Proposed Foreign and Domestic Policy Solutions to Combat Global Demographic Jihad – Part 2

To read Part 1, which focuses on the orthodox Islamic underpinnings of the jihadist worldview and strategies outlined by the ‘prophet’ Muhammad, click here.  


II.  The Weapon of Demographic Shift for Global Jihad

Islamic jihadists, using the three stages of jihad illustrated above as a doctrinal foundation for their actions (sunnah), are using shifting demographics as a quiet and extremely efficient way to enact large-scale jihad against the West.  The overarching strategy in the West seems to be in three parts that mirror the three stages of jihad.

  1. Plant small but devout enclaves of Muslims into a non-Muslim country, using taqiyya, taking advantage of Western compassion and acceptance, and pursuing a community policy of non-assimilation to establish a growing, independent Muslim community that is uninhibited by surrounding laws or cultural influences;
  2. Grow the political and cultural influence of those Muslims communities until Sharia law can be established legally and start to be enforced upon the outside populace (for instance, imposing and enforcing blasphemy laws on non-Muslims in the name of avoiding offense or upsetting Muslims through public shaming and even legal action);
  3. Continue growth of political power by sheer population growth (since Muslim women have much higher fertility rates than their Western counterparts) inside the country until local, state and even federal government can be controlled or at least heavily influenced by Islamic tenets.

Though clearly this non-violent jihad is not as physically dangerous initially as acts of terrorism that the West typically thinks of when they think of jihad, it is far more effective in establishing a worldwide Caliphate.  The goal of global jihad is to establish a worldwide Islamic State, and if every Western country eventually has an unassimilated Sunni Muslim majority in each of their populations, the West will be effectively neutralized as a cultural and military barrier to more violent subjugation of non-Muslims throughout the world.  Already, this strategy has been publically espoused by leaders like Erdogan and, though possibly not by design, has been demonstrated as effective in several countries throughout the world.  Below are some case studies to consider.

Russia – Putin has many problems concerning a rising population of Muslims.  Much of his current policy in the Middle East and Russia’s military involvement in Syria, as well as antagonism toward Israel, is geared toward appeasing Muslims and not just maneuvering for better control of oil in the Middle East.  Even as far back as 2006, [4] analysts had predicted that the Russian military will be a majority of Muslim men by 2015.  This sentiment is similarly echoed in Marlene Laruelle’s analysis “How Islam Will Change Russia” (paragraph 21). [5]  Putin has enacted schemes over the last decade to increase the fertility rates of Russian women and annexing additional territory like Crimea, but as investigated in an article by Joshua Keating in 2014, it’s too soon to tell if these tactics are working. [6] As a result of this reality and other factors, Russia will continue in its course of acting strong opposite Israel and will also build its ties to majority Muslim countries like Iran and Turkey.   

Syria and Iran – The utter destruction of areas where Sunni Muslims used to live in Syria has caused a huge outflow of refugees North toward Turkey and West toward Greece and the rest of the EU.  Taking their place, Shia Muslims are being settled in those vacated areas by Iran.  Iran is using Syria’s civil war to extend their influence all the way to the Mediterranean and Israel.  This is being widely reported in the news.

Turkish Strategy Against Europe – Meanwhile, Turkey is using these refugees as a cudgel against the EU.  Erdogan has already claimed that he aspires to be the world’s next Caliph in 2014. [7] As the majority Sunni Muslim refugees flee the Syrian civil war, he threatened the EU to open the refugee floodgates at Turkey’s border with EU countries if they did not maintain talks with him concerning Turkey’s eventual admission into the EU in 2016.  [8] If Turkey is admitted into the European Union, the balance of power in Brussels would shift abruptly toward Muslim influence.  In 2017, the total European Union population was 512.6 million.  [9] Turkey’s population is roughly 82 million in 2018, [10] the vast majority of whom are Muslim, according to its government.  [11] With the extremely high birth rates of Muslim families compared to the falling fertility rates of the rest of Europe, EU’s Muslim population with Turkey’s addition would grow very quickly from 15% over the next several decades. 

Blasphemy Laws in the West – Because of the rapid growth of the Somali population in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, there are reports of growing Sharia-compliant enclaves and individuals that operate outside the laws and jurisdictions of Minnesota law enforcement, along with growing jihadist conversions.  [12, 13] There have also been individual people who have experienced run-ins with security personnel and police who seem to be enforcing Islamic blasphemy laws while infringing on the First Amendment rights of American citizens.  [14, 15] Meanwhile, in October 2018 the Associated Press reported that the European Court of Human Rights ruled against a woman who called Muhammad a pedophile; they said her right to free speech did not supercede “the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.” [16] These are exactly the kinds of things that the above “Stage Two” of jihad would predict. 

III. Policy Recommendations to Combat Demographic Jihad

            Since global jihad comes from an orthodox interpretation of Islam, it is a fool’s errand to combat terrorism and jihadists with the preconception that Muslims will only be “radicalized” because of poverty, bad actors among imams, or other factors external from the religion of Islam itself.  Seeking a global Caliphate should instead be seen as a consistent doctrine of Islam that a small percentage of devout Muslims will subscribe to as a result of studying the sunnah.  Therefore, any strategy to combat global jihad in general and demographic jihad in particular should instead focus on pragmatic limiting of the spread of Muslim populations in Western countries as well as the spreading of cultural and societal pressures to choose non-violent interpretations of Islam.  What follows are specific policy recommendations that take these two ideas into account. 

  1. Abandon cultural relativism as a basis for foreign and domestic policy. Some aspects of Western culture are qualitatively and objectively better or at least more desirable than others within various other cultures.  Acknowledgement of desirable cultural traits as worthy of export to other cultures and insisting upon adherence on certain cultural expectations from global partners should be a central facet of foreign policy. 
  2. Cease use of “violent extremism” as a guiding principle in governmental agencies and instead focus on “Islamic jihad.” Because of the core foundations and divergent end goals of each ideology, law enforcement agencies must differentiate between Islamic jihadism and other types of terrorists (white supremacists, etc.).  Focus on motivation behind the use of terror rather than overuse of the label “terrorism” when describing un-desirable or even criminal activity must be instated.  For instance, Islamist global supremacy is a much clearer and more present danger than the anarchist movement in this country due to the ideological underpinnings and resources available to global jihadists.  The use of the term “violent extremism” is not helpful especially to the general public because lumping all violent ideologies with wildly varying visions of success and scope muddies the water politically for a coherent, targeted approach to each type of terrorism.  Pretending that all violent actions based on rational adherence to a belief system should be treated the same can eventually lead to rational adherents of any belief system becoming targeted because one member of their group became violent.  This is dangerous and should lead policy makers to focus on how to combat violence by focusing on each specific ideology that causes violence in target-specific methods.
  3. Consider informing the public of the contents of this paper. This can be done covertly for political expediency; however, it is important to note that understanding taqiyya, for instance, would greatly enhance public support for counter-jihad operations at home and abroad.  For instance, Western media articles like “The Distortion of Islam that Drives Terrorism” (Washington Post, August 1, 2018) [17] do not even mention Qur’an verses when discussing jihad, nor cite or explain obscure references to hadith to support their claims.  It is clear that with articles like this that the general public will not appreciate the orthodox Islamic ideology that jihadists espouse. 
  4. Take steps to reverse the falling birth-rate trend among Western populations to slow the progress of demographic jihad. Part of the reason Russia, China and Japan’s efforts to reverse their demographic time bombs is because there is already too few child-bearing age women in their ethnic populations.  That is not the case in the US and others, yet.  These steps might include, but are not limited to, tax incentives for growing families, eliminating abortions, de-incentivizing homosexuality in the culture, and a public advertising campaign encouraging population growth for economic benefits.  Some of these are obvious political non-starters; however, it is important to look any and all solutions and prioritize based on effectiveness and logistical feasibility.
  5. Discontinue any Syrian or other majority-Muslim country refugee resettlement programs and instead invest heavily in finding local solutions to refugee issues. If resettlement programs do continue, spread out refugees into culturally homogenous communities other than their own and then heavily incentivize assimilation into those communities/cultures.  This can only be done by communicating with local community and faith-based organizations that do not espouse jihadist ideology.
  6. Commit to withholding economic aid from countries that do not adhere to similar Western cultural values, including allies. Military aid would be considered as a separate issue, since some allies, though failing in certain human-rights aspects (like Saudi Arabia’s Prince bin Salman and the recent assassination of Kashogi) are still a preferable military partner in the check on the enemies of the US.  However, any funding for humanitarian aid to Saudi Arabia, for example, would be contingent upon their adoption of several Western-style policies like the outlaw of the outright killing of homosexuals, etc.  This has already begun, as several reforms have taken place in countries like Saudi Arabia as a tactic to gain Western partnerships in business and trade.   
  7. Ramp up rhetoric and increase trade policy aggressiveness concerning countries that persecute religious minorities around the world. The only way to combat radical ideological growth without interfering with the sovereignty of nations or the free will of men is to leverage the full economic and cultural might of the US Government to (a) deter any persecution of competing worldviews with strategic military and economic pressures that compete with orthodox Islam, while (b) aggressively reinforcing positive changes of policy within those governments.  In other words, if a country wants to do business in the Western world, they need to actively pursue the cultural attributes that made the thriving Western world possible. 
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Proposed Foreign and Domestic Policy Solutions to Combat Global Demographic Jihad – Part 1

Introduction

At the very beginning of this paper, it is important to state that this paper is not an attack on Muslims.  The vast majority of Muslims worldwide is peaceful and most imams of most sects of Islam teach that Mohammad was a peaceful man who used violence as a last resort to protect family and community.  There are many tenets of Islam that are peaceful and socially positive such as giving alms (zakat), personal piety through daily prayer (salah) and fasting (sawm), and familial and cultural loyalty.  There are many Qur’an verses that are quoted by Muslims to defend the peaceful aspects of their faith, i.e. “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion” (2:256) and to provide food for the needy, the orphan, and the captive without expecting gratitude or repayment (76:8-9).  Many Muslims are men and women of character, integrity, and incredible work ethics, and like most Christians in Western culture, do not study for themselves the inner workings of their holy books.

However, one cannot deny the existence of ISIS, al Qaeda, al Shabaab, and individual radicalized terrorists throughout the world and throughout history.  The question of whether the jihadi worldview comes from sound interpretation of Islam or not is debated endlessly on the internet and in social media.  The purpose of this paper is not to enter the debate of whether it is legitimate to interpret Islam in such a way to adopt a violent Islamic Supremacist worldview.  Rather, it is to explore what jihadi terrorists themselves claim as the justification for their ideology.

Afterward, this paper will examine one of the most effective, large-scale and long-term strategies of global jihad: demographic shift.  Using Muhammad’s life and how he approached the spread of Islam as a model, a few Muslim leaders are taking refugees from self-inflicted conflicts within the Muslim world and disseminating millions of Muslims throughout the Western world, taking advantage of Western governments’ lack of acknowledgement of the cultural tendency of Muslim families not to assimilate into the cultures of the host countries.  Erdogan and Rouhani, in particular, understand that birth rates of Western countries are low and dropping while the fertility rates of Muslim women around the world are significantly higher.  Once a country’s population has a large enough percentage of Muslims, the unassimilated Islamic culture in that country will politically demand that self-governance, using Sharia courts and law enforcement outside of the host country’s own jurisdiction, be allowed.  Once Sharia-compliant enclaves are established and grow while the population without continues to shrink, eventually a new Iran or Saudi Arabia is born.

Last is an examination of some possible domestic and foreign policy shifts that would keep at bay the growing influence of radical seeds that are embedded within Islamic culture and religion.  This commitment to (a) a type of Jeffersonian “Empire of Liberty” doctrine and (b) embracing strong stances on protecting Western culture around the world are crucial to keeping Muslim majorities from forming in the US and around the world.  Again, this is not an attack on any individual adherent to Islam nor is it an endorsement of any kind of internment program a la the Japanese following World War II.  This section of the paper simply takes a pragmatic look at the consequences of the growth of Muslim populations in the West and how to combat the subsequent growth of jihadi ideology within those communities.

I. Understanding the Islamic Roots of Jihad

The term jihad has many definitions, including “fight,” “holy war,” “struggle,” etc.  It is not necessary to discuss the specific word itself in this paper; rather, the key to understanding jihad comes more from understanding the mindset of those who claim to be waging Islamic jihad.

To begin, the Qur’an states that devout Muslims are to follow the conduct and character of Muhammad as their model (33:21, 68:4, 4:80, etc.).  This modeling of the Prophet, or sunnah, are taken from the hadith (recorded sayings of Mohammed not part of the Qur’an), the sira (biographies of Muhammad), the tafsir (early commentaries on the Qur’an), the Qur’an itself.  These documents provide historical, textual, and literary context for the Qur’anic surahs (chapters).

Looking at these documents that make up the sunnah, Muslim scholars have pieced together a comprehensive picture of what kind of life Muhammad led and how Islam grew from the very beginning.  Muslims looking to model their lives on Muhammad’s example are tasked with sifting through thousands and thousands of traditions, sayings, and laws, many of which are contradictory literally as well as the spirit.  The progression of Islam and Muhammad’s life demonstrates a clear trajectory toward more and more violent treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  However, for every violent verse or tradition you find in the Qur’an and the hadith, you can find just as many peaceful or diplomatic ones from earlier in Islam’s development.  To make sense of this, the Qur’an provides a doctrinal method to resolve these issues called abrogation.

The doctrine of abrogation (naskh) in classical Islamic scholarship is based upon a couple ayat (verses) in the Qur’an.  Qur’an 16:101 says that if something is changed in what is revealed to Mohammad, it is because Allah knows best and should be trusted with the change.  Additionally, Qur’an 2:106 says that when something is caused to be forgotten or changed, Allah provides Mohammad with a better revelation.  Abrogation then means that later Surahs or hadith are to be considered more authoritative than earlier ones if they provide conflicting instructions or doctrines.  The majority of classical Muslim scholars support the doctrine of abrogation, though modern scholars disagree on what extent abrogation is to be used and in what situations.  [1]

As an example, in Qur’an 109:1-6, Allah tells Muhammad to tell others that they will have their own religion and he’ll have his.  These ayat are quoted by apologists as proof that Islam is a religion of peace and that jihadists are distorting Islam for their own purposes.  However, Surah 109 is one of the earliest Surahs (#18 out of 114) and was from the Meccan period when Mohammad had few followers and not yet a military power.  Surah 9, the second to last surah, contains the ayah “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.  But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way.  Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”  (Qur’an 9:5)  This is referred to as the “verse of the sword” by Muslim scholars and clearly contradicts older, peaceful verses.

Once a devout Muslim learns of the concept of abrogation, he or she is then confronted with a difficult decision.  Either they will decide not to pursue further and stick to culturally accepted versions of Islam which focus mainly on the early teachings of Islam or follow the doctrine into the more violent, more authoritative version of Islam.  The vast majority of Muslims around the world choose the first option, as there are certain moral, cultural, and social pressures to do so, especially in the West.  However, to become more orthodox, which the West consider “radical,” some will follow Muhammad’s last marching orders found in the last surahs and hadith.  This is the source of violent ideology in Islam.

Continuing in the investigation of the sunnah that an orthodox Muslim will follow, they will learn that, based on the life of Muhammad and his progressive revelations of the Qur’an, there are three main stages of jihad in order to establish a Caliphate.

Stage One – When Muslims are in minority, proclaim message of peace (Qur’an 109 was from the beginning of Muhammad’s journey in Mecca when he had just 100 followers).  Based on early years in Mecca; they left because they were small in numbers and were being persecuted.

This is where taqiyya, or deception, is used the most in order to misdirect future foes’ concerns with claims of peace and tolerance.   Muslims have permission within Islam to use this deception to further their cause.  Qur’an 3:28 states, “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers.  And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.  And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.” [emphasis added]  Also, in Sahih Bukhari 49:857 [2] records Muhammad saying “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.”  Sahih Bukhari, the most respected hadith in Islam, records many other instances of Mohammad using deception and broken treaties to defeat his enemies.

One clear example of Muhammad planning the subjugation of his neighbors very early on while still living in Mecca as a young prophet can be found in The History of al-Tabari, Volume VI, on page 95 (or 96, depending on the edition).  [3] Muhammad was speaking to his uncle Abu Talib concerning what he wanted the elders of his tribe, the Quraysh, to do since they were upset with him for denouncing their pantheon of gods in public.  Muhammad said that if they but declare that Allah is the only God, they would see that “the Arabs will submit to them and they will rule over the non-Arabs.”  This is long before he ever had an army or even a large following, yet Muhammad clearly had designs for conquest of the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

Stage Two – When Muslims increased in numbers or developed enclaves within a territory, Qur’an 22:39-40 allows for “defensive” jihad, allowing Muslims to fight back against any oppression or attacks on Islam.  This stage developed when Mohammad had 1000s of followers and alliances throughout Arabia.  Their home base at this time was in Medina and Muhammad’s political power had grown significantly.

Defense against attacks on Islam included speaking out against Allah or Muhammad, such as writing poetry, making jokes, etc.  As Mohammad’s power grew in Medina, his followers would brutally murder anyone who criticized Islam or the Prophet.  Eventually, the three main Jewish tribes that had initially helped him in his flight from Mecca were subjugated or killed.  Muhammad had conquered Medina from the inside out as he gained political power.

Stage Three – Once Muslims were in the majority, they were to engage in “offensive” jihad.  Surah 9:29 instructs Muslims to fight anyone who does not believe in Allah or hold to the teachings of Allah.  These last Surahs (5 and 9) were given to Mohammad when he’d conquered Mecca and was in firm control of the entire surrounding territory in the Arabian Peninsula.

The people that Muhammad conquered had few choices.  They were to be killed, pay the jizyah (submission tax), or leave.  Sahih Muslim 4366 indicates that Muhammad said, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.” As part of the sunnah which an orthodox Muslim is emulating, this model of behavior and governance is a clear indication that the goal of jihad is to establish a Caliphate under a supreme Islamic rule.

As indicated above, violent ideology to secure Islamic control of an area is acceptable and justifiable according to the doctrines and tenets of Islam.  The next section will explore one particular method of global jihad that is based on these three stages of Islam.

***

Part two to follow.