What do Mohammed Sadique Khan, Ajmal Amir Kasab and Omar al-Bashir have in common?
It’s not race, socio-economic status, geography or politics. Khan was a middle class British primary school teacher. Kasab is an impoverished Punjabi day laborer, and Bashir is Sudan’s president. What they have in common is that they’ve all committed horrendous acts of terrorism and justified their actions by claiming that their Muslim faith required them to act in the manner they did.
Now, what do the mainstream television and print media have in common in reporting these and other terrorist acts around the world? It’s not lack of coverage: the media routinely devote hours of coverage and pages of column space to terrorist acts. But they share an unwillingness to mention that these individuals are operating on the belief that they are praising Allah.
It is a glaring fact that radical Islam is the common denominator in many of the most violent places in the world. It is a sad fact that in India, as in almost every other place where radical Islam has revealed itself, few in the media or in politics are willing to identify what the real problem is.
The media’s reluctance to identify the Mumbai attackers as “Muslim” has been scandalous. As the terrible events unfolded last week, CNN commentators repeatedly referred to the attackers simply as “terrorists” or “extremists.” In one three-hour period, the word “Islamic” was used only once. Statements by many world leaders were no better. The typical statement merely pledged to defeat terrorism without ever specifying who the terrorists were or what their motives might be.
Even the Bush Administration has cooperated in this suffocating political correctness, which prevents us from naming the enemy that wants us all dead. At the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, decisions were made last year to ban the phrase “Islamic terrorists” and to replace it with terms such as “militant.”
Many commentators tried to place the Mumbai attacks in the framework of the Pakistani-India dispute, which is an implausible assertion given that relations between the two countries have become increasingly cordial as the dispute over the Kashmir region has diminished. While Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group responsible for the attacks, was created to fight the Indian army in Kashmir, as the Wall Street Journal has reported, “[o]ver the years it has expanded its cause into the rest of India and aims to establish Islamic rule.”
The Mumbai massacre was yet another reminder of an evil ideology whose adherents are willing to violate every rule of war and all societal norms in their quest for power. We have seen their work time and time again – here on 9/11; in the London subway attacks; in Spain; in Indonesia; in Beslan, Russia, where helpless school children were shot in the back; and in scores of other attacks too numerous to list.
These are not random acts of violence and hatred. The perpetrators always fit the same profile – young Muslim extremists raised on a steady diet of hatred and death lust.
Although the media dare not name the terrorists’ religion, the terrorists themselves are not so reticent to identify what compels them to carry out their ghastly deeds. In Mumbai, they referred to themselves as “mujahideen”—Islamic warriors. Lashkar-e-Taiba is a known Islamic terror group that intelligence agencies believe has trained in camps with the Taliban.
Clearly, there are millions of Muslims who disagree that Islam justifies terrorism. We should do everything we can to encourage these moderate Muslims to speak out against terror. Those who do often put themselves and their families at great risk. The prospects for peace in the world for all people will depend in large part on whether moderate Muslims or Islamo-fascists win the theological battle over who is being true to their faith. But we aren’t helping anyone when media and government elites increasingly will not acknowledge the Islamo-fascist component to a great deal of the violence taking place around the world.
The jihadists who are attacking civilization are educated in madrasses – Islamic religious schools. They cite the Koran as their authority, and they follow the teachings of Muslim imams, who issue fatwas, religious decrees justifying the murder of infidels and moderate Muslims. They praise “Allah” as they kill and die. These clues make it fairly clear that they aren’t merely militants, and that their motives stem from their faith.
It is disgraceful that while our enemy screams who he is, we are more concerned mainly with not appearing intolerant. President-elect Obama’s foreign policy vision is built on the need for diplomacy and negotiations. I hope he will quickly learn that the Islamo-fascists couldn’t care less about words and diplomats.
Osama bin Laden has no desire to negotiate. His followers are working tirelessly right now to bring to the U.S. and to our allies sorrows much greater than the sorrows we have already experienced. Iran’s Ahmadinejad doesn’t tell Israel that he wants to talk. He regularly promises that Israel will soon cease to exist while he continues moving toward obtaining nuclear weapons.
A few years ago, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, when asked about the possibility of negotiations with Israel, responded that Hezbollah had no desire to talk, and that it wanted only to kill its enemies.
All of this recalls the famous scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger in which the villain Auric Goldfinger prepares to cut Bond in half with an industrial laser, leading Bond to ask “Do you expect me to talk?” The irritated Goldfinger replies: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.”
In the same way, the Islamo-fascists don’t want to negotiate (unless, perhaps, it is to discuss our unconditional surrender). They expect us to die. For our enemies, it is that simple: They will impose their version of Islam on the entire world or die trying. And for us it’s just as simple: We need to be willing to defend western civilization or die trying.
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