'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

17 September 2011

Islamic Pacifism

Ok, I'm fixin' to get myself into a whole pool of hot water here.

I'm sure you've all seen the hubbub over the FBI training concerning Islam and it's adherents. Here's a link to the Wired article if you haven't. Apparently the FBI is now disavowing the training and trainer. I agree that we as a nation tend to produce far fewer radicalized Muslims than others. The main reason for that is the very fact that we don't single out any specific demographic one hundred percent for extra scrutiny. It's basically a good policy and one I support. But. There's just one small problem for me.

If you look at the major world religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism (I'm only talking about the Big Four here) you'll find strong pacifistic streaks, or at least the presence of pacifism, and sects in all but one. Islam.

Christianity? Check.
Judaism? Check.
Hinduism? Check.

What about Pacifism in Islam?
They have the Ahmadis (Ahmadiyya) but they're not specifically pacifistic believing in self defense and wars against evil and to preserve freedom. Orthodox Muslims also consider them as heretics and non-Muslim so as such cannot claim them as a pacifist sect.
Baha'I Faith. Again, not strictly pacifist and considered to be apostates from Islam. Indeed, they have been badly persecuted in both Egypt and Iran.
Sufism. They tend to view Jihad as an internal struggle against the ego but have historically engaged in armed resistance in such conflicts as Chechna, Algeria, Bosnia and Iraq.
Ismailism. They gave birth to the Nizari (who were once had an order called the Hashashins). Definitely not strict Pacifists.
Druze. Nope. Whatever their current actions they do have a military history and were even considered 'powerful warriors' during the Crusades.

The truth is you can find thousands of sects, offshoots and orders related to Islam and Muslims without finding a single one that denounces all forms of violence, including that of self defence. You can't throw a dead cat at a crowd of Muslims without hitting at least one that mainstream Islam would consider apostate. All that adds up to a religion that gives lip service to the idea of Peace On Earth but will not denounce the use of force in situations where they believe it's justified. All that's just fine with me. I'm definitely not a pacifist in any way, shape or form and I don't hold anyone else to that standard. But if you're going to argue that teaching law enforcement that Islam is inherently violent and Muslims should be approached with caution is wrong you're going to have to prove that to me. The case against Muslims, and most definitely including mainstream so called moderate Muslims, believing that violence is the answer in some situations is inescapable. The question then becomes in what situations? What will the average Muslim consider dire enough to resort to violence? I'm just using the pacifist argument here to show that every other major religion has sects where one of the primary tenets is absolute pacifism. Show me a strictly pacifistic Muslim sect, just one, that's more than simply mouthing words from a book and I'll reconsider. Hell, show me a single pacifistic Muslim period. The presence of a pacifist sect within a religion in no way is an indicator of the behavior of the rest who do not adhere to that particulat tenet but the complete absence of such is instructive. It's that very lack (actions speak louder than words don't you know) that is a clear indicator that the religion in question views such behavior as worthy of no more than greasy lip service, easily set aside in favor of situational ethics.

So you'll forgive me if I look at that FBI training and say. "Yeah. And?" We need to focus our attention and energies effeciently and where they belong. Yes, there are, have been and will be instances of terrorism and shocking violence by followers of every major religion but the modern day champions of the slaughter of innocents are adherents of Shia and Sunni Islam and pointing that out is hardly a hate crime. I would have a much softer view of Islam if I knew there were pacifists within it's ranks that were arguing against violence in all it's forms. I simply have a very difficult time trusting a group that's some billion plus strong that can't find anyone who practices what they preach.

You are now free to call me racist and Islamophobic and a hater.



Ed Rasimus said...

What if we just call you right?

Six said...

Thanks Ed. I'm tired and past tired of punishing people who speak distasteful truth.

Sarge said...

Yes you are right!!

Miguel said...

Screw them if they can't take the truth

Six said...

Amen Miguel.

nzgarry said...

I agree with this and all the above.
Also, speaking ones mind has become an invitation to be tarred with an 'ism','ist' or 'phobe'.
The thought police(to good a name for them) are still with us.

To me, an American virtue is to 'see it like it is, say it like it is'. You have done just that Mr Six.

Six said...

Thanks Garry. Frankly, I was expecting to get skewered with this post but the feedback has been positive. I have such intelligent and common sense readers!