I think two aspects of Mr. Bostom’s article cry to be addressed. First, there should be nothing surprising – and therefore there is noting demonic – about Moslem notion of waging holy war “until all mankind is reduced to the authority of Islam – the heathen by conversion, the adherents of acknowledged Scripture [i.e., Jews and Christians] by submission.” The desire to advance the righteous cause – righteous because true – is ingrained in humanity. Communists had the very same ambition for Communism, Nazis had the very same ambition for Nazism – and in the time before separation of church and state, many Christians had the very same ambition for their own version of Christianity. They all waged wars, their will to fight and to sacrifice coming from awareness that they fought and died to advance the truth.
Moslems are no exception from the rule – their “truth” is Islam and naturally they wish to bring it to fruition here and now. There is nothing to be surprised at here. “Institution of Jihad” in not in any sense “uniquely Islamic,” as Mr. Bostom would have us believe. Quite on the contrary, it is universal. What is indeed “uniquely Islamic” in this war is that while Communism and Nazism were not sacrosanct, and therefore could be freely criticized and debunked, criticizing Islam is off limits – with a result that even thought Islam clearly has a role in motivating Islamic terrorism, ideological “war on Islam” is off the cards, due to our culture of political correctness.
Which political correctness left a very revealing imprint on Mr. Bostom’s article: the sources in support of his thesis pre-date the pc notion that certain ideas cannot even be discussed. The only modern source is an ex-Moslem, Ibn Warraq; purely Western quotes are no later than mid-twentieth century, their authors having been born and raised well before the advent of multiculturalism and political correctness. None – that is, almost none – dare today to defy the dictum of political correctness by calling a spade a spade. And this leaves one very pessimistic about our ability to deal with “the openly expressed desire for the restoration of a Caliphate from two-thirds … of Moslems” which Mr. Bostom is warning us of. Vel Nirtist writes on the role of religion in fostering terrorism. He is author of “The Pitfall of Truth: Holy War, its Rationale and Folly.” His blog is at www.rootoutterrorism.com