Thursday, April 07, 2005

Islamism - discussion with Dom, some thoughts...

It was interesting talking to my mate Dom last night about (amongst other things) (i) the relationship between Islam (a faith) and Islamism (a political ideology) and (ii) the true level of threat that Islamists pose to us westerners.

Dom is reading the Wheen book, which I hugely enjoyed. Wheen, however, poo-poos the level of threat posed by Islamism (or at least accuses Bush/Blair of hugely exaggerating it for nefarious political purposes). Berman, who Wheen quotes and seems to hugely admire, is in no doubt that Islamism is a totalitarian ideology in the tradition of communism and fascism. In this he is in complete agreement with Daniel Pipes. And Pipes is in no doubt of the huge threat posed by Islamism. Would be interested to see Wheen and Pipes discuss this...

To those who think there is no (or not much of a) threat from Islamists to us, I would ask why they think that. The possible answers that occur to me are (1) the Islamists have no intention to do great damage to us or (2) they have no capability to do so. If answer (2) is chosen, I would ask if they think that because (2a) the Islamists are extraordinarily incompetent (despite 9/11) or (2b) the Western security forces are extraordinarily competent, nay foolproof.

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman

How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions
Francis Wheen

Islam and Islamism - Faith and Ideology
by Daniel Pipes
National Interest
Spring 2000

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