Oddly the Chinese government’s literally fascist crackdown on Muslims in one of their restive provinces hasn’t garnered the kind of criticism our very tepid response to the challenge of Islamic militantism has. It’s almost as if the left in this country would treat Muslims exactly the same way after the “revolution.”
From the New York Times:
BEIJING â€” Local governments in a Muslim desert region in western China have imposed strict limits on religious practices during the traditional Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began last week, according to the Web sites of four of those governments.
The rules include prohibiting women from wearing veils and men from growing beards, as well as barring government officials from observing Ramadan. One town, Yingmaili, requires that local officials check up on mosques at least twice a week during Ramadan.
The local governments administer areas in the western part of Xinjiang, a vast autonomous region that is home to the Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic people who often chafe under rule by the ethnic Han Chinese. In August, a wave of attacks swept through Xinjiang, the largest surge of violence in the region in years. Some local officials blamed separatist groups for the instability, and the central government sent security forces to the area.
The limits on religious practices put in place by local governments appear to be part of the broader security crackdown. The areas affected by the new rules are near Kuqa, a town struck by multiple bombings on Aug. 10.
Yowza. And you Paulnuts thought the Patriot Act was bad. I’m a religious freedom guy myself but Militant Islam has always presented me with an almost impossible quandary. I want people to be Muslims if they want and as long as they’re Americans first but that’s an ideal in many cases, and that love of freedom is the exact opposite of what Militant Islam is. Pulp Author Robert E. Howard summed up this sort of Islam in a way politicians avoid almost eighty years ago in one of his Solomon Kane stories The Footfalls Within:
“Hassim, Kane ruminated was the very symbol of militant Islam -bold, reckless, materialistic, sparing nothing, fearing nothing, as sure of his own destiny and as contemptuous of the rights of others as the most powerful Western king.”
Certainly Howard understood then what many of us refuse to admit now, that “radical” Islam isn’t a new phenomenon nor is it driven by Wahhabism, Zionism or so called American imperialism but is instead the expression of the Arab Imperialism that permeates the Koran and Hadiths. The militant Muslim is following in the footsteps of a thousand years of Islamic conquest, not “perverting” Islam. With that in mind it is easy to see the cold logic of the Chinese Communists’ clampdown on Muslims.
But as a Republican I am unwilling in most cases to apply the same sort of logic to American Muslims, especially when there are reformist Muslims attempting to de-militantize Islam and create a more America-friendly, almost Protestant Islam. Groups like the American Islamic Congress have spoken out against militant Islam in Darfur and and America. Muslims Against Sharia have explicitly called for a Reformation of Islam that includes abolishing Sharia, declaring violent Koranic verses outdated and even forcing Muslims to admit the Crusades were provoked by Muslim occupation of formerly Christian lands.
I shudder to suggest that these Muslims would be treated the same as militants but I am under no illusions that these moderates have anywhere near the sway in the Muslim world the militants have. I want to support the moderates, but to do that I realize we have to not just keep the Militant Islam at bay, but destroy it entirely.
I have often tried joining groups in the Counter Jihad movement but have always found that they are either too willing to use an extremist model of dealing with Islam like the Center for Vigilant Freedom or else unwilling to truly deal with Islamism at all, instead becoming little more than Internet salons where people forward each other interesting articles but do little to fight the enemy. Somewhere between the two lies the path we must take, but I have not seen any organization espousing that middle ground, espousing uncompromising strength in the face of the enemy with a place at our side for our Muslim allies.
And unless we find that middle ground there can be no victory.