In this video, Professor, Dr. Richard Landes talks about fundamental Muslim beliefs that Islam should dominate the world, and that according to Muslim beliefs, everyone in the world must be either Muslim, convert to Islam, or be a subservient to Islam, and be ruled by Sharia law.
In the west, west we believe in the separation of church and state. We don’t want to be ruled by strict and medieval Sharia law or be subjected to Islamic beliefs or laws. In the west we believe that everyone should have freedom, and be free to believe in whatever religion they wish, or practice whatever religious laws they want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with other people and doesn’t effect them.
In Islamic beliefs, Muslims believe that everyone should convert to Islam, and that they need to spread their religion.
Additionally, it is also difficult to make a distinction between moderate Muslim beliefs and radical Islamic beliefs which believe in using violence and jihad to conquer the world, and make everyone convert to Islam. So even if a Muslim person isn’t violent, but believes that Islam should rule the world, and that everyone should convert to Islam, that is an extremist view, and the people in the western world in countries like United States, Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany and other western European countries should be aware of the spread of Islamic beliefs and Sharia law (often extremist and fundamentalist Islamic beliefs and strict practice of Sharia law) in their civilized western societies. The fundamentalist Islamic beliefs are not only spreading in countries like United States, Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany and other western European countries, but they are using the democracy and many human rights concepts in the west to undermine the west.
In the video, Richard gives an example that 1,000 years ago, the Arab world was considered the 1st world, and Europe was the 3rd world. As Islam was invented, it spread throughout the Middle East, and Muslims were extremely proud of their tradition, and developed notions about treating conquered people. Conquered people like Christian or Jews were dhimmy which means that they had an inferior status in Islamic societies. This is the Islamic belief of how Christians and Jews should be treated.
There is another Islamic belief that the land where Islam rules, Sharia law rules, and everyone must abide by the rules of Sharia law.
Dal el harb – means the realm of the sword. This refers to the part of the world where people did not convert to Islam and do not hold Muslim beliefs. People who do not believe in the Muslim faith are called infidels in Islam, and that is a derogatory term. So Muslims view people who live in “dar el harb” as people who need to be conquered and made to either convert to Islam or become subservient and second class citizens. And if people don’t convert to Islam or become subservient, they are literally destined to the sword! Think about that.
Islam has developed a number of beliefs towards non-believers which are profoundly derogatory. So how can this be a religion of peace when they view everyone else as those that need to be conquered, submit, or put to the sword and face violence. It is a profoundly negative, hostile, and xenophobic view of everyone else in the world.
History And Rise Of Europe Over Islam
The Muslim world has had a culture of always been about conquering lands militarily. The conquered Constantinople in the 1400s, then got to the Balkan states and got as far as the gates of Vienna. And in all the lands they conquered they subjected people to the choice of conversion to Islam, subservience and a second class citizen, or violent death to people who resisted them.
Of course, by the end of the 1400s, Spanish armies kicked the Muslim armies out of Europe. But an interesting fact should be noted. In the year 1,000, the Arab world was the leading part of the world in trade, affluence and technology. But by the 1400s and as time went on, Europe caught the Arab world and slowly started to dominate, which is why the western European armies were able to kick the Muslim armies out of Europe.
In the course of this millennium, Europe becomes stronger and stronger, and the Islamic world started falling behind and realizing that they are losing. The real wake up call came in 1798 when Napoleon invaded Arab lands and swept through them gaining victory after victory. It was easy to see how much Europe had gotten to be more advanced than the Muslim armies.
In the Muslim world, this began an awareness that something has gone wrong, and the Islamic world’s belief that they belong at the top has been seriously challenged and started a sense of resentment towards the modern west. And since the Islamic world feels that they have been cheated by the west, there is a lot of resentment, and an effort to restore their lost dominance by conquering the western world, and restore their lost honor since they have a deep honor-shame culture.
The Founding of Israel Highlights Western Dominance
With Israel, this problem with modernity reached an acute state because here is this new state right in the middle of Arab lands that they can’t seem to destroy. In fact, every war they seem to have results in a bigger and bigger defeat for the Arab and Muslim armies, which further shames them.
What makes matters even worse is that the Jewish people were always at the bottom of Arab and Muslim societies and culture. When Arabs used to conquer lands, the Jews who were not forced to convert to Islam were made to be subservient people who were at the bottom of the society that was ruled by Sharia law.
And all of a sudden when in 1948 Israel proclaims its independence, and 7 Arab armies immediately start a war against Israel. At that time Israel did not even have a professional army. The people fighting for Israel were recent Holocaust survivors who immigrated from Europe, and paramilitary units which had earlier been form to prevent Arab massacres of Jewish communities in the area before 1948 when the Jews had to find ways to defend themselves.
Miraculously, Israel won that war, and it was obviously a very shameful event in the Arab world which showed them just how much the west has advanced and surpassed them.
In the Arab world, the Nakba means “catastrophe” to denote the disaster that befell the Palestinians as a result of this war when Israel was formed.
Originally, when the term Nakba was used, it referred to how the Arab armies lost that war. and to criticize the Arab elites in how they carried out and handled the war of 1948. Since then the term has taken on a new meaning, and is largely used to criticize Israel, and generally refer to the Israeli state as a catastrophe to the Arab world.
Arabs claim that 600,000 to 800,000 Arab refugees were driven out of Israel in 1948. The actual historical truth is more complex than that, but this is what the Arab side claims to be the truth. But what is really going on is that this event was an utter humiliation to the entire Arab world. It was the equivalent of an Olympic athlete losing to a weak child.
As a result, many of the Middle Eastern Arab and Muslim countries proceeded to kick the Jews out or threaten the Jews with violence. This resulted in about 800,000 to 1,000,000 Jewish refugees who were kicked out of Arab lands and had to leave all their possessions behind. These Jews literally often had to walk through the desert to make it to Israel, which was the only safe haven for them.
Additionally, Egypt exiled a large part of their Jewish population in 1967 which created even more Jewish refugees whose only safe haven was to come to Israel.
All of this was an act of vengeance. And before they fled Arab countries, many of the Jews did face various acts of violence just before they left the Arab countries.
So it is important to understand that the existence of Israel has a cultural meaning of Jews against Arabs, but it is also a religious issue. Part of the Muslim beliefs is that they are the only true religion, and that they should dominate. And certainly, they should dominate in the lands that are considered by them to be Muslim lands.
The area that is now Israel has been in the possession of the Muslim world since only about 1 generation after the prophet Mohammed died, and other than the Christian crusades, that land has been ruled by Arabs ever since it was the home of the Jewish people 2,000 years ago (the Jews were conquered by the Romans and exiled from their home, and have been yearning to come back to their original home for the last 2,000 years having been stateless before the establishment of Israel).
So the part of Islam that believes that it should dominate the world has it as a great insult that sovereign Jews with their own state live in “Dhar al Islam” which means “Aram lands.”
So as far as the extremist Muslims are concerns, the state of Israel can’t exist because until it is destroyed it represents the Nakba, a catastrophe, that will only be gotten over after Israel ceases to exist. Israel is seen as a blasphemy against Allah and against Islam.
While this is an extremist Muslim belief, there are many Muslims who have made peace with Israel, and are ready to get on with their lives. Of course, there are extremely active, strong, numerous, and well-funded Muslim groups and organizations that have as their stated goal to destroy Israel, wipe it off the map, and bring genocide to the Jews who currently live there.
Additionally, the Muslims who want to compromise with Israel, themselves face violence from the extremists, and have their voices quieted.
Muslim Honor And Global Jihad
Already starting in the 19th century, there have been Muslim thinkers who viewed the challenge for Islam in an apocalyptic war in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with the west being evil and Islam being good.
A part of this comes form the sense that the loss of their status as the most powerful, honored and feared people, created an existential crisis in Islam. For the jihadis, the Islam that is not dominant is not true Islam to the extremists. So the rise of the west is the biggest threat to Islam, and represents the destruction of Islam since Islam can only exist as a dominant force over the world.
1979 was the beginning of a global jihad against the west. It wasn’t by all Muslims, but it was certainly started then and carried forth by extremists.
You may wonder and ask who the extremists actually are. One way to look at it is that a fairly moderate Muslim is someone who does not believe that Islam should dominate the world. People who do think that Muslims should dominate the world are extremists whether they directly partake in the violence, or support that notion with other actions.
Muslim Beliefs: Global Caliphate or Global Sharia
In Islamic apocalyptic thinking, there is an emphasis on the turn of the millennium being a significant time when Islam finally begins to dominate the world and forms a global caliphate and global Sharia law.
This is an idea and a goal which isn’t just theory. There are many people and groups in the world trying to realize this global caliphate and global Sharia law concept. The most well known of these groups are ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hizbollah, and a number of others who pursue this goal by direct violence.
But what is really dangerous and easy to overlook is that many of the Muslims around the world (not just the Middle East) support this goal, and do what they can to further this goal, even if they don’t support it with violent means.
Islam Has Gender And Apartheid Laws
In Islam there is very little tolerance and acceptance of different people in minorities. As a culture and religion, they are also fervently against any gay, lesbian and bisexual rights (even the right of those people to exist!).
There are specific laws in Islam for women that don’t apply to men, and there are specific laws in Sharia law for people who are not Muslim, which is apartheid.
In Islam, non-Muslims are inferior by law. For example, infidels (non-Muslims) can’t bring court cases against Muslims.
The West Is The Ultimate Evil
If you believe in democracy, equality, human rights for all (truly for all and not when your group could benefit from them), you are faced with a remorseless enemy who believes that you are the ultimate evil.
And no matter how nice the west can try to be, it just doesn’t change the stance of the extremists. In fact, it plays right into the hands of the extremists.
Until recently, the extremists understood that they could not take the west on militarily. So they had to do it in other ways.
Vengeance On Christians In The Middle East
Since the extremist and jihadist groups can’t easily take revenge on the west due to simply being far from the west or being weaker militarily, they take revenge on symbols representing the west. That symbol is often Christianity.
The Christian communities in the Middle East have been under severe threat of violence, and are getting systematically decimated by various Islamic extremist groups. In fact, the only places today where Christians can be safe is inside Israel and in pockets of Lebanon. Everywhere else, Christians are facing the threats of violence and death. And many millennia-old Christian communities are being threatened, attacked and destroyed on a daily basis. And this isn’t just limited to the Christians. Groups like the Yazidis and other minority groups in the Middle East are suffering the same fate at the hands of extremists with daily massacres, gruesome torture like crucifixion, rape and mass executions.
Silence Of The West: Why?
Despite so much hate, violence and death coming out of the Middle East at the hands of Islamic extremists, there is very little being done or said about it in the west by the politicians or figures like the pope who should be defending human and Christian rights.
The answer, of course, is simple. The pope or other figures in the west do not want to bring upon themselves the obvious and very real threat of violence. The pope has already been threatened with violence by ISIS, and he certainly does not want to make that threat anymore of a reality.
Islam Conquering The West vs. Islamophobia
Most people understand that the extremist Islamists can’t conquer the west militarily. And that may make this threat seem like a distant one. In fact, they are not trying to conquer the west because at this point this would amount to a suicide mission.
For that reason, in the west, there is little seriousness being attributed to the point about Islam conquering the west. In fact, that point is often rebuked by calling whoever proposes it an Islamophobe.
Fearing being labeled an islamophobe, many people in the west don’t openly discuss related issues, and as a result, the related issues get less overall attention, and are not as much at the forefront of people’s minds. That, of course, plays right into the hands of the Islamists whose first phase of the war against the west is a psychological one since they can’t immediately win the military war.
The initial goal of the Islamists is to have the west not identify what they are doing as a hostile act, but in fact concede to their demands and act as a subservient nation. If you recall, when Islam conquers a land, it gives people 3 options. They can either convert to Islam, become a subservient class, or face violence and be killed. So as long as the people in the west conform to Muslim demands, the Muslims just continue to move in, and occupy more and more of the western lands in which they then impose Sharia law.
Can We Print Pictures Of Mohammad?
The rule of not having pictures of Mohammad printed is a rule of the Sharia law. If you don’t abide by Sharia law, you should be able to do whatever you want and print as many pictures of Mohammad as you want. When Muslims tell people not to print pictures of Mohammad, they are in fact asking people to abide by the rules of Sharia law. And when we conform, and not print those pictures, out of fear of violence against us, we are actually already living under Sharia law!
If we concede on some issues, they will continue to push for other issues and get the west to appease them and concede. That will result in continuous cognitive war victories for Islam. And anyone who criticizes Islam is automatically labeled as an islamophobe. Islamophobia has become one of the most powerful memes out there, and people saying anything that opposes Muslims is in danger of being labeled an islamophobe, which stifles any kind of logical conversation or discourse on the matter.
So if you have any kind of a logical criticism of Islam, you are faced with a very real threat physical violence and at the same time being labeled a racist and an islamophobe. And of course, the people who use the notion of islamophobia use this notion to stifle any fight-back, and give into the jihadist. The west is constantly pressured by people who claim to be moderates only because they don’t use violence, but at the same do whatever non-violent means they have to further the jihadist goals and beliefs of world domination.