Terrorism isn’t an “Islamic thing” say Muslim spokesmen. Besides, even if the terrorists du-jour are predominantly Muslim, the non-Muslim/Western world has committed greater violence says Imam Rauf, he of the Ground Zero Mosque. And a bunch of American liberals chime in saying that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and even if a few Muslims flew airliners into buildings on 9/11/2001, this was an aberration, not a reflection of “true Islam.” How do these people know? Have they (with the exception of Rauf) read the Koran? Probably not.
I haven’t read the Koran either, but several undeniable facts and historical incidents are relevant to whether or not present day terrorism is an “Islamic thing” or not. These facts need to be clearly stated:
1) The people currently performing habitual acts of mass murder against civilians are Muslims. No other category of people fits this definition. And contrary to the accusations of racism often hurled at those who make this assertion, Islam is not a “race.” So what race are they protecting? Although a lot of Muslims are Arab, the largest Muslim communities are in Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and others. Similarly, the Muslim Beslan schoolhouse murderers were Chechens from southern Russia. So what race are Muslims? It has nothing to do with race.
2) These mass murders are killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Non-Muslims are not terror bombing Muslim civilians anywhere in the world. It is not part of our culture to do this kind of thing. World wars, contrary to some terrorism apologists, are not an analogue for mass murders of peaceful civilians going about their normal business in otherwise peaceful countries. Now that communism has been somewhat whittled down to size after committing the world’s most horrific mass murders, the present day practitioners are all Muslims.
3) Muslim acts of mass murder span the globe to include the U.S, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Somalia, Russia, Kenya, and Sudan, among numerous others. But what they all have in common is that they are carried out in the name of Mohammad and Allah. Nobody is murdering people in the name of Jesus, YHWH, Buddha, or Hindu deities.
4) Ample evidence has been presented that the Koran preaches violence against infidels. If Muslim and liberal experts on Islam and the Koran believe otherwise, then they have a duty to clearly explain violent passages to non-Muslims, to denounce these aspects of Islamic teaching as obsolete and evil, and to vigorously promote a non-violent interpretation among their fellows. It is up to Muslims, themselves, to restrain or re-interpret these violent teachings in their Koran. Christians can’t do it for them, any more than Muslims can restrain and civilize the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” teachings in the Old Testament Bible. It is Christians and Jews who have successfully done that. Muslims should do it too.
5) We have been at war against Muslim terrorists in two predominantly Muslim countries, but we’re not fighting Muslims, we’re fighting terrorists who define themselves as Jihadis for Islam. Because our war enemies hide and shield themselves among civilian populations, including the skirts of women and among children, some of these hostage human shields lose their lives. We are good at fighting wars and try to avoid civilian casualties, but we do not perform deliberate mass murders of innocent civilians. If the Al-Qaeda and/or Taliban want to face our troops man-to-man then civilians won’t be endangered.
6) Most Americans think that stoning women, so-called honor killings of female family members, suppression of women’s freedom and education, amputation of hands and other quaint Islamic practices are ugly and vile. If confined to Muslim lands we could, and should probably ignore these Sharia practices. We could even ignore it when Muslims riot and kill each other over cartoons by Westerners. But when the insults from the Muslim world toward the West include the murder of Israeli school bus riders, the murder of U.S. soldiers in a civilian German cafe in peacetime, the Khobar Towers bombing, the murder of Theo Van Gough, a Dutch film maker, the Beslan schoolhouse massacre, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the Lebanon Marine barracks massacre, the death fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie, the murder of over 100 people in the Bali bombings, the Mumbai attack against tourist hotels and a Jewish cultural center, the murders in the name of Allah of American soldiers by a Muslim-crazed American, Maj. Hasan, and not to forget the murder of 3,000 Americans in the World Trade Centers, just to name a few of those all-Muslim atrocities — these are worse than cartoons and insults that too many Muslims claim to be justification. These are acts of murder wrapped in Muslim notions of Jihad.
7) Curiously, those who point out the ugly atrocities committed in the name of Allah are accused by some of being Islamophobes. Since most of us critics are at least nominally Christians, and since all the people we’re complaining about are Muslim, why hasn’t this evolved into a religious war? Certainly the radical Muslims are trying to portray it as a holy war, “a revenge against the Crusaders,” as I’ve heard them say. So why haven’t we crusaders taken up battle axes and spears, put on chain armor and mounted our steeds to go to battle? Well, it’s quite simple, really. We are people of the 21st Century. The Muslims seem stuck in the 9th Century. Crusaders we’re not. Although we respect Israel’s right to self-defense, we could care less about “holy lands.” We are not “phobic” about Islam or anything else, because we are a strong civilization with a strong military. Those Americans who would prefer for us to be a weak/meek civilization are few and wrong.
8) So what should we do now? a) Recognize that this is a Muslim problem with roots deeply embedded in the Koran. b) Quit fooling ourselves that Islam is basically a peaceful, tolerant creed. Insist that Muslims prove to us and to their own followers that Islam is peaceful and tolerant, maybe by permitting a Church and a Synagogue in Mecca, for example. c) Wage merciless war against the terrorists wherever they hide. d) Recognize that political correctness, pandering and appeasement will get us nowhere with Muslim leaders. They’ll respect us better if we’re honest and forthright about our attitudes towards them, their Islamic faith and their tyrannical leaders. e) Have the guts to recognize that the main source of this puss filled ulcer is Saudi Arabia. Until we figure out how to deal with the Saudis as financiers and sponsors of radical Islam we’ll never see a resolution to this struggle.
9) To those Muslims living around the world and going about your business peacefully, why not recognize that there is a problem within your religion? Only you can really solve the problem, and to do so you must recognize the problem, raise up your voices, accuse and expel the radical elements and teachings that give your religion a bad reputation. The soft excuses and protestations of victim-hood by some of your present leaders are not credible or effective. The solution really is entirely up to you.