Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center
When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both.
No other alternative exists.
The reason for this uncharitable assertion is simple: If Islam was once a faraway, exotic religion, today we hear calls for, and see acts of, violence committed in its name—or the name of its deity “Allahu Akbar!”—practically every day. And many of us still have “ears that hear and eyes that see.”
It’s no secret: Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life—not just “terrorists” or “ISIS”—unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to hate, subjugate or kill all who resist it, including all non-Muslim “infidels.”
This is the official position of several Muslim governments, including America’s closest “friends and allies,” like Saudi Arabia and Qatar; it’s the official position of Islamic institutions of lower and higher learning—from Bangladeshi high schools to Egypt’s Al Azhar, the world’s most prestigious Islamic university; and it’s the official position broadcast in numerous languages on Islamic satellite stations that air into Muslim homes around the world.
In short, there’s no excuse today for ignorance about Islam—especially for those in positions of leadership or authority. Yet it is precisely they who most vehemently deny any connection between Islam and violence.
The most recent example (as of this writing, that is) took place on July 18 in Germany. An axe-waving Muslim refugee attacked a number of train passengers and critically injured three. Although an ISIS flag was found in his room, although he called for the slaughter of any Muslim who dares leave Islam, although he yelled “Allahu Akbar”—Islam’s unequivocal war cry—authorities claimed “it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker.”
Catholic Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wuerzburg, where the axe attack took place, was bewildered: “One is speechless at such a moment. This fact can not be understood.” Instead of being vigilant around Muslim migrants, he suggested “Maybe we need to help the unaccompanied young refugees even more and help them to overcome their own traumas.”
About a month earlier in Germany, this same scene played itself over: while screaming “Allahu Akbar” and “infidels must die,” another Muslim man in another train station stabbed to death one man and injured three others. Still, German authorities “found no evidence of Islamist motive.”
In neighboring France—which has “Europe’s largest Muslim minority” and is also (coincidentally?) the “most threatened country”—this sequence of events (a Muslim attacks in the name of Islam, authorities claim difficulty in finding “motive”) is becoming endemic. On July 19, a Muslim man vacationing with his pregnant wife and children stabbed a neighboring woman and her three daughters for being “scantily dressed.” The youngest girl, 8, was in critical condition with a punctured lung.
Although this is a common occurrence throughout the Muslim world—many Muslim women don the hijab precisely because they know the consequences of not doing so in public—and although French television was bold enough to say that the man, named Mohamed B, 37, “may have acted out of religious motives,” local mayor, Edmond Francou, said he preferred “not to speculate about the motive of the attack.”
A few days earlier another “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslim killed 84 people in Nice. Yet according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the killer’s “motives [were] not yet established.” Asked if he could at least confirm the attacker's motives were linked to jihadism, he said, “No.” Reuters went so far as to write an article blaming France for its own terrorization.
Turning to the United States, one finds the same pattern at work, most recently when a Muslim man went into a homosexual nightclub in Orlando and killed 49. Despite the fact that ISIS regularly kills homosexuals and that the killer—who “recited prayers to Allah during the attack”—pledged his allegiance to the group, “Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the investigation is still ongoing, and a motive has yet to be established,” while “the FBI was confused about Mateen’s motive.”
Earlier this year, Edward Archer, a convert to Islam, shot and wounded Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett. He later explained his motive: “I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic state. That is why I did what I did.”
Yet after showing a surveillance video of Archer in Islamic dress shooting at Hartnett, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney emphatically declared:
In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen….It is abhorrent. It is terrible and it does not represent the religion or any of its teachings. This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.
One can go on and on. From California alone:
- Despite the evidence that the Muslim couple that massacred 14 people in San Bernardino was motivated by Islamic teachings of jihad against the hated “infidel,” Obama claimed “We do not know their motivations.” Chris Hayes and MSNBC were also “baffled” in their search for a motive.
- Despite the many indicators that the Muslim student who went on a stabbing spree in UC Merced was described as a “devout Muslim,” had an ISIS flag, and praised Allah in his manifesto—“local and federal authorities insisted that Faisal Mohammad, 18, carried out the vicious attack because he’d been banished from a study group.”
- Despite the fact that a man named “Jihad” went to an El Monte police station, where he “used the word ‘jihad’ several times” while making a bomb threat, police “so far don’t have a motive.”
Most politicians—practically every democrat but also a majority of republicans, with the notable exception of Donald Trump—make the same claims. This begins with U.S. President Obama who insists that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” calls for the “rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror,” and classified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence,” despite the overwhelming evidence that it was jihad.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admonished us to bear in mind that “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Republican leaders like John McCain gush about how “unequivocally, without a doubt, the religion of Islam is an honorable and reasonable religion. ISIS has nothing to do with the reality of Islam.” “Conservative” talking heads like Bill O’Reilly flippantly dismiss jihad as “a perversion of Islam, we all know that.”
What is to be made of all these claims from our “leaders” that fly in the face of reality? Only immensely deranged or immensely deceitful people can claim that a Muslim who cites the Koran and calls on Allah is not acting in the name of Islam.
Take your pick, but there are no other alternatives. (Note: When I make this argument, many rebut by saying that there are other alternatives—that such people are too craven, that they’ve been bought and paid for, etc. All these are different motivations that nonetheless fall under the lying category.)
Regardless of the source of the narrative that defends Islam—stupidity or deceitfulness—the same damage is done. Remember, Islam is not threatening the West due to its own innate capabilities, but because the West allows it to.
Thus the real battle revolves around getting the West to see reality—a battle which involves rooting out the liars and fools from government, media, education, and other positions of influence—an admittedly herculean task, considering that the lie is now the narrative and truth is evil.