On Never Having to Mention Islam
The Obama administration responded characteristically to the savage terrorist attack by gunmen shouting “Al-lahu Akbar” and “We have avenged the prophet” on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Press secretary Josh Earnest made the rounds of TV talk shows to repeat that “Islam is a religion of peace,” and to warn that the attack was still under investigation, and therefore it is “not clear who was responsible and what their motivations were.” If he really didn’t know their motivations, he was surely the last person on the planet in that position.
Secretary of State Kerry spoke of “extremists,” without mentioning what they represented the extreme version of, and insisted that the West does not face a war of civilizations – not with Islam or even a version of Islam.
No matter how many times the authors of savage deeds of barbarism proclaim that they are acting in the name of Al-lah, the “prophet,” or the “holy Koran;” no matter how many imams praise their actions and rejoice in their upholding the honor of Islam; no matter how many times they announce that their goal is imposition of sharia, Muslim religious law, on the entire world; no matter how many foundational Islamic texts calling for war on the infidel they cite – they can still count on Western apologists to deny their actions have anything to do with Islam. Why? Because everyone knows that “Islam is a religion of peace. Never mind that the three letter root for peace in Arabic is better translated as submission.
These flights of fancy have consequences: They endanger citizens of the West. Political correctness led the Obama administration to excise every reference to Islam from government anti-terrorist manuals, in contravention of Sun Tzu’s admonition in The Art of War: “Know your enemy.” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned against police surveillance of mosques, which are often terrorist recruitment and planning centers. That same slothful thinking leads to slack enforcement of airplane watch lists. Witness the “underwear bomber,” whose own father had informed authorities of his brainwashing by radical Islamists.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, new year’s day speech, thus came as a welcome refutation of so much nonsense about the lack of connection between Islam and terrorism. Speaking in the Al-Azhar University, a center of Islamic learning, al-Sisi lamented that “the corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years [are] antagonizing the entire world.” He asked whether it makes sense that “1.6 billion people [the world’s Islamic population] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants . . . so that they may live.”
Only a religious revolution, said al-Sisi, could keep Muslims from being seen as “a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”
At least one Muslim it would appear has eyes to see that the source of the problem lies in Islam itself.
Your last lines is the point, and should be repeated. Politicians fight over their reticence or willingness to speak of “radical Islam.” But that’s like speaking of “extremist” Jews, whom we all know is always someone else, never ourselves. No Muslim thinks himself a radical, each thinks he is simply doing no less than what the religion requires. And therein lies the problem. Not “radical Islam” – Islam itself.
No moreso than saying that the “price tags” are a manifestation of Judaism, which is the real danger.
George W. Bush consistently said the same thing.
I’m sorry but I guess I’m a little tired of people kvetching about this administration, or the previous administration, pushing the notion that Islam is a religion of peace. It seems pretty obvious that these people have no interest in being “apologists” for Islam but instead are trying to influence how typical Muslims, particularly those who live here, conceive of their religion. I believe that (portions of) the New Testament is antisemitic but don’t think it is particularly prudent to spend a lot of time trying to convince evangelic Christians of my point. Is it really a good idea to convince nearly a quarter of the world’s population that intellectual honesty requires them to accept that Jihad is what their religion teaches is the Creator’s will?
The current administration stands in the judgment of history of abandoning its allies, and pretending that Islamic spawned terror is a criminal justice, as opposed to an issue of national security, as well as assuring us that it can bring “peace in our time” with the one nation that finances, aids and abetts terror throughout the world.