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The Headchopper Next Door

Every week another lad or lass from St. Louis, Toronto or Sydney makes the trip through Turkey to the Islamic State. A reporter dispatched by a local paper to talk to the neighbors scribbles down the same recollections about how nice and normal Jihad Joe or Jihad Jane was.

Classmates remember a loud partier or a shy student. Neighbors mention that everything seemed normal until those last few years when he began wearing a robe and she began wearing a burka.

The Somali and Algerian immigrants, the German and American converts, the black burkas and dyed beards, headed into the dying summer to kill Christians and Kurds, Turkmen and Shiites, to behead babies and crucify critics, don’t seem like monsters. They loved their parents. They posed for jokey snapshots on Facebook. They had dreams of becoming biologists or boxers. Until they began killing people, they seemed just like the rest of us.

And with one difference, they were.

The forensic examinations of their lives rarely reveal anything of significance. The extensive digging into the lives of the Boston bombers told us nothing about why they would plant a bomb near a little boy.

The answer lay in the topic that the media carefully avoided. As with the other Muslim terrorists, the meaning of their motives was in the little black book of their religion which commanded them to kill.

The Jihadist isn’t a serial killer. While there are some converts attracted to Islam for its violence, the Muslim convert usually doesn’t convert for the killing, he kills because he converted. Likewise the nice Muslim Jihadist next door might well be moderate by inclination and immoderate by faith.

As the Koran says, “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” (Quran 2:216)

Allah knows you have to kill. Even if you think you shouldn’t.

The nice Jihadists flocking to rape Yazidi girls in Mosul are convinced that Allah knows best and his Caliph knows best. The worst of them are acting on impulse. The best of them are acting on faith.

Faith is irrational. Believers believe without understanding and act without thinking. The holy men of our religions acted on faith. So do the holy men of Islam. It’s what they have faith in that is the problem.

Charles Manson’s girls, Jim Jones’ followers and Mohammed’s companions all believed in much the same things. They saw the world as a fundamentally hostile place and they believed that only one man could change the world. And they believed that people had to die for that change to come about.

In a multicultural environment in which we believe that all religions are the same, we don’t like to think about what might have happened if Charles Manson had a million groupies instead of a few elderly women locked up in prison. Nor do we like to think about how we would handle Jim Jones if he were running California, instead of just being closely linked to the political infrastructure of the men like Governor Brown and Harvey Milk who did run it.

It’s easy to dismiss a small enough religion as a cult because its leader sleeps with young girls and its members are willing to kill for him. But when the cult grows big enough, we say it’s a religion of peace and hope that its followers believe the peaceful version of Islam that the infidels preach to them.

And they never do. Why should they?

Mohammed was quite clear about what he wanted. For all the abrogations, the Koran is reasonably clear on what it expects its followers to do. Mohammed’s history was that of a man who tried to convince the Arabs that he had seen an angel by telling them and failed, and who succeeded only when he killed enough of them, not to mention the Jews and any other infidels hanging around the place.

That is the history of Islam.

Germany was not a nation of monsters. It was a nation that behaved monstrously. The average German would not stick his neighbor in an oven in his basement or chain him up as a slave. He would however do these things in Poland because he was contextually contaminated by a monstrous ideology.

As an individual he was a nice man who loved his children, petted his dog and enjoyed street fairs. As a loyal member of a system run by the Nazi Party, he would do monstrous things. And then when the Nazi machine was switched off, he would go home to his wife and children without ever killing anyone else.

He was not a good man. Good men don’t do the things he did. But he wasn’t a budding serial killer. He was just doing what a death cult told him to do.

The problem isn’t “radicalization”. What Western governments call radicalization is the process by which the Muslim becomes aware of the dictates of his faith and their relevance to his life. It’s not the internet preachers with their fatwas. They are just the vectors for that awareness. The problem is Islam.

The current misguided thinking is that we can win a debate between a “good Islam” and a “bad Islam”. The good Islam will tell Muslims to refrain from joining ISIS, to work for social change, to embrace diversity and to champion democracy. But this “good Islam” is just a liberal’s conception of what religion should be. Its only real followers are liberal non-Muslims and it has little to do with what Islam really is.

Within the historical context of Islam and in the words of the Koran, our idea of the good Muslim is actually a very bad Muslim. And our idea of the bad Muslim is the best of all Muslims. When we argue that Islam is a religion of peace, we are pushing against the full weight of over a thousand years of history and religious ideas and counting on Muslims to be too ignorant of them to know any better.

Those who genuinely want to change Islam will not do it by lying to Muslims about their religion. Trying to convince the nice Jihadist next door that Mohammed would have rejected his expedition to rape and pillage non-Muslims in Syria is futile. The nice Jihadist may not be a scholar, but he knows his Koran.

If they want to change his mind, they will have to be honest about what Islam is.

Mohammed would have been as happy rampaging around Iraq and Syria as a pig rolling around in dung. ISIS is Islam. It’s the naked religion. There are no angels or djinns, no revelations, just piles of mutilated corpses and children playing with severed heads while other children are raped in prison cells.

It’s Mohammed, but it’s also Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad and Gaddafi. Islam doesn’t end the cycle of tyranny and oppression. It is the reason that the cycle continues.

“Deradicalizing” the nice ISIS Jihadist by lying to him will fail in the long run. Telling him the truth and offering him a clear choice is the only way.

Americans were brutally honest about the evils of Nazism, but failed to equally condemn Communism. Germany hasn’t had another Fuhrer, but Russia is back to acting a lot like the Soviet Union. And while Nazism is confined to trailer parks, sympathy for the red devil is prevalent among Western elites. ISIS is exposing its own evil to the West in a way that neither the brownshirts nor the flyers of the red flag did. If we destroy ISIS without exposing the ideology behind it, then we will have won a Pyrrhic victory because we will still be fighting the nice Jihadist next door for the next thousand years.


  1. Anonymous14/9/14

    I so love your writing Daniel. The truth mixed with sarcasm and resignation about people who clueless dumbed down by liberalism is so well done. I am thankful for saying so eloquently what I cannot express as easily and I write for a living.

    I would love for you to write a piece on these young american kids who join all these groups who travel to the middle east to help or report on those good Muslims while often getting groped or their head cut off to show they are better than the right wing racists who understand the enemy and would rather kill it

    keep up the good work. Its great to know I am not alone in my thinking.

  2. Anonymous14/9/14

    If you put a young God-fearing Muslim in a room
    with an Islamic radical and an Islamic moderate, both trying
    to win over the young person’s soul, the radical would
    win again and again. It is because the canon –
    hadiths, sira and Koran – are massively stacked in
    favor of the radical position. Yes, there are violent
    passages in the Bible too, but it is an uphill battle to
    build a violent theology based on them. With the Koran,
    building a violent theology is like rolling balls down a
    hill. It is a huge uphill struggle building a
    “moderate” Islamic theology on the basis of the
    Islamic canon alone.

    Mark Durie

  3. Another boffo examination of the character of the Islamic convert. I shall be passing along the link to this essay to interested parties who are confused about why the nice kid next door would abruptly go bonkers for Allah.

    I must also add, if I may, the suggestion that the nice kid next door or downstairs wouldn’t be so vulnerable to conversion if there wasn’t a screw loose in his overall makeup in the first place. The screw can be of a variety of reasons. He’s a consummate conformist, and hasn’t found happiness in being a one. He might be obsessed with his parents or neighbors being religious or secular hypocrites. He just might be a fundamentally selfless individual, a nonentity unable to formulate his own values and course in life. He is, basically, an embryonic sociopath, regardless of how many parties he might attend or how many selfies he sends to his classmates in Iowa. In these and in other circumstances, he is someone yearning for some external power to give him a ready-made identity and a meaning in life, something he can “believe” in, something that will “show him the way” to being something or someone with a purpose and an impact in the “real world,” something that doesn’t require much thought. So, Islam is there, a whole package full of reasons and methods asking only that he surrender his “self” and wage war on everyone else. One could call him a “Mohammadan Moonie,” or a “Hare Krishna with a Hatchet” novice. The Western Islamic convert is already and literally selfless, and doesn’t need much programming to win him over. Islam offers him excitement and the chance to shoot real guns instead of in a video game. He can’t be “deradicalized” or deprogrammed, especially not if he’s tasted blood in Syria or Iraq or anywhere else jihadists are active.

  4. More proof that there is one spirit and one character behind the Koran. It's like a book where you can tell who the author is just by reading a portion. I have read parts of it and I feel dead when I read it, not like when I read the word of god. The Koran liberates the monster that's already in man.

  5. Anonymous14/9/14

    There is something so degraded and utterly lacking in common sense, about Islamic culture. Little wonder that the early converts were only persuaded by the fear of losing their heads.
    Take away the oil, and what do Muslim countries have to offer ? They are poor farmers, innovators, and have almost no recent art, poetry, medical progress, or cuisine. They do have poverty and disease in abundance, so there's that.

    All that hate takes a lot of energy and time


    1. That's true. It's like they are not only evil but crazy stupid. But I'm trying not to use the word stupid. I can't put my finger on it either but lack of common sense is one way to describe it. I've met and dealt with other people in religious cults and their basic thinking about no religious issues is twisted somehow. Maybe that's it. You are VERY INTUITIVE in my opinion. You would be quite a person to know and talk to I think.

  6. Pam geller said Europe failed to learn the lessons of world war 2, which is that we are monsters. That's what the bible says. The heart of man is desperately wicked naturally. That includes you, me, our children, our mothers. Unless a man accepts this one fact, the world becomes incomprehensible and you're like obama. The Koran aids and abets the natural man.

  7. ericcs14/9/14

    1. We must have a 10 year moratorium on all immigration.
    2. We must declare Islam to be a totalitarian ideology with the appearance of a religion, and place it in the same category as Communism.
    3. We must indicate that only a new form of purely religious Islam is acceptable in this country, one that does not contain any violent or barbaric aspects within the Koran, Hadiths, etc.
    4. We must have all so-called 'moderate' moslems swear allegiance to the new American Islam and loyalty to the U.S. Constitution, or else they must emigrate within one year.

    The thing I want to know now is, how in the world do we start DOING something (for example the above), instead of just sitting around and TALKING about it? Set up a parallel government? Overthrow the existing one? WHAT CAN WE DO ???

  8. Anonymous14/9/14

    >ISIS is Islam<

    i did it thus: #isisisislam

  9. Anonymous14/9/14

    also on #isisisislam

    Jordanian Palestinian Politician: “There Is No Such Thing as ‘ISIS Ideology,’ It’s Islam” (Video)



  10. Anonymous14/9/14

    There's a common denominator that emboldens the monsters: evasion, on our part - pretty much as DG explains, but the problem is that evasion is now everywhere. These jihad problems (wicked as they are) are just one of many arrows sticking into our hide. - djr

  11. Radical Islam is REAL Islam. "Moderate" Islam also serves the cause of Jihad, by serving as real radical Islam's Trojan horse into the West. Once established, communities of "moderate" Muslims in the West serve the vital task of creating a thick triple-canopy forest to camouflage the real, genuine radicals Muslims.

  12. Anonymous14/9/14

    "Its only real followers are liberal non-Muslims..."

    Well stated.

  13. Christianity grew up, for 250 years after the Crucifixion, as the religion of slaves and the poor. Islam grew up in the 200 years after the death of Mohammed as the religion of a successful, expanding empire, the Caliphate. What went into the Koran was selected by the memories of the Sunnah, even as they participated in those first conquests, and justified them.

    Just as the Roman Empire of Constantinople did with Christianity from the 4th Century AD onwards, Islam was used by the Caliphs as the justification and the glue that held the empire that was the Caliphate together. What was *not* there was what Christianity had evolved in its first 250 years. It is no oddity that you can find more justifications for conquest and violent conversion in the Koran, because the people between 632AD and 832 AD (there are Arabic words not used till 800AD in some of the Suras) who compiled the final version of the Koran *needed* it to be that.

    We should note that the Roman Emperors' strong pressures on the Church is what gave Christianity some of its most objectionable behaviors. Still, Christianity developed its core attitudes *before* it was subjected to those pressures, and often resisted them. Islam did not have that period of grace to solidify before imperial pressures from Caliphs constrained it to their mold.

    In addition the Caliphate modeled itself in large part on the 7th Century Roman Empire of Constantinople. Emperor Heraclius had fused State and Church under his authority as "Equal of the Apostles" during Mohammed's lifetime, in order for Rome to survive that final life and death struggle with Zoroastrian Persia between 602 and 628. Seeing the Caliph in that same role by 650AD should be no surprise.

    The attempts to revive the 8th centruy Caliphate from 1928 onwards (founding purpose of the Muslim Brotherhood) constitute the latest reaction against world-wide industrial society. Just like the socialist reaction before them, and the racist reaction before that, they have quickly slid into totalitarian structures. The freedoms of action the Caliphate Revivalists assault are crucial to keeping the highly productive networks of industrial society around the world able to feed 6 of the 7 billion people on this planet.

    Scriptural Literalism was one of the demands of both Empires, Rome and the Caliphate. Selective scriptural literalism made scripture into a political tool. We have long since given up the Christian Empire, Indeed, it would have no resistance greater than in the old Roman lands themselves. For Muslims to understand our proper reaction to the Caliphate, all they would have to do is to think of their own reaction to a revival of the Roman Empire of Constantinople, in all its pretensions to universal rule and fusion of Statre and Religion.

  14. There is a kind of dichotomy in Islam but it is not between radical and moderate, it is between those who act out and those who do not. Regrettably the more passive do not object to the more active because they all share the same doctrine.

  15. Anonymous15/9/14

    Simply an addendum to the words of Tom Billings, above:

    Christianity has no theological impulse to conquer, no inherent catalyst to violence. Theology here is key. By contrast, Islam is theologically driven to kill and conquer.

  16. Anonymous15/9/14

    You and Bill Whittle are my two favorite internet thinkers. The two of you should join forces. I think it's important that more Low infos (both trailer and college) be exposed to your crystal clear arguments. You could call it the Judeo-Christian review, and attack from both angles. Whaddya' think?

  17. Anonymous15/9/14

    Last comment by Steve Brennan

  18. Anonymous15/9/14

    History check...

    As World War II came to a close, it was becoming obvious to the Allies that Japan was prepared to fight to the very end. The plans for the invasion of Japan--Operation Downfall, look it up--estimated that Allied casualties could run into the millions. They manufactured enough Purple Heart medals by way of anticipation that some of those 1945 surplus Purple Heart medals are "in stock" with American units in the field nearly seventy years later.

    Then came Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Faced with the choice of either surrender or millions of its people dying, Japan surrendered.

    The West needs to grow a pair and confront the barbarians with the same choice faced by Japan at the end of World War II.

    For reference, the hajj in 2017 should be in early September.

  19. Martin15/9/14

    As long as sycophants exist in Western media and government, or who for that matter hold forth in comment threads, with the attendant false equivalencies and non-resistant policies, Islam, radical or otherwise, with never be dealt with effectively. The cliches regarding learning from history were made so by such stunted intellectuals.

    Just as the Obama team is consumed with being "not Bush," the irreligious hold no distinctions between any; they are simply non. Which, where the rubber meets the road, or where your fence meets your neighbors, is an extraordinarily weak place to be. Europe was once nearly consumed by such infantile paralysis.

    These are they whose only saving grace is the guy across the street, who is neither blind nor defenseless, and who has the goodness to pity their humanity, something our adversary lacks, but uses with alacrity.

  20. Anonymous15/9/14

    Anon above; The Japanese felt that losing was dishonorable, after the war, their injured veterans were treated worse than dogs. They had not committed suicide, they had survived, that was not an option in the prevailing culture of those times.

    As I look at Islam, there is a recurring thought, if one kills everyone around them who is viewed as an infidel, then what ?
    Who is left to consume the oil or manufacture the cars that drink the oil ?
    Who makes the sandals, grows the food, or operates on one's gall bladder ? Who makes the expensive watches their Imans love so much ?
    There is so much here that is nonsensical, not to mention that they keep beheading, killing and maiming each other.
    I have long accepted that we cannot look at them through Western eyes, we will never, ever, truly 'get' them, so I remain in the dark.
    The only conclusion that seems possible is cutting off the money supply, and killing them before they kill us, an opinion of which I am decidedly not proud. Although in time, they appear fated to self destruct, they can do immense damage first.

  21. That's a guns and butter concern. ISIS does not care about who makes the butter. If the time comes when they win, their rulers might keep some infidels around the way that every other set of Islamic conquerors did. Or perhaps they'll keep pushing for the absolute purity of Islam and a complete desert.

  22. Anonymous15/9/14

    Islam is - make no doubt about it - a cult.

    Yes - it is a highly successful - quite large - cult. But just because it is so successful as a cult does not negate the fact that it simply is a cult.

    The first rule of cults is - if you try to quit - someone from the cult will come and try to kill you. --- Sorry - but that's Islam - a big successful cult.

  23. Anonymous15/9/14

    We need you!

    September 15, 2014 tapferimnirgendwo

    A few years ago the Jerusalem Post published an article about Cologne’s tolerance of an egregious antisemitic installation in front of the Cologne cathedral.

    Since a few weeks the killing of all Jews is called justified resistance in front of the Cologne Cathedral!

    The actor and blogger, Gerd Buurmann, has been battling with the Cologne authorities for years to have this offensive exhibit removed. A reader of his blog wrote a letter to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with a request for help. The only response she received was a mail claiming that the matter had been resolved.

    She wrote a letter to Mr. Blizowsky, Director of International Relations Tel Aviv, with the request to put the city partnership with Cologne on hold or suspend it altogether until the antisemitic exhibit is removed. Until today she received no response from Mr. Blizowsky.

    It is time for more people to ask the authorities of Tel Aviv why the city continues a

  24. It's simple. No more pussy-footing around...


  25. Anonymous15/9/14

    There is evil in the world. Sometimes evil is well disguised, sometimes it is easily recognized. Without doubt this system, this religion is a worship of evil.

  26. For a few years now, I have been convinced that the greatly increased "acting out" of emboldened Moslems is intended by G-d to give all of us who consider ourselves religious an impetus to make our beliefs more rational and in line with our moral instincts. Yes, there is a need for some amount of supra-rational faith, but the example of what truly blind faith can do to people is supposed to scare us to death and make us think a lot. Of course, it's even scarier to see the response of the truly mindless left, who deny that this is even related to Islamic belief (while still holding onto their hate for Western religion), but that does not change the message that we relatively sane people are expected to get from events.

    May G-d guide us all, and may He even give some sanity to those in all groups who seem to have lost it completely.

  27. Anonymous16/9/14

    It is surprising that their warriors are not falling to HIV en masse. Then again if they were, who would tell us ?

  28. Reading this essay, I could not help thinking that Obama is currently a bad Muslim and how horrible it will be when he becomes a good Muslim.

  29. Anonymous17/9/14

    Muslims themselves probably came up with the phrase, radiculised... we know they have conned governments into giving them money to supposedly help stop muslims being taught 'a false version of islam'.

    But of course IT IS islam as they know full well.

    Its not that muslims are becoming radiculised.... its that they now feel comfortable enough of showing what they really are.

    Muhamad himself 'appeared' nicer when he had few followers, he also played the victim and practiced deceipt about what he really was.

    Muslims are following his 'holy' (sick) examples....

  30. Anonymous17/9/14

    anonymous makes a good case that islam is a Christian heresy. I don't see any doubt that mohammed was the predicted antichrist. there was a time Christians killed heretics. now they just proclaim them to be peaceful, and let them murder Christians.

  31. Anonymous17/9/14

    Daniel, your articles are always great, but this one addresses the conceptual understanding of THE most important issue of our time, and your correct analysis and exegesis is one that the propagandists, apologists, and fifth column muslim spokesmen in our country are pushing to suppress and replace with their own misleading but soothing narrative of a small non-representative misguided misunderstanders hijacking a peaceful religion, Nothing to do with the underlying doctrine and teachings of islam, nothing to see here. Worse, the pervasive characterization of those perpetrators of the jihad and their motives as merely being evil psychopaths, unconnected to a broader ideology is perfectly mirrored and rebuffed by your apt analogy of the average every day German death camp apparatchik. Going further with the analogy, that your average muslims are good and peaceful not committing violence ignores the fact of whether they deep down support or condone it, with the average German or even Nazi party members of which the vast majority where not directly involved in atrocities, and/or would have been squeamish to actually commit such acts themselves. Even further those who might have disagreed or not gone that far still looked the other way and in essence, were irrelevant. To their credit our generals in WW2 dismissed the “I knew nothing” claims and shamed them by parading them in front of the horrific scenes at the camps. The Nazi experiment was short lived but the muslim mind washing indoctrination has been going on for 1400 years. As you correctly point out, no good muslim following faithfully his creed could be good (in our terms) nor by their terms anyone we would good would be a good muslim.

  32. Anonymous17/9/14

    still think our greatest enemy is saudi arabia and their wabasshi teachings that keep this stuff going. maybe their teachings will be their undoing.

  33. Daniel, this is a particularly great piece. Thank you. I'll be sharing it on Facebook and emailing friends.

  34. PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org



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