Integration is Not the Answer to Muslim Terrorism

“What is often described as ‘radicalization’ is really a choice by ‘integrated’ Muslims to become religious and to act on their beliefs.”

“Integration is Not the Answer to Muslim Terrorism”, by Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage Magazine, April 1, 2016:

There is a famous photo of Anjem Choudary, the head of multiple banned organizations calling for imposing Sharia law on the UK whose follower was responsible for the Lee Rigby beheading, getting drunk as a young law student. Friends recall “Andy” smoking pot and taking LSD, sleeping around and partying all the time. Andy was really well integrated, but he still turned back into Anjem.

While the proliferation of segregated Muslim areas, no-go zones in which English, French or Dutch is the foreign language, is a major problem, it is a mistake to think that “integration” solves Islamic terrorism.

It doesn’t.

The Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings seemed integrated. Nobody noticed anything wrong with Syed Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino shooter, or Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber. They weren’t lurking in a no-go zone. They had American friends, an education and career options if they wanted them. They didn’t want them. And that’s the point.

Bilal Abdullah was a British-born doctor who tried to carry out a terrorist attack at Glasgow International Airport. He wasn’t marginalized, jobless or desperate. He had a cause.

Quite a few converts have become Muslim terrorists. If integration were the issue, white converts to Islam wouldn’t be running off to join ISIS or plotting terrorist attacks like Don Stewart-Whyte, who converted to Islam and planned to blow up planes headed from the UK to the US. Along with his friend Oliver Savant, the son of a secular Iranian father and British mother, they are the reason why you can’t carry liquids onto a plane.

Muslim terrorism is not caused by failed integration, but by a conscious disintegration. What is often described as “radicalization” is really a choice by “integrated” Muslims to become religious and to act on their beliefs. Muslim men who formerly dressed casually begin growing beards and wearing Salafist garb. They consciously reject what Western society has to offer because they have chosen Islam instead.

Islamic terrorists have not been alienated by our rejection. They champion an alien creed that rejects us.

 The debate over Islamic terrorism is bogged down by a refusal to name it and understand what it is. ISIS is not a form of “nihilism” that European Muslims resort to after being alienated by racism and driven to despair by joblessness. It’s an alternative system that draws on over a thousand years of Islamic religion and culture. It’s not a negative choice, but a positive one. It’s not an act of despair, but of hope.

Social, linguistic and cultural integration won’t stop Islamic terrorism. They may prevent it in some cases and accelerate it in others. But it’s not the primary factor. Religion is. Cultural integration won’t make much of a difference in the face of religious disintegration.

This is the type of integration that is the real problem. Some of the worst Jihadists are culturally integrated and religiously disintegrated. They speak the native language fluently. They are intimately familiar with popular culture. They move easily among the native population. It’s their belief system that is fundamentally disintegrated and whose demands cannot be integrated without a civil war.

Their choices are not a referendum on our society. What we do in response to their terrorism is.

The issue is not economic. It is not linguistic. It is not about alienation or racism. It is about religion. And Europe is not comfortable with religion. It assumes that the religious is political, but in Islam, the political is instead religious. Europe has given no thought to how Islam can be integrated as a religion. Instead it has relied on the assumption that all religions are basically alike and that the aims and ideas of Islam are therefore interchangeable with those of Catholics, Lutherans, Jews and anyone else.

Every Islamic terrorist attack sends the message that its ideas and aims are not interchangeable.

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