Jonathan Sacks: ‘I’m optimistic when I speak to young Muslims. They have incredible idealism’

“…It is no use, he says, hoping the problem will go away, or relying on our political leaders in the West to sort it out.

“Their maximum length of concentration is until the next election, so there is a culture gap with these religious extremists. They are in a time system where the minimum unit of currency is a decade, and they are comfortable looking at things in centuries. Right now, a long-term problem is meeting short attention spans in the West.”


I do not believe he is as optimistic as that headline statement implies. Your mileage may differ.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Optimistic, yeah.
    I’m optimistic about a future filled with rape and sharia.

    • Una Salus

      ISIS is highly optimistic too. With Guys like Jonathan Sacks around they won’t need centuries.

    • Gary

      The Imams now being interviews on TV over the terrorism on US soil over the sharia blasphemy laws that two muslims use to try and kill Pam Geller in Texas and New York can no longer be ignored.
      In the past these taqiyyah weasels blamed the islamic nation as being ignorant and not following the true quran , they tried to fool people that sharia was way over THERE in the ME because they had to the true islam and it’s peaceful in America . So much for that big lie, even the head of CAIR knew the Garland Jihadists were following sharia and pure islam because Mr.Hooper blamed Pam for provoking muslims knowing they are predisposed to riots and terrorism killings.

      Muslims must now know they have the number to do offensive Jihad , so the best way to emulate muhammed and inflect terror in the hearts of the unbelievers is by the new threats when muslims get the 1st Amendment killed and use Hate-speech laws to stop the truth about islam from getting out or any mocking of their misogynistic pedophile prophet .

  • Alain

    There is no fool like an old fool.

    • Waffle

      Read the article — not just the headline. Please.

      • Frau Katze

        It’s actually a thoughtful piece. But even he admits that he’s relying on divine help for a solution. Atheists won’t find much here, but believers might. Book sounds interesting.

        It is the secularisation of Western society, he argues, and the resulting moral vacuum, that leaves idealistic youngsters without anything in which to believe and susceptible to radical voices. “Young people like ideals but we are very short of ideals right now, and that means they can be drawn to causes that are also very dangerous.”…

        …The causes of Islam’s troubles, he suggests, lie elsewhere. He sees a general “turning inwards” among Muslims – found in other faiths, too, he adds – “that emphasises difference not common ground, and that is anti-modern”. He is concerned, too, by its tendency to combine religious with political power: “I can’t think of a single instance in history when that has been a blessing.”

        His third culprit is what he calls “the destablising effect of the revolution in information technology. In the past, radical groups would be marginalised and largely unknown, but now they can instantly reach a global audience with their ideas.” Put these three factors together, he concludes, “and they represent a perfect storm”…

        …And, he adds, as a final thought, befitting of one whose voice is so familiar on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, “I happen to believe in divine providence. God sends problems and God sends solutions.”

        • just a thought

          “…he admits that he’s relying on divine help for a solution.”

          Well, he is a Rabbi, after all. I wouldn’t trust him if he didn’t.

        • Zaba

          Thanks for posting.

          He is concerned, too, by its tendency to combine religious with political power

          Well, such is the koran, clearly spelled out.
          He needs to visit BCF more often!

          • Alain

            Exactly which tells me he is ignorant of Islam. Remove the “political power” from Islam and you only have a few crumbs remaining.

        • Alain

          Yes, and God helps those who help themselves.

          • Frau Katze

            Good reminder.

  • Martin B

    It’s the incredibly idealistic young Muzz who are running away to join the Caliphate.

  • Gary

    The threat of terrorism is morel like ‘ Jihadists in mirror may be closer than they appear ‘ .

    Liberalism is a mental disorder where many victims of it think they can drive a car by only using the rear view mirror to see what they hit and THEN correct their course .
    The problem is , that type of thinking becomes useless as you see the cliff behind you in the mirror getting smaller and moving upwards.

  • John

    Completely agree with his point about Westerners thinking in terms of decades and that Muslims think in terms of centuries.

    • Alain

      Yes, he is correct about that part. It is common among tribal societies, not just Muslims.

    • Minicapt

      Actually they don’t; they think several months to a year in the future, after which they presume Allah will have sorted things out in their favour. When things fail to occur as assumed, then Allah changed his mind and we need to try something different but the same.
      The only time they think in terms of centuries is to remember to glories of Al-Andelus, or the sweet little oranges from the grove on the outskirts of Jaffa.


  • just a thought

    Religious extremists are the “….greatest challenge facing us in the 21st century.”????

    The problem would probably never have developed in the first place had the Leftists, who are the real threat to the world, not surrendered so much to them. Now that it has developed, it would still be an easy problem to solve if our “leaders” had an ounce of common sense, and the ability to cooperate.

    • Zaba

      You’re asking our leaders to use critical thinking?

      • just a thought

        No. That would be unrealistic, given the caliber of “leaders” we have these days.

        I was just saying what we would need to fix the problem. The fact that it isn’t being fixed means we don’t have what we need. I didn’t say I thought we could get it from them. I am under no illusions that they will “wake up” and change course. I thought it was obvious.

  • Dana Garcia

    Muslim “idealism” centers around the goal of world conquest for allah.

    • Alain


  • Waffle

    Misleading headlines: the opiate of the ill-informed and the low information crowd.

    Effing idiots — the headline is the distillation of one person’s OPINION — not a true representation of the actuality of the piece/book in question.

    • Frau Katze

      Yes, it’s a poor title.

  • The only way to defeat ISIS is to destroy it. ISIS is the confluence of Islamism and cultural Marxism. When this sort of thing would have been stamped out, it has now been allowed to thrive and continue.

    Talking isn’t going to whittle it away.