Muslims have the most to lose if we play dumb on Islamic terrorism

Muslims have the most to lose if we play dumb on Islamic terrorism, Washington Examiner, Clifford Smith, August 11, 2017

(Militant photo via AP, File)

Politically, it is difficult to have an honest discussion about the difference between Islam, a religion with many interpretations, and radical Islamism, a totalitarian political ideology. In previous years, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and (now former) Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., have been criticized for remarks they made discussing this distinction, due to fear such distinctions were somehow “Islamophobic.”

Unfortunately, it seems that little has changed. Last month, by a vote of 208-217, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that would require the Defense Department to conduct “strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification.”

The rejection of this amendment is disappointing on its merits. A better understanding of radical Islam would enhance our national security, and the Pentagon in particular could put these insights to use.

Even more dispiriting are the floor statements by several members of Congress in opposition to the amendment, which highlight the immense moral and intellectual confusion that exists in America concerning Islam.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., complained that the amendment doesn’t “apply its arbitrary surveillance equally” by “includ[ing] assessments of White supremacist terrorism or terrorism committed against abortion clinics and doctors.”

While no one is defending anti-abortion related and race-related murders, they aren’t serious national security threats at the moment. There have been, at most, 11 murders in the history of the United States as the result of violent anti-abortion sentiments. Islamist Nidal Hasan killed more than that in just a few minutes in the Fort Hood Massacre, and that’s just one attack. White supremacist violence is a bigger problem, as demonstrated by the Charleston church shooting. But it is diffuse, unorganized, and lacking in foreign support and connections.

While few people in the U.S. military are likely to come face to face with an angry and armed racist or anti-abortion activist in the line of duty, radical Islamists make it their business to kill Americans in nearly every corner of the world.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opined that “(T)errorist killers have used religious doctrines and concepts from every major religion on earth … Focusing on (Islam) exacerbates the problem by fomenting the myth that religious fanaticism and terrorism are unique to the charlatans and predators of Islam.”

But the question is whether religiously-inspired threats to U.S. national security emanate predominantly from Muslims at this particular moment in time. And they do.

It is certainly true that, historically, many sects of many religions have been exploited to justify murder and violence in pursuit of power. However, it is unsupportable to say that all religions are the same, or that all religions have equally threatening ideological trends at all points in history.

Explore posts in the same categories: Islamic terrorism, Islamophobia, U.S. Congress

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