Friday, February 20, 2015


The Atlantic has a good article about ISIS this month. The author makes a pretty good point about how ISIS has as much claim as any other Muslim entity to being representatives of the religion. All this talk of ISIS and Al Queda as being "perversions" of true Islam - as noted by our President - don't really understand the theological underpinnings of ISIS' beliefs. Just because ISIS is unpopular amongst "mainstream" Muslims doesn't make their positions are theologically incorrect or perverted.

Their positions of course, mean enslaving every non-Muslim and torturing and beheading all non-Muslims into submission, and this type of stuff. And obviously most Muslims don't believe in this stuff -- but on what basis can they claim this is "un-Islamic?"

I heard someone on the TV the other day make a smart point that the West misunderstands Islam as a religion, when it is actually a politcal movement. And therein lies our problem understanding it. If we simply understood Islam as a political movement -- and it is to anyone who believes in Islamic Law (about 20% of Muslims) -- then we would quickly see it as a major problem and threat to be countered. But because it also so happens to be a religion, we are quick to not criticize it and sensitive to its practitioners.

Interesting dilemmas.

In reading about what ISIS does to the people it enslaves, my immediate response is to want to gather a coalition and send the militaries of the world there to crush them out of existence. They are similar to the Khmer Rouge, and when I studied a little bit of history and 20th century, all the smug liberals thought it was a terrible disgrace the world didn't do anything about those atrocities. Well, it's happening right now, and not a single "liberal" voice is out there saying we should be putting a stop to it.

The other option, of course, is to just let them go. They don't hurt Americans, except the ones who go over there, they haven't declared war on us. They are not an "immediate threat." And maybe in some sick perverted way, the Islamic world needs to see what political Islam means in practice in order to be dissuaded from pursuing it as a system.  But if ever one believed in a humanitarian intervention, this would be the time for it.

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