There is a new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch critic of Islam, The Challenge of Dawa. The book argues that Islam has a political ideology, and outlines what the West needs to do to survive. I will not be buying her book, as we journalists are all too poor to buy anything, but, not to cry too much in our empty beer mugs and soup bowls, I found a summary of the book by the author herself, so you don’t have to read the book either unless you really want to. Just prepare, as these are wild times, and some food trumps reading material:
“Speaking in Youngstown, Ohio, on August 15, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech on what he unequivocally referred to as “radical Islam.” He declared: Nor can we let the hateful ideology of radical Islam—its oppression of women, gays, children, and nonbelievers—be allowed to reside or spread within our own countries . . . [W]-e must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of radical Islam. Our administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices. Since Mr. Trump’s election victory and inauguration as president, much attention has been focused on hurried and probably temporary restrictions on refugees, visitors, and immigrants from a number of majority-Muslim countries. Almost no attention has been paid to the broader goals outlined in the Youngstown speech. I argue that the speech heralded a paradigm shift away from President Obama’s doctrine of focusing solely on the violence committed by “extremists” to a more comprehensive approach that seeks to undermine, degrade, and ultimately defeat political Islam (or Islamism) as an ideology and a movement seeking to infiltrate and undermine our free society. A narrow focus on Islamist violence had the effect of restricting our options only to tools such as military intervention, electronic surveillance, and the criminal justice system. This approach has proved both costly and ineffective. Moving beyond the controversy over his executive order on immigration, President Trump now has the chance to broaden our strategy. Instead of “combating violent extremism,” his administration needs to redefine the threat posed by political Islam by recognizing it as an ideology that is fundamentally incompatible with our freedoms and a movement that is working insidiously but effectively to achieve its stated utopia.