To read Part 1, which focuses on the orthodox Islamic underpinnings of the jihadist worldview and strategies outlined by the ‘prophet’ Muhammad, click here.  

II.  The Weapon of Demographic Shift for Global Jihad

Islamic jihadists, using the three stages of jihad illustrated above as a doctrinal foundation for their actions (sunnah), are using shifting demographics as a quiet and extremely efficient way to enact large-scale jihad against the West.  The overarching strategy in the West seems to be in three parts that mirror the three stages of jihad.

  1. Plant small but devout enclaves of Muslims into a non-Muslim country, using taqiyya, taking advantage of Western compassion and acceptance, and pursuing a community policy of non-assimilation to establish a growing, independent Muslim community that is uninhibited by surrounding laws or cultural influences;
  2. Grow the political and cultural influence of those Muslims communities until Sharia law can be established legally and start to be enforced upon the outside populace (for instance, imposing and enforcing blasphemy laws on non-Muslims in the name of avoiding offense or upsetting Muslims through public shaming and even legal action);
  3. Continue growth of political power by sheer population growth (since Muslim women have much higher fertility rates than their Western counterparts) inside the country until local, state and even federal government can be controlled or at least heavily influenced by Islamic tenets.

Though clearly this non-violent jihad is not as physically dangerous initially as acts of terrorism that the West typically thinks of when they think of jihad, it is far more effective in establishing a worldwide Caliphate.  The goal of global jihad is to establish a worldwide Islamic State, and if every Western country eventually has an unassimilated Sunni Muslim majority in each of their populations, the West will be effectively neutralized as a cultural and military barrier to more violent subjugation of non-Muslims throughout the world.  Already, this strategy has been publically espoused by leaders like Erdogan and, though possibly not by design, has been demonstrated as effective in several countries throughout the world.  Below are some case studies to consider.

Russia – Putin has many problems concerning a rising population of Muslims.  Much of his current policy in the Middle East and Russia’s military involvement in Syria, as well as antagonism toward Israel, is geared toward appeasing Muslims and not just maneuvering for better control of oil in the Middle East.  Even as far back as 2006, [4] analysts had predicted that the Russian military will be a majority of Muslim men by 2015.  This sentiment is similarly echoed in Marlene Laruelle’s analysis “How Islam Will Change Russia” (paragraph 21). [5]  Putin has enacted schemes over the last decade to increase the fertility rates of Russian women and annexing additional territory like Crimea, but as investigated in an article by Joshua Keating in 2014, it’s too soon to tell if these tactics are working. [6] As a result of this reality and other factors, Russia will continue in its course of acting strong opposite Israel and will also build its ties to majority Muslim countries like Iran and Turkey.   

Syria and Iran – The utter destruction of areas where Sunni Muslims used to live in Syria has caused a huge outflow of refugees North toward Turkey and West toward Greece and the rest of the EU.  Taking their place, Shia Muslims are being settled in those vacated areas by Iran.  Iran is using Syria’s civil war to extend their influence all the way to the Mediterranean and Israel.  This is being widely reported in the news.

Turkish Strategy Against Europe – Meanwhile, Turkey is using these refugees as a cudgel against the EU.  Erdogan has already claimed that he aspires to be the world’s next Caliph in 2014. [7] As the majority Sunni Muslim refugees flee the Syrian civil war, he threatened the EU to open the refugee floodgates at Turkey’s border with EU countries if they did not maintain talks with him concerning Turkey’s eventual admission into the EU in 2016.  [8] If Turkey is admitted into the European Union, the balance of power in Brussels would shift abruptly toward Muslim influence.  In 2017, the total European Union population was 512.6 million.  [9] Turkey’s population is roughly 82 million in 2018, [10] the vast majority of whom are Muslim, according to its government.  [11] With the extremely high birth rates of Muslim families compared to the falling fertility rates of the rest of Europe, EU’s Muslim population with Turkey’s addition would grow very quickly from 15% over the next several decades. 

Blasphemy Laws in the West – Because of the rapid growth of the Somali population in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, there are reports of growing Sharia-compliant enclaves and individuals that operate outside the laws and jurisdictions of Minnesota law enforcement, along with growing jihadist conversions.  [12, 13] There have also been individual people who have experienced run-ins with security personnel and police who seem to be enforcing Islamic blasphemy laws while infringing on the First Amendment rights of American citizens.  [14, 15] Meanwhile, in October 2018 the Associated Press reported that the European Court of Human Rights ruled against a woman who called Muhammad a pedophile; they said her right to free speech did not supercede “the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.” [16] These are exactly the kinds of things that the above “Stage Two” of jihad would predict. 

III. Policy Recommendations to Combat Demographic Jihad

            Since global jihad comes from an orthodox interpretation of Islam, it is a fool’s errand to combat terrorism and jihadists with the preconception that Muslims will only be “radicalized” because of poverty, bad actors among imams, or other factors external from the religion of Islam itself.  Seeking a global Caliphate should instead be seen as a consistent doctrine of Islam that a small percentage of devout Muslims will subscribe to as a result of studying the sunnah.  Therefore, any strategy to combat global jihad in general and demographic jihad in particular should instead focus on pragmatic limiting of the spread of Muslim populations in Western countries as well as the spreading of cultural and societal pressures to choose non-violent interpretations of Islam.  What follows are specific policy recommendations that take these two ideas into account. 

  1. Abandon cultural relativism as a basis for foreign and domestic policy. Some aspects of Western culture are qualitatively and objectively better or at least more desirable than others within various other cultures.  Acknowledgement of desirable cultural traits as worthy of export to other cultures and insisting upon adherence on certain cultural expectations from global partners should be a central facet of foreign policy. 
  2. Cease use of “violent extremism” as a guiding principle in governmental agencies and instead focus on “Islamic jihad.” Because of the core foundations and divergent end goals of each ideology, law enforcement agencies must differentiate between Islamic jihadism and other types of terrorists (white supremacists, etc.).  Focus on motivation behind the use of terror rather than overuse of the label “terrorism” when describing un-desirable or even criminal activity must be instated.  For instance, Islamist global supremacy is a much clearer and more present danger than the anarchist movement in this country due to the ideological underpinnings and resources available to global jihadists.  The use of the term “violent extremism” is not helpful especially to the general public because lumping all violent ideologies with wildly varying visions of success and scope muddies the water politically for a coherent, targeted approach to each type of terrorism.  Pretending that all violent actions based on rational adherence to a belief system should be treated the same can eventually lead to rational adherents of any belief system becoming targeted because one member of their group became violent.  This is dangerous and should lead policy makers to focus on how to combat violence by focusing on each specific ideology that causes violence in target-specific methods.
  3. Consider informing the public of the contents of this paper. This can be done covertly for political expediency; however, it is important to note that understanding taqiyya, for instance, would greatly enhance public support for counter-jihad operations at home and abroad.  For instance, Western media articles like “The Distortion of Islam that Drives Terrorism” (Washington Post, August 1, 2018) [17] do not even mention Qur’an verses when discussing jihad, nor cite or explain obscure references to hadith to support their claims.  It is clear that with articles like this that the general public will not appreciate the orthodox Islamic ideology that jihadists espouse. 
  4. Take steps to reverse the falling birth-rate trend among Western populations to slow the progress of demographic jihad. Part of the reason Russia, China and Japan’s efforts to reverse their demographic time bombs is because there is already too few child-bearing age women in their ethnic populations.  That is not the case in the US and others, yet.  These steps might include, but are not limited to, tax incentives for growing families, eliminating abortions, de-incentivizing homosexuality in the culture, and a public advertising campaign encouraging population growth for economic benefits.  Some of these are obvious political non-starters; however, it is important to look any and all solutions and prioritize based on effectiveness and logistical feasibility.
  5. Discontinue any Syrian or other majority-Muslim country refugee resettlement programs and instead invest heavily in finding local solutions to refugee issues. If resettlement programs do continue, spread out refugees into culturally homogenous communities other than their own and then heavily incentivize assimilation into those communities/cultures.  This can only be done by communicating with local community and faith-based organizations that do not espouse jihadist ideology.
  6. Commit to withholding economic aid from countries that do not adhere to similar Western cultural values, including allies. Military aid would be considered as a separate issue, since some allies, though failing in certain human-rights aspects (like Saudi Arabia’s Prince bin Salman and the recent assassination of Kashogi) are still a preferable military partner in the check on the enemies of the US.  However, any funding for humanitarian aid to Saudi Arabia, for example, would be contingent upon their adoption of several Western-style policies like the outlaw of the outright killing of homosexuals, etc.  This has already begun, as several reforms have taken place in countries like Saudi Arabia as a tactic to gain Western partnerships in business and trade.   
  7. Ramp up rhetoric and increase trade policy aggressiveness concerning countries that persecute religious minorities around the world. The only way to combat radical ideological growth without interfering with the sovereignty of nations or the free will of men is to leverage the full economic and cultural might of the US Government to (a) deter any persecution of competing worldviews with strategic military and economic pressures that compete with orthodox Islam, while (b) aggressively reinforcing positive changes of policy within those governments.  In other words, if a country wants to do business in the Western world, they need to actively pursue the cultural attributes that made the thriving Western world possible.