Swat and the Prospects of Islamic Conquest

The normalization of life in the Swat Valley, where the inhabitants are returning to their homes after fleeing the military confrontation between the Taliban and the Pakistani Army, is a happy development. The Taliban have lost their hold on the Swat Valley, where they had managed to carve out an ultra-Islamic republic inside and with the approval of the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Does this prove militant Islam is now on the decline?

Pakistan, born from the refusal of the Indian Muslims to coexist with non-Muslims in a multicultural society, is an Islamic republic. Any Islamic militant who would like to see an uncompromising implementation of the Shari'a, may think that Pakistan is still too soft, but can at least base his campaign for an even more intensive Islamization on the existing Constitution. Islamists in Pakistan don't need revolution, they should be able to realize their goals by working within the system.

Yet, they have repeatedly made the mistake of taking up arms against the Pakistani state. Two years ago, there was the waste in human lives as a consequence of the militants' occupation of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad. Then the murder of Benazir Bhutto, expected to become Prime Minister, in Rawalpindi. And recently, the military expansion of the Taliban from the stronghold in Swat, forcing the Pakistani Government to reassert its authority and oust the Taliban from the province. The Government had practically conceded Swat to them as a fiefdom where they could freely impose Islamic commandments to their heart's delight. That Pakistani Government had always been their closest ally, even through the G.W. Bush years when it had to pretend to side with the US in the “war on terror”. And yet they managed to antagonize this best friend by overplaying their hand.

We have witnessed the same phenomenon in Iraq. The militants of “Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia” had American soldiers' lives for the taking. If they had focused on fighting the Americans, they could have humiliated the sole superpower far more deeply than they actually did. Instead, they started attacking Shi'ite fellow Muslims, blowing up mosques and attacking unarmed crowds of pilgrims to Kerbela. Killing Muslims by way of collateral damage in the war on the Infidels was understandable, but the Muslim masses could not tolerate the deliberate and massive killing of fellow Muslims. So, Al-Qaida lost its support base, a vital element in any guerrilla, and Iraqi tribal chieftains went over to the pro-American side.

Islamic strategists with a broad view may not be unduly worried over these lost opportunities. The Taliban may not have retained their hold on Swat, but the state that has reasserted control there, is still an Islamic Republic. Al-Qaida may not have taken power in Iraq, but the Iraqi Government is still made up of Muslims who stand by when the Christian minority is chased out and who openly rejoice at every stage in the retreat of the US Army. Nevertheless, the spearheads of the Islamic revolution have miscalculated and been defeated in their specific local objectives.

What is wrong with Muslims that they waste such golden opportunities? If you can get even the Pakistani state, the biggest sponsor of Islamic terrorism worldwide, to take up arms against you, shouldn't you realize you're objectively acting as an agent of the anti-Islamic world conspiracy of Zionists, Crusaders and Hindu idolaters? The question deserves closer scrutiny.

Meanwhile, it confirms my long-standing position that if ever we lose against the Islamic plans of conquest, it can only be due to slackness in mobilizing our brains against this not-so-talented enemy. I don't do "Islamophobia", I don't fear an impending Islamic world conquest. Not because of the rosy dogma that the whole idea of Islamic world conquest is a farcical and fanciful invention (for there are enough Muslim leaders who have affirmed just such a vision), but because the Muslim world rarely lives up to its potential. Neither economically nor in cultural production. But not even in political and military confrontations either. Their threatening postures should not intimidate us. We are capable of outwitting them.

Tolerance (5)

@ pvdh

I was specifically critical of your ridiculous reference to "inventors of the caste system".  Do you equally-absurdly think that Germans "invented"  holocausts or genocides too?  Contemporary political systems should not be judged by the past, nor by individual's opinions, but by the actual nature of their 'rule of law'. And, if I am not mistaken, I believe that the current President of India is a Dalit or 'untouchable', and the previous one was a muslim.

As far as I know, a fair reading of India's recent history will confirm that the founders of modern India did not want to split the Indian sub-continent.  The split came about because the leading muslim political leaders at the time of independence did not want a 'secular constitution' with the same individual rights for all.  Traveller would probably say that (the rather secular) Jinna wanted to be top dog of a nation himself, and in order to do that he had to create an 'Islamic Republic' as opposed to a democratic one. 

@ marcfrans

Traveller wouldn't say it in those words.
I had a discussion with Dr. Elst about this on this blog and I supposed at that time that Jinnah preferred a united India. Dr. Elst was totally against this theory, so I submitted it to Ardeshir Cowasjee, the real dean of subcontinent journalism and son of a personal friend of Jinnah. Cowasjee knew Jinnah also in his youth.
Cowasjee agreed with me in a private e-mail which I transferred to Dr. Elst.
My theory is that Jinnah knew the demography of the Muslims and he counted on the future. He didn't want to be top dog but he wanted to be top Muslim in India.
I am convinced that the British colonial office convinced Nehru that the Muslims would take control of India in the end. The Muslims are much more aggressive politically and demographically than the Hindus.
That's why Sardar Patel started the riots with the Hindu gangsterbosses against the Muslims and the reaction was of course predictable and automatic.
The Muslim companions of Jinnah told me this personally many times.
Cowasjee didn't tell me this in so many words, his e-mail said: "you are right"
If you want to read about Jinnah go to www.dawn.com, select Cowasjee on the left side of the page and go on archives. There are at least a dozen articles about Jinnah and his personality .

Tolerance (3)


Once more you are parroting misconceptions, instead of looking at 'the facts'.  "Caste systems" exist everywhere, but they take different forms in different places, and they go under different names across the centuries.

India is a continent with over 1 billion people and consisting of 28 different (and I mean "different") states.  It has a very complicated history and - if  you can disregard the personal 'experiences' of Traveller - it is no less a democracy than Belgium.  In fact, it is the world's greatest (in the sense of 'largest') democracy.  It is an 'unnatural nation' as well as an unlikely democracy. Never before has a territory so disparate and diverse been constructed as a single political unit with functioning democratic institutions.  

India has a secular constitution, and its 'founding principles' defy bigotry, class privilege and ethnic strife.  Of course, as with all humans, there is a difference between principles/aspirations and actual results (which have been much too 'socialistic' to my liking).   But, at least, these founding principles of India were 'right' - thank you Britain, Ghandi and Nehru! - and they are virtually the opposite of those of Pakistan.  Despite India being about 80 percent Hindu, it is not a "Hindu nation".  After formal independence, power has always transferred peacefully after general elections.  India has tolerated communist state governments in Bengal and Kerala, regional parties dominating mainly in its south, and Hindu supremacy parties (mainly in the west).  It has had presidents of different stripes (including muslim ones), and its largest single party today and for most (not all!) post-independence years has been the 'centrist' (rather center-left) Congress party (which is explicitly secular in outlook).

Like all other democracies, India is constantly threatened by 'illiberal tendencies' and 'fundamentalists' of different stripes (including from all 3 major religions and 'Naxalite' Marxists too).  

Now, as to the contrast with Pakistan, where shall we begin... You will soon enough find out the consequences of that 'failed state' for the rest of the world.

Tolerance (4)


Although I do agree with your general comments about India today, it doesn't provide a critic on what I said earlier. I was talking about the decision to split Pakistan and India and displace millions of people. My only assertion was that we shouldn’t pretend that only Muslims were to blame for this incapacity to live together.

If I had lived under the Mughals I would have split India away

Read up on the history of India for about 400 years prior to the commencement of British Empire involvement. You will find millions of dead Hindus at the hands of Islamic rulers. Scholars call it the Hindu Holocaust and estimate 80 MILLION dead in those 4 centuries. If I was about to obtain independence and I knew that history, I would seek to prevent any muslim majority in my population also! As painful as it was at the time...it was common sense.

Never forget. As beautiful as the Taj Mahal is, once the (islamic) builder had completed it and gifted it to his wife, he cut off one hand of every (Hindu) worker, so that they could not contribute to building anything so magnificent again.

Defend Christendom. Defend Jewry. Oppose socialism in Europe.

@ marcfrans

India is no less a democracy than Belgium.
It does have a sarcastic ring to it!!!

Anyway, I do respect the fact that this impossible construction still is intact. I am convinced it won't stay intact, but so will Pakistan. The centrifugal forces in both countries are too strong.

Tolerance (2)

If multiculturalism failed on the Indian sub-continent a) what was the principle reason for that failure? b) what makes Western multiculturalists believe multiculturalism can succeed here? Moreover, does Western culture possess some quality inherently superior to and that is lacking in its  'Indian' counterpart?  If so, what is it?

@ Atlanticist911

In my opinion the problems in 1930's/1940's India were due to power politics between all the major players and the fear for Muslim demographics.

Unfounded optimism?

Western societies and their leaders refuse to acknowledge that Islam is as aggressive and tyrannical, at its core, as Marxism-Leninism. They see that there are various peace parties and war parties in the Islamic world, as there were in the Communist world, and attempt to play one against the other. (E.g., allying with Saudi Arabia against Iran is analogous to allying with China against the U.S.S.R.) However, the mass immigration of Muslims to the West--sustained by the prevailing liberal refusal to see any group as inherently hostile or unassimilable or incompatible--undoes every reasonable geopolitical strategy. As Lawrence Auster suggested at VFR, can you imagine the havoc if during the Cold War, the West had permitted mass immigration of unreformed Communists? We were already laboring under the burden of our own Communist sympathizers; the additional influx might have proved fatal.

Similarly, we labor under the burden of our own populations of anti-Western multiculturalists (from neocon to leftist). Permitting Muslim immigration may fatally tilt the balance.


"Pakistan, born from the refusal of the Indian Muslims to coexist with non-Muslims in a multicultural society..."


As if it was a one way venue. The idea of Hindus not wanting to coexist with Muslims is utterly absurd and right-out outrageous in the eyes of Dr Elst. Obviously the inventors of the caste-system are a fine example of tolerance towards others.  




Swat and Anbar

This interesting analysis raises more questions than answers.  True, recent developments in Swat (Pakistan) and in Abar province (Iraq) illustrate defeat of radicals in "their specific local objectives" against 'moderates' within the islamic world.  However, it remains doubtful that these internecine local wars damage the geopolitical goals of "islamic strategists". 

Sure, the West can win military confrontations with zealots.  Even moderate muslim regimes can do that.   The question is whether the contemporary West has the fortitude to stand up to political confrontations and to demographic assault.  The answer to that question remains very much in doubt.

@ Traveller

We disagree.  The Saudis may not be your favorite muslims, but they are not the only bad actor in this 'game'.  Neither you, nor I, can say what "islam" is or should be.  But we both would do well to interpret islam as 'what muslims actually say and do' (including what they do NOT do, like not defending nonmuslims in their midst against radicals).  Clearly, that requires 'big picture' interpretation, and not projection of individual experiences.

@ marcfrans

I knew we would disagree.

My problem is that when I talk to a Muslim scholar who is Western educated and is in a leading Muslim center in his own country, I never find the extremism and BS I found in Saudi Arabia and with the Pakistani fundamentalists who follow the Saudi line blindly.
Very recently, 2 weeks ago, I discussed the problem with a US educated petroleum engineer who turned sufi at a later age, went to Baghdad to study and went regularly to the Sufi shrine in Ajmir, India.
He is a personal friend of the Aga Khan, comes regularly to Belgium, Holland and Canada and is fluent in English, French, Arabic, Persian and Urdu with a little bit of Russian.

This man is the leading Muslim adviser of his ruler and the leader of the Islamic Center of his country.
He literally hates the Saudis and is a convinced nationalist for all nations.
French are French, English are English and that's how it should be.
When the French or the English Muslims come to them to beg for money they are invariably send home with the message: you are French, solve your problems with the French, idem ditto with the English and all others.

This is totally opposed to what we hear in the West.

@ Dr. Elst

You know the enormous respect I have for you. That's why it pains me to tell you that this is not one of your best.
It's too easy to throw everything in one pot and to call them stupid, even if it's a short article and not meant to be published for eternity.
The last 2 years I had more and more confirmation of my original Pakistani experiences that the educated Muslims are an intelligent silent bunch.
I also had confirmation that Muslim scholars are not terrorists.
The only terrorists are the fundamentalist Saudis and their followers. The Saudis are the paymasters for blind paid followers who just go for the money and the imagined holy BS attached to it.
I agree that the Saudis are the instigators of most of the Muslim terrorism, but that's not an "ISLAMIC" movement, that's the Saudi family trying to carve itself an empire with their money. They will lose in the end. The other Islamic nations know it and approve of the Saudi downfall.
Iran is the same case of a segment of the clergy trying to stay in power and accumulating wealth. They also will lose. But again, that's not "Islam".
I know more high ranking Islamic scholars and high ranking Muslim politicians who are sick and tired of the eternal fights. They want peace and they wish the Saudis and their friends to hell.