Your commenter James P. writes:
Muslim refusal to engage in rational debate, engage in self-examination, or permit “humorous” attacks on their religion are not weaknesses. They are mighty strengths! They are not Islam’s “brittle glass jaw”; they are its bulging biceps! These attributes generate fear in their enemies, and cause their enemies to seek to avoid provoking Muslims and to appease Muslims when they are angry.I agree that these attributes of Islam have proven to be a great advantage to it as a war religion for 1,400 years. However, we are now seeing before our eyes a paradigm shift that may bring about the end of Islam in the present generation. Samuel Huntington spoke of Islam’s “bloody borders,” but until the modern era, the true scope of the horror was only realized by the victims living on those borders who were under constant attack (the ultimately unsuccessful and now condemned counter-jihad we call the Crusades being the notable exception). Five hundred or a thousand miles from Islam’s bloody borders, it was always difficult to make people understand the existential threat Islam presented to all non-Muslim societies. After its early rampant “break out” period, when seen in the context of each generation, Islam appeared to be merely biting off one more small slice of territory at a time. And on it marched, generation after generation, always moving forward, rarely being pushed back, impervious to self-examination or reformation, as deadly in our modern times as it was at the beginning.
That is changing now, because today the entire world sees Islam’s true face revealed when Muslims go into these insane rages after perceived insults to Mohammed. Their ingrained lack of introspection means that Muslims can easily be provoked into going beyond the stealth-mode they normally follow beyond Islam’s bloody borders, waking up the world to the existential threat Islam poses to all non-Muslim societies. Down the centuries, the West has often had appeasers and accommodationists as leaders, men who were willing to cut short-term local deals that over time always led to incremental Islamic advances. And these weak Western leaders were the only men who mattered, era by era. Today, as a contrast, average citizens around the world are beginning to understand how to push Islam’s automatic rage buttons, and this changes the former equation in a fundamental way. As you mentioned, videos released by lone, non-state actors at the right time could be used to torpedo the next sell-out by Western appeasers, such as over the inclusion of Turkey in the EU.
Another fundamental difference today from prior centuries is that millions of people understand that Islam has another tremendous weakness, another glass jaw, and that is their worship of the black moon rock in Mecca as Islam’s literal god-head. This black rock enshrined in the corner of the Kaaba is essential to Islam in a way that nothing in Judaism or Christianity is. The Cross lives in the hearts of Christians, and Christianity would not be destroyed if Jerusalem or Rome were destroyed. But that physical black rock in Mecca is the “hard drive” of Islam. Muslims believe that it contains all of the sins of all of the observant followers of the Prophet since the time of Mohammed, as sort of an Islamic Doomsday Book. Two of the Five Pillars of Islam involve the physical worship of that black moon rock. One is the Hajj to Mecca where pilgrims walk in a circle around the rock, and the other is the five-time daily prayer performed in its direction. (The other three pillars are ephemeral: the Shahada conversion prayer, the tithe, and observing Ramadan.) A religion that is impervious to change or self-examination (which James P says are strengths) cannot suddenly be reduced to The Three Pillars of Islam after 1,400 unbroken years as the Five Pillars of Islam.
In ancient Islamic history, the black moon rock was once stolen by a competing tribe, but after a brief time it was “found.” Islam carried on because nobody outside of a very small circle of imams even knew the rock was missing before it was replaced. But if Mecca was suddenly turned into a giant crater, there would be no way to conceal the fact from the world at large, including every Muslim. Today, observant Muslims believe that if every infidel nation fired every rocket and bomb at Mecca, Allah would turn them back or stop them in mid-flight. It is impossible for observant Muslims to believe that the Infidels could destroy the Kaaba, which is literally the physical manifestation on earth of their “greatest God.”
The Crusaders were only able to retake Jerusalem for a short time, and never got close to taking Mecca (assuming that they even understood its importance to Islam and had some notion of taking it). It was not within their power to threaten this source of Islam’s power and mystique, even if they had desired to do so. In all eras before modern mass communications, even if a Crusader “commando team” had made it to Mecca, it would not have changed anything, because the leading Muslim clerics would have replaced the black rock and rebuilt the Kaaba, and nobody would have ever known, in the same way that nobody at the time knew that the black rock had once been stolen and carried off.
Today, the entire world would know in the same hour that Mecca had been destroyed. This would destroy Islam as surely as the Aztec and Inca religions and empires were destroyed when the Spanish conquistadors captured and executed the “living Gods” at the center of the Aztec and Inca belief systems. If there is no Mecca, there is no Islam. There can be no Islam with three instead of five pillars, the two physical pillars having been destroyed by the Gods of the Infidels. “Allahu Akbar” means “our God is greatest.” This cannot be so if the Infidel God destroys the physical god-head of Islam, which is the black moon rock at the Kaaba in Mecca.
I have no expectation that any American president would order the destruction of Mecca, even if American cities had been destroyed with nuclear bombs sent from a Muslim country with a clear return address. However, not all nations are as hamstrung by self-doubt and political correctness as we are. Russia, India, and Israel, I am sure, have Mecca on their target list. If Moscow, New Delhi, or Tel Aviv were destroyed by an Islamic bomb, I believe that Mecca would be wiped off the planet Earth the same day, even the same hour.
And that would spell the end of Islam, after its unparalleled 1,400-year reign of terror.
No Mecca, no Islam, as long as the world witnesses Mecca’s physical annihilation. There will follow a period of madness, with many Muslims committing mass suicide and mass terror, but more of them will become atheists or convert to Christianity (“the stronger horse”). In all cases, Islam as we know it will be finished. After fourteen centuries, the steady mantra “Our God is greatest” cannot become “We used to believe that our God was the greatest, but it was proven to be weaker, if not a fraud.” The glass jaw of Islam, its inability to self-examine or reform in any way, will prove to be its Achilles’ heel. The 1,400-year run of murder and madness will at last come to an end. After sixty generations, we may be the one to witness its ultimate destruction and collapse.LA replies:
I thank Matt Bracken for this excellent essay. As I have been saying since the inception of VFR, I am interested in and will publish any reasonable proposal on how to defend the West from Islam. VFR has occasionally posted proposals for the destruction of Mecca. One of them was by then-Rep. Tom Tancredo. He put the idea forward as a deterrent threat to be made to Islam: If Muslims launched another major attack on the West, such as 9/11, America would destroy Mecca, or, at least, America would not take that threat off the table.
Another article posted at VFR was by a prominent conservative author under the name “Westerner,” who argued for the pre-emptive nuclear destruction of Mecca and Medina (after the populations were given due warning to leave). I disagreed, arguing that his idea was premature, and that what was needed now was my proposed separation of Islam from the West, not the total destruction of Islam. However, I conceded that there may come a time when Islam becomes so dangerous that his proposal would have to be considered.
Mr. Bracken’s proposal is less extreme than Westerner’s only in that he calls for the destruction of Mecca, not of Mecca and Medina. I do not endorse his proposal. I do say that both his proposal and his argument supporting it are highly interesting and worthy of discussion.
Larry G. writes:
Mr. Bracken is attempting to defeat magical thinking with wishful thinking. The only thriving, indigenous industry in the Muslim world is the manufacture of excuses. I’m sure that if Mecca were nuked and the smoking ruins shown on Al Jazeera, the usual suspects would declare an eternal terror war against the West, while at the same time concocting some tale about how the Kaaba was really not destroyed, that Allah whisked it away to heaven or some such nonsense, and Muslims would continue their worship with only slight modifications.
The only way to eradicate Islam is to eradicate Muslims—through a deliberate, brutal, and thorough campaign of genocide. Imagine the Final Solution multiplied by 250. No one likely to achieve power in the West has the stomach for such an action.
That said, I feel we’re rapidly approaching the point where the West will be faced with the choice of taking drastic actions to defend ourselves, or surrender. Unfortunately, our politicians seem to be almost unanimously on the side of surrender.LA replies:
In order to keep temperatures down, I will avoid using any morally judgmental language about Larry G.’s proposal.
Larry G.’s alternative to Matt Bracken’s “wishful thinking” is wholly impracticable genocidal thinking.
Leaving aside the practical impossibility of his idea, it wouldn’t help.
Suppose Islam became an unacceptable threat to the West, with all the nightmare scenarios turned to the max: Islamic takeovers of large parts of Western societies; Islamic states threatening the West with nuclear weapons; Muslims mass killing their indigenous Christian minorities, etc. What possible good would it do to kill every Muslim on earth? For example, how would any of those threats be ended by killing, say, all the Muslims in Morocco or Indonesia?
When it comes to the threat from Muslims in the West, I agree with El Ingles’s important 2008 article at Gates of Vienna in which he argued that if Muslims in Western countries are not soon removed by relatively humane means, civil wars will inevitably arise in those societies of which the logical and unavoidable end will be either the Muslim conquest of those societies or the mass killing of Muslims in those societies, whether Westerners want it or not. But even that ultimate horror—and may it never happen and never become necessary—would not involve killing all Muslims on earth, just the ones in the West.
When it comes to military threats from Muslim societies that may be on the verge of using weapons of mass destruction against us, the answer is the destruction of those particular regimes and their weapons, not the killing of all Muslims on earth.
When it comes to threats of genocide against Christians in Muslim countries, obviously mass genocide against those countries will kill the Christians along with the Muslims.
So Larry G.’s idea is not just impracticable, but unhelpful and unnecessary.Matthew Bracken writes:
Tancredo’s idea is betrays a lack of understanding of Islam and Muslims. Observant Muslims cannot be deterred or even swayed by Western threats to destroy Mecca, because they believe that threat to be impossible to carry out, since Mecca is the physical manifestation of Allah on Earth, and Allah is all-powerful.
Mecca will not be attacked until a major Western city is wiped out by a clearly-identified Islamic bomb, and perhaps not even then. But I do believe that a Russian, Indian, or Israeli government would not hesitate to destroy Mecca in a counter-strike. I think the most likely scenario is that Mecca will be destroyed an hour after Tel Aviv is struck by Iran. Then my theory about Islam’s glass jaw will be tested. We certainly do live in interesting times. Too interesting.