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Monday, November 21, 2011

Sir Richard Dearlove, "Violent Islamism Has Failed": Were It Only So

I would like to address, albeit belatedly, the remarkable November 4th contributor op-ed written by Sir Richard Dearlove for The New York Times, entitled "Violent Islamism Has Failed" ( As observed at the conclusion of the op-ed in italics, "Richard Dearlove was head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1999 to 2004, and is now the master of Pembroke College, Cambridge."

I personally don't know Sir Richard Dearlove, but I have heard only wonderful things about him. In addition, his opinion piece was extremely informative and highly influential.

However, I respectfully disagree with Sir Richard Dearlove that "violent Islamism has failed." Although al-Qaeda's fortunes have waned in no small part due to the "targeted killings" (otherwise known as "unlawful assassinations" when radicals from Hamas and Islamic Jihad are killed by Israel from above) being aggressively undertaken in recent years under the auspices of the Obama administration, and whereas I also believe that we are in a transient period when the Islamic world is consumed with internal, as opposed to external, events, allow me to be politically incorrect and state that violent Islamism has not failed, inasmuch as Islam is endemically violent.

The so-called Arab Spring has not rendered Egypt any less violent or more prepared to accept democracy. The Christian Copts in that country continue to be murdered and persecuted, and women continue to be abused. As explained by Robert Fisk in an article in The Independent entitled "The lie behind mass 'suicides' of Egypt's young women" (, Egypt may claim that "honor killings" do not occur within its borders, but the truth is otherwise:

"Officially, Egypt has no 'honour' killings. Young women may commit suicide, yes, but they are never murdered. This is the government line – and of course, it is a lie. The files in Azza Suleiman's Centre for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance office – and in those of other NGOs in Cairo – tell the truth. In May of 2007, a farmer in southern Egypt decapitated his daughter after discovering she had a boyfriend. In March of 2008, a man identified only as 'Mursi' electrocuted and beat to death his 17-year-old daughter because she had received a phone call from her boyfriend. 'Mursi', a farmer from Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile Delta, admitted he 'beat her with a large stick' before finishing her off with electric shocks; the murder was only discovered when the body turned up at the local hospital."

Then, too, there are the statistics concerning Egyptian values released by the Pew Research Center (, which also deserve scrutiny:

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt . . . say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion."

Is it any different elsewhere in the Islamic world? Not in Pakistan, where according to the Pew Research Center (

• 85% favor segregation of men and women in the marketplace.
• 82% favor stoning adulterers.
• 82% favor whippings/cutting off hands for theft/robbery.
• 76% favor the death penalty for people who leave Islam.

Obama would have us know that his intervention in Libya, which led to the capture and killing of Qaddafi, marks a significant foreign affairs success. Yet, as I have noted in prior blog entries (, the flag of al-Qaeda is now flying in Benghazi, and violent tribal clashes continue.

Inasmuch as Obama and the rest of the world remained silent as Ahmadinejad and his thugs from the Revolutionary Guard suppressed dissent in Tehran in 2009, Iran is able to look beyond its borders, and now threatens to send warships off America's East Coast ( and to sink US naval vessels in the Persian Gulf ( Mere braggadocio? The readiness of Tehran to plot the murder of the Saudi ambassador on US soil should cause skeptics second thoughts. Also, the recent explosion, which killed Gen. Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam during the testing of an intercontinental missile, should also give pause to anyone claiming that violent Islamism has failed. Meanwhile, within Iran, the nightmarish persecution and torture of Baha'is, Kurds, Sunnis, women and homosexuals continues.

Sure, I would be delighted to have someone persuade me that Islam is much maligned and non-violent. However, the brutal executions of Daniel Pearl and Theo van Gogh, which reflect general Islamic intent and intolerance, and which were glibly dismissed by Western politicians and journalists, convince me otherwise. Violent Islamism has not failed, but rather has temporarily turned inwards, and regrettably we have yet to hear the last of it.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I have a friend who not so long ago declared Islam to be "A religion of peace." No, she isn't a Muslim, but an atheist of Protestant background. She is also the one I am writing now a separation letter to - well, well deserved and long, long overdue. I am tired of orders to show at such charming events as Answer rallies or the Flotilla jet set marches (like the recent one in Washington) in support of Arab oil monopoly, etc., etc.
    I am old enough to know that a certain illness can't be fixed. Last week, Umberto Eco, agreed with a reader that bigotry on the level of illness isn't fixable. He mentioned a woman who praised "The Protocols" in 1924, even though it was proven that they're a fake in 1921.
    She ended her treatise in the following way: "OK, OK, they are a fake, but if they say the truth about what Jews did, they are not fake."
    Back to my letter.