Originally published under the title "Only End Results Matter."
The most efficient way of solving a problem is to first break it down to its simplest parts – its bare-bone elements.
This was the ultimate point of a recent article, where I asserted:
When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both. No other alternative exists.
In the comments sections on my site and in those of other websites that carried the article, and through emails, many begged to differ. They argued that there are other alternatives and that my distinction – fool, liar, or both – is too simple.
Some argue that those Western leaders who refuse to connect Islam to violence and terrorism are simply being "politically correct," or are "cowards," or are bought and paid for "traitors," or are worried about their careers, or are intentionally trying to defuse a potential world conflict – i.e., a "clash of civilizations."
Others argue that many Western leaders sincerely believe that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism because they cannot think outside the box – because they cannot transcend their own Western epistemology, or because they are "delusional," or overly "optimistic," etc., etc.
Now, here's the thing: depending on which Western leader and/or talking head is claiming that Islam has no connection to violence – that is, on a case-by-case basis – all of these explanations may be true.
The claim that Islam is peaceful is either a direct lie or the product of a soft brain.
Even so, they are only just that – explanations as to why they are claiming what they are claiming about Islam. None of these explanations changes the fact that what they end up saying is either a direct lie or the product of a soft brain.
Whether it's due to "political correctness," "cowardice," "treason," or even sincere fear of international conflict, those who claim that Islam is free of violence are, in the end, still liars.
Likewise, whether it's due to mistaken "optimism," or the inability to think outside the Western epistemic box, or simple delusional thinking, those who cannot accept that Islam is connected to violence are, in the end, still fools.
Incidentally, others argue that "damage done by deceit is worse than damage done by stupidity, because it is done deliberately." I beg to differ: damage is damage, irrespective of cause. If someone intentionally runs you over, or if someone accidentally runs you over, the end result is you're dead.
It's important to understand these distinctions to see through the fog. Whatever his motivations or reasons, anyone who claims that Islam does not teach violence and intolerance against non-Muslims is ultimately a liar or a fool, or a little bit of both – and nothing else.
Once the issue is boiled down to this simple explanation, it becomes clear how and why an intrinsically weak Islam has become such a threat to the West. How to remedy the situation becomes even clearer: simply oust the liars and fools from power. The rest is details.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.