The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.
But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side?
It can’t be beheading people in public.
Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.
It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.
Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.
And there are few Islamic terrorist groups that don’t have friends in high places in the Muslim world.
If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?
Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.
Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.
If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?
From a Muslim perspective, ISIS is radical because it declared a Caliphate and is casual about declaring other Muslims infidels. That’s a serious issue for Muslims and when we distinguish between radicals and moderates based not on their treatment of people, but their treatment of Muslims, we define radicalism from the perspective of Islamic supremacism, rather than our own American values.
The position that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and Al Qaeda is extreme because the Brotherhood kills Christians and Jews while Al Qaeda kills Muslims is Islamic Supremacism. The idea of the moderate Muslim places the lives of Muslims over those of every other human being on earth.
Our Countering Violent Extremism program emphasizes the centrality of Islamic legal authority as the best means of fighting Islamic terrorists. Our ideological warfare slams terrorists for not accepting the proper Islamic chain of command. Our solution to Islamic terrorism is a call for Sharia submission.
That’s not an American position. It’s an Islamic position and it puts us in the strange position of arguing Islamic legalism with Islamic terrorists. Our politicians, generals and cops insist that the Islamic terrorists we’re dealing with know nothing about Islam because that is what their Saudi liaisons told them to say.
It’s as if we were fighting Marxist terrorist groups by reproving them for not accepting the authority of the USSR or the Fourth International. It’s not only stupid of us to nitpick another ideology’s fine points, especially when our leaders don’t know what they’re talking about, but our path to victory involves uniting our enemies behind one central theocracy. That’s even worse than arming and training them, which we’re also doing (but only for the moderate genocidal terrorists, not the extremists).
The Saudis would talk to us all day long while they continued sponsoring terrorists and setting up terror mosques in the West. That made them moderates. Qatar keeps talking to us while arming terrorists and propping up the Muslim Brotherhood. So they too are moderate. The Muslim Brotherhood talked to us even while its thugs burned churches, tortured protesters and worked with terrorist groups in the Sinai.
A radical terrorist will kill you. A moderate terrorist will talk to you and then kill someone else. And you’ll ignore it because the conversation is a sign that they’re willing to pretend to be reasonable.
That’s more than Secretary of State Kerry is willing to be.
Kerry views accusations of extremism as already too extreme. ISIS, he insists, are nihilists and anarchists.
Nihilism is the exact opposite of the highly structured Islamic system of the Caliphate. It might be a more accurate description of Kerry. But as irrational as Kerry’s claims might be, they have a source. The Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood successfully sold the Western security establishment on the idea that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism was by denying any Islamic links to its actions.
This was like an arsonist convincing the fire department that the best way to fight fires was to pretend that they happened randomly on their own.
Victory through denial demands that we pretend that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a wholly irrational position, but the alternative of a tiny minority of extremists is nearly as irrational.
If ISIS is extreme and Islam is moderate, what did ISIS do that Mohammed did not?
The answers usually have a whole lot to do with the internal structures of Islam and very little to do with such pragmatic things as not raping women or not killing non-Muslims.
Early on we decided to take sides between Islamic dictators and Islamic terrorists, deeming the former moderate and the latter extremists. But the dictators were backing their own terrorists. And when it came to human rights, there wasn’t all that much of a difference between the two.
It made sense for us to put down Islamic terrorists because they often represented a more direct threat, but allowing the Islamic dictators to convince us that they and the terrorists followed two different brands of Islam and that the only solution to Islamic terrorism lay in their theocracy was foolish of us.
The Islamic terrorist group is more mobile, more agile and more willing to take risks. It plays the short game and so its violent actions are more apparent in the short term. The Islamic dictatorship takes the longer view and its long game, such as immigration, is harder to spot, but much more destructive.
ISIS and the Saudis differ in their tactics, but there was very little in the way of differences when it came to how they saw us and non-Muslims in general. The Soviet Union was not moderate because it chose to defer a nuclear confrontation and because it was forced to come to the negotiating table. It was still playing a long game that it never got a chance to finish. The Saudis are not moderate. They are playing the long game. We can’t win the War on Terror through their theocracy. That way lies a real Caliphate.
Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.
Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.
We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.
The US stinks We are a rotting nation devoid of morals and direction. YReplyDelete
I am ashamed of the nation in which I live. You can say what you want about the Islamic barbarians...but they are kicking our ass. PAAC
What I would like to know is there a third, maybe unofficial status besides dhimmi in Islam? It seems that the second most important people besides Moslems themselves are the active collaborators who are either monetarily compensated or ideologically aligned. It is simply unimaginable that Islam can make gains without a third party helping to make way for it.Charlie Hebdo has his direct opposite. There are active apologists who explain every atrocity away that they previously said was impossible to happen before that. From what I read it was no different during the original spread of Islam. Weak leaders and opportunists were always on the borders of Islam. Islam seems to have been pushed back when the remaining hardcore freedom lovers became tightly banded and stood against the Islamists as a united front.ReplyDelete
Thank you Daniel, you really are on target. Isn't it amazing what OPEC oil money can buy? Our politicians, our press, and I am beginning to think our spiritual leaders. The Church in general has been silent regarding the murders, kidnappings, enslavement, and other atrocities against Christians and minority groups. The so called intellectuals have apparently been bought off by endowed chairs, research grants, fine buildings, and maybe some dancing girls?ReplyDelete
It seems to me that there was a similar phenomenon prior to WWII. Notables such as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh thought Hitler had done wonders for Germany and that we should learn from him. Well, we did learn something, but it was not what some thought we would. I wonder, whose head removal will it take before the American people wake up and do something, like vote out these sandal lickers in DC? 9/11/01 evidently was not enough yet. Europe on the other hand, just blew their last chance. A lot of good marching down the street did. Maybe that will be our fate: a grand march through the Capitol, then the Caliphate.
"...Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions..."ReplyDelete
You've narrowed it down to a "civilization"; wonderful. Our enemy is a civilization, now all we have to do is what?
Sad that commonsense always must be argued to the senseless. Pushing oysters into a parking meter comes to mind.ReplyDelete
Sad? Where is the common sense that must be argued, Godfrey? Nobody has any ideas of how to deal with an enemy "civilization", except by wringing their hands and whining. I'd say that only goes so far, wouldn't you?ReplyDelete
Maybe it's time to narrow the enemy definition down a bit more?
To solve a problem, you have to identify it exactly, before you start.
The problem is religion, but you folks have a hard time admitting it. With religion, all evil is possible because any horror is, and has been, justified because it is, or was, god's will.
Hopefully civilization will finally get rid of the evil that has plagued all races and all civilized people for the last 1400 years with violence, murder, slavery, rape, honor killings, female genitalia mutilations and pedophilia. The bad part is while all of these things are crimes in a modern society, in Islam they are considered virtues. All of these "virtues" have been codified in their written word and promoted by leaders of this cult non-stop for 1400 years.ReplyDelete
I pray that those who are currently enslaved under this cult can be shown freedom and come to live in peace with their brothers and sisters in the rest of the world. I pray for this because the people group who have historically (and in modern times as well) suffered the most murders, wars, sex crimes and genocide have been Muslims at the hands of good moderate Islamists. If you do care about Muslims as a people and/or any of God's creations we all should call for an end to Islam. TODAY!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, discussion of where blame lies, i.e. Religion, is moot. The world is under attack but leaders only gnash their teeth and say "Let still give peace a chance!" ala head-in-the-sand Chamberlain types. The lesson these so-called brilliant people fail to learn from history is how to define the problem and the means to stop it. Instead they let it fester until the consequences of cheap talk become catastrophic.ReplyDelete
I read a recent article about how devastating an EMP burst could be to the US but instead of being afraid, I asked " Why don't we preemptively use it on Iran rather than wait for a fatal blow? Sitting ducks! That's all we are.
"Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile *civilization*.... "ReplyDelete
I would call it a "totalitarian, fascist and barbaric ideology".
"Civilisation" implies that these people are civilised and that is most definitely not the case.
For all of our technology, and all of our economical clout, we are impotent in the face of maniacal devotees of a primitive culture. The best response may be to secede from the UN and simply "Go To War". Sand when heated becomes glass. Let's make a f'ing big mirror to reflect all this warble gloaming sunlight.ReplyDelete
@DenisO The problem is "religion?" Thanks for narrowing it down. Care to try again?ReplyDelete