Some excerpts below from a talk by eminent Australian, John Stone:
We need to understand that the core of the Muslim problem-for the world, not merely for Australia-lies in the essence of Islam itself. It is the problem of a culture that, for the past 500 years or so at least, has failed its adherents as its inward-looking theocracy has resulted in it falling further and further behind the West. It is that sense of cultural failure, that sense of smouldering resentment that fuels the fires so busily stoked by the more extremist Muslim teachers. Fiercely exclusive rather than inclusive, Islam holds that church and state are inseparable; that women, while respected so long as they stick to their appointed place in the Islamic scheme of things, are less than equal to men generally; and that even the most extreme violence is justifiable when applied in pursuit of approved Islamic ends. Until all that changes-and it can only be changed from within Islam itself, if indeed it can be changed at all-the Islamic culture will never reside in harmony with others.
This is where all those comfortable (one might even call them "lazy") assumptions about our own Muslim community break down. Contrary to those assumptions, I do not believe that this latest body of newcomers amongst us will emulate the examples of their predecessors from Italy, Greece, Poland, the Baltic states, or more recently Vietnam, Hong Kong and China. How can it be possible for them to become part of a united Australia, when any Muslim woman who wishes to "marry out" risks not merely social and familial ostracism, but outright violence, even death by way of "honour killings", by her father or her brothers? Almost without exception, the only marriages occurring in Australia today between Muslims and non-Muslims involve conversion to Islam of the latter.
The high priests and priestesses of multiculturalism should not be surprised by this. It is after all a product-admittedly, an extreme one-of policies they have been espousing with such religious zeal for thirty years or more....
Academics, and timid politicians seeking excuses for their inactivity in addressing the Muslim problem, may therefore continue to dance on the points of philosophical needles about those supposed differences between "moderate" Islam and "extremist" Islam. And it is true that it often seems as though there are as many hostilities between different Islamic sects-the Shia and the Sunnis, to name only the most topical example-as there are between Islam and non-Islam. Nevertheless, as Father Paul Stenhouse has reminded us in a typically scholarly but also extremely pointed article in the March issue of Quadrant, all followers of Islam, "moderate" or otherwise, divide the world into two areas: the Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-Harb. The former, the house of submission, is that part of the world where Islamic governments and Islamic law prevail: the latter, the house of war, is the rest of the world. Australia, to all Muslims, is part of the house of war.
In May this year Quadrant printed a thoughtful paper by Cardinal George Pell arising from his recent study of the Koran. He distils a clear distinction between the revelations Mohammed claimed to receive (via the Archangel Gabriel) while in Mecca, and those which followed his later move to Medina. During the former period he was "without military power" and was still seeking to convert the non-believers by way of proselytising. During the latter period, proselytising had given way to the ravages of the sword. In Pell's words, "the spread of Islam through conquest and conversion began".
Cardinal Pell notes that those passages from the Koran that are often quoted by those seeking to show the "moderate" nature of Islam are all drawn from the earlier period, whereas the Koran of Medina is replete with the most blood-curdling injunctions to kill all infidels wherever they are found. As Pell notes, just as in our own legal system a later law overrides any earlier one to the extent of any inconsistency between them, so it may not be unreasonable to assume that the Koran of Medina overrides the Koran of Mecca where any inconsistencies are concerned. That is indeed the view taken by the scholars of fundamentalist Islam.
There is another point relevant to this debate about "moderate" versus "extreme" Islam-namely, the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya. This has been the subject of two most interesting articles in National Observer in 2005 by Andrew Campbell. Without going into detail, taqiyya is the doctrine whereby any lies, deceit, or other forms of treachery may be justified in the cause of defeating the infidel. It is "a cloak for the believer" that provides a religious dispensation for such things as "friendship with unbelievers" and other subterfuges "in defending oneself from one's enemies". I suggest that, when one reads the soothing words of our own Islamic "moderates", the doctrine of taqqiya should never be far from our minds.
It is clear that, in Muslim countries throughout the world, the forces of extremism are winning the battle within Islam. (Of course, the usual apologists would undoubtedly argue that that is all our fault because of such things as our support for the continued existence of Israel, or the US-led coalition's invasion of Iraq; but let that pass.) In many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, those forces today are held back and driven underground by the present regime's security apparatus; but then, the same was true of the Shah's Iran until 1979....
More generally, and while I am open to correction, I believe the evidence is incontrovertible that Islamic and Western cultures are today, within any single polity, incompatible. Certainly, I know of no example that can be cited to the contrary.
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