If you want to learn more about Islam, nobody better to learn from than Andy Bostom. The links to de Toqueville should also be studied. Well worth your time.
McChrystal, Tocqueville, and the Koran: The Postmodern ‘COINage’ of a Failed Policy
Just over nine months ago, on September 20, 2009, the Department of Defense released a declassified version of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s assessment of the war in Afghanistan. The Washington Post published a version of this report with minor deletions of material that officials maintained could compromise future operations, rather than a copy of the document marked “confidential.” Although Gen. McChrystal’s counterinsurgency (COIN)-based analysis, “updated” for the Afghanistan theater, at least mentioned the “Koran” (a word omitted entirely from the December 2006 COIN manual co-authored by Gen. David Petraeus), the Koran’s motivational relevance — consistent with a over a millennium of jihadism within Afghanistan (or “Ghazni”) — was completely misrepresented. Negating doctrinal and historical realities, past and present, McChrystal’s uninformed, panglossian Koranic gloss rationalized an ostensibly “more forceful” strategy:
whereby INS [insurgents] are exposed continually for their cultural and religious violations, anti-Islamic and indiscriminate use of violence and terror, and by concentrating on their vulnerabilities. These include their causing of the majority of civilian casualties, attacks on education, development projects, and government institutions, and flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran. These vulnerabilities must be expressed in a manner that exploits the cultural and ideological separation of the INS from the vast majority of the Afghan population. (emphasis added)
McChrystal’s superficial, bowdlerized pieties on the Koran, and Petraeus’ complete neglect of this foundational Islamic text, contrast starkly with the contemplative, firsthand observations on the Koran (and Islam) made by Alexis de Tocqueville. Shortly after his return from America, Tocqueville studied North African Islamic culture and history — which included an analysis of the Koran (“Notes on the Koran,” March, 1838) — and made two visits to Algeria (in 1841, and 1846), becoming one of the foremost experts on these matters, while serving as a French parliamentarian.