Add Bernard Lewis to the Gaffney/Pipes camp
By Ted Belman
In July ’06, Bernard Lewis argued, Bring them Freedom, or They Destroy Us. He acknowledged that Islam understood “equality” but limited it to male believers. In addressing the question of whether western style “freedom” could be transferred to the Islamic world, he looked back to how Islamic society was before the Twentieth Century (Nazism, oil wealth and spread of Wahhabism, Iranian Revolution).
Traditionally, he wrote, “the Sultan had to consult” with the various powers so he wasn’t autocratic. “Wahhabism held that the Muslims had abandoned the true faith in God, thus their decline, and therefore must return to the true religion.” Now here’s the shocker.
“This pure original Islam is, of course—as is usual in such situations—a new invention with little connection to Islam as it existed in its earlier stages.”
As I understand it Andy Bostom vehemently disagrees with this.
Lewis goes on to note, “… in Turkish schools in Turkey, students get a modern, moderate version of Islam, in German schools, in general, they get the full Wahhabi blast”
Lewis is in effect saying that Islam need not be fixed and immutable, i.e. it can be what you want it to be. But I wonder what is left out or left in the “modern, moderate version”.
He concludes with,
The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of free institutions–along their lines, not ours–is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries. At the developing same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.
I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.“
So according to Lewis, Islam is capable of being moving toward freedom and democracy (but he doesn’t spell it out) and we have to support these progressive forces or perish.
The way I see it is that we have to stop the Islamification of the west. The “moderates’ will have to take sides.