Caution: Religious Fanaticism Can Be Dangerous
by: Rabbi Jeremy Rosen
In my weekly email to subscribers I sent a copy of an email I received that claimed to be an open letter to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, by young Muslim fanatics, followers of Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza:
Mr. Ken Livingstone:
You seem to think that you, personally, are not to blame for the bombings in London or for alienated Muslim youth in Britain. I think it is about time that you realized that you are a source of the problem, as much as the others you blame.
Mr. Ken, we have learnt from you that it is legitimate to use indiscriminate violence in pursuit of a just cause. You yourself said so when you praised the IRA bombers nearly twenty years ago (of course, at that time you were not mayor of London). You have, through your own example, taught us that the way to publicize grievances is through violent means. If we are violent, we will be heard. If we are silent, we will be ignored. You, in your pursuit of power, have shown us how legitimate it is to ignore traditional ways of democracy and party politics and how other forms of gaining power and influence are more effective. You have been a wonderful example of how important self-promotion is and knowing who to appeal to the grass roots for support.
We are the new generation, the children of Muslims who have suffered at the hands of your left-wing socialist values. Most of our parents were imported into Britain to work in industries the British workers no longer cared for, and when those industries collapsed they were abandoned to poverty and hopelessness in cold inner-city ghettos, made to feel unwanted and unwelcome.
You and your political allies in London socialist boroughs first classified us as a race. The result was that thousands of Muslim children were given over to black Christian foster parents instead of white Muslims because your left-wing anti-religious ideology failed to understand that we are a religion, not a race.
As a lapsed Christian, you simply do not understand what we stand for religiously. You delude yourself into thinking that because you throw us a few sops and buy our votes by being anti-Israel you can continue to insult our religious values through your support of homosexuals, women’s equality and pornography and other abominations in the eyes of Allah, May He Be Praised. You yourself stand for everything we despise in a post-Christian, godless, secular world deprived of spiritual values and rooted in Marxist materialism.
We Muslims know all about Marxists. They used to be our fiercest enemy until the Soviet Empire came crashing down thanks to Muslim fighters with Allah’s (MHBP) support in Afghanistan.
You, Mr. Livingstone, are just like left-wing Israelis who actually believe that if they are nice to us we will be deflected from our ultimate goal of evicting Western influences from Dar El Islam. No Sir. We want to purge the West of its loose morality and replace its ineffective failed religions with the only true, dynamic, growing monotheism in the world today. This is our mission. We will employ the means we deem fit to achieve it.
You think you can court the older generation of Muslim leaders and invite them to talk and ask them to help you remove the so-called “terrorists” from London, but they are old ineffective men who were cowed into submission and were grateful for whatever handouts the White Empire condescendingly granted them or careerists with their own agendas.
We no longer want handouts. We want our rights. Our rights are to be governed by Muslim values and Muslim Laws, not yours.
You have taught us how to use the Law, the European Court of Human Rights and the freedoms you so cherish, to fight for our own ways of dressing, eating, and education. We have begun to get you to change your laws to ensure you respect our religion. In due course we will fight for the right to be governed by Shaaria, not secular, religionless law.
You have pretended you wanted a free and open society and that was why you allowed so many political refugees to come and live in London safely. This is why even we called you the Mayor of Londonistan. You thought that what some called hate-filled sermons should be tolerated in the name of free speech. And now all of a sudden you have changed your mind. Why? Are you worried about the Olympics?
Now it becomes clear that the only freedoms you want are yours, not ours. You want to limit the right of Muslims to honestly declare who their real enemies are and who the ultimate jihad must either win over or exterminate. You want force what you think is true Islam into your own conception of it!
Tolerance is the tool of the weak. In Islam we have seen that, historically, weakness leads to defeat and retreat. Only strength wins and conquers. You have heard Omar Bakri, a resident of London for twenty years, this week declare that he does not condemn the bombs in London. Now let me assure you, he is revered by many young Muslims in Britain, not a minority as you seem to think. You think that suicide bombing is a product of political injustice. That is why you keep on blaming Israel, something we are very grateful for but incidental to our mission. The fact is that Africans suffer far more injustices and oppression but only Muslim Africans resort to suicide bombings. That is because we understand, if you do not, that this is a religious issue. This is a tool in our jihad. But, of course, as you are deaf to religion so you cannot hear this! No Sir, you Christian or secular British would never become suicide bombers. You are not passionate enough in your devotion to religion.
We are well on course to take over all of Europe as we so nearly did before. Our numbers increase while Western decadence leads to a falling birth rate. We fight while you retreat. We reproduce while you abort. Ultimately we will bring the morality of the Koran to the West, in stages. Meanwhile, use of violence is an important tool in weakening opposition. It removes the will to fight. Look what we achieved in Spain. We will do the same in Britain.
Your English left-wing corrupt values are like dust. Marxism has failed everywhere, there is no ideology capable of standing up to us.
The West is weak and appeases and loves the underdog. At the same time your need for oil supports corrupt Arab regimes, where most of our support comes from, precisely because they believe that funding us atones for their sins. We despise the weak and the dishonest. They are the first to go. So thank you for blaming the Jews. It all helps our cause. But you are next on our list.
I am not interested in either the provenance or genuineness of this letter. I am interested in the arguments. They ring true. And there is really nothing new in this type of argument. It is common knowledge. Perhaps the only question is how widespread this sort of attitude is or whether it is truly only a minority in Islam today. There are voices that declare that the challenge we face is not Islam against the West, but one form of Islam against another, or moderate religion versus extremists.
However such views are pretty typical of religious fanaticism, all religious fanaticism–the fanaticism that bombs abortion clinics and murders doctors as much as that which supports extreme Islam. It is the strength of fanaticism, or fundamentalism, that it is single-minded, refusing to countenance another point of view, and that it attracts young people regardless of background or circumstances.
We have seen in current Judaism how relatively easy it is to “convert” young people to an extreme position. We may be fortunate that our sort of extremism does not normally lead to killing civilians, although in the cases of Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir, exceptionally, it did. But the views of Kahana’s Kach party and other religious right-wing political movements are not very different from those expressed above. That is why I so detest fanaticism and why it so important that we fight to ensure its influence is counteracted in our communities.
I don’t want to be misunderstood. I am making no claims of equivalence. But I am saying that religious fanaticism is something we must be on our guard against as we approach the fast of Tisha B’Av, which records the disasters which were caused by our own fanatical extremists. Even more so as we are currently trying to cope with the withdrawal from Gaza which again divides us, with some who oppose it calling for soldiers to refuse to serve, civil disobedience, and even Kabbalistic death penalties! In themselves they may be harmless and fair expressions of democratic protest. But in the hands of fanatics they could become dynamite.