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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Threatening Brotherhood, Part I

by Sam Huntington

The west, it seems, has never found an effective way of dealing with Semitic peoples, other than utter ruthlessness and barbarity, which to date has only yielded us a temporary result. Part of this can be explained by the fact that most westerners do not understand who or what it is they are dealing with, which suggests that on occasion, our friend Damien Charles does have a point. If we seek to understand the Middle East, then we must evaluate Arab culture and Islam: they are predominant factors explaining why the Middle Eastern people are living in the far distant past.

Let’s begin with these facts: Most Arabs are Muslims.

Of these, tens of millions are moderate in both religion and politics. Among these millions, one will discover Eastern Berbers, Kurds, Turks, Iranians, and Druze. They share the stage with moderate Christians and Israelis pitted against more potential violence that one can possibly imagine. We are entering the age of revolutionary Islamism —thanks in part to the inept policies of Barack Hussein Obama, who did as much as anyone to prompt the so-called Arab Spring. Sunni Islamism is upon us —and it is a volatile strain of extremism, overshadowing Shia extremism, even with the fact that the Iranians possess a nuclear weapons capability.

Is this truly a revolution? In terms of new strategies and tactics to achieve Islamist short and long-term goals of transforming society through state power, yes … it is revolutionary. Some people will disagree with this assessment, of course; naysayers who seek to increase moderate complacency.

It is Islamism precisely because the movement involves organized political movements, using theology, while remaining decidedly non-theological. It is a form of patronage; moderates who decide to go along, ultimately always get along with revolutionary elements. The game continues, as the radical elements threaten and cajole moderate elements of society.

Who comprise these revolutionary groups? I think there are three elements: al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafists. They are equally dangerous elements of this revolutionary movement, but some of these are more dangerous in different and complex ways. Often, al-Qaeda calls themselves by other names. They are often regional. They focus mostly on tactics involving terror—and they do this because terror is a cash cow. Others are willing to give al-Qaeda cash and munitions simply because they provide useful diversions to other revolutionary activities.

Here is a recent example: an al-Qaeda group stormed an Egyptian army compound, killed soldiers, helped themselves to a few vehicles, and then attacked Egypt’s border with Israel. Naturally, the Egyptian army tracked these people down and killed them. They did shoot Egyptian soldiers, after all. There had to be an accounting.

The interesting part is what the Egyptian government told the people: it was an Israeli plot to murder Egyptian soldiers. We must therefore hate the Israelis and we must remember such outrages in the future.

This is Middle Eastern politics in a nutshell. It is how these people play their games, no matter how many innocents suffer. This is the template for the Muslim Brotherhood, the people whom Barack Obama lauded and backed against long-time ally Hosni Mubarak. By the way, the above example explains why the Muslim Brotherhood will never become a moderating force in Middle Eastern politics.

h/t Dr. Barry Rubin & Tammy Swofford


  1. b Hussein o practiced the 'art' of Taqiyya-which means-one may lie to serve islam--
    What else can I say-
    taquiyya to the un aware is a powerful tool for evil-

  2. Why do so many struggle so hard to ignore these demonstrable, empirical facts?

    They don't respect weak-kneed apologies and bowing and scraping. They only respect force.

    We can be kind and understand their culture (while never acceding to its malign aspects), for flattery plays a big role in diplomacy, but we've also got to be unwavering in standing up for our values.

    Our government has not struck that balance.

  3. Christian soldier, learn the meaning of Taqiyya before you strut your ignorance.

  4. @Ducky's here: taqiyya does in fact mean dissembling to the unbeliever (which could be a different sect of Islam) in order to stay alive, gain advantage, or further the goals of Islam.

    What's wrong with what Christian soldier wrote? What do you think taqiyya means?

  5. My late aunt lived in the Middle East for three years and told me some eye opening stories about how "the man on the street" in the Arab world viewed the world and conducted their daily lives. When the first Gulf War broke out, she told me that the folks in Washington DC didn't have a clue and we foolishly tried to deal with those people like they were a European nation and we were doomed to failure in the long term by getting entangled in their affairs. I think my aunt was right and instead of wising up over the years, the government has now purposefully blinded itself to how to relate to that part of the world.

  6. I may be wrong, but i am convinced that things are unfolding in the Middl-East and North Africa exactly as Obama intended. He supports the expansion of radical Islam.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I’m not certain we advance our cause, or theirs, by pretending we know Islamic culture. Nor do we advance our cause, or theirs, by infusing what we think we know with political correct nonsense. This post does appear to make sense based on the video AOW posted yesterday, which I found enlightening. If Arab cultures want us to treat them with respect, they need to behave respectfully. Otherwise, we will continue to treat them as barbarians, which is exactly how they are behaving. We just lost an Ambassador in Libya who “thought” he knew the Moslems. Apparently, he didn’t know them well enough and it was a very tragic and a very expensive lesson.

  9. Taqiyya is a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are at risk of significant persecution; so Nostradumbass, tell us where Christian Soldier got it wrong,

  10. Yes Anon ... I did mean to include the Jews. Do you think we understand and are dealing effectively with Jews here at home and the Israelis?

  11. Jack, I think both possibilities are likely true ...

  12. I think your assessment is correct, Alligator ...

  13. @ B/S ...

    I read your posts almost every day; you have an interesting and worthwhile opinion on most things. Keep up the good work!

  14. "We are entering the age of revolutionary Islamism —thanks in part to the inept policies of Barack Hussein Obama, who did as much as anyone to prompt the so-called Arab Spring"

    Does "inept" imply that it was unintentional on the part of B.O.? I'd put nothing past this fraud!


  15. Until we or someone starts killing off the radical clerics who agitate the people with their hatred and mohammmad crap, we will NEVER have a chance of stabilizing the world. This is how many wars have been won throughout history, kill off the officers. Does anyone here think NOMObama would ever ever ever do such a thing? Our only hope is that maybe Massad will someday.

    Sound barbaric? Fight fire with a bigger fire! Believe me, eventually it will be them or us. I'm pulling for us!

  16. There is still a part of me that thinks O is a Muslim. There are too many reasons to think so and not enough not to.

  17. Even with all those facts clearly stated, people such as Liberalmann, DC, and so forth will still argue that we are wrong and misinformed.

    What I don't understand is, they are witnessing the same chaos we are. An American Ambassador and 3 Americans were murdered on 9/11. Fact!

    These attacks were pre-planned, so says the Libyan government. Fact.

    This is not a religion of peace, it a religion of intolerance, hate and murder.

  18. Interesting thoughts there Sam and in many parts I cannot fault, though I will disagree on some.

    The first is that you blame Obama to some degree and I can see no evidence to that.

    Second, I think you still have categorised in broad strokes and that is always a weak approach. Islamism and the term Islamist is somewhat a boogey-man term and does not do the subject justice. You have condemned the term (with that broad stroke) totally and I will disagree with you there.

    The actual battle that is occuring is that of simply radicalism/extremism versus the rest and it is being played out in the field of what we call the Arab Spring. In simple terms since there is a social revolution against the old-world (cold-war perhaps?) regimes, varous interested parties are also trying to get their share or take over.

    Remember that in Egypt the MB (an Islamist party) took the vast majority of the Islamist vote, the Salafist only a small part, yet the Salafi movement in Egypt are attempting to do their push in that country and in Western Libya (ie the events last week). The political wing of the MB in Egypt - Justice & Development party, is not the same group that say pushes for attacks on Copts (that is their militant wing that has the links to the Salafi community).

    The Islamist party in Turkey is nothing like say the Islamist movements in most countries. The Islamist party in Tunisia is a good example of not having the real control it wants and the Salafis are creating havoc there. The leading party governing Morocco is also MB linked and can be called an Islamist party (also called Justice and Development) but they are more liberal than say the Turkish government. That country remains America's best friend in North Africa if not the continent as a whole. Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is a very good model of a liberal-Islamist leader whom western governments really wished could take over in that country yet he is most certainly Islamist.

    CNN's Fareed Zakaria said it all this last weekend when he pointed out three simple things.

    1. The struggle within Islam is simply "their problem and should not be exagerated into being our problem".
    2. All these recent demonstrations are in the hundreds and only some would number a thousand or so, thus in country even like Egypt, it is a very small number and notice who is demonstrating.
    3. Most of these events are well-timed, coordinated and orchestrated, thus they should be judged for what they are - a struggle for power.

    A last critique. If your getting your information from Tammy, remember that she is a proven con-artist and a liar. Though she may at times provide correct information, eventually using her as some sort of source taints your entire argument.

    Damien Charles

  19. CS - and Bernie,

    If you are going to use the phrase taqiyya then get it in context.

    1. Taqiyya means that if you or your family's life is in danger then saying an untruth is permissible. Nothing more and nothing less, it is also mostly referred to in Shia Islam and almost never in Sunni texts.

    2. It is an old phrase that only Scholars know about and the average Muslim would not even know about it. It is only used now by islamophobes since Robert Spencer and his hate-bloggers picked it out of some book and have basically reinvented it for their own propoganda.

    In other words, those that use it and in the fashion like CS's comments, look like complete fools when they use it.

    Damien Charles

  20. Leticia,

    your argument not only fails but contradicts itself.

    1. Yes it was well coordinated, what does that say?
    2. If you want to use the death of the Ambassador as some form of example then at least give him the respect he most certainly does - he would have pointed out that he believed that Islam is currently having a struggle between radicals and others, and that it is more to do with politics than the faith itself. He also was an advocate of the Three Abrahamic Faiths policy - ie they are all believing in the same God - unlike you do.
    3. and lastly, did you not see the results in Benghazi or are you avoiding it? That the Ambassador's body was recovered by Libyan's who faught of the Salafis that attacked and that they were very sad. That, shown on video, they tried to save and revive the Ambassador. That, as American journalists have shown time and time again, that every single person they have came upon in that city and the country as a whole showed remorse and shock and stated that they must have been foriegners, not Libyans.

    It always helps to look at the facts and then come to the conclussions rather than chosing first and then chosing what may fit your view.

    Damien Charles

  21. Leticia Said,

    "What I don't understand is, they are witnessing the same chaos we are."

    I wonder about this, as well. What part of: a sinking economy, an unraveling foreign policy, serious misfeasance at the Cabinet level and a myriad of other things going wrong, as a result of this Administration; does the Left not see? It's like WE are stuck in some Sci-Fi situation surrounded by Zombies!

  22. Hey Sambo, if you take the time to examine Christian soldier's definition you will notice that he omits the necessary threat to life.

    He believes the lie is permissible to serve Islam. Actually it's a Shi'a concept primarily and requires a threat to life or at times property.

    It has nothing to do with lying to serve Islam. Okay?

  23. Damien Charles,
    I happen to know Tammy. She is not proven con-artist and a liar.

    You, sir, have zero idea as to what circles Tammy runs in. I DO.

  24. Damien Charles,
    the Ambassador's body was recovered by Libyan's who faught of the Salafis that attacked and that they were very sad

    I have seen the video.

    Obviously, these rescuers arrived too late. There could be more than one reason for that late arrival.

    I have no doubt that Ambassador Stevens's intentions were of the highest type. Nevertheless, he and three security personnel are dead.

    The Libyan president himself said that the attack on our consulate was an attack of long-term planning AND a well organized attack. I also read somewhere that he attackers had RPG's (or some such). Not sure exactly what the latter means -- except that these "outsiders," as the Libyan president termed them, are quite powerful and a serious threat.

  25. Duck,
    requires a threat to life or at times property

    Threat, like offense, is often in the eye of the beholder.

    Furthermore, property rights in Islam are very extensive.

    You are correct that taqiyya, the root word meaning "to guard," is primarily a Shi'a concept. However, Sunnis are not absolutely forbidden to use that strategy -- although most Sunni scholars believe that doing so reflects a lack of faith in the power of Allah.

    MTP himself used deception, which can be extended to mean taqiyya. Let us remember that all actions of MTP are worthy of emulation by Muslims.

  26. AOW,

    with all respect Tammy lied on the other thread, I exposed it with clear evidence. Simply put she made stuff up to put an argument that is not only rediculous but can only be constrived as a "con" to provoke hate. Frankly speaking, I am more than happy to NOT know her considering that if you read her other material, she obviously does this regularly.

    You may know her and like her but that still does not change facts.

    D Charles

  27. AOW,

    the attack was most certainly a well coordinated event. Though we know that weapons including rpgs (rocket propelled grenades) are all to common amongst the various groups that were involved in the revolution, the fact remains that it was a three-pronged attack (three directions simultaneously). It is possible to consider also that the demonstration was provoked by the Salafi communities at identical times only in Western Libya and Egypt via the Salafi tv chanel and their associated mosques. The Egyptian Salafi community sponsored two militias in Libya to fight in the revolution. Similarly to the Egyptian Revolution, Salafis have made it clear that they took the events to be an opportunity to commence creation of their utopian world.

    Also, just a note. I watched on Australian TV7 (I just spent a week in Malaysia by the way) that there was an anti-American demo in Sydney that was a bit violent. Watching it and reading later, it was hisb-al-tahir group and it was them and the Salafis that demonstrated. The bulk of Islamic groups not only refused to demonstrate but later accused hisb-al-tahir of being un-Australian.

    Back to Benghazi, I imagine that when you see a coordinated attack, most members of the local community would have no choice but to wait or coordinate themselves.

    Damien Charles

  28. AOW,

    the link to the shia site is an interesting one. My only comment is that it is from a Shia perspective and must be judged by it. Most Sunni will in fact have issue with much of the comments and also I will stress, the word taqiyya is not even known to 99 per cent of Sunnis.

    I should also add that the references to "deciet" is still more to do with Spencer and islamophobes than anything or anyone Muslim. That the subject is even raised has more to with the desire to see division and a clash of civilisation that will only occur because people want it.

    Damien Charles

  29. C-S's gender changes nothing, the logic is still trash.


  30. DC’s commentary somewhat reminds me of slapstick comedy, where the absurdity of physical violence or assault generates laughter. Not unlike the infantile joke of pulling a chair out from behind someone who is about to sit down. Funny at hell until the person injures their lower spine. Here we have a person who is watching this violence and offering becalmed commentary: it isn’t the Moslem Brotherhood, it’s the Salafists. The problem is Shi’ites, not Sunnis; the problem is Sunnis, not Shi’ites. Swofford isn’t trustworthy; ignore her point of view; Christian Soldier is trite.

    Yuk Yuk

    If we ignore the fact of Islam’s decadence, even if only a small percentage of Moslems behave viciously against others because of their faith, we cannot be pacified. Our disgust is real, and we must question anyone that enables barbaric behavior.

    Is this the game?

  31. Je suis heureux que les gens adorent comme ils le souhaitent, mais je crois que Allah est le un faux dieu, Mahomet est un faux prophète, et toute personne qui pense autrement va brûler en enfer.

  32. Jack,

    if you put some logic into your argument you may get a chance to be taken serious, in fact the constant diatribe without substance lands squarly at your feet, not mine.

    In fact you have explained your logic perfectly. You have admitted just now that you are not interested in details or facts your just after some form of blood, vengance or simply to vent your spleen. Interestingly, that is the same problem with the bulk of Muslims that you see demonstrating and most of them are simply sucked into the twisted logic of radical Imams, Mullahs and Ayatolahs. What is your excuse?

    One of the first things I learnt at school was to attempt to put values, logic and work things out. To not do so was called ignorance.

    As for CS she failed in the logic game and quoted material she has no idea of. Tammy is a fraud and was caught doctoring texts to push her agenda.

    What is sad is that in the end your as bad as those you target, pushing mindless gibberish and hateful phrases because you have some pent up rage. That is because, like this blog, most of the hate and illogic spewed out is still a result of 9/11 and like a generation or so before, we must bash all Japs, Commies and the Huns for what "they all did" insted of based on who and what actually happened.

    Damien Charles

  33. Louis, la valeur de ton participation est la même que votre logique - absolument nulle.

    Damien Charles

  34. Jack and Co,

    i will add one more point.

    My point has always been about being logical and basing arguments and accussations on facts. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Your above comments contradict yourself in claiming that I am answering the unjustifiable with calmness.

    There is a clash and a war. Terrorists wage war on us and our countries have soldiers dying and we have innocent civilians being targetted. There is also a collective organisation our there that wants to turn the world into their 7th century version of Islam. There is also a war between them and the rest of Islam over who dominates.

    There is also a concerted effort by a number of groups in the west to turn this into a clash of civilization, even though there is none. They distort, exagerate and basically lie to push this rubbish for their own advantage - be it local politics, gaining "souls" for their churches or to make Islam a constant guilty party so that Settlers can move in and force the annexation of the Occupied Territories. Do not forget that Horrowitz admitted to being the money behind the most agressive settlers and he also pays Robert Spencer and Co.

    My argument is against extremism in all sides, be it Islamist, islamophobic, Zionist and ignorance.

    Enough said.

    Damien Charles

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Our concern should be less with an ideology than with extremist behavior. In American courts, beyond the question of sanity, judges care less about an accused’s demons than they do about the effect of his behavior. A mass murderer can argue demonic possession until the cows come home, but the fact remains that several human beings are dead and we must punish the accused if we can prove he or she actually committed the crime.

    If we want a cogent foreign policy, we must pay less attention to the moon bats, and far greater attention to the nations with whom we wish to entreat. Let us tell Cairo they cannot have a productive relationship with the USA unless they find some way of controlling their extremists. Let us warn Cairo that if anyone attacks our Embassy, we will hold the Egyptian government responsible. Let us promise dire consequences to any government who fails to protect our diplomatic personnel, our nationals, and American property. If we must go to war, let us do that with nations, rather than half-crazed imbeciles.

  37. DC, say what you will, but I know what I saw and I know what the Libyan government has said and I know that the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge that this attack was done in the name of Allah.

    You may see this supposed religion as peace, but you are sadly mistaken. How many more innocent people have to die before you realize Muslims hate anyone that is not Muslim, and that would include you. If you are not Muslim are you an infidel.

    That is a fact. And I refuse to back down from my observation and opinion.

  38. WLIL,
    9/11 brought awareness to many of us who had been sleeping and thinking that what was happening outside America could never touch us here to much of an extent -- except for the price of oil, of course.

    Before 9/11, I myself knew of the intolerance of some of the aspects of Islam. I also knew that "militant Islam" had existed. But, somehow, I thought that the militancy was an isolated problem confined to distant pockets of the world.

    Sometimes, I think back to what life was like before 9/11. Look at what we have lost! Look at what we have to put up with!

    For example, it's a pain to take an airline flight -- not only the waiting through lines of security at the airport but also down to what we can pack in our luggage to carry aboard a a commercial airline flight.

    Searches to enter a museum.

    Security cameras watching us all the time.

    Wondering if the wail of sirens, such as sounded a few days after 9/11/12, meant that another "something" had happened here in the D.C. area.

    Hijabs everywhere.

    Avoiding certain streets on Fridays (mosque services that create traffic jams).

    Watching what we say so as not to offend Muslims.

  39. Leticia,

    you may, of course, believe as you like only one point - do not claim facts that are simply your opinion based on whatever feeling you have.

    My guess is that you simply have only met certain types of Muslims and thus you assume they represent all of them. What your view most certainly cannot be, is based on academics, events and basic facts - in that area your argument simply fails.

    Just like the word "infidel", the term itself is in fact a Christian created one, not Muslim or Arab - the word does not even translate into the Arab word kafur or unbeliever. It was, for your info, a Templar creation citing those who were not showing fidelity to their cause - ie Jews and Muslims whom were the infedels.

    Your blanket assumption that Muslims hate non-Muslims is nothing short of a foolish joke with the joke on you. Simply put you are a victim of the desires of islamophobes, Evangelist soul-collectors and The Settler Movement versus radical Islamists whom want to create a clash of civilization - your the fodder, the fuel.

    Talk to ANY Islamic scholar of value and they will automatically point out a multitude of their scriptures and yes even laws that point out that as a member of the Three Abrahamic Faiths they have an obligation to respect, deal with and live alongside each other - because of course they all worship the same God.

    Perhaps Leticia, your fringe and faulty insistance that Muslims worshop another God is the driving force for your unwarrented and very blinked hate-no-matter-what view.

    Fortunately, most of us are not so blinkered and can see through basic politics rather than your absured notition that it is all to do with "Allah".

    Damien Charles

  40. WLILL,

    I, yet again, recommend you read my posts rather than assume, guess or instill your wishfull thinking instead.

    My remark about 9/11 was clear enough, pointing out that anti-Islamic sentiment in blogs such as this one, comes from 9/11.

    I will add that anti-Islamic rhetoric and discussion before 9/11 came down mostly to the efforts of the pro-Settler movement then (that has also used and abused 9/11 since) and the then new human rights movement pointing out the abuses by theocratic Islamic movements - mostly in Iran and Saudi.

    As for the Islamic community itself, before 1979 most actions by Islamic hardliners was limited - mostly (and ironically) by the totalitarian dictatorships that are now gone. It was the Iran revolution that linked religous radicals with militancy and created the violence.

    I should add, and this is most certainly the case even up to today, much of the intolerance to non-Muslims, bais and bigotry shown uses the name of faith simply as an excuse to power. Malaysian and Indonesian issues almost always stem from the desire by Indon-Malays to dominate that region against Indians and Chinese and of course most are Muslim so they add that because it works so well.


    Damien Charles

  41. Furthermore, I think Malaysia and Indonesa had been subtlely using Islam to dominate politically, though they would only display their forceful islamisation agenda when they have the power or means to do so.

  42. HABUKKUK 1:6 ;
    ,..."the Chaldeans, that bitter and impetuous people,"...
    That region of the world most Arabs spring-(pardon the pun) from.
    Impetuous also contains in it's meaning,
    given to violence. I think The Bible accurately understands the foe.


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