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Islam and the Nation-State By: Caroline Glick
Center For Security Policy | Friday, November 16, 2007


Throughout the world, one of the most prevalent causes of war, terrorism, and political instability is the ongoing weakening of the nation-state system. There are several reasons that the nation-state as a political unit of sovereignty is under threat. One of the most basic causes of this continuous erosion of national power throughout the world is the transformation of minority-dominated enclaves within nation-states into ungovernable areas where state power is either not applied or applied in a haphazard and generally unconstructive manner.

While domestic strife between majority and minority populations has been an enduring feature of democratic and indeed all societies throughout history, the current turbulence constitutes a unique challenge to the nation-state system. This is because much of the internal strife between minority and majority populations within states today is financed and often directed from outside the country.

Traditionally, minorities used various local means to engage the majority population in a bid to influence the political direction or cultural norms of the nation state. The classic examples of this traditional minority-majority engagement are the black civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s and the labor movements in the West throughout the 20th century. By and large, these movements were domestic protests informed by national sensibilities even when they enjoyed the support of foreign governments.

Today while similar movements continue to flourish, they are now being superseded by a new type of minority challenge to national majorities.

This challenge is not primarily the result of domestic injustice but the consequence of foreign agitation. The roots of these minority challenges are found outside the borders of the targeted states. And their goals are not limited to a call for the reform of national institutions and politics. Rather they set their sights on weakening national institutions and eroding national sovereignty.

Muslim minorities throughout the world are being financed and ideologically trained in Saudi and UAE funded mosques and Islamic centers. These minorities act in strikingly similar manners in the countries where they are situated throughout the world. On the one hand, their local political leaders demand extraordinary communal rights, rights accorded neither to the national majority nor to other minority populations. On the other hand, Muslim neighborhoods, particularly in Europe, but also in Israel, the Philippines and Australia, are rendered increasingly ungovernable as arms of the state like the police and tax authorities come under attack when they attempt to assert state power in these Muslim communities.

Logic would have it that targeted states would respond to the threat to their authority through a dual strategy. On the one hand, they would firmly assert their authority by enforcing their laws against both individual lawbreakers and against subversive, foreign financed institutions that incite the overthrow of their governments and their replacement with Islamic governments. On the other hand, they would seek out and empower local Muslims who accept the authority and legitimacy of their states and their rule of law.

Unfortunately, with the notable exception of the Howard government in Australia, in country after country, governments respond to this challenge by attempting to appease Muslim irredentists and their state sponsors. The British responded to the July 7, 2005 bombings by giving representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood an official role in crafting and carrying out counter-terror policies.

In 2003, then French president Jacques Chirac sent then interior minister Nicholas Sarkozy to Egypt to seek the permission of Sheikh Mohammed Tantawi of the Islamist al-Azhar mosque for the French parliament's plan to outlaw hijabs in French schools.

In the US, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI asked the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations to conduct sensitivity training for FBI agents.

In Holland last year, the Dutch government effectively expelled anti-Islamist politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the interest of currying favor with Holland's restive Muslim minority.

The foreign policy aspect of the rush to appease is twofold. First, targeted states refuse to support one another when individual governments attempt to use the tools of law enforcement to handle their domestic jihad threat. For instance, European states have harshly criticized the US Patriot Act while the US criticized the French decision to prohibit the hijab in public schools.

More acutely, targeted states lead the charge in calling for the establishment of Muslim-only states. Today the US and the EU are leading the charge towards the establishment of a Palestinian state and the creation of an independent state of Kosovo.

In two weeks, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will host the Annapolis conference where together with her European and Arab counterparts, she will exert enormous pressure on the Olmert government to agree to the establishment of a jihadist Palestinian state in Israel's heartland with its capital in Jerusalem and its sovereignty extending over Judaism's most sacred site, the Temple Mount.

The establishment of the sought-for Palestinian state presupposes the ethnic cleansing of at a minimum 80,000 Israelis from their homes and communities simply because they are Jews. Jews of course will be prohibited from living in Palestine.

For its part, the Palestinian leadership to which Israel will be expected to communicate its acceptance of the establishment of Palestine, is one part criminal, and two parts jihadist. As Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues have made clear, while they are willing to accept Israel's concessions, they are not willing to accept Israel. This is why they refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

A rare consensus exists today in Israel. From the far-left to the far-right, from IDF Military Intelligence to the Mossad, all agree that the Annapolis conference will fail to bring a peace accord. Since Rice's approach to reaching just such an accord has been to apply unrelenting pressure on Israel, it is fairly clear that she will blame Israel for the conference's preordained failure and cause a further deterioration in US-Israeli relations.

While Israel is supposed to accept a Jew-free Palestine, it goes without saying that its own 20 percent Arab minority will continue to enjoy the full rights of Israeli citizenship. Yet one of the direct consequences of the establishment of a Jew-free, pro-jihadist State of Palestine will be the further radicalization of Israeli Arabs. They will intensify their current rejection of Israel's national identity.

With Palestinian and outside support, they will intensify their irredentist activities and so exert an even more devastating attack on Israel's sovereignty and right to national self-determination.

Shortly after the Annapolis conference fails, and no doubt in a bid to buck up its standing with the Arab world, the US may well stand by its stated intention to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

On December 10, the UN-sponsored troika from the US, Russia and Germany is due to present their report on the ongoing UN-sponsored negotiations between the Kosovo Muslims and the Serbian government regarding the future of the restive province of Serbia. Since the Kosovo Muslims insist on full sovereignty and Serbia's government refuses to accept Kosovo's independence, those talks are deadlocked. Since Russia refuses to support Kosovo's removal from Serbia, there is no chance that the UN Security Council will pass a resolution calling for Kosovar independence.

The push for Kosovar independence was begun by the Clinton administration. It was the natural consequence of the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. Yet the basic assumptions of that bombing campaign have been turned on their head in recent years. In 1999, Serbia was run by a murderous dictator Slobodan Milosovic. He stood accused of ethnically cleansing Kosovo of its Muslim population which was perceived as innocent. Today, led by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, Serbia is taking bold steps towards becoming a liberal democracy which abjures ethnic cleansing and political violence. On the other hand, the Saudi-financed Kosovo Muslims have destroyed more than 150 churches over the past several years, and have terrorized Kosovar Christians and so led to their mass exodus from the province.

As Julia Gorin documented in a recent article in Jewish World Review, Kosovo's connections with Albanian criminal syndicates and global jihadists are legion. Moreover, Kosovar independence would likely spur irredentist movements among the Muslim minorities in all Balkan states. In Macedonia for instance, a quarter of the population is Muslim. These irredentist movements in turn would increase Muslim irredentism throughout Europe just as Palestinian statehood will foment an intensification of the Islamization of Israel's Arab minority.

The Kosovo government announced last month that given the diplomatic impasse, it plans to declare its independence next month. Currently, the Bush administration is signaling its willingness to recognize an independent Kosovo even though doing so will threaten US-Russian relations.

In a bid both to prevent the Bush administration from turning on Israel in the aftermath of the failure of the Annapolis conference and to make clear Israel's own rejection of the notion that a "solution" to the Palestinian conflict with Israel can be imposed by foreign powers, the Olmert government should immediately and loudly restate its opposition to the imposition of Kosovar independence on Serbia.

In the interest of defending the nation-state system, on which American sovereignty and foreign policy is based, the US should reassess the logic of its support for the establishment of Muslim-only states. It should similarly revisit its refusal to openly support the right of non-Islamic states like Israel, Serbia and even France, to assert their rights to defend their sovereignty, national security and national character from outside-sponsored domestic Islamic subversion.




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