America and the democratic West faced the European-based totalitarian ideologies of Nazism (National Socialism), Fascism, and Communism, and triumphed over them all. Another totalitarian ideology has arisen in recent decades, this time not in Europe, but the Muslim Middle East, called Islamism. It is a political perversion of Islam, albeit it is rooted in Islamic traditions and scriptures. What makes this 21st Century Islamist totalitarian ideology different from the other destructive ideologies of the 20th century is the adoption of multiculturalism and political correctness (PC) in the democratic West that have tied the West’s hands in combatting this evil.
During World War Two, the Western allies did not mince words about the Nazi (German) and Fascist (Italy and Japan) enemies they faced. American G.I.’s knew exactly who the enemy was, and so did the home front, which supported its fighting men and women. The American government helped define the nature of the enemy to the general public. The British and Commonwealth governments did the same.
In the cultural sphere, Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the existing media (printed press and radio), supported the war efforts and helped define the enemy America was fighting. And although the leftist influence in academia was growing as early as the 1940s, the culture in general respected patriotism, religious values, and traditions.
The Cold War that pitted the West against Soviet Communism was fought with similar clarity. The West rejected the so-called “science” of Communism as a totalitarian tract that destroyed individualism and personal initiative. It saw Communism as a system that rejected religion and social stability.
President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” that locked its people up, preventing freedom of movement and thought. Reagan expressed in his March 8, 1983 speech a truth that the Obama administration refuses to accept about Islam. He said, “I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are. We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s.” What was true about Communism is true about Islamism.
There are those who differentiate between Communism and Islamism by saying that one (Islamism) is a religion, whereas the other is supposedly a political system. In reality, both are totalitarian systems. Both are radical ideologies that divide the world into the select and the profane. Both deny individuality and suppress free will, treat manmade dogma as infallible truth and seek to impose it by force. The ideologies of Communism and Islamism reject commonly perceived morality and insist that right and wrong are determined not in terms of Judeo-Christian values, but rather by the interests of their specific groups. For the Communists it is the proletariat, and for the Islamists, the ummah.
In recent decades, U.S. administrations have treated the defense of freedom as an alternative to ideology. Instead, America and the West need to confront Islamism as an insult to sanity. Likewise, we need to emphasize our own beliefs in universal Judeo-Christian values that distinguish between right and wrong.
Today, however, the government (the Obama administration), the sycophantic media and academia do not support the efforts to define and defeat radical Islam or Islamism.
The opposite is true. The media and academia have employed political correctness and multicultural standards that obscure and obfuscate the dangerous nature of Islamism, hiding behind such “civil society” organizations as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), MSA (Muslim Students’ Association), etc., that are supporting terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. Many of these organizations have intimidated Americans with concocted charges, including “Islamophobia” and racism, and have been allowed to “re-educate” U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the military on “how to deal with Islamism.” The FBI can no longer talk about Islam, and they can’t talk about jihad. The U.S. has permitted “the fox to guard the chicken coup.”
Victor Davis Hanson wrote that “Obama operatives suggested that radical Islamists were no more likely than any other groups to commit acts of terrorism. In fact, the very idea of terrorism — not to mention a war against it — was supposedly a Bush administration construct unfairly aimed at Muslims. ” Obama, according to Hanson, “sincerely believed that there was no intrinsic connection between Islamism and terror; or, if there was, Islamic radicalism was no more dangerous than right-wing or supposedly Christian-inspired terror. Or if Islamic radicalism did arise, it might be mitigated by multicultural sympathy and outreach, mostly by contextualizing the violence as an inevitable result of prior Western culpability.”
In his May 1, 2013 article, Hanson ridiculed the Obama administration, pointing out that
Vladimir Putin proved more helpful than did our own FBI and CIA directors in the Tsarnaev case. After all, the FBI had interviewed, but not detained, a number of men who later proved to be Islamic terrorists, such as the Tsarnaevs, Nidal Hasan, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, and David Coleman Headley. One wonders what common complaint or malady these subjects shared — anti-abortion zealotry, tax resistance, homophobia, secret tea-party sympathies, several tours in Anbar Province, nativist anger at illegal immigrants, or simple head injuries?
A Washington Post editorial (April 25, 2012) slammed the Obama administration. “The notion that there is a legitimate form of Islamism reflects serious intellectual failing on the part of the Obama administration. President Obama seems to believe the Islamists are legitimized simply by participating in the political process[.]” The editorial goes on to say that
No matter what the source of the delusion, no political movement that exalts the Koran can peaceably coexist with the concept of freedom at the root of Western governance. Islamist notions of democracy are constrained by the strictures of their religion. Radical Muslims reject the humanistic values that gave birth to modern Western government; the self-evident truths regarding everyone’s inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are infidel heresy to the Islamists. There are no inalienable rights under political Islam, only submission to the will of Allah.
America and the West cannot defeat Islamism and its terrorist components as long as the Obama administration insists on using euphemisms such as “overseas contingency operations.” Obama rejected George W. Bush’s own euphemism of “War on Terror.” In both cases, the terms used obscure the enemy we are fighting with nebulous euphemisms. The Obama administration prefers to avoid using the term “Long War” or “Global War on Terror” so as not to offend Muslims. Words such as “terror” or “war,” let alone adding the word “Islamic,” are strictly verboten by the Obama administration.
In December of 2011, the administration released a strategic plan for dealing with domestic terrorism. It made not a single mention of radical Islamism. And, in 2010, the Pentagon released an 86-page report on the Fort Hood shooting. Though the perpetrator was a radical Islamist who corresponded directly with top al-Qaida terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, the report labeled the attack “workplace violence.”
As long as we in America (and of course in Europe) are shackled by political correctness and an array of misleading euphemisms, we will not be capable of defeating radical Islamism. We might have to give up our way of life on the altar of multiculturalism and PC because of the cowardly and morally feeble, self-proclaimed “educated classes and political elites” who have lost the will to defend our civilization.
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