A New Cold War

In 1988, when I was a physics graduate student doing research at Brookhaven National laboratory, I befriended a young Israeli physicist.

He was a typical young Israeli researcher – bright, friendly and secular.

Besides physics, we prominently discussed one other issue, the propensity for violence in Muslim communities and their relative backwardness. In my mind, the context was Pakistan vs. India and Muslims vs. Hindus in India. And in his mind it was Palestinians and the extended Arab clan in the region vs. the Jews.

We managed to keep in touch. We met again in 1994. When the conversation turned to the above topic, there was one marked difference: my friend asserted that the difficulties Israel faced in the region were of “political” origin. But I said that its origins were religion based, implying that political accommodation was fundamentally not possible, without first addressing the underlying religious origin of the conflict.

I knew better.

As I have discussed in my book, Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War, Hindus and Muslims who were connected by language, culture, ethnicity, history and cuisine in South Asia had yet evolved very differently, and remarkably, so have the British Muslims of Pakistani origin, in contrast to the Hindus of Indian origin. The dynamic driving these Muslim communities could most consistently be understood only by invoking the religion of Islam.

Being a secular Jew, my friend’s thought process was a sign of the times in Israel.  However, fast forward to 2011 when we met again, he had changed his stance and agreed with me that the Arab/Muslim animosity was indeed religion-based.

His change of heart, in the larger context was symptomatic of the transition underway in Israel. Indeed, Israel as a whole has been turning more “hawkish,” in the words of many learned western analysts. Unlike these armchair analysts, the transformation of the Israelis were based upon the reality they could no longer deny or explain away.

However, the Americans and the Europeans, living far away, presumed that a political approach to dealing with Palestinian’s suicide attacks on Israel, Pakistan’s intransigence and the Taliban threat in Afghanistan will be fruitful, if you throw enough resources at it.  Several hundreds of billions of dollars later, trying a development strategy in West Bank and Pakistan and the Coin strategy in Afghanistan, the premise has proved to be fatally flawed.

Indeed, this political strategy has failed miserably in the Middle East and the AfPak region. Looking back, the reasons are all too familiar, evidence based analysis and policy-making was put in the back-burner and a wishful thinking of what-works-for-me-works-everywhere philosophy took over.

Now comes an I-anticipated-so new revelation: what – the man on whom the West has invested so much political capital – President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt said in 2010: that the Jews be expunged not only from Israel, but “any Arab or Muslim land.”

The point is any leader of a sharia-favoring political Islamic entity such as the Brotherhood has to a have a different world view and an aspiration, not much different from that of Osama Bin Laden, although the means of achieving it may differ. If you scratch deep enough, you find it; Mr. Morsi is exposed, but why should it be a surprise?

Having studied how sharia’s influence drove Pakistan into becoming a fountain-head of terror, I had cautioned how our policies may lead to the creation of Arab versions of Pakistan. In practical terms, sharia is no law, let alone a divine one, as its interpretations in the form of edicts or fatwas is full of contradictions. As it has turned out in the Middle East, Pakistan and elsewhere, one can get any fatwa of one’s liking, all you need is a dollar and a cleric who can take it.  Pity those Muslims and non-Muslims who have been conned into believing a bogus law called the sharia!

The West’s policy of engaging Islamists has come full circle. Moreover, a U.S.-educated engineering PhD no less, Mr. Morsi has ensured that no Islamists can ever be reasoned with, let alone be negotiated with.

We are now at the onset of an inevitable and official Cold War with political Islam, with emancipation of Muslims from the clutches of sharia as a goal, for the sake of all of us.

Just like the communism-repressed former Soviet Union.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    There is little doubt that Moorthy is correct, and too many secular Israelis have been (up until recently) clueless about the nature of the conflict.

    Much of the "credit" goes to the perennial, die-hard "peace" peddlers, the bane of many Jewish lives – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/22/when-leftist-

    Moorthy's thesis is more than proven herein – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/12/calling-for-a

    Here too – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/13/islam-blood-a

    Besides, under the guise of religion, a complete political system of repression, subjugation and blood lust has penetrated all over the world! Way past time to rip off its mask!!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Ben Cohen

    Here's the problem in a nutshell; freedom and democracy are not the same thing. Democracy mean the people, collectively, get to choose their government. Freedom is the ability of individuals to go about their business unmolested. Those are crude yet sufficient definitions of these two terms. In a situation where the government the people choose is inimical to freedom, I choose freedom over democracy.

    • Mary Sue

      that's why you don't want a "democracy", you want a Representative Republic, or at the very least a Constitutional Monarchy.

      • Ben Cohen

        And democracy may not be at all desirable in the Muslim world.

        • JacksonPearson

          The Qur'an and sharia law does not allow democracy as we know it.
          Islam is enslavement.

  • dev

    murthy is absolutely right

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    Shortly after 9/11 I had the pleasure of discussing Islam with several individuals from India. It helped me get up to speed quickly. Dr. Muthuswamy gives us a perspective that only someone from a nation on the frontline of this war can provide.

  • Rostislav

    "He agreed with me that the Arab/Muslim animosity was indeed religion-based" – well, I do not agree. For me it's the same as to say that animosity between cannibals and Captain Cook was culinary-based. Though I am sure that the cannibals would just love the idea of culinary diversity, of affirmative actions and of the noble ACLU defending their culinary rights in the most progressive ways. And I wonder, if the second Cold War would remain cold for as long period as the first one was: I know that my former Soviet Leaders, nursing all the due plans for the World Social Justice, still weren't fanatics enough to risk their own atomic annihilation. Can I say the same about the Islamic leaders and the armies of sharia jihadists? Certainly, I can't! The new war promises to be not cold, but the hottest of all the previous battles with Evil – of course, if the Islamic Evil would be permitted to grow as freely as now. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

  • Attila The HUn

    The difference between 20th century cold war and Moorthy's new cold war, – which I preferred to call lukewarm war- is Neither The Russians nor The Americans wanted to die. In contras The Muslims
    see death is a pathway into haven. The only way to deal with such people who want to kill you, is to give them a one way ticket to hell. Unfortunately when it comes to Muslim, the solution is kill or be killed.

    • Moorthy Muthuswamy

      Thank you for the comments.

      There is no question in my mind that in the next phase of the war we will target “radical” clerics.

      However, the vast majority of the Muslim population needs to be liberated from sharia/clerical grip. In this context, this has to be akin to the old Cold War with the former Soviet Union.

      Mind you, Muslims themselves are even more of a victim than we are.

      I anticipate that we will reverse the trend with our fight with “radical” Islam within the next couple of years. This may sound unreal, but I have good reasons to feel so.

      • D-Boy

        why do you have good reasons? Never read a Bible?

  • Marty

    In this case the new cold war simply anticipates the hot war. Certainly, Israel is already engaged (and has been since 1948) in a hot war with islamic sociopaths. europe and the United States are as well but don't no it yet. The current administration believes (wrongly) that engaging the lunatics in tehran or calling the saudi theocracy supportive of the west will eventually win them over. No, it won't. Instead, these inbred monsters will take advantage of the time we are providing to them to plan their global caliphate and plunge all of humanity (that muslims haven't slaughtered) into a new and permanent dark age. christians and Jews in europe understand that the days of western civilization are numbered; we should learn from them.

    • Willy Rho

      We know we are at war with Islam because the President is intentionally destroying the USA, because he is a Muslim. His wedding ring is an Islamic Faith ring. He wore it before he got married to Michelle and used it as his wedding ring. It says, in Arabic, "There is no God but Allah". That is the first half of the Muslim oath of Faith. The second half says, "And Mohammed is His Prophet". You can find mandy different photos of it at WND, if you really want to know the Truth. And it has an interpreter to translate it to English. I really don't expect anyone to check it out, because you all know everything that is worth knowing without looking. But he is Muslim. And a Kenyan Born Illegal Alien. Will that statement make you turn away? Fools.

  • tom4you

    I say bankrupt the Arab/Moslem counties, let them eat sand. Give up on trying to change their ideolgy…it's a failed system, let their people revolt within….

  • Yoshi11

    No, not exactly. Communism was imposed on the people from the top by brutal force. Most of the people never believed in it. As soon as that force was lifted, communism fell. In Islam, the people really believe in it. To "emancipate" them from Sharia law means to emancipate them from Islam itself because Islam requires sharia law, based on the Koran and the Sunnah. The new Cold War must be against Islam itself; and that makes it vastly more difficult.

    • Moorthy Muthuswamy

      Islam is not sharia and sharia is not Islam!

      Not all denominations of Islam emphasize sharia. For instance, Ahmadiyya community doesn’t. Not coincidentally, they are relatively modern, developed and moderate.

      Of course, sharia is being imposed on many Muslim communities, especially by many Sunni clerics.

      By associating a crude form of an all-encompassing narrative of sharia with extremists, we can delineate it from Islam and, set the stage for neutralizing the radicals from within.

      • Yoshi11

        Unfortunately for you, the highest and most respected Islamic religious authorities for the past 1200 years disagree with you about sharia law being mandatory for all Moslems. No, WE cannot separate Sharia from Islam no matter what we do. If Sharia is to be separated from Islam, that separation will have to be made by the Islamic religious authorities. Fat chance of that ever happening.

        Sharia is being imposed on ALL Moslem communities to the extent that it is possible. This is not a matter of "many Sunni clerics". Where are the Sunni religious authorities who are against Sharia??? And, it is not only Sunnis! What about the Shiites who make up the other 15% of the Moslem world?

        I do not know how you can possibly support your position that Sharia is separable from Islam. If you take sharia out of Islam, you don't have Islam anymore. As someone once said, you can straighten out a corkscrew, but then you don't have a corkscrew anymore.

        As for the Ahmadiyyas, they are not even considered to be Moslems by the other 99% of the Moslem world. In Pakistan they are legally prohibited from calling themselves Moslems, and they are persecuted in Pakistan and Indonesia. So, the Ahmadiyyas are not an example of Islam, even though they like to think that they are. Even if we consider them to be Moslems, they make up only about 1% of the Moslem world. Whom is a non-Moslem supposed to believe: the 1% Ahmadiyyas, or the other 99% of the Moslem world?

        • Moorthy Muthuswamy

          In the modern context sharia can hardly be called as a law. A law has to be precise (of course, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be subject to interpretation). The bottom line is that sharia is much much more vague and subjective than a modern law is. Those who rely on it wholly are doomed to not even have a constitution, like Saudi Arabia is.

          Recent analysis from the Middle East and South Asia points to a deluge of confusing fatwas that have even contradicted each other. This and more can be a fair game in a contest of ideologies, and so is the background of religious scholars, who typically receive an insular and outdated education in Madrasas.

          Even the focus of sharia in many parts of the world is rather recent. In parts of India, Indonesia etc, the adherence and penetration of sharia was no where as significant as it is now. These Muslims, mostly converted from Hinduism or Buddhism, held on to their ancestral traditions and customs.

          Yes, they were Sunni Muslims. By some standards of today, they would hardly be called Muslims. This argument shows that if more sharia is possible, so is less sharia even in Sunni Islam.

          • Yoshi11

            Sure, there is lots of vagueness and confusion in many areas of Sharia, but there is also considerable clarity, too. For example, sharia law is pretty clear about severely punishing blasphemy. Sharia law is also pretty clear on the necessity Moslems to make war on non-Moslems until Islamic law rules the world because that is what Allah so clearly said in the Koran, and that is what Muhammad so clearly said in his hadiths. Islamic law is very clear that the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus is major shirk, the only sin which Allah will never pardon. Sharia law is clear that women are inferior to men, both morally and legally, because that is what the Koran says and that is what Muhammad said.
            For the sake of clarity, we need to distinguish between Islam, as a body of doctrines, and people who call themselves Muslims. There are many people who identify themselves as Muslims but who do not follow Islamic sacred law. That does not change Islamic law or the religious necessity of following it. It just says that some Moslems don't follow the laws of their religion. It was the same in Muhammad's time, as well. Even in the Koran, he had to admonish Moslems who did not want to go out and fight jihad.
            It is a big mistake to misrepresent the nature of Sharia law, as you are doing here, because the ignorant non-Moslem public will get the erroneous idea that Sharia law is not so dangerous and that we can all look forward to an Islam without it. That is a vain and dangerous hope.

          • Moorthy Muthuswamy

            I think we all are giving too much respect to these ancient Islamic doctrines (including sharia law) by associating them with coherence and clarity. Yes, there is some clarity with sharia law and, when it does, it has some dangerous implications (I never said sharia is not dangerous, unless you assumed otherwise).

            My point is that, by and large, sharia is not a law in the modern sense, because it is vague and imprecise. That’s a very powerful point, as it suggests that it couldn’t be God’s law. We ought to make every effort to propagate this view in order that Muslims themselves take sharia less seriously, like we do. We have yet to deploy such a technique;that doesn’t mean, we wouldn’t, in future.

            I think you are missing the point that if Islamic law itself is taken less seriously by an influential section of the Muslim society (such as the educated Muslims), they will be less inclined to be dictated by it and likely, not allow a minority to impose sharia on the community.

          • Yoshi11

            Good luck in expecting non-Moslems to tell Moslems how to practice their religion!

  • Yoshi11

    When the author says that you can get any fatwa you want, he is surely referring only to minor, everyday matters. Can a Moslem get a fatwa permitting apostasy? Recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state? Abolishing the jihad against non-Moslems? Recognizing non-Moslems as equals to Moslem? I doubt it.

  • Willy Rho

    There will be getting rid of Sharia unless you rid the world of Islam. It is a religion and way of life that spoils the soul and makes it long to do Evil. It is the animal of nature that even animals do not have. Pure lust and gratification. That is why the younger fools put explosives on their bodies to go to a unlimited world of Virgins to lust upon. Islam is an Evil Religion and culture and Law.

  • Willy Rho

    The best hope for the World to rid it of Islam is for Iran to attack Israel. This would force Israel to nuke all 57 Muslim nations (Listed in the OIC). That would be a good start, but it would need to be followed up by a garbage document army to remove all Satanic Islamic documents from the face of earth. And that "I'm a Dinner Jacket" (Ahmadinejad) Leader in Iran is just the Fool Stupid Enough to Attack Israel with a Nuke.
    /Sarc/Frustration/

  • g_jochnowitz

    Islam is becoming ever more religious. Headscarves have taken over. There was a time when women at universities didn't wear them. Now they do. There was a time when most Muslims had no interest in becoming suicide bombers or in dying in a jihad. Perhaps most still do not, but death has a greater appeal in the Islamic world than it has had for a century.
    Marxism is an atheistic doctrine. Nevertheless, it demands faith. North Korea, the remaining country on earth committed to blind faith in Marxism, is a place where the people truly love the Kim Dynasty, despite the fact that it has caused permanent famine.
    Leftists in Europe and America are not exactly Marxists, but they do have blind faith. Their faith teaches them that opposing Israel takes precedence over all other issues. It has led to crazy results, such as the de facto support by gay-rights and women's-rights groups for Islam. http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/NorthKorea.html

  • Ghostwriter

    Sadly,Mr. Muthuswamy hasn't seen the photos and news footage of Muslims screaming for the deaths of Americans. How is anyone required to make peace with people like that?

  • Jason Tarango

    The Bible says the 3 antichrist will come at us from the East. 1 from the dragon which is the symbol of China. 1 from the beast which has to do with oil and gold Russia. 1 from the false prophet which is muhammad/islam Iran. The 3 have political interest and agreements with each other against us. It’s gonna get real crazy real soon.

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  • continuum

    Shariah implementation works with top-down approach. Cut the head off and no more shariah. However, we still have a billion or so pissed off pisslamists who will be pissed off no matter what the kafir does to them and/or does not do to them. What is the solution? I have no idea, since the pisslamists won't be satisfied with anything, but martyrdom….so lets give all of them one…