Coercion: Understanding the Jihadist’s Tactics

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 5:17 pm by Neal

(Hat tip: LGF)

“Jihadists don’t care about logic” by George Jonas is a superb column on why Islamists explode in violence anytime someone, somewhere, points out that they’re violent.

What did the Pope do? As most readers know, he quoted a remark made by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Was the anointed of Byzantium on to something? The Pope certainly didn’t say so. He just quoted the beleaguered emperor, who — being squeezed between hostile Turks and demanding Venetians at the time — had vented about the Prophet and his bellicose followers in conversation with a Persian scholar. Little did he suspect that his words would hit the fan nearly 600 years later.

“The infidelity and tyranny of the Pope will only be stopped by a major attack,” announced al-Qaeda from its cave on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Al-Qaeda’s political arm in New York, a.k.a. the United Nations, took no position, only using the opportunity to condemn Israel for one thing or another.

Why do some Muslims have such an uncanny talent for proving the case of their critics? When accused of violence, they threaten violence. Better still, they engage in it. “Call us unruly and we riot,” they say, in essence. “Call us murderers, and we kill you.” Don’t they see that this makes them a joke?

Well, no, they don’t — and they’re right. Saying such things may make someone a joke in a debating society, but Islamofascists fight in a different arena. They don’t care about winning the debate; what they want to win is their Kampf, better known these days as Jihad.

Lo and behold, they’re winning it. By now the whole world tiptoes around the sensibilities of medieval fanatics. We take pains not to offend ululating fossils who cheer suicide bombers. Or raise them. We prop up rickety regimes whose sole contribution to modern times is to nurture ancient grievances and revive barbaric customs. We worry about the feelings — feelings! — of people who stone their loved ones for sexual missteps. We pussyfoot to protect the delicate psyche of oily ogres who amputate the hands of petty thieves, issue fatwas on novelists and cover up their hapless wives and sisters to the eyeballs.

We do this, obviously, not because we’re impressed by the logic of the Islamofascist line — “call us murderers and we’ll kill you” — but because we’re intimidated by it. The Jihadists don’t care about the quality of their argument. One doesn’t have to, if one’s aim isn’t to persuade, but to coerce.

Trying to understand the behavior of the Islamists through a logical, Western perspective leads one to mistakenly conclude that they are hypocrites or not serious. This is a failure to understand their motives and tactics.

There are a couple of points from Jonas’ column that clarify the Jihadist’s tactics and our proper reaction. We are not sophisticated by sacrificing Western values to barbaric, medieval fanatics to whom we foolishly ascribe the sensibilities of modern, civilized folk. And, as long as we allow them to exploit our feelings so they may feign outrage, they will continue to play us for fools, escalate the violence, and intimidate us further into dhimmitude.

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