53. Attachment 1 (slightly edited from the version sent to the Popes)
Synopsis of a Theoretically Foolproof, Economical, Easy-to-Institute, Fast-Acting, Short- and Long-Term, Non-Militaristic, and Permanently Lasting Method to Reduce Violent Islamic Fanaticism Significantly
All Muslim denominations believe that the Koran’s original language, Arabic, is holy and built upon eternal principles of truth. For example, in Arabic, a strong linguistic parallel exists between the words “peace” (salaam) and “whole” (salim). This parallel is logical because peace exists when everyone, as a whole, unites. In contrast, people in conflict are divided. (Salim, also, means correct, flawless, safe, and unbroken. Peace relates to these other concepts in that conflict is a risky and broken state of disunity; and, each side in a conflict considers the other side incorrect or flawed. Because peace is an absence of conflict, peace is a correct and flawless state that is safe, unbroken, and whole.)
In the West, it is somewhat uncommon knowledge that true peace must include everyone. (Could it be common knowledge when Western-brokered peace talks have often excluded parties?) Similarly, the inexorable links between “peace” and “whole” are not, now, widely known to Muslims because the logical connections between salaam and salim are not presently taught to the Islamic public or even to Islamic theologians.
However, imagine if such links were known, alongside the well-established Muslim doctrine that Allah, also called As-Salaam, desires peace among all who are willing to be peaceful. If so, suddenly, a simple and feasible method would exist for inducing violent “Islamic” fanatics to self-moderate their own beliefs! It would exist because fanatics believe themselves Islamic adherents. Hence, any truly devout Muslims, including radicals, should naturally become more inclusive and moderate when such Muslims recognize that peace, which is what Allah desires, comes only via inclusivity according to Arabic, and thereby, according to the Koran.
(Regarding the previous theological statement that “Allah . . . desires peace among all who are willing to be peaceful,” since unjust oppression naturally leads to conflict, it is not possible to have true peace with those who are unfair. Accordingly, as Allah is revered as the Creator of Nature, it is understandable that He does not desire peace with those who are unjust because peace is naturally impossible with such individuals. The same can be said, of course, about the Biblical God, Who, too, is revered as the Creator. Thereby, the Bible, also, may justify war to disempower wrongful oppressors so that long-term peace can be established.)
The above-mentioned self-moderation should, as stated, occur naturally because, again, while Muslims universally accept that Allah desires peace, the understanding that genuine peace comes only via inclusivity is not, at present, common knowledge. As it were, a shift in consciousness should occur among radicals and the vast numbers of Muslims who truly desire to be obedient to Allah. After all, if Allah wants peace, and the only way to peace is by inclusivity, all true Muslims must be fair. Otherwise, if someone has unreasonable demands, it is not possible to include others except by force, bribery, or other inappropriate means—which are actions that are not conducive to peace for other reasons.
Further, Muslims can understand that a military jihad (that is, in its appropriate sense, a justifiable war to battle unrighteous oppressors) is a lesser of two evils at best. Justifiable war, even if necessary for the sake of long-term peace, can never be the ideal because war necessarily breaks the here-and-now peace that Allah desires as well.
These now-hidden theological concepts are both obvious once recognized and intrinsic to the faith of all authentic, Islamic denominations. Such means that it is more than feasible that extremists, who are naturally convinced of their self-righteousness due to their being extreme, may suddenly recognize their failure to have seen the inclusive, bedrock principles of their own religion. With that in mind, is there a better way to promote moderation than by getting religious fanatics to centralize their beliefs via a metamorphosis of their own convictions?
After exposure to this centrist theology, extremists who are resistant to moderation would leave themselves prey to stinging accusations of heresy that could dramatically weaken their movements. To this sting, now, they are not subject because the conceptual links between salaam and salim, as mentioned, are generally unknown even to Islamic theologians.
“The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21) and “Truth conquers all” (1 Esdras 3:12).
Importantly, because there must be nagging doubts in the minds of potential “Islamic” terrorists regarding whether their violent plans being mulled over are truly justified, this method can rein in, before it is too late, those who are on the edge of fanaticism (as well as rein in those who are already radicalized).
Besides assuredly reducing violent, “Islamic” extremism, this method could, also, promote peace between Israel and Iran. It could do so by inducing Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist—which, because peace must include all, is a required recognition for peace in the Middle East. For this end, the following could be asked of Iran: “Since peace, according to the Koran, is both Allah’s desire and inclusive of all, must there not be, at the least, some rightful place for Israel?” (Likewise, there must be some rightful place for Palestine.) Precisely, what is that proper place is a secondary concern. However, such a future concern can never be faced without first overcoming the insurmountable barrier to peace that is the rejection of any place whatsoever for another.
“Peace in the Middle East depends more than anything else on a basic change of attitude. To be more specific, on Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist” (Jimmy Carter, the then soon-to-be U.S. President).