Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Rise of Radical Retreatism

In the battle over radicalized Islamist jihadis, I worry less about the jihadis ability to defeat us than I do our willingness to fight them until we can beat them.

Mark Steyn writes that radical Islam is on the rise:

Along with the demographic growth has come radicalization: It's not just that there are more Muslims, but that, within that growing population, moderate Islam is on the decline – in Singapore, in the Balkans, in northern England – and radicalized, Arabized, Wahhabized Islam is on the rise.

The examples Steyn provides are indeed alarming. And the farce of Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, calling jihadi terrorism "anti-Islamic activity" because it tends to put Islam in a bad light is a disgusting signal that we lack the fortitude to defend our civilization.

But I don't quite think it is accurate to say that radical Islam is on the rise, as the story headline states. In Islamic nations, the appeal of radical Islam and Islamic terrorism seems to be declining, if I recall polling data correctly.

Unfortunately, what is on the rise even as American-led military campaigns in the Moslem world have undermined the appeal of jihad for nearby Moslems, is that Western governments have become more accomodating to radical Islam inside their own countries. Western governments see radical Moslems demand more and these governments dig their heels in to defend further retreat no matter how outrageous the jihadis' demands are.

And in addition to the foundering Western governments, unfortunately, Pakistan's government, which oversees the world's biggest concentration of willing jihadi cannon fodder, can't quite resolve to beat those who would kill them all and praise Allah for their good luck in being the generation to do the deed.

So radical Islam is rising within the West and in Pakistan's frontier areas due to weak government resolve, but radical Islam is not rising generally in the Moslem world, I think.

But have no worries about the West. All it will take is a lengthy and bloody military campaign in Scotland and the Paris suburbs against car bombers and head loppers, and Western Moslems will reject this violence and radicalism, too.

Well, assuming the Western governments don't surrender to that, too.

UPDATE: Actually, Steyn addresses this Western failure to resist the jihadi ideology well here.