Sunday, August 07, 2016

Can Integration of Muslims Prevent Their Radicalization?

Integration reduces radicalization, but nothing can prevent radicalization among any significant Muslim population. 

First, many recent terrorist incidents have involved men putatively "integrated" into mainstream society in the US and Europe.  If we cannot prevent radicalization of people already in a society -- for example, American-born citizens who convert to Islam and then go to fight for ISIS -- how can we prevent the reversal of immigrants' integration?  Moreover, how can we "integrate" the pre-radicalized jihadist "immigrant" who merely feigns integration so he can wage jihad by either converting or killing the "infidels?"

Second, any large population of a given persuasion will contain outliers. Among Democrats, you have Communists (fairly common). Among Democrats and Republicans, you have KKK members (rare, and blamed entirely on Republicans, but not extinct). Among nominal "Christians," you have violent pro-lifers (extremely rare). And among Muslims, you have violent jihadists (fairly common). 

Republicans and Christians can argue that the KKK and violent pro-lifers do not really subscribe to their ideologies. Democrats can claim the same concerning Communists, but an examination of their ideologies shows only a difference of shrinking degree. Violent jihadists, however, adhere strictly to the Koran; rather, it is the liberal Muslim who deviates from core Koranic teachings. 

Third, how do you force the integration of Muslims into Western society without undermining their religion, without crossing a line into deprogramming or brainwashing? That idea is abhorrent to both "liberals" and Muslims. Education is no cure-all. Many of jihadists, and especially Muslim Brotherhood leaders, hold degrees, even from Western universities.  Education aims at the mind, but secular education cannot convert the heart.  In fact, the educational environment can be counterproductive.  The temptations and challenges of secular universities can stress any devout student who aspires to a high moral code.  (As a former Bible-thumper, I can attest to that.)  I have recently seen a trend hinted at in the press, one I had not seen before, that of the Muslim who "integrates" and then sacrifices himself to pay for his Westernized sins.  Therefore, education not only has limited effectiveness but can result in violent reaction.

Before you read the next paragraph I must warn that I believe, based on both historical and theological arguments, that Islam is easily demonstrated to be a false religion that, despite Muslim paranoia about having their prophet and god blasphemed, is itself built upon lies and blasphemies.  

Secular liberals and liberal Muslims fantasize that violent jihadists are not real Muslims.  But that is not the elephant in the room.  Violent jihad is inevitable among those who follow the Koran.  Encouragement of liberal Islam and of integration of Muslims may reduce radicalization in the West, but it cannot prevent it, and it cannot reduce the radicalization already dominating at the source in Islamist countries.  

The only way to prevent Islamic radicalization is by reducing adherence to Islam.  As long as Christians and secularists fail to adequately address the theological problem of Islam, the jihadist problem will continue to fester.  And in its growing hostility toward evangelical Christianity while remaining neutral toward Islam and even accommodating it, the West does itself no favors.

Copyright 2016, Rich Wheeler

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