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Robert Small's Islam
Robert Small's new exercise in "Islam policy" conveniently ignores my detailed rebuttal of his initial presentation whose linchpin was that the Indonesian Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) party represented the apotheosis of Islamic "moderation." As I pointed out, Small's earlier claim was made because of an inadequate historical understanding of the NU on his part. NU's 1926 foundational principles which sanction Sharia-based Islamic supremacism, were reiterated and acted upon during the subsequent decades, through the present, resulting in such "moderate" outcomes as mass murderous jihadism against Indonesian non-Muslims (ethnic Chinese; Christians), and its ongoing avowed support for female genital mutilation, is "contributing" to rates of this misogynistic barbarity at well over 90% among Indonesian Muslim women.
Not addressing those sad realities -- which shatter his premise altogether -- Small now "replies" by focusing on the personal probity of former President Wahid. But Small's latest "Wahid-centric" line of "argument" simply reinforces what I previously demonstrated about the NU -- and Small's own inadequate presentation of basic facts which undermine his assumptions. When, in 1984, Wahid assumed the leadership of the NU (which his grandfather had founded) he (according to Leftist political scientist John Sidel) apparently was remorseful about (and thus acknowledging!) "the role of NU activists in the anti-Communist pogroms of 1965-66." Fast forward a decade and a half later to Wahid's assumption of Indonesia's Presidency, largely via the support of a consortium of Muslim parties known as the Central Axis -- an "axis" which had rallied the Muslim masses for the 1990s jihad campaigns against the Christian minorities in Poso and Maluku.
When Wahid, in the eyes of the Muslim Central Axis "betrayed" their support, these Muslim parties spearheaded a successful campaign (in 2000-2001) to initially censure then President Wahid, and ultimately, compel his removal from office. Thus Small's latest revisionism fails to account for what these facts clearly indicate: Wahid was an outlier within both his own "traditionalist" NU Islamic party (which he felt compelled to attempt to "reform"), and more broadly, Indonesian Islam itself, and was ultimately rejected for failing to support the longstanding goal of Indonesia's full, jihad-based Islamization.
Small ignores what a serious scholar of modern Indonesia, and its post-Dutch colonial Islamic revival, Harry J. Benda (who helped establish a graduate program in Southeast Asian Studies at Yale University) observed astutely in 1958:
But Small puts forth, recklessly, this uninformed and pejorative non-sequitur about me:
An extensive publication record -- two lengthy, copiously documented, published books (The Legacy of Jihad, and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism), and a third, nearly completed and due out in 2012 (Sharia Versus Freedom -- The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism), plus numerous essays and commentaries (mostly, here, here, here, here, here, and here) -- thoroughly debunks, Small's mischaracterization of my evidence-based ideas.
Refusing to kowtow to post-modern, ahistorical apologetics about mainstream Islam -- both its very broadly supported doctrines, and nearly 14 century history, graphically reflecting how those doctrines have been actualized -- undergirds, my realistic, evidence-based approach to dealings with the Muslim world. Unlike Small's approach, my worldview is shaped by the irrefragable reality of what Islam, not "Islamism", inculcates, and Muslims, not "Islamists", abide, in overwhelming numbers. How would Small's "policy formulation" deal, in contrast, with the 78% of Pakistani's, 86% of Jordanians, and 84% of Egyptians who adamantly reject basic freedom of conscience, and support killing so-called "apostates" from Islam? (Data on less draconian "punishments" for apostasy -- a "crime" that does not even exist outside of Islamdom-such as imprisonment, beating, the annulment of marriage, loss of parental rights, and disinheritance, were not collected, but would likely have been even more "popular", within those countries across the Islamic world.) Does Small honestly believe those representative, vast Muslim majorities are hapless victims of "modern Islamism", somehow "abetted" by the "dark hand of Bostom's model" -- not -- reality/sanity check -- pious Muslims adhering to unbowdlerized, mainstream Islam, as preached and practiced for a continuum of nearly 1400 years?
Rather than engaging in defamatory projection regarding my views, I would encourage Small to -- wait for it -- actually read what I have written, extensively, about combating all forms of jihadism and Islamization -- military and cultural -- while upholding Western freedom.
Finally, although I have certainly amplified my own views on these matters in the interim (including related discussions about harvesting our vast domestic resources of shale oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as related analyses of the embarrassing [i.e., to real scientists] sham "science" of anthropogenic warming), here are my comments from a 2003 book review of Raphael Israeli's "Islamikaze", endorsing his (my shared) policy recommendations vis a vis the Islamic Ummah.
Writing almost 90 years ago, in 1922, the historian Louis Bertrand chastised Western governments, who, in their interactions with Islamic societies, tried "to appear more Musulman (Muslim) than they (the Muslims) themselves", warning,
Small and those would be policymakers who share his mindset need to rapidly cease and desist their own similarly delusive "antics of dilettantism and played-out impressionism."