L. Neil Smith's
Number 346, November 20, 2005

"If you can't beat 'em... join 'em"

How to End the War on Terror in One Simple Step
by Scott Kauzlarich

Exclusive to TLE

Why are we spending billions to fight the War on Terror? Why are we gambling our economy and civil liberties when a simple, cheap, and effective solution is right under our nose? In one fell swoop, we can end the War on Terror; it requires only one small act.

The United States must convert to Islam.

That's it—just pass a law declaring Islam the official religion of America. A few kneels to the east, a televised pilgrimage or two, and that's that. The whole messy thing is over. No more crashing planes, no more plastic-wrapped houses, no more anxiety.

Although this move is both brilliant and easy, it will be met, initially, with a small amount of controversy. The really good ideas always are. To help those who will carry the solution forth, I've outlined how to deal with the three big questions that will inevitably come up.

What About Christianity?

Christians will resist the conversion to Islam at first and they will be the toughest crowd to convince as a whole. But given the government's perfect track-record of turning everything it touches into crap, it won't take long before Christian leaders see the obvious benefits of making Islam our official religion. In no time, Islam will be mortally wounded and Pat Robertson will be singing our praises.

Returning Christianity to a minority status is probably the best thing that could happen to the religion right now. It might be the one thing that truly saves it—imagine Bible-beaters getting the kind of protected status and privileges that other groups get.

Instead of swimming upstream against "separation of church and state" Christians can utilize the methods of other suppressed sects. In the name of diversity, Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments will make a comeback; Christianity might even get that rebel "cool" it lost 2,000 years ago. With a national conversion to Islam, the Christian Right stands a fighting chance of beating back the rising tide of secular humanism it fears so much.

Is Converting to Islam Legal?

Some people will worry about the U.S. Constitution; they'll say we can't convert the country to Islam without a Constitutional amendment. To this I say: "What in Allah are you talking about?" The document has been contorted and abused for the better part of a century. Why stop now?

The idea that we must respect the Constitution is a sentimental position that no longer has any relevance to the real world—most Americans have given up the quaint notion that the Constitution must be followed closely. In fact, if you want to get technical about it, almost everything the Federal Government does is prohibited by the Constitution. What is one more thing going to hurt?

In truth, we can't really damage the Constitution any more than it already is. As far as I can tell the document is a dead letter—little more than a scrap of paper cherished by almost no one. If eliminating the enumerated powers doctrine and the Tenth Amendment didn't cause alarm, surely a little thing like the establishment clause won't be missed.

Will Muslim Terrorists Believe Us?

What if terrorists like Osama bin Laden don't take our conversion seriously? Well, so what? It's not a matter of convincing bin Laden; it's a matter of convincing his supporters. Osama won't get behind the wheel of a truck bomb, so if he thinks our conversion is a trick, who cares? When the Great Satan becomes the Great Islam, bin Laden's pool of fanatics will dry up and blow away. Our conversion to Islam will land a crushing blow to al Qaeda—one can hardly strike a blow for jihad by blowing up stuff in a Muslim country.

This isn't to say that terrorists like bin Laden won't still be around. But now their fire will be directed somewhere else. Even if, as some people (Dubya) say, the real objective of terror is to wipe out freedom and goodness, it is probably a lot easier to attack free and good countries that are non-Muslim. It pains me that countries like England and Spain will probably suffer more terrorist attacks after our conversion, but it's a good kind of pain—the kind of pain you don't actually feel.

It was said once that Paris is worth a mass. If this is true than America is surely worth a Hajj. So let's put crescent moons in front of the 50 stars and remember what we all learned so long ago: If you can't beat 'em... join 'em.

Scott Kauzlarich is a professor of Social Science at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls, IA.


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