Saturday, August 28, 2010

The West Needs to Start Taking Islamist Terrorism Seriously

The Toronto Star has been reporting yesterday and today about the Islamic terrorism cell that has been busted in Ontario that was said to be months away from exploding bombs and murdering innocent Canadians. The Star, of course, is a reliably left-wing advocacy paper so its reporting follows the standard leftist-Islamist slant. Part of that slant is seen in the following paragraph, which was inserted into a story on terrorist recruitment:

Imam Hamid Slimi, Chair of the Canadian Council of Imams, says he would like to see the end of what he calls the “demonization of Muslims.”

“Unfortunately, when a man is arrested with a machete and chainsaw on the highway in Toronto it’s not called terrorism . . . but when a Muslim person does something it’s Islam, it’s terrorism,” he said.

This is boilerplate Islamist apologetics because it seeks to advance the narrative that Islamist terrorist events from 9/11 on down are just random acts of violence similar to a crazed nut on the highway with a chain saw. They are just individuals who crack for some unknown reason and unleash a torrent of violence on their neighbor for no rational reason. They are just isolated individuals whose actions have nothing to do with the mosques they attended, the ideology promulgated by the Islamists, the theology of Islam or (heaven forbid) the teachings of Mohammed himself.

This is a narrative that Islamists and their leftist fellow-travelers want you to swallow. Stated baldly like this, of course, it is blatantly contradicted by the facts. The men arrested in this case were plotting over a long period of time, not suddenly cracking. They had been "radicalized," that is, propagandized into accepting Islamist ideology. They were acting with a political goal in mind, not just trying to perpetrate violence randomly and irrationally. Some of them, it appears, had been to Yeman for training. (You don't get "trained" to snap and commit random acts of violence for no rational reason.)

But it is important for people with the worldview that drives the Toronto Star to keep on spinning the news in a certain direction. Islamist terrorists are no different that estranged husbands who suddenly shoot their wives, children and themselves or nuts who stalk and kill for a thrill. They are insane individuals with no real ideology or political agenda.

This is propaganda. This is false. And this is dangerous because if we as a society do not face up to the ideology and political goals that drive Muslim terrorists to act the way they do and act decisively to combat their ideology and defeat their political goals, then we will lose this battle. It is not just the terrorists who need to be defeated by good police work; it is the funding sources that support them, the theology that undergirds them and the networks of religious leaders and organizations that breed them that we need to understand. The first step to addressing Islamist terror is to understand that it is rational, ideological and political not irrational, random and individualistic. The theology that drives the determination to impose Sharia Law on Western countries must be delegitimized and refuted either by moderate Muslims or Christians or both .

What we are doing is the equivalent of sending out the park wardens to shoot the crocodile every time one eats a tourist. Instead, we need to be draining the swamp. The swamp is not Islam as a whole, but it is bigger than just a few isolated terrorists here and there. Part of our dilemma is that we don't have good conceptual tools or a good enough understanding of Islamic history, theology and law to make the proper distinctions between those who make up the breeding ground for terror and those who are just trying to make a life for themselves in the West. More propaganda that ignores the political, ideological and theological motivations of the terrorists is the last thing we need.


Peter W. Dunn said...

I don't think the media people realize how dumb they are when they pretend that these acts terrorism are just random acts. I listened to Katie Couric the night of the Ft. Hood slaughter, and they were wondering what could have brought this nice psychiatrist to take a gun illegally on to the base and shoot up all those soldiers headed to Iraq.

Craig Carter said...

Yes, examples like that make one wonder if it is ignorance or a well-planned, deliberate campaign of providing cover to the terrorists.