Archive for the ‘Moderate Muslims’ category

Accept Islamic Terror as the New Normal?

June 4, 2017

Accept Islamic Terror as the New Normal? Gatestone InstituteNonie Darwish, June 4, 2017

And now the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib, has moved to the West and aims at changing Western humanistic culture. It would replace respect for human rights, caring for one’s neighbor and the values of freedom and peace, with the values of bondage, terror, tyranny and fear.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

It did not take long for the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib to work on the psyche of Western leaders and media, who are now telling us to live with it as the “new normal.” Islam counts on turning everyone into “moderate” Muslims who will eventually look the other way when terror happens to the person next to you.

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“The use of terror under this doctrine [Targhib wal tarhib, “luring and terrorizing”] is a legitimate sharia obligation.” — Salman Al Awda, mainstream Muslim sheikh, on the Al Jazeera television show “Sharia and Life”.

Part of the tarhib or “terrorizing” side of this doctrine is to make a cruel example of those who do not comply with the requirements of Islam. That is the reason Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and entities such as ISIS, intentionally hold ceremonial public beheadings, floggings, and amputation of limbs.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

After terror attacks, we often hear from Western media and politicians that we must accept terrorist attacks as the “new normal.”

For Western citizens, this phrase is dangerous.

Islam’s doctrine of jihad, expansion and dawah (Islamic outreach, proselytizing) rely heavily on the use of both terror and luring. Targhib wal tarhib is an Islamic doctrine that means “seducing (luring) and terrorizing” as a tool for dawah, to conquer nations and force citizens to submit to Islamic law, sharia. It amounts to manipulating the instinctive parts of the human brain with extreme opposing pressures of pleasure and pain — rewarding, then severely punishing — to brainwash people into complying with Islam.

Most ordinary Muslims are not even aware of this doctrine, but Islamic books have been written about it. Mainstream Muslim sheikhs such as Salman Al Awda have discussed it on Al Jazeera TV. On a show called “Sharia and Life,” Al Awda recommended using extremes “to exaggerate… reward and punishment, morally and materially… in both directions”. “The use of terror under this doctrine,”‘ he said, “is a legitimate sharia obligation.”

People in the West think of terror as something that Islamic jihadists inflict on non-Muslims, and it is. But terror is also the mechanism for ensuring compliance within Islam. Under Islamic law, jihadists who evade performing jihad are to be killed. Terror is thus the threat that keeps jihadists on their missions, and that make ordinary Muslims obey sharia.

An online course for recruiting jihadists contains this description:

“Individual Dawa depends on eliciting emotional responses from recruits (and building a personal relationship). Abu ‘Amr’s approach illustrates a recruitment concept called al-targhib wa’l-tarhib, which is a carrot-and-stick technique of extolling the benefits of action while explaining the frightening costs of inaction. The concept was introduced in the Qur’an and is discussed by many Islamic thinkers exploring the best way to call people to Islam (several scholars, for example, have written books titled al-targhib wa’l-tarhib). According to Abu ‘Amr, recruiters should apply the concept throughout the recruitment process, but emphasize the benefits of action early in the process and the costs of inaction later.”

In other words, recruiters of jihadists should start by emphasizing the “good stuff” first, the “lure” — the future glory, supremacy and fulfillment of every lustful wish, such as virgins in heaven. Later, they should threaten the recruits with “terror” and shame — the consequence if they fail to participate in jihad.

Part of the tarhib or “terrorizing” side of this doctrine is to make a cruel example of those who do not comply with the requirements of Islam. That is the reason Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and entities such as ISIS, intentionally hold ceremonial public beheadings, floggings, and amputation of limbs. Countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey are more discrete, but they tolerate and support honor killings; killing apostates; beating women and children, and torture and murder in their jails. The doctrine of targhib and tarhib is alive and well, not just in Islamic theocracies but also in the so-called “moderate” Muslim countries.

Islam has been using these “pleasure and pain” brainwashing techniques, and cruel and unusual punishment, from its inception and until today. While the Bible — the Western Judeo-Christian tradition — is in harmony with, and nurtures, kindness in human nature, Islam does the opposite: it uses the human instincts for self-preservation and survival to break the people’s will and brainwash them into slavish obedience.

Like the majority of Muslims, I never heard of this foundational Islamic doctrine when I was growing up in Egypt, but have felt the impact of this doctrine on my life — in every aspect of Islamic culture; in Islamic preaching, in my Islamic family relations; in how Islamic governments operate and how people of authority, in general, treat the people under them.

The Islamic doctrine of “lure and terror” has produced a culture of toxic extremes: distrust and fear, pride and shame, permission to lie (“taqiyya“), and rejecting taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Having lived most of my life under Islam, I am sad to say that people the West calls “moderate Muslims” are frequently, in fact, citizens who have learned to live with and accept terror as normal. For centuries, many have made excuses for terror, condemned victims of terror, remained silent or equivocal, and have even compromised with the terrorists to survive. The Islamic culture in which I lived looked the other way when women were beaten. When girls were honor-murdered, the question was “what did she do?” instead of “how could that be?” When Christians were killed and persecuted, many blamed the Christians for their own persecution at the hands of Muslims. The normal Islamic response to terror became: “None of my business.”

And now the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib, has moved to the West and aims at changing Western humanistic culture. It would replace respect for human rights, caring for one’s neighbor and the values of freedom and peace, with the values of bondage, terror, tyranny and fear.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

It did not take long for the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib to work on the psyche of Western leaders and media, who are now telling us to live with it as the “new normal.” Islam counts on turning everyone into “moderate” Muslims who will eventually look the other way when terror happens to the person next to you.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 04: People are lead to safety on Southwark Bridge away from London Bridge after an attack on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Police have responded to reports of a van hitting pedestrians on London Bridge in central London. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Where Are the Moderate Muslims?

April 27, 2017

Where Are the Moderate Muslims? Prager University via YouTube, April 27, 2017

(This is similar to what Muslim reformers, also known as “Islamophobes”, such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and the Clarion Project, which also promotes reform, have been saying. The stats were presented by Clarion Project several years ago. A Muslim reformation will be difficult, will take a long time — so did the Christian reformation — and may not happen. For America, however, I see no alternative for the reasons stated here. — DM)

 

A Muslim Woman’s Fight Against Radical Islam

February 25, 2017

A Muslim Woman’s Fight Against Radical Islam, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, February 23, 2017

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If one were to find a single question that defines the geo-politics of our age, it might well be the question Farhana Qazi has been asking herself for almost 20 years: why do so many Muslims kill in the name of their religion?

If she has not found all the answers, Qazi has done much to facilitate our understanding of the issues, primarily as they relate to Muslim women and the rise in women extremists. A Muslim herself, she has worked largely behind the scenes: at the Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington, D.C.; at the Rand Corporation think tank; as an instructor on terrorism for the U.S. military; and as an author. Her work has taken her back to her native Pakistan, where she has immersed herself in the lives of Muslim extremist women, met with the mothers of suicide bombers, come to know women who have endured imprisonment, and shared stories with women who, in her words, “have tried to break the barriers of patriarchy and patrilineal traditions.”

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Qazi came to America with her mother at the age of 1, joining her father who was already working in Tennessee. Soon after, the family moved to Austin, Texas, which Qazi considers her hometown. Her work since then, both in the service of her country and as a beacon for moderate Muslims seeking to reconcile their beliefs with the violent extremism facing the world, has received lavish praise and numerous awards. She is now working on a book that examines why Muslims turn violent, and the ways in which recent political events contribute to violent extremism.

She told us her story in a recent interview, and shared her crucial insights on radical Islam, women terrorists, and where we stand now in the face of the radical Islamist threat.

Abigail R. Esman: Why did your family move to the U.S., and how old were you at the time?

Farhana Qazi: My father came to the U.S. because it was his dream since he was a child. He admired Western values and later, he worked with American clients when he was a young accountant in Lahore, Pakistan. He came to the U.S. (to the rolling hills of Tennessee to pursue an MBA), and thanks to Al Gore, my father was allowed to stay in this country to work after his student visa expired. Gore wrote a letter on my father’s behalf. I was a year old when I moved here with my mother. I barely remember my birth city, Lahore – the cultural nerve of Pakistan. I lived in a small town in Tenn. before moving to the capital city of Austin, Texas, my childhood home.

ARE: How important was religion to you growing up?

FQ: My parents were born Muslim but their practice was liberal, almost secular. My father is an intellectual and philosopher who admires all religions; he values the Ten Commandments that came from Moses. He idolizes the principles of Buddhism and he believes in the Christian concept of charity. My father has raised me to be a “humanist” rather than a Muslim. I embraced Sunni Islam later in life

ARE: Many women in Pakistan face oppression, forced marriage, and family violence. How do you explain the freedom you have had in your life?

FQ: I am blessed to be an American Muslim woman. My father often tells me he came to the U.S. for me; because I am a girl from a middle-class family in Pakistan who would not have had the same opportunities in life had I lived in a country with patriarchal norms, age-old customs, and traditions, most of which deny girls and women their basic rights in Islam. Culture trumps religion in Pakistan. But it’s not true in America, where I can practice faith openly or privately. Because I am free in America, I chose a male-dominated field – in the 1990s, counter-terrorism work was dominated and dictated by men mostly. Often, I was the only female speaker at international conferences and addressed why Muslims kill in the name of my religion. Now, there are more women in the CT field, but at the time, I was not only female, American, but also Muslim – the combination of the three made me stand alone, which is a blessing in disguise. I welcome the opportunity (and attention) for speaking on a subject that I understood. And that’s how my father raised me: to be a bridge between the East and the West. To learn from both worlds, both cultures and to close the gap of misunderstanding.

ARE: Was having that freedom part of what has guided you in your work?

FQ: Yes, my unique cultural and linguistic background made me marketable for the intelligence community. There were no female Muslims in the Counter-Terrorism Center. I believe I was hired to help the Center understand the extremists’ narrative, rhetoric, and recruitment patterns. Later, upon leaving the Center, I joined the RAND Corp as a policy analyst-researcher and traveled to the Muslim world to engage local communities. Because I understand both cultures, I have been able to speak to women who might have not been accessible to other American men or women. When I trained the U.S. forces as a senior instructor, I received the highest honor – the 21st Century Leader Award from The National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) in 2012 for my service as an American Muslim woman – when I was presented with the award, I was told that because I knew how to serve the U.S. government as a woman and Muslim is the reason why I was chosen for the award.

ARE: You in fact began working in the area of counterterrorism and issues surrounding the lives of Muslim women very early in your career. What motivated this?

FQ: My mother is a war hero to me. She joined the Pakistani Army when she was barely 20 years old to fight for Kashmir. In the 1960s, Pakistan was at war with India for the second time to fight for the valley of Kashmir. My mama, barely five feet tall and a petite frame, volunteered for the Army and trained at Qaddafi stadium in Lahore, holding a British .303 rifle which was taller than she was. She often told me, “I wanted to prove to my country that women can fight, too.” She was raised in a country at a time when women and girls had few career choices and were often bound by familial responsibilities. But not my mother, who dreamed of being a politician had she not married my father and then settled in the U.S.

ARE: Mostly, you’ve focused your work on women.

FQ: I’d say my work focuses on understanding radical Islam and the divisions in the Muslim world today – a broken mass of billions blinded by age-old customs, traditions, and patriarchal norms steeped in ancient cultures. I’m trying to understand the way that Islam has been destroyed by splinter groups, religious fanatics, and hardline conservatives, issuing fatwas that oppose women’s rights. I’ve come to learn has that while terrorists claim to empower women, the reality is that women are cannon fodder or a ‘riding wave of terrorists’ success.’ In the end, women don’t matter, which begs the question: why do they join?

ARE: Then for many years you worked at Rand. What did you do there?

FQ: Research on Al Qaeda networks and the female suicide trend that began to capture headlines in the conflict in Iraq. I was the first to predict that there would be a series of bombings by women – I wrote my first op-ed on the subject in The Baltimore Sun, predicting more attacks. Women were an anomaly so no one paid attention, until females strapped on the bomb. And then a Newsweek piece caught the attention of multi-national forces in Iraq and the U.S. embassy. Suddenly, we began to pay attention to a trend that would continue to this day, though I have been saying this for the past 17 years: women are deadly, too.

ARE: And the Counter-Terrorism Center.

FQ: I was the first American Muslim girl to be hired. I was 25 years old.

ARE: How serious is the problem of Muslim women extremists right now? Is it a threat that is growing?

FQ: This is an ongoing threat that is shielded by men. We don’t hear of attacks by women because it is unreported. For example, I know from my U.S. military contacts that there were a number of Afghan women strapping on the bomb and I am writing about this in a chapter for my next book on female terrorists, but that phenomenon was not reported. Because we don’t hear of it in the news doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The real concern is women who support extremist men – women have done this since the Afghan jihad. Women write in jihadi magazines. Women raise their children to be terrorists. And women stand by their radical men. This is nothing new.

ARE: Are Muslim women in the West generally more or less likely to radicalize than their counterparts in the Islamic world?

FQ: Western women have different challenges; the main concern for a Muslim girl or woman in the West has to do with identity. Often, girls who join ISIS are trapped between two opposing cultures and societies – the life at home and their life outside the home (at school, for example).

One of my chapters in my new book is called “The Denver Girls” – I remember visiting with the community that was affected by the three East African girls who boarded a plane to join ISIS but were brought back home (the father of one of the girls reported his daughter missing). A Sudanese woman I interviewed told me that ISIS empowers our girls, and I can see why. Because many Muslim girls living in the West are still bound by cultural (read controlled) rules and have little freedom outside of their home environment; they aren’t allowed to ‘hang out’ with Western friends and these girls certainly don’t have the same opportunities as their brothers or male cousins. In these cases, girls look for alternatives, which terrorism provides.

Further, I believe the teachings of Islam (which I live by: peace, compassion and mercy) are not preached or taught at home. When Muslims have spiritual pride and believe that God’s love is only for the select few, then this teaching restricts children in many ways: they are unable to cope in a Western society and compelled to stay within their own communities, which makes girls more vulnerable to extremist recruitment and makes them feel they do not belong.

ARE: What are some of the major reasons you’ve found that explain the phenomenon of female Muslim terrorists?

FQ: No two Muslim female terrorists are alike. And while the motives will vary, I do believe that patterns don’t lie. Contextual clues are important indicators for violence, and by context, this would include a girl’s home (private) and public life; her exposure to violence or trauma or abuse; her access to violent messaging online and the time she spends reading and engaging with violent individuals in the digital space; a personal tragedy (did she lose someone to violence?); and much more. I’ve learned that there is no “aha” moment or trigger point but a sequence of triggers and “aha” moments that lead to the path of violence.

ARE: Based on your expertise, what do you think of Trump’s “Muslim ban” or travel ban?

FQ: The travel ban may have the adverse effect. I believe in protecting our country from external threats. What worries me is that the threat is already here. If we look back at attacks or attempted attacks over the past decade, radical Muslims have been living in our midst. [Orlando shooter] Omar Mateen, [San Bernardino killers] Syed and Tashfeen Farook, [Chattanooga shooter] Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, [Fort Hood shooter] Nidal M. Hassan, and more. Many of these terrorists were not from the countries listed in the travel ban. What we need is greater civic involvement and community policing.

ARE: Have you experienced threats of any kind in relation to your work?

FQ: I have been warned to change careers and not talk about Muslim terrorists. But to do that would be to ignore the realities of our time. As a devout Muslim woman, who still believes in Islam’s core message of peace, I have to acknowledge that there are Muslims who kill in the name of Islam, manipulating the faith for political or personal reasons. And these individuals, male or female, need to be stopped and countered by Muslims, too.

ARE: In the now-infamous words of Mitch McConnell, “she persisted.” Why do you persist?

FQ: My father taught me the word “persistence’ when I was a young girl in Texas. He often said, “every challenge is an opportunity,” which made the word “persist’ a positive term in my mind. To persist is to succeed and to succeed is to make a difference. I live by the maxim: lead a life of service – and the only way to do that is to persist.

Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb: Meet the World’s ‘Most Influential Muslim’

August 24, 2016

Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb: Meet the World’s ‘Most Influential Muslim’, Front Page MagazineRaymond Ibrahim, August 24, 2016

(Please see also, Muslim cleric from terror sponsor Iran praises Pope for saying Islam is peaceful — DM)

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There’s nothing like knowing Arabic—that is, being privy to the Muslim world’s internal conversations on a daily basis—to disabuse oneself of the supposed differences between so-called “moderate” and “radical” Muslims.

Consider the case of Egypt’s Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb.  Hardly one to be dismissed as a fanatic who is ignorant of the true tenets of Islam, Tayeb’s credentials and career are impressive: he holds a Ph. D in Islamic philosophy from the Paris-Sorbonne University; formerly served as Grand Imam of Egypt, meaning he was the supreme interpreter of Islamic law; and since 2003 has been president of Al-Azhar University, considered the world’s leading institution of Islamic learning.   A 2013 survey named Tayeb the “most influential Muslim in the world.”

He is also regularly described by Western media and academia as a “moderate.”  Georgetown University presents him as “a strong proponent of interfaith dialogue.”  According to The National, “He is considered to be one of the most moderate and enlightened Sunni clerics in Egypt.”  In February 2015, the Wall Street Journal praised him for making “one of the most sweeping calls yet for educational reform in the Muslim world to combat the escalation of extremist violence.”

Most recently he was invited to the Vatican and warmly embraced by Pope Francis.  Al Azhar had angrily cut off all ties with the Vatican five years earlier when, in the words of U.S. News, former Pope Benedict “had demanded greater protection for Christians in Egypt after a New Year’s bombing on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria killed 21 people.  Since then, Islamic attacks on Christians in the region have only increased.”

Pope Francis referenced his meeting with Tayeb as proof that Muslims are peaceful: “I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think.  They [Muslims] seek peace, encounter.”

How does one reconcile Tayeb’s benevolent image in the West with his reality in Egypt?

For instance, all throughout the month of Ramadan last June, Tayeb appeared on Egyptian TV explaining all things Islamic—often in ways that do not suggest that Islam seeks “peace, encounter.”

During one episode, he reaffirmed a phrase that is almost exclusively associated with radicals: in Arabic, al-din wa’l-dawla, meaning “the religion and the polity”—a phrase that holds Islam to be both a religion and a body of rules governing society and state.

He did so in the context of discussing the efforts of Dr. Ali Abdel Raziq, a true reformer and former professor at Al Azhar who wrote a popular but controversial book in 1925, one year after the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate.  Titled, in translation, Islam and the Roots of Governance, Raziq argued against the idea of resurrecting the caliphate, saying that Islam is a personal religion that should no longer be mixed with politics or governance.

Raziq was vehemently criticized by many clerics and even fired from Al Azhar.  Concluded Tayeb, with assent:

Al Azhar’s position was to reject his position, saying he forfeited his credentials and his creed.  A great many ulema—in and out of Egypt and in Al Azhar—rejected his work and its claim, that Islam is a religion but not a polity.  Instead, they reaffirmed that Islam is both a religion and a polity [literally, al-din wa’l-dawla].

The problem with the idea that Islam must govern the whole of society should be obvious: Sharia, or Islamic law, which is what every Muslim including Tayeb refer to when they say that Islam is a polity, is fundamentally at odds with modern notions of human rights and, due to its supremacist and “anti-infidel” aspects, the source of conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims the world over.

That this is the case was made clear during another of Tayeb’s recent episodes.  On the question of apostasy in Islam—whether a Muslim has the right to abandon Islam for another or no religion—the “radical” position is well known: unrepentant apostates are to be punished with death.

Yet Tayeb made the same pronouncement.  During another Ramadan episode he said that “Contemporary apostasy presents itself in the guise of crimes, assaults, and grand treason, so we deal with it now as a crime that must be opposed and punished.”

While his main point was that those who do not follow Islam are prone to being criminals, he especially emphasized those who exhibit their apostasy as being a “great danger to Islamic society. And that’s because his apostasy is a result of his hatred for Islam and a reflection of his opposition to it. In my opinion, this is grand treason.”

Tayeb added what all Muslims know: “Those learned in Islamic law [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.”  He even cited a hadith, or tradition, of Islam’s prophet Muhammad calling for the execution of Muslims who quit Islam.

Meanwhile, when speaking to Western and non-Muslim audiences, as he did during his recent European tour, Tayeb tells them what they want to hear.  Recently speaking before an international forum he asserted that “The Quran states that there is no compulsion in religion,” and that “attempts to force people into a religion are against the will of God.”  Similarly, when meeting with the Italian Senate’s Foreign Policy Commission Pier Ferdinando Casini and his accompanying delegation, Tayeb “asserted that Islam is the religion of peace, cooperation and mercy….  Islam believes in freedom of expression and human rights, and recognizes the rights of all human beings.”

While such open hypocrisy—also known as taqiyya—may go unnoticed in the West, in Egypt, human rights groups often call him out.  The Cairo Institute for Human Rights recently issued a statement accusing Al Azhar of having two faces: one directed at the West and which preaches freedom and tolerance, and one directed to Muslims and which sounds not unlike ISIS:

In March 2016 before the German parliament, Sheikh al-Tayeb made unequivocally clear that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Koran, while in Cairo he makes the exact opposite claims….  Combating terrorism and radical religious ideologies will not be accomplished by directing at the West and its international institutions religious dialogues that are open, support international peace and respect freedoms and rights, while internally promoting ideas that contribute to the dissemination of violent extremism through the media and educational curricula of Al Azhar and the mosques.

At any rate, if Tayeb holds such draconian views on apostasy from Islam—that is, when he’s speaking in Arabic to fellow Muslims—what is his position concerning the Islamic State?  Last December, Tayeb was asked why Al Azhar refuses to issue a formal statement denouncing the genocidal terrorist organization as lapsing into a state of kufr, that is, of becoming un-Islamic, or “infidel.” Tayeb responded:

Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity….  I cannot denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, but I can say that they cause corruption on earth.

As critics, such as Egyptian talk show host Ibrahim Eissa pointed out, however, “It’s amazing.  Al Azhar insists ISIS are Muslims and refuses to denounce them.  Yet Al Azhar never ceases to shoot out statements accusing novelists, writers, thinkers—anyone who says anything that contradicts their views—of lapsing into a state of infidelity.  But not when it comes to ISIS!”

This should not be surprising considering that many insiders accuse Al Azhar of teaching and legitimizing the atrocities that ISIS commits.  Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and Al Azhar graduate once exposed his alma mater in a televised interview:

It [Al Azhar] can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic].  The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?  Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it].  Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate.  Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc.  Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya.  Al Azhar teaches stoning people.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?

Similarly, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches.  He went on to quote from textbooks used in Al Azhar that permit burning people—more specifically, “infidels”—alive.

Meanwhile, Tayeb—the face of and brain behind Al Azhar—holds that Europe “must support all moderate Islamic institutions that adopt the Al-Azhar curriculum,” which “is the most eligible one for educating the youth.”  He said this during “a tour [in Germany and France] to facilitate dialogue between the East and the West.”

As for the ongoing persecution of Egypt’s most visible non-Muslim minorities, the Coptic Christians, Tayeb is renowned for turning a blind eye.  Despite the well-documented “severe persecution” Christians experience in Egypt; despite the fact that Muslim mobs attack Christians almost “every two to three days” now—recent examples include the burning of churches and Christian homes, the coldblooded murder of a Coptic man defending his grandchild from Muslim bullies, and the stripping, beating, and parading in the nude of a 70-year-old Christian woman—Tayeb recently told Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros that “Egypt represents the ultimate and highest example of national unity” between Muslims and Christians.

Although he vociferously denounces the displacement of non-Egyptian Muslims in Buddhist Myanmar, he doesn’t have a single word for the persecution and displacement of the Copts, that is, his own Egyptian countrymen.  Instead heproclaims that “the Copts have been living in Egypt for over 14 centuries in safety, and there is no need for all this artificial concern over them,” adding that “true terrorism was created by the West.”

Indeed, far from speaking up on behalf of Egypt’s Christian minorities, he has confirmed that they are “infidels”—that same label he refused to describe ISIS with.   While he did so in a technical manner—correctly saying that, as rejecters of Muhammad’s prophecy, Christians are infidels [kafir]—he also knows that labeling them as such validates all the animosity they feel and experience in Egypt, since the mortal enemy of the Muslim is the infidel.

This is consistent with the fact that Al Azhar encourages enmity for non-Muslims, specifically Coptic Christians, and even incites for their murder.  As Egyptian political commentator Dr. Khalid al-Montaser once marveled:

Is it possible at this sensitive time — when murderous terrorists rest on [Islamic] texts and understandings of takfir [accusing Muslims of apostasy], murder, slaughter, and beheading — that Al Azhar magazine is offering free of charge a book whose latter half and every page — indeed every few lines — ends with “whoever disbelieves [non-Muslims] strike off his head”?

The prestigious Islamic university—which co-hosted U.S. President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech—has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion.”

One can go on and on.   Tayeb once explained with assent why Islamic law permits a Muslim man to marry a Christian woman, but forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a Christian man: since women by nature are subordinate to men, it’s fine if the woman is an infidel, as her superior Muslim husband will keep her in check; but if the woman is a Muslim, it is not right that she be under the authority of an infidel.  Similarly, Western liberals may be especially distraught to learn thatTayeb once boasted, “You will never one day find a Muslim society that permits sexual freedom, homosexuality, etc., etc., as rights.  Muslim societies see these as sicknesses that need to be resisted and opposed.”

To recap, while secular Western talking heads that don’t know the first thing about Islam continue squealing about how it is being “misunderstood,” here is arguably the Muslim world’s leading authority confirming many of the cardinal points held by ISIS: he believes that Islam is not just a religion to be practiced privately but rather is a totalitarian system designed to govern the whole of society through the implementation of its human rights abusing Sharia; he supports one of the most inhumane laws, punishment of the Muslim who wishes to leave Islam; he downplays the plight of Egypt’s persecuted Christians, that is, when he’s not inciting against them by classifying them as “infidels”—the worst category in Islam’s lexicon—even as he refuses to denounce the genocidal Islamic State likewise.

Yet this well credentialed and respected scholar of Islam is considered a “moderate” by Western universities and media, from Georgetown University to the Wall Street Journal.  He is someone whom Pope Francis trusts, embraces, and quotes to reassure the West of Islam’s peacefulness.

In all fairness of course, Tayeb is neither a “moderate” nor a “radical.”  He’s merely a Muslim trying to be true to Islam.   Put differently, he’s merely a messenger.

Critics would be advised to take it up with the Message itself.

Our Catastrophic Failure of Jihad Denial

August 23, 2016

Our Catastrophic Failure of Jihad Denial, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, August 23, 2016

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An outraged nation watched on September 11 as a handful of Muslim terrorists managed to kill thousands of Americans in one of the worst attacks in our history. Answers were demanded and commissions were established to investigate why we failed to prevent the attack.

Why didn’t we know that it was coming? Why didn’t we do something?

It’s still a good question as the number of attacks mount. But under Obama, we actually know less about Islamic terrorism than we used to.

While thousands of Americans died on that terrible day at the hands of Islamic terrorists, thousands of other Americans stepped forward to do their duty. Some brought sandwiches to Ground Zero. Others enlisted in the military to fight. Still others sought unique ways to use their special talents to make a contribution to combating the enemies of civilization.

Stephen Coughlin was a reserve Army officer called up to active duty. He left the private sector for the Directorate for Intelligence. For the next six years he worked in a variety of key roles to shape and orient the war and spoke about the threat of Islamic terrorism everywhere from Quantico to the Naval War College so that those on the front lines of the conflict would understand who the enemy was.

Then he was forced out because he was too good at pointing out the enemy. And the enemy had gotten inside. It would bore deeper and deeper into our national security infrastructure as the years and the wars dragged on.

But the government’s loss is our gain.

Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is Coughlin’s vigorous blast of fresh air through the stale clichés that clutter up counterterrorism conversations. You know the ones. Offending Islam plays into the hands of the terrorists. Mentioning that Al Qaeda is Islamic plays into the hands of the terrorists. Doing anything except playing the denial game also plays into the hands of the terrorists.

“Catastrophic Failure” conveys the information that Coughlin packaged in briefings to the men and women fighting the war. It is the outcome of his work, his briefings and his research. It is why he was fired.

As one of the leading experts in what the terrorists of Islam actually think and want, Stephen Coughlin not only shatters this brass wall of dishonesty, but shows that the real threat comes from the concealment of whom the terrorists we are fighting are and what they really want.

Coughlin’s conviction in analysis took him on this Diogenesian journey for the truth. He was not the only one traveling this road, discarding the excuses and the lies, striving to see clearly what was happening and why. And yet his position so close to the heart of the great failure machine of national security gives him a unique insight into what has gone wrong and into what must be set right.

That is what “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is. It is an analysis of what has gone wrong. Its cover of an eagle wearing a green blindfold all too aptly captures the tragic farce of our fight against terrorism. But it is also a compelling argument about what we must do.

Instead of seeing the threats the bird of prey tasked with our national defense has been hooded in green. He sits tamely on the arm of the Muslim Brotherhood falconer. Our government has responded to Muslim terror by seeking out Muslim moderates to save us from the extremists. But the moderates are not moderate. And working so close to the machine, Coughlin saw how the need to win over moderates, to consult them and rely on them, led to the shift in power as they created the framework in which decisions were made.

Counterterrorism was increasingly being made in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The great struggle of our time is to flip that framework over and restore the power of decision for this war to Americans. Coughlin is a powerful writer and thinker, and he has poured his passion into these arguments that are meant to accomplish just that. He knows Islamic thought and law, and their real life implications, but his background has also prepared him to present focused laser blasts of information to audiences. His key goal and theme has been the importance of knowing the enemy.

“Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is a text of knowledge. It is a book about the importance of knowing the enemy so that we may know the war that we are in.

Coughlin draws us a map of the Islamic organizational war against civilization “unconstrained” by the usual preconceptions about moderates and extremists. Instead he shows us who the enemy is by showing us how they think and how they see themselves. He connects the red dots of the Islamic Movement and the road to the Caliphate which is being pursued by far more Muslim groups than just the overt butchers of ISIS whose lack of patience leads them to act before they can sustain their Jihad.

“Catastrophic Failure” is not merely a book about Islamic terrorism. It is about the core worldview of the struggle. It is about how the bombings, shootings and stabbings that we see on the evening news are rooted in an Islamic mindset that stretches from the proverbial “lone wolf” whose actions are blamed on psychiatric problems or a failure to integrate to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the rest of our so-called moderate allies and partners.

It is also about how our process, our ability to analyze and produce forecasts, and then to make decisions based on them, was corrupted by Islamic influence operations. It is about how the “eagle” was seduced with fantasies of moderate Islam by the enemies of this country. And it is about what must be done to lift the eagle’s blindfold and allow him to soar overhead again.

Stephen Coughlin has seen the profound failure of our national security up close. He saw what went wrong and equally importantly, he has seen what could have been if national security were oriented around our security instead of orbiting like a satellite around our impulses toward political correctness.

“Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is a valuable book because it reflects the invaluable experiences of its author. It is a story of three wars. The war that was. The war that is. And the war that will be. The motives and the tactics of the enemy have remained consistent in these wars. And that allows Coughlin to predict their patterns. The enemy will not suddenly turn moderate. The question that hangs over the war that will be is whether our leaders will open their eyes to the fight.

Bad Ideas Created Benghazi

July 5, 2016

Bad Ideas Created Benghazi, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, July 5, 2016

Witch of Benghazi

The House Select Committee on Benghazi report confirms what we pretty much already knew. The Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completely politicized this country’s foreign policy in order to ensure the reelection of Obama and to serve the future presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton. Along the way Obama, Clinton et al. made dangerous decisions, such as establishing the consular outpost in Benghazi, and ignoring the consul’s pleas for more security. They also ignored the many warning signs of incipient attacks, bungled the response to the attack on September 11, 2012, and then obfuscated, spun, and outright lied in the aftermath. The House report adds new details that flesh out the story, but enough had already been leaked to confirm Clinton’s despicable sacrifice of American lives on the altar of her obsessive ambition.

Toxic ambition, sheer incompetence, and the self-serving politics of the individuals involved mean they bear the primary responsibility for this disaster. But Benghazi illustrates as well the climate of bad ideas that make such decisions possible. Bad politicians eventually go away, but malignant ideas and received wisdom are deeply rooted in our institutions, transcending individuals. The Benghazi fiasco illustrates two particularly tenacious ones.

The military intervention in Libya, the origin of the Benghazi tragedy, was another act of Western wishful thinking about “democratizing” and “reforming” the Muslim world. Despite the failure of George W. Bush’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions encouraged the Wilsonian “freedom and democracy” promoters in 2011 to make Libya yet another poster-child for this doomed project. Moreover, intervention seemingly could be done on the cheap. No troops need be deployed, since jets and missiles could topple the psychotic Muammar Gaddafi––an autocrat straight out of central casting, whose genocidal bluster gave the West a pretext for intervention.

For Hillary and Obama, this was the perfect opportunity to show those neocon militarists what “smart power” was all about, and strike a contrast with the “cowboy” Bush’s “unilateralist” bumbling in Iraq. A UN resolution was secured, and a NATO-led coalition of 19 states assembled for enforcing a no-fly zone. The mission soon escalated into bringing about regime change and the death of Gaddafi.

For a while, this was a perfect, low-cost, quick little war that would illustrate the various shibboleths of moralizing internationalism: international diplomatic approval for the use of force, multilateral coalition building, a reliance on air power that minimized casualties among participating militaries, and a smaller role for the US, which would be “leading from behind,” as an Obama advisor said. This last idea reflected Obama’s belief that the US needed to diminish its role in world affairs and avoid the arrogant overreach that stained its history abroad, most recently in Iraq. This notion of America’s global sins is another bad idea reflecting ideology, not historical fact.

For Secretary of State Clinton, the Libya intervention would be the showcase of her tenure at State and proof of her superior foreign policy skills and presidential potential. Of course, we all know that the toppling of Gaddafi has been a disastrous mistake. Gaddafi was a brutal creep, but he kept in check the jihadists from Libya eager to kill Americans in Iraq and foment terror throughout the region. His departure created a vacuum that has been filled with legions of jihadist outfits across North Africa, including ISIS franchises. They are armed in part with weapons plundered from Gaddafi’s arsenals such as surface-to-air missiles, assault rifles, machine guns, mines, grenades, antitank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Yet eager to protect her defining foreign policy achievement, Hillary kept open the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi even as other nations pulled out their personnel because of the increasing danger caused by the new Libyan government’s inability to control and secure its territory.

Four dead Americans were the cost of political ambition and adherence to the bankrupt idea that liberal democracy can be created on the cheap in a culture lacking all of the philosophical and institutional infrastructure necessary for its success: inalienable rights, equality under the law, transparent government, accountability to the people, separation of church and state, fair and honest elections, and the freedom of speech and assembly. The folly of expecting democracy in a culture alien to it became clear in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s downfall, when the Libyan National Transitional Council’s Draft Constitutional Charter proclaimed, “Islam is the religion of the state, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” The idea of exporting democracy, however, still has a tight hold on many in the West both on the left and the right, which means we have not seen the last of its bloody and costly failures.

Equally bipartisan has been the next bad idea: that al Qaeda, ISIS, et al. are fringe “extremists” who have “hijacked” Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are “moderates” grieved by this tarnishing of their noble faith. It was George W. Bush who said in his first address after 9/11 that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah,” establishing the model for his administration’s policy of “outreach” to Muslims. Obama has taken this delusion to surreal extremes, refusing in the face of mountains of evidence to link the numerous ISIS attacks of the last few years to Islam, and proscribing “jihad” and “radical Islamist” from the government’s communications and training manuals.

It was this imperative to sever Islamic terrorism from its roots in traditional Islamic doctrine that in part accounted for the lies that Hillary, Obama, and their minions like National Security Advisor Susan Rice told in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks. They peddled the narrative that a spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video insulting Mohammed had morphed into a violent attack. This lie traded in the delusional belief that despite its 14-century-long record of invasion, murder, slaving, colonization, and occupation­­––all in fulfillment of the divine commands “to slay the idolaters wherever you find them” and “to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah” –– Islamic doctrine could not possibly justify the actions of modern terrorists. So powerful was the need to protect this belief and, of course, her political future that Clinton lied to the faces of the parents of the four dead Americans, promising to “get” the hapless filmmaker, even as she knew on the very night of the attacks that there was no protest against the video near the consular outpost.

Nor are the various pretexts for this evasion of historical fact convincing. The worst is that making explicit the link between jihadism and Islam will endanger innocent Muslims and stoke “Islamophobia.” There is no evidence that this is the case, and hate crimes against Jews still vastly outnumber those against Muslims. Not much better is the notion that pious Muslims, supposedly offended by “blasphemers” like al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, will not cooperate with police and the FBI if we state simple facts about their faith and its history.

This idea is psychologically preposterous. It assumes that Muslim pique at infidel statements about their religion trumps their assumed desire to stop the violent “distorters” of their beloved faith. It also assumes that to Muslims, such insults justify keeping quiet about the planned murders of innocents––a damning indictment of the very people whom the “nothing to do with Islam” crowd are so anxious to mollify. Worse, it confirms the unique triumphalism of Islam, whose adherents expect from non-believers deference to their faith, even as Muslims across the globe are slaughtering and torturing people simply because they are non-believers. Such careful monitoring of our discourse about Islam, at the same time Muslim intellectuals routinely attack the West for its alleged historical sins against Islam, is a sign of weakness and fear that encourages our enemies to hit us again.

We’ve been operating by this double standard for decades, and terrorist groups have expanded across the globe, while jihadist violence has murdered Americans in Boston, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando, to name just the deadliest attacks. It’s safe to say that the tactic of flattering Muslims and confirming their sense of superiority to infidels has failed to keep us safe.

But if we really want to be honest, we won’t just rely on the weasel-word “Islamist,” which still suggests that the beliefs of the jihadists are somehow a doctrinal aberration. Those of both parties who continually talk about “moderate Muslims” and use the word “Islamist” to distinguish them from jihadists should heed Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan: “The term ‘Moderate Islam’ is ugly and offensive; there is no moderate Islam; Islam is Islam.” Using “Islamic” rather than “Islamist” will recognize the continuity of modern jihadism with traditional Islamic doctrines. Whitewashing that fact has done nothing to stop jihadist violence, and it is an enabler of those ordinary Muslims who refuse to acknowledge Islam’s illiberal and violent doctrines.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the opprobrium history will inflict on them for sacrificing our security and interests to their personal ambition and ideological obsessions. But bad ideas had a hand in the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, and those bad ideas will continue to cripple us until we discard them and start facing reality.

Obama and the Moderate Muslims

June 17, 2016

Obama and the Moderate Muslims, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, June 17, 2016

Imam Obama on Islam

On Wednesday Goldberg wrote that in Obama’s view, discussing radical Islam is counterproductive because it harms the moderates who need to stand up to the radicals.

How can enforcing ignorance of a problem help you to solve it? How does refusing to call out the Islamic extremists that Islamic moderates like the Green revolutionaries and Sisi risk their lives to fight weaken them? How does empowering jihad apologists from CAIR and MPAC help moderate, anti-jihad American Muslims who currently have no voice in Obama’s White House?

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Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

As far as the White House is concerned, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s top reporter, is President Barack Obama’s unofficial mouthpiece.

This was one of the many things we learned from The New York Times in David Samuels’s profile of Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

In the course of explaining how Rhodes was able to sell Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, despite the fact that it cleared Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal while giving the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism more than a hundred billion dollars, Samuels reported that “handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic… helped retail the administration’s narrative.”

Given his White House-assigned role, Goldberg’s explanation of Obama’s refusal to discuss radical Islam is worthwhile reading. It reflects what Obama wants the public to believe about his position.

On Wednesday Goldberg wrote that in Obama’s view, discussing radical Islam is counterproductive because it harms the moderates who need to stand up to the radicals.

“Obama,” he wrote, “believes that [a] clash is taking place [not between Western and Muslim civilization but] within a single civilization, and that Americans are sometimes collateral damage in this fight between Muslim modernizers and Muslim fundamentalists.”

Pointing out that there are Muslim fundamentalists, Obama has argued to Goldberg, will only strengthen them against the modernizers.

Over the past week, prominent conservative commentators have agreed with Obama’s position.

Eli Lake from Bloomberg and Prof. John Yoo writing in National Review, among others, criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for speaking openly radical Islam. Like Goldberg, they argued that Trump’s outspokenness alienates moderate Muslims.

But what moderate Muslims is Obama trying to help? Consider his treatment of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Sisi is without a doubt, the most outspoken and powerful advocate of a moderate reformation of Islam, and of Islamic rejection of jihad, alive today.

Sisi has staked his power and his life on his war to defeat the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and jihadist Islam in general.

Sisi speaks openly about the danger of jihadist Islam. In his historic speech before the leading Sunni clerics at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University on January 1, 2015, Sisi challenged the clerics to reform Islam.

Among other things he said, “I address the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing…. It is inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic nation to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.

Impossible! “That thinking – I am not saying ‘religion,’ but ‘thinking’ – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have held sacred over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world!…

“Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible! “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…because this Islamic nation is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands.”

Certainly since September 11, 2001, no Muslim leader has issues a clearer call for moderation in Islam than Sisi did in that speech. And he has continued to speak in the manner ever since.

No other Muslim leader of note has put everything on the line as Sisi has to defeat the forces of jihad both on the field and in the mosques.

Moreover, Sisi has put his anti-jihadist belief into action by expanding security cooperation between Egypt and Israel and by bringing the Gulf states into his undeclared alliance with the Jewish state.

He has also acted to end the demonization of Israel in the Egyptian media.

Obviously, supporting Sisi is a no-brainer for a leader who insists that his goal is to empower moderate Muslims. And yet, far from being Sisi’s greatest supporter, Obama opposes him.

Since Sisi led the Egyptian military in overthrowing the Obama-backed Muslim Brotherhood regime as it was poised to transform Egypt into a jihadist terrorist state, Obama has worked to undermine him.

Obama has denied Sisi weapons critical to his fight with ISIS in Sinai. He has repeatedly and consistently chastised Sisi for human rights abuses against radical Islamists who, if permitted to return to power, would trounce the very notion of human rights while endangering the US’s key interests in Middle East.

Then there is Iran.

If Obama fears radical Islam, as Goldberg insists that he does, why did he turn his back on the Green Revolution in 2009? Why did he betray the millions of Iranians who rose up against their Islamist leaders in the hopes of installing a democratic order in Iran where women’s rights, and minority rights are respected? Why did he instead side with the radical, jihadist, terrorism-supporting, nuclear weapons-developing and -proliferating ayatollahs? And why has Obama striven to reach an accommodation with the Iranian regime despite its continued dedication to the destruction of the US? Goldberg’s claim that Obama is interested in empowering Muslim moderates in their fight against radicals doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Obama’s actual schemes for relating to – as opposed to acknowledging, fighting or defeating – the forces of jihad involve empowering those forces at the expense of the moderates who oppose them.

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule – like Obama’s belated assistance to the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. But that doesn’t mean that empowering Islamic jihadists at the expense of moderate Muslims is not Obama’s overarching strategy.

In the case of the Kurds, Obama only agreed to help them after spending years training Syrian opposition forces aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. It was only after nearly all of those forces cut contact with their American trainers and popped up in al-Qaida-aligned militias that Obama began actively supporting the Kurds.

Then there is his behavior toward American jihadists.

Almost every major jihadist attack on US soil since Obama took office has been carried out by US citizens. But Obama has not countered the threat they pose by embracing American Muslims who reject jihad.

To the contrary, Obama has spent the past seven- and-a-half years empowering radical Muslims and Islamic groups like the pro-Hamas terrorism apologists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

This week The Daily Caller reported that MPAC President Salam al-Marayati, is serving as an adviser to the US Department of Homeland Security.

Marayati accused Israel of responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the US, and has called on Muslims not to cooperate with federal counter-terrorism probes. According to the report, Marayati has visited the White House 11 times since 2009.

The Daily Caller also reported that a Syrian immigrant to the US was hired to serve as a member of Obama’s task for on “violent extremism” last year.

Laila Alawa, who joined the task force the day she received US citizenship, referred to the September 11 attacks as an event that “changed the world for good.”

According to the Daily Caller, her task force called for the administration to avoid using the terms “jihad” and “Shari’a” in discussing terrorism – as if Obama needed the tip.

So far from helping Muslim moderates, Obama’s actual policy is to help radical Muslims. In stark opposition to his talking points to Goldberg, since he entered office, Obama has worked to empower radical Muslims in the US and throughout the Middle East at the expense of moderates. Indeed, it is hard to think of an anti-jihad Muslim leader in the US or in the Middle East whom Obama has supported.

The victims in Orlando, San Bernadino, Garland, Amarillo, Boston and beyond are proof that Obama’s actual policies are not making America safer. The rise of ISIS and Iran makes clear that his actual policies are making the world more dangerous.

Maybe if his actual policies were what he claims they are, things might be different today. Maybe White House support for anti-jihadist Muslims combined with a purge of all mention of jihad and related terms from the federal lexicon would be the winning policy. But on its face, it is hard to see how forbidding federal employees from discussing jihadists in relevant terms makes sense.

How can enforcing ignorance of a problem help you to solve it? How does refusing to call out the Islamic extremists that Islamic moderates like the Green revolutionaries and Sisi risk their lives to fight weaken them? How does empowering jihad apologists from CAIR and MPAC help moderate, anti-jihad American Muslims who currently have no voice in Obama’s White House? Eli Lake argued that it was by keeping mum on jihad that then-president George W. Bush and Gen. David Petraeus convinced Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq to join the US in fighting al-Qaida during the surge campaign in 2007-2008.

The same leaders now support ISIS.

A counter-argument to Lake’s is that Bush’s policy of playing down the jihadist doctrine of the likes of al-Qaida had nothing to do with the Sunni chieftains’ decision to side with the US forces.

Rather, they worked with the Americans first because the Americans paid them a lot of money to do so. And second, because they believed the Americans when they said that they would stay the course in Iraq.

They now side with ISIS because they don’t trust America, and would rather live under ISIS rule than under Iranian rule.

In other words, for them, the question wasn’t one of political niceties, but of financial gain and power assessments. And that remains the question that determines their actions today.

In the 15 years since September 11, first under Bush, and since 2009, to a more extreme degree under Obama, the US has refused to name the enemy that fights America with the expressed aim of destroying it.

Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the reasons that the Americans have also failed to truly help anti-jihadist – or moderate – Muslims. Maybe you can’t help one without calling out the other.