Krauthammer had this to say about Wilders earlier this week on the All Stars:
What he says is extreme, radical, and wrong. He basically is arguing that Islam is the same as Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].My immediate reaction to CK was that he was wrong in adopting the distinction between Islam and Islamism, a distinction no one has been able to define. I am with those who believe the essence of Islam is “jihad, conquest, [and] forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].” I don’t believe that such a thing as moderate Islam exists. Islam exists, and it is not moderate. I do believe that there are many Muslims who practice Islam moderately, but religions shouldn’t be defined by their slackers..
The untruth of that is obvious. If you look at the United States, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists. So, it’s simply incorrect. Now, in Europe, there is probably a slightly larger minority but, nonetheless, the overwhelming majority are not.
Krauthammer’s belief that “Islamism” is a breakaway ideology held by only a small minority is another strange departure for him from his usual emprical rigor. Even granting him the distinction of Islamism as a mere ideology separate from Islam proper, I have no idea how he can be so certain that those who hold Islamist views are a small minority. How could he know that? Maybe they’re a simple majority, or a large majority, or it’s an even split.
According to a recent worldwide poll, 7% of Muslims believe 9/11 was “completely justified.” That’s still 70 million people. Another poll reports that 51% of Palestinians, 28% of Jordanians, and 24% of Indonesians have confidence in Osama bin Laden’s “leadership.” That result includes this telling detail: “In Pakistan, where many believe bin Laden is now hiding, only 18% express confidence in him, although 35% do not offer an opinion.”
I think that 35% who won't say show up every place.
If by “Islamist,” CK means an active terrorist, it would be obviously true that the majority of Muslims in this country are not Islamists, that is, they’re not terrorists. And if by moderate, he means a Muslim who makes no unmistakeable, outward sign that he supports jihadism, then there are plenty of examples of those.
But sympathy for Islamism--which manifests financial and other kinds of material support for terrorism organizations on the hand, and on the other, passive resistance to America’s efforts to defend against Islamism--are hard to measure.
Take Dearborn. We see vast public support for terrorism in rallies for Hezbollah, and an active underground economy helping to finance Hezbollah’s wars against Lebanon and Israel. We see less support for Palestinian causes and almost no public support for the likes of Imam Abdullah. There are many Muslims who have fought for America in Iraq and Afghanistan. I though I saw something like patriotism, or at least gratitude, the night they hanged Saddam Hussein. But then, some of what we saw in East Dearborn was a clash between Sunni and Shia Iraqis, with Shias triumphant that their persecutor in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, had finally met his bad end. And as for Muslims in the armed forces, prominent Muslim leaders are not bashful about telling soldiers and would-be recruits that America’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are “not our fight.”
There again, with a single rare, recent exception notable as a “man bites dog” event, Dearborn’s Muslims have been universally silent about supporting America’s fight against global jihad. While they’re silence amounts to a lack of support, there has been an unending litany of complaints, charges, and slanders about Islamophobia and backlashes from “community leaders” like CAIR’s Dawud Walid, and ADC’s Imad Hamad. These leaders, and the area’s Muslim clerics, have actively discouraged Muslims from cooperating with the FBI in investigating domestic terrorism.
Top this all off with a media all but paralyzed by political correctness from reporting negative stories about Muslims or Islam, and I don’t know how we can measure what kind of support there is for what people have been calling “Islamism.” If what CK means by a moderate Muslim is still
It may be, as Simon suggests, that Krauthammer fears Wilders is right and is afraid of the thought. Never underestimate the terror of a public figure of being branded as a Nazi by the liberal media--terrible enough even if your name isn’t Krauthammer and you didn’t have a face that came off a beer stein. (Krauthammer is Jewish, by the way).
Wilders is scary to us Yanks because he’s a northern European who’s always being called a member of a “far-right” party and speaks English like a character on Hogan’s Heroes. That doesn’t make him a fascist, and his video, Fitna surely doesn’t make him a fascist.
But Wilders aside, I think Krauthammer’s views on Islam need some serious work.