16 November 2015

Paris Attacks and Radical Islam: Sam Harris Tells the Truth

In light of the attacks in Paris that have left 130 dead (so far) with over three hundred injured, many of those seriously, I have been thinking more than usual about radical Islam, about war, and about loss.

Sam Harris does some very good work articulating the position that I feel the left should take in its approach to radical Islam.

"There is nothing so destructive that these people won't attempt it. The only thing that has prevented them from killing millions of people is a lack of technology, and we have to ensure that they they never get it. But the idea that our enemies are sufficiently like ourselves, and that they won't set the world on fire, is pure delusion. ...

It is not mere wartime propaganda, that we will one day look back on with embarrassment, to call ISIS a death cult, to call them barbarians, to call them savages, to use dehumanizing language. They are scarcely human in their aspirations. The world they want to build entails the destruction of everything we value and are right to value, and by 'we' I mean civilized humanity, including all the Muslims who are just as horrified by the Islamists and jihadist project as I am."

ISIS is Islamic: they self-identify as Islamic, their practices and beliefs are reflected and supported in the text of the Koran. Not all Muslims are members of and support ISIS, but all members of ISIS are Muslim. Moreover, the extreme beliefs and practices related to jihad are not controversial in the Muslim world, despite what you may have heard from Muslim apologists in the media.

Read Harris' full essay or listen to the podcast above (only 20 minutes) for an erudite summary. And let's start treating radical fundamentalism like the cancer that it is.

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