C.W. Gusewelle

July 26, 2014

History bodes ill for Islamic caliphate

The Islamic militants besieging Iraq are not content simply to inflict terror and ruin and embroil the civilized world in a costly confrontation. They also are determined to trade in arrant nonsense.

The Islamic militants besieging Iraq are not content simply to inflict terror and ruin and embroil the civilized world in a costly confrontation.

They also are determined to trade in arrant nonsense.

In proclaiming their establishment of a Muslim caliphate, they have asserted in effect that all believers — regardless of where in the world they live or what citizenships they hold — will henceforth be bound absolutely by the laws of Islam.

In other words, they have declared the creation of a global state that has no territorial limits and respects no rules but its own.

Theirs would be a state in which girls were forbidden to seek education. One in which wife beating would be standard practice and “honor” killings — the stoning to death of couples who marry for love — would be perfectly acceptable.

It is one thing to be blindly radical. It’s another thing to be utterly silly.

Imagine, if you can, how the attempt to introduce such a regime of laws and practices would be greeted in the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Germany or any other jurisdiction on earth where ordinary standards of decency prevail.

In these and many other countries there are Muslim populations whose economic, artistic, social and professional contributions greatly enrich the culture.

To them, this proclamation of a caliphate — an international religious dictatorship — must sound like a siren call to ruin.

Plainly there are radical Islamists. The abductions, mass murders and other abominations committed almost daily in Mali, Nigeria and elsewhere across Africa are abundant proof of that.

But there have been periods in history when other savage individuals and groups — Mongols, Nazis, Czars, Crusaders, Grand Inquisitors and the like — have claimed absolute right to govern.

Without exception they have failed.

The authors of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant would do well to read their history. They will not find it encouraging.

For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to gusewelle.kansascity.com.

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