Suicide bombers, WMDs are scary, guns and bullets and rampaging beheaders are scary, but more sinister and effective forces worry me more:
The main weapons of Jihad, to spread Islam so that it will dominate and Muslims will rule, are not those of military combat (qital), and "terrorism" is not the main or most effective instrument of Jihad.
The main or most effective instruments of Jihad are:
1) Demographic conquest.
This can take several forms. One is merely outbreeding the Infidels both in
a) The dar al-Islam (where excess population then finds its inexorable way, or has over the past forty years, into the Lands of the Infidels); as well as
b) Within the Lands of the Infidels. For in Western societies, advanced education, the need or desire or inculcated desire to work, as well as sexual freedom, have all contributed to a decline in the birthrate of the indigenous Infidels. Meanwhile, Muslims exploit to the full the structure of generous state support (free education, free health care, subsidized housing, family allowances) with in some cases polygamous relationships hidden from or silently ignored by Western governments. And women’s function for all too many Muslim households is to breed; they are able to do so by that very exploitation of Infidel taxpayers (just as Muslim states were supported by the Jizyah taxes on Infidels).
Within lands where Muslims dominate, the Dar al-Islam, over time, and even in the last century, the relative and in some cases absolute numbers of non-Muslims has much diminished. Mass murder will do it: the Christian Armenians massacred by Turks and Kurds (with others picked off by Arabs in the Syrian Desert). The Christian Greeks killed at Smyrna or in similar attacks, and whose numbers steadily went down until there are only a few thousand Greek Orthodox left. The Jews, who fled everywhere in the Muslim world, except under the Iran of the Shah, but not that of Khomeini. The Hindus who have steadily declined, from 15% (in 1947) to 1.5% of the population of Pakistan, and Hindus and other non-Muslims who have fled from Bangladesh, where non-Muslims now make up not 35% (in 1947) but 8% of the population. The non-Muslims -- Chinese and Hindus -- of Malaysia, who have seen their relative numbers steadily go down, as the fierce pressure to convert to Islam (not least on the indigenous tribes) has only increased as the new Muslim majority feels the need to exercise its power. Both the law, to the extent that it enforces certain aspects of the Shari'a, and extra-official pressures on non-Muslims are always present in a Muslim-dominated society. And a society can be dominated by Muslims even when they constitute a slim majority, or perhaps not even a majority, depending on their determination and ferocity.
2) Da'wa, carefully targeted at the
a) the economically marginal (including prisoners and recent immigrant groups), who are fed a line about "Islam and social justice" (just look at the rulers and ruling classes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan, and then look at the ruled masses). They are led to believe that Islam is the perfect vehicle for the expression of alienation from capitalism or Amerikka. They’re also told, or led to believe, that their criminality, when the targets are Infidels, has religious justification and sanction. Robbing Infidels is simply helping oneself to Jizyah. Raping Infidel women is simply treating them as they deserve, in their lewd abandon, to be treated.
b) the psychically marginal. Modern societies, with all that soullessness and anomie (fill in here, with whatever pseudo-Durkheimian observations you wish) throws off all kinds of John Walker Lindhs who are engaged in some goddam Spiritual Search, looking for the Truth, the Way, call it what you will. Some of them are lonely; some of them seek a Total Explanation of the Universe. Some of them cannot stand individualism and yearn for the Collective. All of this was part of the appeal of National Socialism. And these people can be picked off, or picked up, by Islamic missionaries, and usefully exploited.
The appeal of Bolshevism was largely that described in 2(a), and the appeal of National Socialism that described in 2(b). "Social Justice" and the Total Regulation of Life, a man as of no moment except when he subsumes himself under the Collective -- that's the appeal of Islam to marginal Infidels. And there are plenty of them.
3) The "wealth" weapon. Until 1973, when the tripling of oil prices began the largest transfer of wealth in human history, it would have been hard for Muslims bent on Jihad to pay for all those mosques and madrasas and endless propaganda in the Western world. Muslim societies are economic failures, doomed through the kind of inshallah-fatalism that we see everywhere. There are, however, three ways for such societies to enjoy some outwardly impressive economic success:
a) Exploitation by local Muslims of the talents of a large non-Muslim population. That is the case in Malaysia, where Muslims constitute just a bit more than 50% of the population, but through the Bumiputra system manage to exploit the far more entrepreneurial and industrious Chinese and Hindus.
b) The Jizyah of foreign aid from Infidels, which has helped Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and the essentially unviable local Arabs who carefully redefined themselves as the "Palestinian people."
c) The manna from Heaven, or rather sous-sol manna, of oil and gas revenues. Without such revenues, based on an accident of geology (that oil was discovered, produced, and a use found for it by Infidels, not by the local Muslims), the Jihad would still exist as a central element in Islam, but the wherewithal to conduct that Jihad would not exist.
These are now the main weapons of the Jihad. Outright military conquest, which was not necessary to islamize a great deal of the East Indies (or the Malayan peninsula, which even fifty years ago did not contain a Muslim-majority population) is not the problem it was in, say, 700 or 800 or even 1500 A.D. There may be Muslims at the gates of Vienna again, but they are not besieging it with swords and mangonels. No, they are already inside the gates of Vienna, and inside Madrid, Rome, Paris, London, Marseille, Berlin, Rotterdam, Malmo, Brussels, and hundreds of other cities. And very few of them show signs of abandoning Islam -- how could they? -- or of somehow reinterpreting those immutable texts of Qur'an and settled "authentic" Hadith -- how could they?
This doesn't mean that the occasional assassination (of Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh), the demonstration (against Danish cartoons), or terrorist plots, will not have their effect. But there is no possibility of outright military conquest. But that doesn’t mean there is no threat. It is false to assert that "nowhere has Islam conquered by means other than military."
That is not true. It is not true that the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, became Muslim as a result of military conquest by some Muslim army. This is not the same thing as saying that violence is never used, that there has not, over the past thousand years, been the use of force in the East Indies by local Muslims (Islam being introduced by Hadrami traders, like all good Muslims eager missionaries as well, into Java). But that has not always and everywhere explained how every bit of Dar al-Islam became Muslim.
It is a soothing idea. It is a pollyannish idea. If only it were so -- if only there were no threat from the other instruments of Jihad described above. After all, they can only acquire major weaponry if we allow them to do so, and of course we have allowed them to do so.
I worry not about military conquest, but about all the other instruments of Jihad which, I continue to repeat, has already helped create the large-scale and so far unopposed and unchallenged Muslim presence that helps to spread the power of Muslims, that in every country in Western Europe has created a situation that is much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for the indigenous Infidels, than it would otherwise be.
As long as the armies of Islam are not descending on us, and the rockets' red glare from Iran or Pakistan, or perhaps in the future from Egypt or Saudi Arabia (bought-and-paid-for), are not headed toward Dar al-Harb, many seem to think we can all remain sanguine.