Winning: Islam And The Forever War

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September 7, 2015: Nearly a million refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan are heading for Europe this year, lured by the safety, economic security and willingness to accept illegal migrants found there. Most of these travelers are being moved by criminal gangs that charge a lot of money for their services. Islamic terrorist groups have learned that, with some effort, they can get some of their people into Europe by joining this unwelcome migration.

A major reason for this long and expensive migration is the refusal of most Moslem countries to accept refugees. For example, the wealthiest Moslem states (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain) refuse to accept any Syrian (or any others) refugees. These countries use force to keep any illegal migrants out and these refugees know better than to even try. This is nothing new and, at best, foreigners are tolerated as stateless persons in these nations. One example of this is more than 100,000 stateless nomads in Kuwait. Called the bedoon, these people were not considered Kuwaitis in 1962 (when Kuwait became independent) because the nomads came and went as they pleased and did not seem interested. But as the oil wealth grew interest arose. At that point Kuwait decided it was not making anyone else citizens. In Syria and Iraq there have long been government attempts to punish rebellious Kurds by declaring some of them not citizens. That has not worked out well. In general this intolerance to migrants is an ancient tradition in Middle Eastern nations. It used to be so everywhere but first the United States (centuries ago) and then many other Western nations became more accepting.

During the recent refugee crises the wealthy Arab countries cited “security concerns” (not long standing tradition) for their refusal. There is some truth to that as many Moslem nations have had serious problems in the past with Moslem refugees that were given sanctuary, but not citizenship. Most of these were Palestinians and the West was allowed to pay (via the UN) for the support of these refugees. But in the 1970s and 80s Jordan and Lebanon suffered armed insurrections by the Palestinians they hosted. Jordan expelled over 20,000 Palestinians as a result and Lebanon continues to expel disloyal and rebellious Palestinians. After the 1990 Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait the Kuwaitis were shocked to find that many of the 400,000 Palestinians they hosted supported the Iraqis. Worse the Palestinian leadership was quite open about such support. As a result over 90 percent of these Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait. There was a similar situation throughout Arabia and many Palestinians were forced to flee. Yemenis also supported Saddam taking Kuwait and over a million were expelled from Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil states.

Arab support of the Palestinians has been cynical and exploitative from the beginning (in 1948). Arab countries have not allowed Palestinian refugees to settle as citizens, but have insisted they stay in refugee camps but were eventually allowed, informally, to take jobs and start businesses. More Palestinian refugees have been settled in Europe and North America than in Arab countries. This treatment by fellow Arabs adds to the Palestinian despair, and willingness to back suicidal violence against Israelis and anyone they deem not sufficiently supportive. This contributed to the Palestinian tendency to turn against their host countries.

European countries have been more welcoming but also find, according to regular opinion surveys, a small (less than one percent) of their Moslem residents want to participate in or directly support the use Islamic terrorism against the “enemies of Islam”. This includes many fellow Moslems as well as the West in general (including their host country). Worse some 10-20 percent of these Moslems in the West approve of Islamic terrorism in general. It got worse with the appearance of the Internet and then ISIL because then it was discovered that the first generation of Moslems born in the West were even more fond of Islamic terrorism than their parents.

Countries that are better at absorbing migrants (the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand) have fewer pro-terrorism Moslem residents but all have some. The problem is that Islam, alone among major world religions, is based on a theology that encourages aggressive, even violent, action to make new converts and equally violent measures to prevent Moslems from adopting another religion. There is also an institutionalized paranoia based on the idea that Islam is constantly under attack and good Moslems must fight this threat. Most Moslems see all these calls to violence and constant war as absurd, but a few percent of the 1.5 billion Moslems believe and many of those are motivated enough to die for the cause. Most Moslems understand that this culture of religiously justified violence is wrong and counterproductive but the Islamic scripture calling for is still considered a basic belief and there are still believers willing to die for it. Even after the current Islamic terrorists are defeated, like all the earlier efforts, there will still be believers in righteous Islamic violence. This is an issue that a growing number of Moslems are recognizing as a fundamental problem but so far no one has a solution.

 

 


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