Does it take extremism to stop extremism?


For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In our society the word extreme has negative connotations. If anyone suggests countering an extreme action with an extreme reaction most people feel very uncomfortable.  I will start with a simple story to illustrate my point.

When I was at primary school the next-door neighbour’s son was given an air rifle for his birthday. One day when I was outside playing with my dog he pointed his rifle across the fence and shot at my dog. Luckily he missed but my screams of outrage were heard by his father. His father asked me what had happened and I told him. I expected him to react by telling the boy off and taking the air rifle off him for a period of time. To my great shock the boy’s father grabbed the air rifle put it on the firewood chopping block and smashed it to pieces in front of me and his crying son.

I felt bad because I felt that the punishment was extreme. Admittedly if the boy had succeeded in shooting my dog ( his intention ) or had accidentally shot me in the eye and blinded me, I would not have felt that way. The only reason neither I or my dog were injured was dumb luck.


Air rifle pellet embedded in child’s face

Because of the ” extreme “action his father took, I and my dog were never shot at again. Because of the “extreme” action  his father took I was 100% safe  from being shot at by his son for the rest of my time living in that house. No one was hurt physically by his “extreme”action but he prevented any possibility of injury to me and my dog.

If an ” extreme ” action or actions could make us 100% safe from Islamic terrorism in the West should we consider it if it would kill no one and physically harm no one?

If the West took the “extreme” action  of passing a law that legally defines Islam as a political ideology, stopped further Muslim immigration and closed mosques and Islamic schools, would terrorism be reduced and eventually stopped? Would removing the practice and proselytizing of Islam from the West make the West safe from Islamic terrorism again? Does it take extreme reactions to stop extreme actions?

No one would be killed by the extreme action.No one would be physically harmed but like all ” extreme” actions there would be a cost. Peaceful Muslims would lose the right to practice their religion inside a Western country because it will have been redefined as a political ideology that is unacceptable in the west.
This ” extreme ” action would take away their western given right to freedom of religion. A right that they either did not have themselves  in the countries they left ( Ahmadiyya in Pakistan for example ) or a right that they did not allow other religions such as Christianity in their Muslim countries.

When you look at it in a purely scientific or logical manner we have the choice:

1) Allow freedom of religion for Muslims and we all ( Muslim and Non-Muslim alike ) continue to suffer from Islamic terrorism which means death, slaughter,violence, fear and terror or…
2) Take away freedom of religion for Muslims and they get to keep all other western rights and freedoms inside the West and terrorism is eradicated.

Only one option involves loss of human life.

You have four things now to consider.

  • Would it actually work?
  • If you think it would work is it morally wrong to fight extremism with extremism?
  • Does the right to freedom of religion apply to something that is also a political ideology?
  • Is terrorism committed by Muslims undeniably linked to Islam?


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