Naming the enemy: Radical Islam

Radical Vocabularist (by A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection)

Barack Obama’s denial of reality with anything connected to radical Islam (see my previous post for example) was demonstrated vividly with his utterly absurd (and later frantically back-pedalled) downplaying of Muslim terror attacks against Jews in Europe as attacks on “random folks”, not to mention his accusing the West of “overplaying” reporting of terrorism in the media. It is therefore refreshing and heartening to see that even some Muslims do indeed understand the threat  even if the ostensible leader of the Western world does not.

In a Daily Telegraph article, no lesser a personage than HRH Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain writes: To defeat our foe we must first define him:

The weekend’s attacks in Copenhagen are a further reminder that if we’re meaningfully to address this spiralling global threat, we need to widen our understanding and define our foe, in order to refocus our efforts accordingly. Terrorism is not an ideology; we are not merely fighting terrorists, we are fighting theocrats. I use the term “theocrats” as the current war is not against Islam any more than it could be against Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or any religion. It is against those who commandeer religion for their own ends and, in the process, sully the name of great traditions and beliefs that many of us hold divine.

Ultimately, we face a new-world foe, one that while demonstrating many of the practices of the 17th century also pursues a strategy of the 21st. We will not be able to address them through old world solutions alone, but through a newly thought series of interventions, both modern and traditional. It is only through a concerted, collective and fundamental review of the nature of our threat that we will help refine the focus of our challenge and thereby bring us closer to achieving our shared goal. We can then strategically use our combined resources to hold accountable these criminal ideologues who place themselves above other ordinary human beings and claim divine authority for misrule.

While in all probability we will sadly be fighting them for a long time to come, barbaric and primitive though they are, it is naming and understanding of the ideology itself that should next be our target. These individuals and groups will of course ebb and flow, but it is the ideology that must be combated and defeated. In the process, we can replace the term “war on terror” and focus on the real threat, which is the rise of these evil fascist theocracies.

Prince Salman doesn’t go far enough for my liking. He talks about theocrats rather than Islamic extremists which could be interpreted as theocrats of any religion rather than the one particular one motivating terrorist groups such as ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, namely: Islam.

However this article is an important step forward and ought to be sent forthwith to Obama and his unfortunate spokeswoman Jen Psaki for them to do some very urgent homework.

Calling the phenomenon what it is –  Islamic extremism – is of the utmost importance. Here is an interview on CNN with Maajid Nawaz, a former extremist turned anti-extremism campaigner and British politician, on the importance of naming the Islamic ideology. Click on the arrow to view the interview:

Andrew McCarthy in National Review Online takes Obama to task for his denial, saying It doesn’t matter what Obama thinks true Islam is:

In Egypt, the president is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a pious Muslim. Having grown up in the world’s center of sharia scholarship and closely studied the subject, he has courageously proclaimed that Islam desperately needs a “religious revolution.” In the United States, the president is Barack Obama, a non-Muslim. His childhood experience of Islam, which ended when he was just ten, occurred in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country, but a non-Arabic one where the teaching and practice of Islam is very different from what it is in the Middle East. While Sisi sees a dangerous flaw in Islam, Obama believes America needs to be “fundamentally transformed” but Islam is fine as is. You see the problem, no?

Said problem was very much on display this week at the president’s “summit” on “countering violent extremism,” the administration’s euphemism for confronting violent jihad. The latter phrase is verboten because Obama will not concede the close nexus between Islam and modern terrorism. In reality, the summit had so little to do with confronting terrorism that the president did not invite the FBI director — you know, the head of the agency to which federal law assigns primary responsibility for terrorism investigations.

To the extent the summit dealt with Islam, it was to play the counterproductive game of defining the “true” Islam in order to discredit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as purveyors of a “false” or “perverted” Islam. To try to pull this off, Obama relied on the bag of tricks toted by his “moderate Islamist” allies (who also turn out to be reliable progressives)

Which leads us to Obama’s other rhetorical chicanery. When he speaks of Islam, Obama not only takes scripture out of context; he also renders it as if there were a universal understanding of words like “innocent.” Yet when we read the above two verses together, and put them in the broader context of Islamic doctrine, we see that Islam can convey a notion of who is an “innocent” that is very different from the one we Westerners are likely to have. To be “innocent,” in this context, one must accept Islam and submit to its law.

The same is true of “injustice,” another word the president often invokes when discussing Islam. The true Islam, we are to believe, is just like progressivism: a tireless quest for “justice.” But just as the Left’s idea of justice differs from the average person’s, so does Islam’s. For the Islamist, justice equals sharia, and injustice is the absence or transgression of sharia. So, while this could well have been inadvertent, Obama’s claim that injustice drives young Muslims to join terrorist groups is exactly what the terrorists themselves would say — for the imperative to impose sharia is their rationale for committing terrorism.

We can sincerely hope that President Sisi and other reformers bring about a long-overdue Islamic Reformation. We can sincerely hope that they discredit and marginalize the sharia supremacism of ISIS and al-Qaeda. But whether the Islam of the jihadists is “true” or “false” is irrelevant to us. What matters about sharia supremacism is that many millions of Muslims believe in it. It is a mainstream interpretation of Islam that has undeniable scriptural roots and inevitably breeds violent jihadists. We must protect the United States regardless of whether they are right and regardless of how Islam’s internal strife is resolved – if it ever is.

Once again, in our upside-down world, it is the leaders of Muslim countries who have the courage to both define and denounce the Islamic ideology which is threatening their own countries as well as Western civilization as a whole. At the same time the leader of the Western world is not only in denial, but his very denial is actively encouraging and emboldening the extremist.

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17 Responses to Naming the enemy: Radical Islam

  1. Reality says:

    I believe that Obama is probably a full fleged Muslim who all the time wanted to bring about the Islamisation of the US &eventually the world.Otherwise there is no other explanation for his behaviour.As far as we know he’s not stupid(perhaps he is!)so that doesn’t leave many other options.If he lived in Israel someone would have set the Attorney General on him.Is that disallowed in the States?

  2. Earl says:

    Admirable as this blog is, Anne- but clean-up required on Aisle Tim Shey…

    Back on topic, McCarthy could not be more incorrect with his call for a “long-overdue Islamic Reformation”. Absolutely the last thing the world needs is another Islamic Reformation; Wahhabism and Deobandism have been two recent “Reformations” in Islam, and look at the results. No, what Islam requires is an Islamic Enlightenment– but since the gates of ijtihad slammed shut a millenium ago, good luck with that.

    /this is not a semantic distinction.

    • anneinpt says:

      Done. Thanks. Been too busy today.

      Re a reformation you make a good point. My larger point though was that it’s heartening to see that affirmed Muslims have not only noted that something is wrong but they’re doing so publicly.

      Now to see if anything comes of this. I hope they stay safe.

    • Aridog says:

      Hi Earl…long time no talk 🙂

      I couldn’t agree with you more, so all y’all are saved an “Aridog” epistle. An Islamic John Locke is unlikely to day. Be I still hope.

      • anneinpt says:

        Earl and Aridog, it might not be a Muslim reformation as such but simply a Muslim leader with the guts to actually physically tackle radical Islam, publicly denounce it and openly confront it militarily that will finally eradicate this menace.

        And the name of our current hero of the Middle East is Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

      • Earl says:

        Ari: Yup, Locke. Or Descartes. Or Voltaire. Or Hobbes. Or Rousseau. Or Bentham. Or Austin. Or Mills. Or…

        Let’s face it, an Islamic Enlightenment will never occur now that the gates of ijtihad slammed shut a millenium ago. As Turkish PM Erdogan said succinctly in 2007, “Islam is Islam, and that’s it”. And Islam will never produce a murtad like Martin Luther.

  3. Pete says:

    first we had the Taliban … and we thought that was bad
    then we had Al Queda … and it seemed much worse
    and now we’ve got ISIS …

    WHAT is the next “evolution” of this monster?
    I shudder to think.

    Pete, USA

  4. Pete says:

    ANNE – response copied to your most recent post.

    I hope you don’t mind if I switch topics.

    there is a news release being “kicked around” the media about some “intelligence files” that are supposedly released by some guy in South Africa. whether this is even remotely credible, or purely disinformation, is hard to know. But one item purportedly says that Israel’s Mossad (and others) are in disagreement with Netanyahu about the real threat from Iran. The article implies that Mossad is more aligned with the US position – that Iran actually stopped working on a bomb several years ago. What these articles do .. is to paint a picture of Netanyahu as an isolated war-hawk inside Israel, and not supported by his own people.

    As I said, it is very difficult to know whether to put any confidence in such news reports. But the point is this … if the military and the intelligence agencies inside Israel doe stand solidly with PM Netanyahu’s position – they probably should be outspoken about it. They need to lay it on the line. Israel has a lot at stake now, as PM Netanyahu prepares to talk before the US Congress. It would be smart if the position outlined in Bibi’s speech is a very authentic statement about Israel’s assessment concerning Iran.

    The general public can never know the essential information. Which is why these official positions – need to be backed up with solid evidence. The US public still remembers the speech by Colin Powell many years ago when America went to war with Iraq – the speech about why weapons of destruction were present in Iraq. Subsequently, everything in that speech fell apart very quickly. Bibi is now facing a SERIOUS credibility gap from the American public, over this kind of problem (even though Israel was not the cause of the Colin Powell incident). People are highly skeptical.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      If you read the article you’ll see that the intel refers to a Mossad assessment from 2012. That’s getting on for 3 years ago. It may well have been that there was disagreement on the level of Iranian enrichment – not on their aims and strategy you’ll note.

      Firstly, part of that report was already discredited a few months ago (I blogged about it here, only a month ago) and secondly, as I said, this report is out of date.

      The report is being publicised and broadcast for the sole purpose of what you are concerned about – to discredit Bibi. Note which outlets were chosen before they were picked up by others: Al Jazeera – owned by Qatar, the supporter of Hamas – and the Guardian, the most antisemitic newspaper besides the New York Times.

      Now I don’t know what reputation Bibi has in the US, but I strongly suspect that it is nowhere near as bad as you think. I think the American people has a lto more sense and can see through the lies and disinformation emanating from the White House. You can sense the Administration’s desperation when they have to regurgitate a 3 year old report.

      You think Israel’s intel agencies should stand solidly behind Bibi. But they do. They have not come out openly and said that Bibi should cancel his speech or that he’s wrong or anything like that. They’re not going to reveal their sources in public just to back up Bibi, but on Iran you can be sure that Bibi has very solid support within Israel

      If the rest of the world think he’s a warmonger or the Americans think he has a credibility gap, well, hard cheese to them. We’ll be laughing last and loudest when Iran targets the West.

    • anneinpt says:

      I’m going to quote from my own blog that I linked above, showing how the Mossad denied such differences of opinion:

      Shortly after this showdown, we learned that apparently the Mossad was undercutting Netanyahu, saying that more sanctions on Iran would be counter-productive.

      But that story was blown out of the water by Carl at Israel Matzav who wrote: What was not said:

      Note that the Mossad is not saying ‘don’t pass new sanctions.’ It’s saying ‘if you do pass new sanctions, Iran is likely to walk away from the talks. If one accepts the proposition that Iran is using the talks as cover to continue its nuclear weapons development program, Iran walking away from the talks would probably not be such a bad thing.

      Since it is election season in Israel, opposition politicians leaped on the Mossad’s statement, claiming it was Obama’s revenge on Netanyahu, thus implicitly accusing Netanyahu for destablising Israel’s relations with the Administration.

      However the entire story collapsed as the Mossad came out with a very unusual statement denying that they had made such a statement:

      Contradicting Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency denied on Thursday reports that its chief warned US senators against a bill that would hit Iran with sanctions if ongoing nuclear talks fail to secure an agreement by their June deadline.

      “Mossad head Tamir Pardo met two days ago with a delegation of US senators, at the request of the senators and with the prime minister’s permission,” the agency said in a rare statement. “Despite what the report said, the head of the Mossad did not say he opposes additional sanctions against Iran; the head of the Mossad emphasized in the meeting the extraordinary effectiveness of the sanctions against Iran, for a number of years, in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.”

      The Mossad statement also said Pardo had emphasized to the senators that he believes in a “carrot and stick” approach, but that there were not enough sticks available to the West. “Pardo noted that without firm pressure it would not be possible to bring about meaningful compromises from the Iranian side.”

      The Mossad statement also stressed that Pardo had expressed in no uncertain terms that he opposes the terms of the current agreement being negotiated with Iran, and that it would lead to a regional arms race.

      A Ynet report late Thursday said Israel had “clarified to the Americans” on Tuesday that Pardo had not made the remarks attributed to him. Officials in Jerusalem “checked the protocols” of the meeting time and again, this report said, and “could not fathom” how the Americans could have interpreted Pardo’s remarks to suggest he opposed further sanctions. Jerusalem was also shocked that the Americans had made public remarks that were made by an intelligence official in a closed meeting.

  5. Reality says:

    I just read your link .Terribly frightening.Why hasn’t this been brought to the main medias attention?

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