"Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time or war where every man is enemy to every man, the same is consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Chapter 8.)
The political elite and their lackeys in the old-fashioned media almost lost their minds when Donald Trump reminded everyone in the world that the primary function of a state is to protect its own citizens so they can live their lives without being in 'continual fear and danger of violent death'.
In response to Trump's proposal to temporarily halt immigration from Islamic countries until the American authorities figure out what is going on with all these jihadist attacks - and remember, these have been going on for years now - we hear the tired old assertion that not all Muslims are jihadists. The people who keep repeating this appear to believe that they are saying something profound. They are not. In fact, the assertion that not all Muslims are jihadists is irrelevant.
It is possible to describe the relationship between members of one group and the members of another group. The assertion that all members of one group are also members of another group (All S are P) is known as an 'A proposition'. For example, if someone said that 'all Muslims are jihadists' then that would be an A proposition. But that is not what was said, by Trump or anyone else.
The assertion that some members of one group are also members of another group (Some S are P) is called an 'I proposition'. This is the assertion that is being made, and where the subject term is Muslims, and the predicate term is jihadists, the I proposition (Some S are P) is true.
|Some S are P - the 'I proposition'.|
One of the reasons we know that, where the subject term is Muslims and the predicate term is jihadists, the I proposition (Some S are P) is true, is because the current President of the USA is on record as saying that, “I think we all recognize that this is a particular problem that has roots in Muslim communities." The same individual has also said that, in his opinion, "the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam.” So the current President of the USA has openly acknowledged that the ideology driving the terrorists is nothing less than an "interpretation of Islam", and that some of the people in "Muslim communities" - that is to say, some Muslims - believe in it.1
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is also on record as saying, right after the latest terrorist attack in Paris, that "It doesn’t work to deny any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists, not least because these extremists self-identify themselves as Muslims. There is no point denying that."2
So we know that there are some Muslims living in our countries who believe in an "interpretation of Islam" that justifies acts of extreme violence against innocent people. The question, which has not been asked by the old-fashioned media since Trump made his proposal about temporarily limiting immigration, is this: How many Muslims believe in that "interpretation of Islam"?
A survey carried out by the Pew Research Center in 2007 found that 47% of Muslims living in America see themselves as Muslims first and Americans second;3 32% of Muslims believe there is a natural conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society;4 26% of Muslims believe that Muslims coming to America today should remain separate from American society,5 and 26% of Muslims under the age of 30 have said they believe suicide bombing against civilian targets can be justified if it is carried out in defense of Islam.6
So according to the Pew Research Center, one in four young adult Muslims living in America believe in an "interpretation of Islam" that justifies acts of violence against innocent people. One of the primary reasons that a state exists is to protect its citizens from such a threat. If a state does not protect its own citizens, then it is no longer a legitimate political entity.
The interesting thing about Trump's comment was not that he proposed limiting immigration, it was that he challenged the American authorities to 'figure out' what was going on. That's what really put the wind up them. Because the truth is, the American and British authorities are not only failing to carry out their primary duty as representatives of so-called democratic states, they are actively creating a situation akin to that described long ago by Thomas Hobbes. A war of all against all, where anything that is worthwhile is destroyed or abandoned, and where everyone are in 'continuous fear of violent death'. They are deliberately creating the very conditions they are supposed to exist in order to prevent - like a doctor deliberately giving their patients poison. The question we all want an answer to is: Why are they doing this?
No wonder they don't want anyone to figure out what the hell is going on.
1. Boyer, D. Obama says terrorists not motivated by true Islam, The Washington Times, Feb 1st 2015;
Halper, D. Obama: 99.9% of Muslims Reject Radical Islam, The Daily Caller, Feb 2nd 2015.
2. Prime Minister's statement on Paris attacks and G20 Summit, 17th November 2015.
3. Muslim Americans, Middle Class And Mostly Mainstream, Pew Research Center, May 22nd 2007, pages 3 & 31, available at: Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project.
4. ibid., p. 32.
5. ibid., p. 33.
6. ibid., pp. 53-54.
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