January 02, 2004

The Moderate Mahdis


This is the cover we created for the December 2003 issue of The Intellectual Activist. To demonstrate the danger of certain so-called "moderate" Muslims, the cover article by Robert W. Tracinski analyzes a recent speech by retiring Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed.

The Madhi [of Sudan in the 1880s] was a wild-eyed fanatic who, the encyclopedia notes, "moved from orthodox religious study to a mystical interpretation of Islam." But his vision was essentially the same as that offered by Mahathir: to strike back at the West and expel the "colonialist" infidels, restoring the original might of the Islamic empire.

Mahathir is, in effect, offering his vision for a new, modern, "moderate" Mahdi -- in the form of a business-suited autocrat seeking battleships, ballistic missiles, and nuclear bombs.

And that is precisely what makes Mahathir and his ilk all the more dangerous. The "extremists" like the Taliban doom themselves to insignificance by the very fact of their consistent adherence to their religious philosophy. But those who can make compromises with the demands of this world -- those who embrace the same moral and religious precepts, but implement them in a more reasonable, practical form -- are much more dangerous. They give their irrationalist philosophy some degree of power in the world.

But the biggest threat to the West is not the moderate Mahdis. It is the failure of our leaders to identify the malevolence of the Muslim "moderates" and see them as a threat.

Posted by Forkum at January 2, 2004 07:35 AM