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12 January 2007 Blog Home : January 2007 : Permalink

Why not talk to them?

BBC World, that mostly inferior attempt to mirror CNN, can almost always be counted on to get the tranzi message across. Yesterday we switched it on momentarily to get the headlines and sports news (Becks off to La La land?) and had the joy of listening to a trailer for some program about "alternative ways to deal with radical Islamists" which went on somethng like (E&OE): "Under George Bush, America has spent billions trying to root out Islamic terrorists and things seem to be getting worse so perhaps its time for an alternative strategy - why not talk to them?"

Sure it sounds simple - just like the statement that "if no one had a gun no one would be shot". But just as with the latter it fails to stand up under serious scrutiny. The "no guns" rule fails because of the impossibility of removing all guns from circulation and because shootings are not the only way that criminals commit violence - hence the new demand to remove all knives, scissors, needles and anything else that might "put your eye out".

"Why not talk to them?" doesn't work because it assumes that the radical Islamists are willing to peacably share the world with people who are not subscribers to their particular faith. If you listen to the tapes of Al Qaeda leaders and other fellow Islmaist raving nutters, it is pretty clear that their demands are:
  1. Establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate (ruled by TBD but not someone who wins a democratic election) over all lands ever occupied by Muslims
  2. No non-muslims anywhere in the caliphate, especially no Jews
  3. Outside of the caliphate muslims to be subject to Sharia law only
  4. No muslim to be offended by anything a non-Muslim says, publishes, does or wears (or doesn't wear) ever
Even the BBC would have a problem actually living under such strictures but they and their fellows prefer to claim that these are merely negotiating ploys and that if we sit down and talk then the real Islamist position will moderate to something less extreme. I do not understand where they get this idea from.

In Iran the mullahs have persecuted non-Muslims very greatly and have insisted on dress codes, speech codes and the vetting of candidates for elections such that anyone who desires to express a contrary opinion is tortured, executed or exiled. In many cases it seems that merely being a woman is offensive. In Afghanistan under the Taleban much the same applied: sports, movies and education on subjects other than memorizing the Koran were banned. In Somalia the recently overthrown UIC attempted to stop movies, women working and so on. In Saudi Arabia the Islamists consider that the regime is decadent because it lets in some movies etc. even though it cracks down on women and anyone stupid enough to deny Islam. In other nations from Indonesia to Nigeria we see similar claims and attempts, we even see Muslims in Paris, Minnesota, Luton and Toronto trying to create areas of Sharia law where the unbelievers must abide by Muslim laws and codes of behaviour. A prominent Australian Imam has also said all sorts of controversial things when in Egypt that seem to counter his more conciliatory statements made in Australia etc.

In other words talking to Islamist terrorists (or their supporters) is not the same as talking to the IRA or Maoists in Nepal and until they started taking lessons was different to talking to ETA or the Tamil Tigers. You can talk but they use the talking period to rearm and/or get concessions from you without makign any attempt to implement any matching concessions of their own. Then when you compain that they haven't implemented their concessions they charge you with the same crime and attack with no warning. In other words there isn't much point to talk with the Islamists. We know what they want, they won't be convinced to give it up by words and there is nothing we can do

Important PS - talking to Muslims is not the same as talking to Islamists. I'm fine with the idea of talking to Muslims and ensuring that (for example) they aren't discrimminated against. But I also want them, in return, to not discrimminate either. From the evidence in Afghanaistan, Somalia and Iran it seems clear that many Muslims, even devout ones, hate the idea of living under an Islamist theocracy. But we must not mistake talking to self-selected "community leaders" of the radical persusion to be talkign to "Muslims", nor should we tolerate them complaining about our insensitivity to their "beliefs" when they show no toleration of others.

Unimportant PS - I personally feel that terrorist truce-breaking should receive drastic retaliation along the lines of that meted out by the Mongols to people who killed ambassadors. For example if they terrorists broke a truce and had been hopig that certain captured terrorists be released I'd start publically executing the captured terrorists one by one. Since I'm a total bastard I'm try and come up with a way for them to execute themselves by (for example) giving them small suicide bomb belts that would only explode under certain conditions but ensuring that the terrorists would be forced (eventually) to encounter said conditions.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin