hands to operate them, and those hands must also have a purpose.
"Why were we defeated in 1967? Officers stated that we had vast amounts of weapons but we did not provide the warrior with mental preparation. We did not prepare him to fight for religious belief and for defending religious sanctuaries. We are the oppressed, and the duty is on us. He who got killed is a [Shahid] in heaven… the first assignment is to prepare the hero who is willing to put his life in his own hands for Allah's sake, and he who does not care whether he encounters death or death encounters him…"
For more of al-Qaradawi's lurid ramblings, click here
Does It Follow That All
. . . or most Sufis are active jihadists?
No, prof bug has no reason to doubt that many, maybe even a majority, are pious and sincere in their other-worldly preoccupations --- but like all varieties of Islam, whether mainstream or offshoots or regarded as heretical or apostate, Sufism is itself not free of the theocratic and moral rationalization of spreading Islam by force, historically or in the present.
And note. If the pious and sincere Sufis dislike the historical links to such jihadist traditions, let them spell out how their conception of "greater jihad" --- internal self-mastery in the name of Islamic discipline ---- has superseded without reservation the original and still very energetic earlier version of jihad, the use of military force and expansion, that goes back to the origins of Islam and its connection to the military conquests of the Arab empire of Christian, Persian, Hindu, Jewish, and pagan territories. The pattern here, of course, isn't limited to Arab imperial expansion. It also marked the conquests of Russia by the Tatars in the Middle Ages, the Ottomans destruction of the Byzantine Empire and later Ottoman expansion into large parts of Europe and the Arab world, and the Mugal conquest of Hindu India in the 16th century.
Back to Seyyid Hossein Nasr's Apologetics Once More
His Self-Contradictory Claim on Conquest and Forced Conversion to Islam
Here, as a parting comment, is Nasr's sanitized view of how Islam spread by the sword in these waves of military conquest, but with no forced conversions.
The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword (2003, p. 17, emp. added).
Note the apolgetic weasel-language, which lands Nasr smack in the middle of a contradiction.
"In other words," observes the writer of the article from which Nasr's quoted words are taken,
"Muslim armies physically conquered—by military force and bloodshed—various nations, forcing the population to submit to Muslim rule, but did not require them to become Muslims! One suspects that, at the time, the distinction escaped the citizens of those conquered countries, even as it surely does the reader."
Now Note Something More Important: Historical Reality
Quite apart from the contradiction, maybe the "widely respected scholar" on whom Pape draws will give us his interpretation of the following analysis (taken from the Secular-Islam web site
"After the death of the Prophet, the caliph Abu Bakr organised the invasion of Syria. During the campaign of 634, the entire region between Gaza and Caesarea was devastated; four thousand peasants, Christians, Jews, and Samaritans who were simply defending their land, were massacred. During the campaigns in Mesopotamia, between 635 and 642, monasteries were sacked, the monks were killed, Monophysite Arabs executed or forced to convert; in Elam the population was put to the sword, at Susa all the dignitaries suffered the same fate.
"We are better informed of the conquest of Egypt by Amr b. al-As thanks to the Chronicle of John, Bishop of Nikiu, written between 693 and 700. For John, the Muslim yoke was "heavier than the yoke which had been laid on Israel by Pharaoh." As Amr advanced into Egypt, he captured the town of Behnesa, near the Fayum, and exterminated the inhabitants: "whoever gave himself up to them [the Muslims] was massacred, they spared neither the old, nor the women or children." Fayum and Aboit suffered the same fate. At Nikiu, the entire population was put to the sword. The Arabs took the inhabitants of Cilicia into captivity. In Armenia, the entire population of Euchaita was wiped out Seventh century Armenian chronicles recount how the Arabs decimated the populations of Assyria and forced a number of inhabitants to accept Islam, and then wrought havoc in the district of Daron, S.W.of Lake Van. In 642, it was the turn of the town of Dvin to suffer.
"In 643, the Arabs came back, bringing "extermination, ruin, and slavery." Michael the Syrian tells us how Mu'awiya sacked and pillaged Cyprus, and then established his domination by a "great massacre." It was the same ghastly spectacle in North Africa: Tripoli was pillaged in 643; Carthage was razed to the ground and most of its inhabitants killed. Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Iraq and Iran presented a similar spectacle.
Then too, as the same analysis found at Secular-Islam's web site notes, the slaughter continued elsewhere when Arab conquests unfolded --- and later ones by Ottoman Turks and Moghuls:
"After the capture of the port of Debal, the Muslim army took three days to slaughter the inhabitants, but thereafter Qasim is more tolerant allowing many to continue their professions and practise their religion.
"This is not acceptable to Hajjaj, who, on receiving Qsaim's report of his victory, wrote back :"My dear cousin, I have received your life -augmenting letter. On its receipt my gladness and joy knew no bounds. It increased my pride and glory to the highest degree. It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great God says in the Koran [xlvii.4]: O True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads. "The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man. Concluded with compliments. Written by Nafia in the year ninety three." [italics added]
"Later, Hajjaj returns to the same theme: "My distinct orders are that all those who are fighting men should be assassinated, and their sons and daughters imprisoned and retained as hostages." Obedient to a fault, Qasim, on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad, "ordered all the men belonging to the military classes to be beheaded with swords. It is said that about 6000 fighting men were massacred on this occasion, some say 16,000. The rest were pardoned."
As for forced conversions, what Nasr claims is at odds with standard historical accounts . . . most based on Islamic sources, free of apologetics.
FORCED CONVERSIONS AND PERSECUTIONS
"We have already mentioned the forced conversions of Jews. Islamic history is also full of references to the forced conversion of Christians, Zoroastrians and pagans. For instance, under al Mamun in the 9th century the pagans of Harran had to choose between Islam and death. Tavernier, the 17th century French traveler describes how in Anatolia," il y a quantit‚ de Grecs qu'on force tous les jours de se faire Turcs."
Armenian Christians seemed to have suffered particularly severely from Muslim persecution. In 704_705, the caliph Walid I gathered together the nobles of Armenia in the church of St. Gregory in Naxcawan and the church of Xram on the Araxis, and burned them to death. The rest were crucified and decapitated, while their women and children were taken as slaves. The Armenians suffered even more between 852 and 855. Given the constant humiliation and degradation, fiscal and social oppression, it is not surprising that many dhimmis sought a way out of their impossible situation by converting, But though technically not "forced" on pain of death or at the point of a sword, we can still consider these conversions as having been forced on the dhimmis. [italics added]
"Surely, there is no moral difference between the two kinds of "forced conversions." Each century has its own, full account of the horrors. In the 8th century we had the massacres in the Sind. In the 9th century, there were the massacres of Spanish Christians in and around Seville. In the 10th, the persecutions of non-Muslims under the caliph al Hakim are well known.
"In the 11th, the fate of the Jews of Grenada and Fez have already been alluded to; we might add the destruction of Hindus and their temples by Mahmud at the same period. In the 12th, the Almohads of North Africa spread terror wherever they went.
"In the 13th; the Christians of Damascus were killed or sold into slavery, and their churches burnt to the ground. The Sultan Baibars, whom Sir Steven Runciman calls "evil", not respecting his own guarantees of safety to the garrison of Safed if they surrendered to the Muslims, had all the population decapitated when they did surrender. "From Toron he sent a troop to destroy the Christian village of Qara, between Homs and Damascus, which he suspected of being in touch with the Franks. The adult inhabitants were massacred and the children enslaved. When the Christians from Acre sent a deputation to ask to be allowed to bury the dead, he roughly refused, saying that if they wished for martyrs' corpses they would find them at home. To carry out his threat he marched down to the coast and slaughtered every Christian that fell into his hands. "As for Baibar's and the Muslims' capture of Antioch in 1268, Runciman's says," Even the Moslem chroniclers were shocked by the carnage that followed."
"In the 14th and early 15th century, we have the terror spread by the infamous Timur the Lame, otherwise known as Tamerlane or the "bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine" of Marlowe's play.
"Tamerlane constantly refers to the Koran, and tried to turn every one of his battles into a Holy War, even though in many instances he was fighting fellow Muslims At least in Georgia, he was able to give his campaign the colour of a Jihad. In 1400 Tamerlane devastated the country in and around Tifflis. In 1403, he returned to ravage the country again, and destroying seven hundred large villages and minor towns, massacring the inhabitants, and razing to the ground all the Christian churches of Tifflis. Rene Grousset summed up Tamerlane's peculiar character by saying that whereas the Mongols of the 13th century had killed simply because for centuries this had been the instinctive behaviour of nomad herdsmen toward sedentary farmers, Tamerlane killed out of Koranic piety. To the ferocity of the cruel Mongols, Tamerlane added a taste for religious murder. Tamerlane "represents a synthesis, historically lacking up to now, of Mongol barbarity and Muslim fanaticism, and symbolises that advanced form of primitive slaughter which is murder committed for the sake of an abstract ideology, as a duty and sacred mission."
"Confining ourselves to non-Muslims, we note that he destroyed the town of Tana, at the mouth of the Don. All the Christians were enslaved; their shops and churches were destroyed.
"According to the Zafer Nameh, our main source of information for Tamerlane's campaigns, written at the beginning of the 15th century, Tamerlane set forth to conquer India solely to make war on the enemies of the Muslim faith. He considered the Muslim rulers of north India far too lenient towards pagans, that is to say, the Hindus. The Zafer Nameh tells us that, "The Koran emphasizes that the highest dignity to which man may attain is to wage war in person upon the enemies of the Faith. This is why the great Tamerlane was always concerned to exterminate the infidels, as much to acquire merit as from love of glory."
"At Delhi under the pretext that the hundred thousand Hindu prisoners presented a grave risk to his army, Tamerlane ordered their execution in cold blood. He killed thousands, and had victory pillars built of the severed heads. On his way out of India, he sacked Miraj, pulled down the monuments and flayed the Hindu inhabitants alive, "an act by which he fulfilled his vow to wage the Holy War. "This strange champion of Islam, as Grousset calls him, plundered and massacred "through blindness or close-mindedness to a certain set of cultural values."
"Tamerlane systematically destroyed the Christians, and as a result the Nestorians and Jacobites of Mesopotamia have never recovered. At Sivas, 4000 Christians were buried alive; at Tus there were 10,000 victims. Historians estimate the number of dead at Saray to be 100,000; at Baghdad 90,000; at Isfahan 70000. "
To continue the analysis, click here
and scroll to "ZOROASTRIAN" in capital letters.
THE MEANINGS OF JIHAD IN MAINSTREAM SUNNI AND SHIITE ISLAM AS WELL AS IN RADICAL ISLAMO-FASCISM
Enter Islamic Fundamentalist Views Even More Fully at Odds with Seyyed Hossein Nasr's Apologetics: Shi-ite and Sunni Calls for Terrorism and Warfare
Here, from a source more "widely respected" in the Islamic world than Pape's Islamic Professor at George Washington University --- the Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary dictator who overthrew the corrupt dictatorial Shah's regime in the late 1970s and instituted a totalitarian system based on the administration of a purified Sharia --- is a clear no-beating-around-the-bush call for martyrdom and killing infidels as a duty of all Muslim men, whether Shiite or Sunni:
"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.. .. But those who study Islamic Holy \War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless.
"Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]?
"Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur'anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight.
"Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."
The source of this Khomeini altruistic freedom-fighting nationalist statement to "kill all the unbelievers" in the "service of Allah?" Well, you can probably find it easily on the web, but prof bug picked it out from Amir Taheri's book Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism
(1987), p. 35 . . . Taheri, an Iranian, another person who fled an Islamist paradise of a clerical police-state form where, according to Pape on p. 105, fundamentalists want nothing more than to "offer Islam as a total way of life." In the meantime, note how --- unlike the strained reasoning and tortured language of the two writers Pape draws on or Pape's own whitewash-apololgia --- the mass-murdering totalitarian Khomeini at least cuts to the core of Islamic doctrine on these crucial points of jihad, infidels, Islamic duty, and the use of war and terrorism if need be as an obligation built into Islamic theology.
Better his clear forceful words than the weasel-like apologetics of Pape's sources, no? At least you know what the enemy is like. Click here
to return to your original place in the buggy article.
An Analysis of the Origins
"The standard Muslim attempt to justify the Quran's endorsement of violence is that such violence was undertaken in self-defense (e.g., Surah 42:41). Consider the following Muslim explanation:
"At the time when this surah (Surah 2—DM) was revealed at Al-Madinah, the Prophet's own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge. Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms of the oath, taken at Al-Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca; but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the battle of Badr. Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they could accept the idea of fighting even in self-defence [sic].... (Pickthall, p. 33, emp. added).
"Apart from the fact that the claim that Muhammad's advocacy of fighting was justifiable on the ground of self-defense is contrary to the historical facts (since the wars waged by Muhammad and the territorial expansion of Islam achieved by his subsequent followers cannot all be dismissed as defensive), this explanation fails to come to grips with the propriety of shedding of blood and inflicting violence—regardless of the reason. Muslim scholar Seyyed Nasr seems unconscious of the inherent self-contradiction apparent in his own remark:
"The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword (2003, p. 17, emp. added).
"In other words, Muslim armies physically conquered—by military force and bloodshed—various nations, forcing the population to submit to Muslim rule, but did not require them to become Muslims! One suspects that, at the time, the distinction escaped the citizens of those conquered countries, even as it surely does the reader.
"If the majority of Muslims were violent, that would not prove that Islam is a religion of violence. The vast majority of those who claim to be "Christian" are practicing a corrupted form of the Christian faith. So the validity of any religion is determined ultimately not by the imperfect, inaccurate practice of the religion by even a majority of its adherents, but by the official authority or standard upon which it is based, i.e., its Scriptures. The present discussion in the world regarding whether or not jihad includes physical force in the advancement of Islam is ultimately irrelevant (cf. Nasr, 2002, pp. 256-266). The Quran unquestionably endorses violence, war, and armed conflict. No wonder a substantial number of Muslims manifest a maniacal, reckless abandon in their willingness to die by sacrificing their lives in order to kill as many "infidels" (especially Israelis and Americans) as possible. They have read the following:
"Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.... And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, and bring them in unto the Garden [Paradise—DM] which He hath made known to them (Surah 47:4-6, emp. added).
"O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed.... And what though ye be slain in Allah's way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. What though ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?.... So those who...fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow—a reward from Allah (Surah 3:156-158,195, emp. added)."
The Final Word on Islamic Jihad
Walid Phares, a former professor who specializes in Middle East Studies and in Islam, hasn't dug as deeply into the historical roots and evolution of jihadist traditions in that religion as Andrew Bostom, but he is nonetheless very knowledgeable and has produced the best book to date on relating those traditions to contemporary jihadist terror. Its title: Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America
In chapter one of his book that traces the historical roots of jihad, Phrases locates them, as all but apologists do, in the military conquests of the Arab state that quickly overran the Christian Middle East, the Zorastarian Persian Empire, the Christian North Africa, and all of Iberia. The military conquests were halted only at Tours, less than 90 miles from Paris, by Franks in 720. Even so, recall, Islamic military expansion continued for centuries afterwards, as did the Arab and Ottoman slave trade. The Arab Empire extended into Sicily and Southern Italy in the 9th century; in the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks overran the remnants of the Byzantine Empire, while expanding afterwards all over the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and much of what would become the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the Mughal conquest of Hindu India in the 16th century marked the final military expansion of Islam, after which all of it --- first slowly in the 17th and 18th centuries, then rapidly thereafter --- failed to modernize, industrialize, and keep apace of the great European powers.
From the first days of its origins, then, Islam was a religion bound up with a militarily expanding political state . . . something starkly at odds with the early history of Christianity, which existed and expanded by conversion only for three centuries before it was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Ever since, Muslims have regarded the military power and political influence of Islam as a sign of its Divine Blessings, and oppositely Islam's decline into economic, technological, scientific, and industrial influence and power --- never mind the disappearance of the Ottoman Caliphate in the early 1920s --- as either something bewildering and inexplicable, due to the machinations and exercise of power by others, or something to be fought back against with jihad terror.
The Arch-Demons These Days: Jews, the Descendants of Apes and Pigs
These days, of course, lurid conspiratorial views of Islam's weakness and backwardness abound everywhere in the Islamic world, focusing specifically on the alleged dominance of America, globalizing forces, and America's allies by a powerful, behind-the-scenes cabal of Jews . . . Islam's diabolical enemies and temporary masters.
No need to add any more buggy comments here: several articles on this theme abound on the buggy site, including in the current series on Pape's Dying to Win. For a symposium on Jew-hating lunacies --- the crazier, the more faithful believed by the half-literate, poorly educated, or outrightly illiterate Muslim masses world-wide, thanks to the connivance among others of not just crackpot imams, scholars, and publicists, but the existing Muslim dictators who dominate the 46 Muslim-ruled countries (only three or four exceptions), and in the remaining 11 countries with large Muslim minorities like Nigeria.
Back to Jihad's Evolution: Alternative Concepts
As Phares and all Western scholars of Islam note, moreover, the later efforts in the Middle Ages by Sufis and others --- followed into the modern era --- to supplement or replace military jihad with spiritual inner self-mastery does not mean that the earlier form of jihad ever disappeared. Just the opposite. All jihad, he notes, is
"a state of effort at the service of the umma, the State, and Allah. It is a call to mobilize the resources, energies, and capabilities of individuals in the service of the higher causes. Jihad is the sum of all jihds, or efforts. It is triggered by an order given by the legitimate authority. It has a theological force that cannot be cancelled except by a legitimate authority. " (pp. 22-23).
The Current Debate within Islam
With the disappearance in the 1920s of an institutionalized Caliphate for the first time in Islam's 13 century history, the disputes among all versions of Islam --- even, it's contended by Phares and others, Sufism --- is not whether jihad as the use of military force and terror against infidels and their impure, violent world of dar el Harb is no longer needed, but rather two other things (pp. 70 – 75):
1) Who has the right since the 1920s to order all Muslims worldwide to honor their theocratic and moral duty to wage war against infidels, and
2) When should the order be given.
Needless to say, Islamo-Fascist jihadi terror groups like al Qaeda claim that they now have that legitimate authority to order and wage jihad and use it to reverse Islam's long-running decline by means of overthrowing the apostate Islamic governments in place and replacing them with a purified Islam, even as, simultaneously, they struggle and wage war and terror to establish a world-wide caliphate and restore Islam's power and conquests over the impure kufir of dar El Harb.
The rest of the debate in Islam over jihad, as Phares, Bostom, and other notes, is oriented toward the infidels themselves. Full of apologetics, it is misleading and deceptive, intended to reassure Americans, Europeans, and other infidels that they face no threat from mainstream Islam itself . . . only its perverted use by radicals. Some of the exponents of these apologetics are no doubt sincere. Most of the official spokesmen groups seem far less than that.
The Major Sources of Contemporary Islamo-Fascist Jihadism
Phares distinguishes, helpfully, three waves of jihad struggle and terror in the Islamic world today:
1. Radical Fundamentalism of the Saudi Wahhabi sort, adhered to in numerous variants by radical Islamic Sunnis world-wide, Saudi oil money and diplomacy spreading both by peaceful means of establishing Wahhabi mosques and centers around the globe and by means of financially supporting al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups.
2) Bottom-up jihadist fundamentalism, pioneered by Salafi jihadists out of Egypt in the late 1920s --- the Muslim Brotherhood and its growing influence throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has always followed a dual-track: claims to peaceful existence with Arab dictators where forced to, otherwise the recourse to terrorism and warfare where needed. They too have had a big influence on Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the GIA of Algeria, and al Qaeda and its offshoots and imitators. In Pakistan, until the current military government turned against the growing impact of home-grown radical fundamentalists, certain of the more radical elements saw Pakistan's nuclear weapons as the first Islamic nuclear force.
3) Top-Down Shi-ite Islamo-Terrorism instituted and supported by the Islamo-Fascist totalitarian state of Iran since the late 1970s . . . with its influence expanding into the Gulf region, Syria, and Hezbollah territory in southern Lebanon. Iran itself is rapidly moving to acquire and deploy nuclear weaponry.
WHAT FINALLY IS PAPE'S TAKE ON ISLAMIC JIHADISM
Back to Pape. What's his take on Islam's 1400 year-old tradition to wage war against infidels and use terrorism of all sorts against them?
Well, He Has None
There isn't any analysis by Pape of jihad in Dying to Win
despite some quotes he sets out by bin Laden and other Islamist terrorists, only whitewashing of the jihadist traditions by ignoring them then totally. Yes, no references by Pape himself to jihad whatsoever.
He doesn't even trot out the claim that there are two jihadist traditions, little and great, with the latter --- self-discipline and self-mastery --- the most important . . . a line of thought that is itself misleading except for parts of Suni Islam, a small mystical offshoot of mainstream Islam that both Sunni and Shiite clerics and legal theorists regard as heretical, if not outrightly apostate. In fact, as Walid Phares has stresed in his close inspection
of jihadist traditions --- see pages 20 - 45) --- the inner mastery is supposed to be at the service of the larger, "holy war" form of jihad. All mainstream legal systems in Islam agree on the use of holy war, and the obligations of Muslims to resort to it; the disputes are when should it be employed and who, especially with the disappearance of the caliphate in the early 1920s, has the legitimate right to order it. All the efforts by Islamic scholars and clerics and some western writers to deny the traditions of holy war are apologia, little else . . . a point Phares stresses clearly, as do Andrew Bostom
in his impressive historical and analystical account and David Cook
in his wide-ranging book put out by the University of California Press.
Pape, to repeat, deals with none of this. In his mental world, 14 centuries of jihadist traditions and duties might as well never have existed. The reason: jihad and its theocratic history --- unique in all religions world-wide --- would contradict his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism. No religion, you see --- let alone Islam --- has anything to do substantively with the rash of suicide terrorism since 1980.
Are This Total Glossing Over and Evasion a Surprise?
The whole of Pape's book is a lengthy, spun-out whitewash-job that covers up the almost total monopoly of Islamic terrorist groups in suicide attacks since then --- close to 85% in his own table 1, despite the bewildering Hall-of-Mirrors concealment of this near-monopoly, and 94.4% in a conservative count by prof bug that includes 21 suicide terrorist groups that Pape, a snowjob specialist, decided to ignore . . . each and every one of the 21 Islamic in religion. Then, too, totally at odds with Pape's pap, the targets of these Islamic suicide terrorist groups have been overwhelmingly Islamic dictatorships. And since 2003's end, there have been hundreds of suicide attacks launched world-wide, only 5 of which --- those by the fanatics of the LTTE in Sri Lanka --- that haven't been set off by Islamic groups.
Come to that, there have been over 4500 fatal terrorist attacks of all sorts set off by Muslim groups since September 11th, 2001, all told.
Not only could you not divine any of this from Dying to Win's snow-job work, you'd never suspect that terrorism is embedded in 1400 years of Islamic traditions of jihad. No less extraordinary, in Chapter 7 and elsewhere, Pape blames the US and other democratic countries for causing the suicide attacks of the Islamo-Fascist jihadists by militarily oppressing them and their compatriots world-wide. They are, you see, basically decent guys at bottom . . . with the jihadi Kaboomers driven to a last-resort use of suicide terrorism only to liberate their compatriots anywhere and everywhere from their military democratic oppressors and surrogate Islamic auxiliaries. Stop oppressing them, and voila! says Pape: the suicide terrorists will either stop on their own or be isolated from their fellow Islamic citizens' support, with both alternatives leading to peace and Victory in the War on Terror.
Yes, those are Pape's words in his final chapter. Let the US government withdraw from the Middle East and elsewhere militarily, have some tete-a-tete negotiations with bin Laden and his chums, offer up some carefully crafted concessions a-la-appeasement, and lo and behold, Victory will be ours!
Enter, Once More, Pape's Underlying Ideological Biases
Leave aside whatever strictly personal motives might motivate this incredible con-job view and the theory of suicide terrorism that it leads to. Simply note that it's in line with lots of simple power-realism in international relations theory --- at least as practiced by his intellectual mentor whom he singles out as the biggest source of his intellectual development, John Mearsheimer --- about American hubris, arrogance, and victims around the world, to which Pape seems to add the standard pc-claptrap about these victims. Ignore the claptrap. Focus on the views of international life that power-realism of most sorts entails.
Specifically, realists like Pape, Mearsheimer, and Pape's former colleague Stephen Walt now at Harvard deny, categorically, that domestic politics and cultures have --- or should have (it's never clear in realist theorizing which it is, "should" or "is") --- anything to do with foreign policy behavior. Certainly not in the long-run, which is never specified --- two decades, two generations, or two centuries. Why?
Well, here the confusion between how states do behave and should behave is particularly noticeable. On the realist view, you see, any effort by a state's leaders not to adapt to the logic of power competition with rivals will, in the long run
, prove disastrous to its power, influence, or even survival. In that regard, domestic politics, alternative political systems, and cultural influences impede a rational adjustment to the competitive logic, itself built into a global system of international "anarchy", and nothing can ever change this except a highly unlikely world government.
All versions of realism, in short, share a theoretical prediction of long-run punishment
: in particular, anything --- whether ideals, ideologies, domestic politics, concerns for morality or international law (beyond great powers manipulating them for their own purposes) --- that impedes the long-term needs of a state to maximize either its security or power will lead to decline and disaster, right down to disappearance in a global or regional struggle of power politics. The major theoretical dispute among power-realists of all sorts here is whether states seek to maximize security or power (or both).
Incessant Criticisms by Realists Predicting Doom for the US Since 1945
Armed with this theoretical perspective, power realists of all sorts have been angrily denouncing American efforts for seven decades or longer to shape a global system in line with American democratic ideals and free-market ideology.
Throughout those seven decades, full of alarm and disbelief, they've been predicting disaster for American power, influence, interests, and security . . . and with what results? The exact opposite: the destruction of Fascism, Nazism, Japanese militarism, the Soviet Union, and global Communism, with the candidate-rivals for replacing American top-dog status --- Germany and Japan --- vying the last 15 years to see which of them can rack up the worst economic performance of the industrial world since the days of the Great Depression. Global economic cooperation has soared since 1945, not collapsed. NATO survives intact. American alliances with other countries, India and Japan especially, have firmed up. The American people have a per capita income over 50% higher than the EU average and Japan's.
Never mind. The realist message drones on.
Their doom-doom stuff is endless, and it will likely continue until the last galoot among them is rowed across to the misty other shore. To this age-old realist criticism, note in passing, Pape himself adds some left-wing cant and whitewash stuff about the almost total monopoly of Islam in suicide-terrorism, but nothing of theoretical or practical value.
Anything Else to Pape's Ideological Biases?
Yes, apparently so . . . even if they're more speculative. No need for prof bug to say anything more here about those other biases. An entire buggy article
, crammed with evidence, set them out in the 9th article in this long-running series on Pape's whiteout work.
These four related sets of comments clarify the problems of instrumental rationality in nuclear deterrence and the conditions --- political and technical --- that underpin stable nuclear deterrence between adversarial states.
1. The political conditions for stable nuclear deterrence that evolved in both practice and theory during the Cold War require state leaders who 1) operate in highly institutionalized settings with multiple checks [even if among, say, Communist Party Politburos]; 2) a big long-term stake in their society's survival and well-being; and hence 3) a relatively non-ideological ability, free of zeal anyway, to understand their long-run self-interest and avoid reckless risk-taking.
The technical requirements are even more stringent. They include
1) an invulnerable retaliatory nuclear force, to discourage any first-strike by a nuclear-armed adversary;
2) good control, communications, and command as well as good information-capacities that link the political leaders with the commanders of nuclear forces;
3) good communication --- like the hot-line --- between the heads of the adversarial states in the event of a crisis that raises the prospect of a spiraling level of fear and mistrust that could lead to a first-strike anyway by one of them; and
4) arms-control agreements, some explicit, others implicit, that reinforce stability. Ideally speaking, among those arms-control agreements, the need for crisis-control centers that are run jointly by high-level military personnel and political appointees from the adversarial governments is a particularly desirable if demanding condition. How and in which ways ballistic missile defenses will affect these conditions are complicated and way beyond the scope of our concerns here.
2. Note that Iranian nuclear weapons --- or Syrian or Iraqi (in the Saddam era) or Pakistani if seized by Muslim fanatics --- wouldn't match these technical and political conditions.
Loose talking and saber-rattling as by the Shiite fanatics in the Iranian government about annihilating Israel would create a particularly unstable nuclear relationship in a region that is itself always teetering on the verge of crisis and war. The paranoid talk about the Holocaust only add to the impression of irrational fanatics at the helm of the Mullah-run state. At a minimum, too, the oil-rich Sunni states would probably try to acquire their own nuclear weapons to offset and counter-balance Iranian dominance in the region. Those who think a nuclear arms-race in such a region carried out by unstable dicatorial regimes --- the Iranian now ruled (at least in part) by an apocalytic Shiite zealot --- would be stable, politically and technically, must know something that the rest of us don't.
By contrast, in Asia, China's nuclear forces and probably India's do satisfy these political and technical conditions. As for North Korea's regime, its long-term stability isn't clear, and any nuclear force wouldn't be stabilized by technical criteria; but it could easily be contained by the nuclear powers in the region, themselves all stable and technologically advanced --- Russia, China, and the United States, though inevitably, it seems, Japan and maybe South Korea would opt for nuclear forces too. The main danger of North Korea's nuclear weaponry --- and to an extent Iran's --- would be to sell cheap nuclear bombs to terrorist groups.
3. The best symposium on deductive rational-choice deterrence theory as opposed to what we know about deterrence from empirical studies and generalizations appeared in World Politics
back in early 1989, and the three most illuminating articles were 1) Christopher Achen and Duncan Snidal, "Rational Deterrence Theory and Comparative Case Studies," World Politics, Vol. 41, No. 2 (January 1989), pp. 143-169. 2) Alexander George and Richard Smoke, "Deterrence and Foreign Policy," World Politics,Vol. 41, No. 2 (January 1989), pp. 170-182. 3) Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Gross Stein, "Rational Deterrence Theory: I Think,Therefore I Deter," World Politics, Vol. 41, No. 2 (January 1989), pp. 208-224.
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