Representative Allen West of Florida does a lot of town hall meetings, and is occasionally confronted by Muslims who want to challenge his tough position in the War On Terror. If you’re unfamiliar with Rep. West’s career before entering Congress, he came by those tough positions while serving in Iraq as an Army lieutenant colonel. He doesn’t seem surprised by the number of challenges he receives from Muslims. That’s one of the things I like about him. I’ve had enough of Republican politicians who look surprised all the time.
On Tuesday night, West took a question from a very polite Muslim constituent, who felt the congressman has not “explained himself” to the Muslims of his district. West’s extensive response is captured in the video below (hat tip to The Right Scoop for getting it out via Twitter):
The essence of this encounter is West’s description of the “theocratic political construct” he finds so threatening. History is, sadly, replete with dangerous political constructs. The problem with this one is that it has so successfully identified itself with a large global population. No matter how many times Rep. West attaches the qualifier “radical” to “Islam,” he will always be accused of maligning Islam itself, right down to soft-spoken citizens who take time from their busy lives to attend town hall meetings in Florida.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is partly due to the character of Islam. One of its distinguishing features is that it’s very sensitive to insults, a trait written directly into Islamic law. This seems to make the larger Islamic population bristle reflexively at denunciations of any devout Muslim, including some folks that really need to be denounced. In this sense, Islam has a very open architecture, which dangerous radicals can easily plug themselves into.
A sense of family and brotherhood is normally commendable, but far too many “moderate” Muslims hear Allen West talk about the scum who “throw acid into the faces of little girls,” and hear an outsider saying nasty things about a brother. Not many families enjoy sitting down to an evening of stern criticism from an outsider, no matter how much it might be warranted.
Part of the problem West confronts in this clip comes from entirely outside of Islam. Many of the people who most enthusiastically portray him as some kind of menacing bigot are American liberals, political enemies who view him as a far more immediate threat than any of the creeps he battled in Iraq.
For example, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who famously compared American soldiers guarding captured terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, “Soviets in their gulags,” and Pol Pot, has decided to counter Republican Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism with hearings on “the civil rights of American Muslims” next week.
Among the threats to their “civil rights” he wants to highlight, according to his press release, are “Koran burnings, restrictions on mosque construction, hate crimes, and hate speech.” None of these things has occurred in any sort of epidemic proportions. “Restrictions on mosque construction” are not even remotely comparable to the murderous attacks thwarted by the FBI’s storied Fake Bomb Sales Department. The “spike” in Muslim “hate crimes” is a myth pumped out by organizations like CAIR. Hate crimes against Jews are six times as high in the United States, but Democrats have demonstrated no interest in devoting high-profile hearings to them. As for “hate speech,” Dick Durbin is guilty of some pretty hardcore hate speech himself.
This posturing produces an atmosphere of moral equivalence that handicaps a serious discussion of the enemy we face… an enemy that is, as Rep. West points out, at least as interested in murdering other Muslims as exterminating infidels. It is difficult to confront an enemy you can’t even speak plainly about… or separate from the larger population it prefers to hide within.
For his own safety, I strongly advise the Muslim gentleman in this video from asking anyone from al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, or any of the other radical Islamist groups to “explain themselves”… and if he does, I hope someone like Allen West is around to protect him.