Well it turns out I somewhat buried the lede in my post yesterday about Melanie Phillips’ show on Voice of Israel. And the answer to the question in the title of the post is General Sisi (who is currently running Egypt) at Al Azar University. His speech the other day was rather remarkable mostly because he quite clearly understands the link between Islamic terrorism, the Islamic State and Boko Harem and the sacred Islamic texts. Melanie explores this remarkably under-reported speech in the fourth segment of her show.
There was a lot of debate in the introverted world of the counter Jihad at least. Debate ranged from whether this was just another attempt to pull the wool over non-Muslim eyes (Andy Bostom) to the usually highly cynical Hugh Fitzgerald, who really thought this was something new.
The truth is I can’t tell you either: I can tell you that Sisi knows a lot more about Islam than anyone claiming that the terrorist attacks we see in Israel and the west and the aggressive war of conquest being waged by Da’esh nearby aren’t real Islam. Sisi knows they have the power of centuries of immutable scripture and unless something comes along that is strong enough to break this connection, the west faces a fearsome foe.
I’d refer you to one other great piece to read by Jonathan Spyer, you really should read it all:
In contemporary western European societies, political Islam meets a human collectivity suffering, by contrast, from a profound loss of self. No one, at least in the mainstream of politics and culture, seems able to quite articulate what western European countries are for, or what they oppose — at least beyond a sort of vapid belief in everyone doing what they want and not bothering each other.
The result is that when violent political Islam collides with the satiated, lost societies of western Europe, the response is not defiance on the part of the latter, but rather fear.
This fear, as fear is wont to do, manifests itself in various, not particularly edifying, ways.
The most obvious is avoidance (“the attacks had nothing to do with Islam,” “unemployment and poverty are the root cause,” “the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state,” etc etc).
Another is appeasement — “maybe if we give them some of what they want, they’ll leave us alone.”
This response perhaps partially explains the notable adoption in parts of western Europe of the anti-Jewish prejudice so prevalent in the Islamic world.
The ennui of the western European mainstream will almost certainly prevent the adoption of the very tough measures which alone might serve to adequately address the burgeoning problem of large numbers of young European Muslims committed to political Islam and to violence against their host societies.
He goes on to describe how the non-elites have a much better grasp of Islam than the elites would like them to. That is a trend that will continue as the Internet continues to pour forth all the information you need to understand Islam and especially the type of Islam we have a problem with. Because that’s the bit we need to understand and deal with: the Muslims who don’t take up arms against us (but also do little to prevent those who do) are comforting to think about, but won’t solve any problems.
And lastly, since the elites will not be able to produce resistance, it will come from outside of the elites. Hence the growth of populist, nationalist parties and movements in western Europe. But Europe being what it is, such revivalist movements are likely to contain a hefty dose of the xenophobia and bigotry which characterized the continent of old.