Devotional Islam Has Come to the Fork in the Road

I think people of good conscience try to make the distinction between Islamism and Islam, between political Islam and devotional Islam. The expectation, however, is that devotional Islam must declare itself on the side of peace and toleration as well as assuming responsibility for rejection of radicalized elements within its community. If this is not done, soon there will be no patience for distinguishing between the two. Islam itself, in whatever form, will be heaped into one bundle as the West coalesces into a front against it.

For 25 years or so since the first attack on the World Trade Center the West has tried to give the benefit of the doubt. With options narrowing and devotional Islam’s silence, the struggle will soon shift to be against Islam itself. The West does not have infinite patience and doors will start closing to all Muslims. You can feel this in the air as the West is increasingly pushed beyond its financial, personnel, and cultural resources. It is coming to the exhaustion point. Devotional Islam must befriend the West and become a faithful ally in liberal democracy. If it chooses not to do so, it will become a religion without a place, as has happened to the Jews through their history. It will have earned the distrust of Westerners and certainly the distrust of Middle Eastern theocratic regimes.
The experiment with integration into the West is nearing its end and choices are increasingly stark and clear. Integrate and assimilate or hear windows shut and doors slammed. This is Islam’s choice. The West has kept its part of the bargain. We can no longer do what Islam must do for itself.

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