Richard Fernandez: Islamic World in Flames

Migrants believed to be Rohingya rest inside a shelter after being rescued from boats at Lhoksukon in Indonesia‘s Aceh Province. Roni Bingtang/Reuters

Perhaps Samuel Huntington’s most famous assertion comes his 1996 book The Clash of Civilizations in which he argues that “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards.” The Western world is likely to remember the “borders” yet apt to forget the “innards”. Yet it is the innards which is generating the greatest misery. The quarrels of Islam are spewing out broken people at a near historic rate. There are more refugees in the world today than at any time since the Second World War: fifty million, according to the UNHCR. Most of them are Muslims.

Though the great bulk of displaced persons come from the Middle East, Central Africa, South Asia and West Africa the convulsions are now general. Apart from the boat people crossing the Mediterranean sea, thousands of Rohingaya and Bangladeshi Muslims have been cast out on the high seas, expelled by Burmese and Thais who have long fought and feared them — the “most unwanted refugees on earth”.

The flame consuming the Islamic world is burning so hot that it has reduced the dreams of young men to ash. The Daily Beast notes that the horrible reality of war has disillusioned many a young Muslim who thought it was all fun and glamor. “There used to be each week 100 to 200 foreign [Western] recruits arriving in Raqqa; now there are five or six every week. The foreigners inside are communicating to their friends back home not to come and they’re explaining the reality of what life is really like inside.”

You would think they would stop, but that’s unlikely. Odds are the fire will just find fresh fuel. Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution argues that a deadly fuse has been lit within the innards of the Islamic and in Western countries as 20,000 unemployed terrorists return to their domiciles at loose ends…

(Note on the Rohingya: Indonesia apparently does not want anymore of them: Migrant boat turned away by Indonesian navy as UN warns thousands of people adrift at sea are ‘on the brink of death’)