Sunday, March 23, 2008

John David Lewis, Islamic Totalitarianism, and Georgia Tech

John David Lewis, a political philosopher, gave a speech at Georgia Tech on the subject of "'No Substitute for Victory’: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism," based on an article that he had written. In it, Dr. Lewis says that he:
"rejected all forms of theocracy, but emphasized the danger posed by the Islamic state and argued for the destruction of its most obvious manifestation, the regime in Iran. I was prepared for opposition to the idea of war with Iran, and I acknowledged up front that those who recognize that religious law is wrong might disagree with my conclusion that a war against the Iranian state is necessary. But I was not prepared for the strident defense of Islamic law and jihad—and for the condemnation of me for even raising the issue of Islamic jihad—that was to come."

After Dr. Lewis gave his speech, a young man, assumedly Muslim, stood up and harangued him for fifteen minutes that:

"(1) There is a long separation of church and state in Islam; (2) Islamic law is
good; (3) whenever imposed, Islamic law has brought peace; (4) jihad is a
“wonderful idea” and does not mean war; (5) Islamic Totalitarianism poses no
threat, since 500 million Muslims reject terrorism; (6) the tax leveled against
subjugated peoples is just, because they are protected by Muslims in return; (7)
I am “ignorant of history” if I do not acknowledge the “truth” of these claims."

Eventually, as the two men debated, the Islamist heckler in the audience said that Dr. Lewis had a "criminal mind," and condemned him for reading quotes from Islamists jihadists that refuted the man's views. Essentially, Dr. Lewis was accused of thought crime.

The rest of the exchange shows that Dr. Lewis is intellectually honest and that the man in the audience is brainwashed. The heckler's attitude is frightening in that it details sentiments that many, many Islamists share.

All theocracies repress freedom. We can't be tolerant of those who oppose freedom, for they will not be tolerant of freedom if they are in charge.

TK Kenyon

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