Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My book review of Radical State: How Jihad is Winning over Democracy in the West

Radical State: How Jihad is Winning Over Democracy in the West
by Abigail R. Esman

Ms. Esman is an award winning author and journalist based in New York and the Netherlands. This is her first book on this topic on which she has published many papers and articles.

I’ve read countless books on Islam, its history, its threats, its fruits, but this is my first review.

Ms. Esman’s writing style made me feel as though I were in her Dutch apartment; warm, inviting, festive. That helped balance the seriousness of the topic and the angst between the lines. The book explains how today’s Islamic penetration of European society is not a “Johnny come lately.” She expertly explains intricacies of European thought, history and culture that are unknown to us Americans. Sure, there’s lots of Muslims all over Europe and they’re all raising a stink today, but how did it get this way? I had to read this book slowly to grasp these new ideas and thoughts. And it was a slow read because the European setting is foreign to this old southern belle. Interestingly though, the book takes you to the Netherlands like a good fiction read. I could practically smell the coffee and hear the sounds on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. I hate to keep harping on how slowly I digested this book, but what I have come to realize is that a relationship formed between us during the process. You don’t get to know a person in a few hours, so I learned to savor this rich cultural experience and found it unique among my reading experiences.

Particularly compelling was the heart wrenching depiction of the murder of Theo Van Gogh. I knew a bit of his story, but Ms. Esman resurrected him and honored the loss of his life with the seeds of courage and truth. His gruesome murder at the hands of a jihadist was a personal loss for her and a loss of tremendous insight and bravery for the world. Theo’s partner in the project that got him targeted for violence was Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ms. Esman invites us into their growing friendship. (I’ve also read Infidel by Ms. Ali.) Ms. Esman gives us rich behind the scenes details of both warriors and reveals their humanity at the same time. But most importantly, Esman lets their passion inflame her and ignite the pages of Radical State.

Multiculturalism is a death knell to the world and Ms. Esman unfurls a banner of resistance in both explaining how Europeans failed to appreciate their own freedom, culture and Judeo-Christian roots and by revealing examples of how Dutch government has sold their souls to the devil for political correctness. Perhaps my reading was slowed by the many times I had to underline and add my own margin notes of frustration or acclamation at their ignorance, stupidity and utter disregard for the wellbeing of their citizens.

As disturbing as this was while viewing the other side of the pond, it got downright distressing when she focused the magnifying glass on America. We sold our souls to the devil for oil; this truth will bury us over time. This is my favorite quote from the book; it follows her depiction of the money trail of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia for universities, corporate ownership and media control: “This is frightening stuff. A United States that cannot be conquered with rifles and with bombs, it seems, can, instead, quite easily be bought.”

Ms. Esman awakens us to action with engaging quotes from Steven Emerson, Winston Churchill and Robert Spencer to repel the immediate threats of Islamization. Her long term solution is better education of Muslims, citing, “In other words, Islamic fundamentalism and jihadi violence seem to flourish in two specific environments where reading levels are low to non-existent.” I agree with the quote but don’t believe education is the complete solution. I believe thinking, critical reasoning, and reading are a uniquely human experience; proving humans alone are made in God’s image. But this makes us the target of God’s enemy; the devil. The devil’s objective is to reduce God’s creation of man down to that of the animals, enslave us and have us worship him instead. I believe Islam is the most operative arm of the devil at work in the world today. (This is my opinion entirely and not supported by this book’s content.) Muslims are not allowed the luxury of thinking for themselves. Islam teaches that allah knows everything and has determined everything and may not be questioned. This tenet squelches inquiring minds and accomplishes the goal of making a person seem more animal than human. So how will more education be effective if we can’t give the Muslims freedom to live differently than the Koran demands?

Ms. Esman refers to “education as our greatest weapon against the forces of jihad.” I believe this could open the door and bring a glimmer of hope to a dark situation. But education alone will not correct moral depravity of the human soul. It is the right kind of education, a spiritual rebirth based on truth, which will set the captives free. Individuals are leaving Islam, but Islam itself is on a prophetic destiny that only heaven can stop.

I wholeheartedly agree that education of non-Muslims to the threat of Islam will be our most effective weapon to slow down its spread. Islam has no intentions of stopping; this well researched and written book points out many supporting truths from recent history. So our choice is whether we lie down in front of the train, jump on board and hope to hijack the engineer, or rebuild the tracks so it just runs in a circle and harms no one. I wish it were that simple or possible to stop. I believe this clash of civilizations will be the world’s undoing and usher in what many consider end time and apocalyptic consequences. This problem won’t go away, but you’ll be better educated on history, options and opinions by reading Radical State.

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