Even though not a day goes by without some media report about Islam being aired, most Westerners know very little about the world’s second largest religion. What is of concern is that so many Westerners are really quite naïve about the core teachings and practices of Islam, and how radical Islam in many ways flows directly from them.
In the November 3, 2006 Frontpagemagazine.com, Jamie Glazov interviews three leading authorities on Islam: Robert Spencer, Serge Trifkovic, and Walid Shoebat. Shoebat is especially important as he is a former PLO terrorist, but is now a Christian and supporter of Israel.
All three of these experts also feature in a new documentary, Islam: What the West Needs to Know (see their website: http://www.whatthewestneedstoknow.com/index.asp ).
Shoebat begins by explaining his frustrations with Westerners who consistently misunderstand the nature of the Islamists: “Ever since I left radical Islam, I have consistently run into westerners who are oblivious to the mind-set of radical Islamists, and being on both sides of the fence, I have felt like I am Captain Spock of Star Trek – always having to explain to Captain Kirk how the aliens thought. Yet the first problem I encountered when speaking to westerners is that they always think that the Muslim world has the same aspirations as they do, seeking liberty, equality, modernization, democracy, and the good life.”
Thus the need for this documentary: “While the East already knows Islam since it lived with it from the beginning, the West is still oblivious not only to Islam’s history, but its growth in the West as well.”
Trifkovic argues that much of the media, and many of our leaders, are still trying to act as apologists for Islam: “That consensus, as we see in the opening clips of Blair, Bush and Clinton, rests upon the implacable dogma that there is something called ‘real Islam’ (peaceful, tolerant, and as American as apple pie), and then there is ‘extremism’ that is an aberrant and unrepresentative deviation of Muhammad’s faith. (Blair’s assurances that the 9-11 attackers were not ‘Islamic terrorists’ but ‘terrorists plain and simple’ would have been on par with FDR declaring, after Pearl Harbor, that the attackers were not ‘Japanese airmen,’ but ‘airmen’ plain and simple.)”
But radical Islamists may in fact simply be acting in accord with their own Islamic faith and tradition. But many Western classrooms downplay the many violent and unpleasant aspects of Islamic history. “The upholders of the mindset that promotes and mandates such rubbish in our classrooms will naturally treat the truth about Islam as inadmissible, and that’s why What the West Needs to Know will be ignored by them. They dominate the entertainment industry – just look at Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, which conveyed the message that, in a conflict between Christians and Muslims, the former attack, the latter react. The true hero of the movie is Saladin, a wise warrior-king sans peur et sans reproche; its villains, the coarse and bloodthirsty Europeans.”
Spencer concurs, “the free world is under assault everywhere from the forces of jihad, working from the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and notably the words and deeds of Muhammad. Yet in America and the West, taking note of these rather obvious facts only brings one opprobrium, if the chattering classes deign to take notice at all: one is compelled in the mainstream of public discourse to deny the obvious. Everyone is busy tossing away common sense, reason, and basic powers of observation.”
Shoebat recounts how in some public speeches he gave warning of Islam, many in the audience attacked him, not radical Islam: “At another speech, one Rabbi critiqued the New Testament as ‘riddled with violence,’ I had no problem with his right to state this, yet when I confronted him I asked ‘Why do you feel free to critique the New Testament, but afraid of critiquing Islam’s well documented violence?’ to which he could not reply. It didn’t matter that I stated in my speech that a Jew had the right to critique Christianity, a Christian had the right to critique Mormonism and Islam, and a Muslim had a right to critique the Bible and Christianity, I was still accused of racism and bigotry against Islam. One can say almost anything against any other religion but Islam. Why?”
Concludes Spencer, “today the comprehensive guilt trip that is multiculturalism makes it impossible for Western policymakers and media to look squarely at the nature of Islam. If the Islamic world has a problem with the West, it must be our fault – because of Iraq, or Abu Ghraib, or Israel, or Mossadegh, or something. This is an intriguing inversion of the old colonial paternalism: whereas the “white man’s burden” assumed that it was the role of the West to bring civilization to the colonized areas, and that the civilizing “burden” was in no sense shared by the colonized people, so today the Left sees the evils perpetrated by the enemies of the West as entirely provoked by the West: once again, the “non-white,” non-Christian West has no responsibility for its own actions. But the arrogance of this perspective likewise never registers in the public sphere – it is as invisible as the Islamic doctrines of jihad and the supremacism of the Sharia.”
While many Western opinion makers, educators and media outlets want to deny or minimise the threat radical Islam plays, fortunately there are other outlets. The 90-minute video in question is well worth viewing. So too is another recent DVD, the 70-minute, Obsession. Information about this DVD can be found here: http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/