Taking on Islamists' hidden agenda
by Salim Mansur
In my previous column, I wrote about the lonely effort of the Montreal-based Point de bascule (tipping point) to expose the true hidden feature of the organized Islamist effort in Quebec — as in the rest of North America — to gain acceptance of its agenda.
This Islamist effort is highly organized and globally financed, it is multi-pronged and with an outreach directed to penetrate every level of society from the highest reaches of governments to local civic organizations.
It is also exceedingly successful in manipulating support for its agenda by reaching out to the "progressives" in the West ever ready to play the role of "useful idiots," as Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, so aptly described them.
The Islamist agenda pushed by Muslim Brotherhood and its fraternal affiliates across the Muslim world — in the case of Iran by the followers of Khomeini, the exponent of the Shiite version of Islamism and founder of the Islamic Republic — is to coerce Muslim societies to reinforce Shariah (Islamic) laws.
In the West, the Islamist agenda is to gain acceptance of Shariah for Muslims to live according to its requirements, and to have western governments adopt some of its directives as with the scheme for Shariah-based finance.
Western liberal democracies are highly vulnerable to such organized penetration by external and alien interests for obvious reasons.
The strength of the modern West is derived from its liberalism, secularism, democracy, rule of law, respect for individual rights, gender equity, openness to others and willingness to subject itself to public criticism.
This strength paradoxically provides enemies of the West with tools by which to subvert and weaken it, causing great harm.
The western inability or reluctance to confront Islamists ironically arises from its tolerance of and respect for all religions on the basis of freedom of conscience.
This freedom is a hard won principle that distinguishes the modern West from pre-modern cultures and, especially, the cultures of the Muslim world.
Religious tolerance, which barely exists in the contemporary Muslim societies, lends Islamists the cover with which to mask their ideology and political agenda as religion.
This ploy disarms western liberal critics of Islamism when countered with accusations of religious intolerance and bigotry skillfully made by Islamists and their "useful idiots."
It also disarms most Muslims opposed to Islamism by the ever-present reality of violence inside the Muslim world. Muslims in the West are similarly disarmed and silenced by Islamists with their control of mosques, enabling them to spread fear of blackmail, intimidation, violence, ostracism and the stigma of betrayal among an immigrant population acutely vulnerable to such threats.
Yet Muslims in increasing numbers oppose Islamism, and across the Muslim world — in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Algeria, Pakistan, Indonesia or Turkey — the fight against Islamism is one of the main causes of political unrest.
It is a fight that pits on the one side Muslims who wish to see their world reconciled with modernity, and those who insist upon "Islamizing" modernity.
For Muslims, this is a historic struggle with global consequences.
And the West with an affinity for this struggle, given its history, needs to oppose Islamism without any misgiving.