Monday, July 02, 2018

Does Love Really Trump Hate?

Why do the Islamists hate us, indeed?

According to this line of thinking, the only relationship between Muslims and disbelievers is that of active enmity or passive hatred. The idea is that it is logically impossible to love Allah without hating what stands against it—the disbelievers. There is no concept of natural unbelief in Islamic theology. All humanity is born with a revelation of God and some choose to reject it—to disbelieve. In the mind of modern jihadists, loving Allah and hating these disbelievers (al-wala’ wa-l-bara’) is critical–“No Imaan (faith) is complete without it.” It is part of the basis of Islam as they understand it. Muslim must hate and disassociate with disbelievers or become apostate themselves.

Left unchecked, this call to hate (wa-l-bara’) may unwittingly work its way into mainstream Muslim consciousness.

If that kind of violent exclusive thinking infects too much of the Islamic world, the jihadis will have won the civil war over who defines Islam.

In practice, most Moslems are perfectly willing to get along with other people rather than elevate hatred to an obligation. Which is good for all of us.

But there are violently intolerant people in sizable numbers whose hate and violence are a force multiplier despite their minority status.

I prefer to simply ask, why do they hate? Full stop:

Why do they hate us? The Islamists hate everyone and everything--including little boys who like soccer.

Really, what doesn't anger them?

The real question is why do they hate? Full stop.

Yet there is (and I got this from Bernard Lewis) a counter-force that weakens the hold of Islam over Moslems:

Islam has rules on how Moslems are to behave in Moslem societies and even in Moslem societies conquered by non-Moslems. But given the long stretch of early Islamic conquests, nobody setting down doctrine thought about the duties of Moslems who choose to live in a non-Western society, as so many have chosen in the modern era. It is a lacuna in Islamic thinking that damages the idea of Islam as an organizing template for every facet of life.

As a religion that expanded by the sword, Islam thought a lot about making rules for conquering non-Islamic people and how to live with them (you dominate them); and even had thoughts about rules for losing areas to non-Moslems (if the Islamic world can't take it back, you should leave and not taint yourself under their domination until Islamic armies retake the land).

But how to live with non-Moslems when Moslems move to non-Islamic lands is kind of a hole in Islamic theory. And it really has been a problem in many parts of the world. Thankfully it is much less of a problem in America which has a history of accepting foreigners, but the problem is not absent here.

And funny enough, even Islamists living in the West risk the ire of Islamist purists who think Moslems living in the West are living contrary to Islam because of that hole in theory.

If it wasn't for the resulting body count, the lacuna in Islamic thinking about relations between Moslems and non-Moslem states would be kind of fascinating.

Of course, I don't go along with the author's dismissal of killing jihadis as counter-productive.

It is true that killing isn't the way to win--that's the job of Moslems who need to win their civil war over who gets to define Islam. But killing as many jihadis as we can is the way to hold the line to protect the West (and everyone else considered unbelievers wherever they live, really) until reasonable Moslems who don't live to hate can win that civil war.

LeadOps aren't counter-productive to cope with the hate.