Wednesday, May 25, 2005


ShrinkWrapped has an excellent post up that speculates that the elusive "moderate" Muslim is in the same position that the "moderate" German was during the rise of the National Socialists:

I liken the Islamic world to the state of the German nation in the 1930's. The Nazis were a minority party with a small following at first, in the early years of the decade. The percentage of people willing and eager to join in the party's thuggery was quite small. A far larger number sympathized with the Nazi program of externalizing all blame for Germany's straits with special emphasis on anti-Semitism, an even larger number were quietly alarmed or indifferent but the number willing to stand against the Nazis was minuscule, and hampered by the fact that they were typically not thugs themselves. By the late thirties, Hitler had been legally elected by a minority of voters and once in power he unleashed a growing band of bullies and thugs who were the spiritual ancestors to Zarqawi and his ilk. By the time the danger of Nazism was noticed by the population, opposition became deadly dangerous. It is one thing to risk your life to protect yourself and your family, it is something else altogether to risk your life to defend an outsider, like the Jew. As it was by the late 1930's and increasingly into the 1940's, to be an anti-Nazi German was to risk a horrible, lonely death; today, in "1930's Islam", to be a moderate Muslim is to risk death.

We cannot expect any help from Moderate Muslims in saving their own hides.

I think this is true; and the reason why so few moderates showed up--even in the U.S.--at an anti-terrorism rally recently. The invisibility of the moderate Muslim, as ShrinkWrapped wryly comments, is indeed "troubling", but their very invisibility, it seems to me, is the strongest argument for our defining the "enemy" in the war on terror as Islam itself.

We have been pussyfooting around this for some time now. We seem to have entered Harry Potter's world where fear is so great that even the good side refers to Lord Voldemort as "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named". But, naming a thing gives one power over it. This is true both in the magical world, and the real world.

The only reason to hold back in giving a name to the enemy is if we expect to get some assistance from those not committed to all-out jihad. We won't. And by giving a real name to the so-called "war on terror", we are forcing moderates, undecideds, and deniers of all political stripes (but particularly the Left) to take sides in a war of civilizations.

For too long now, Islam has hidden behind the moderates in its midst even as the extremists have controlled those moderates with death threats and religious persecution. I say we take off the cloak of invisibility that is hiding our enemy and see which side those under it scramble toward.

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