Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center
A lie conceals the truth. And ugly but hidden truths never have a chance of being acknowledged, addressed, and ameliorated. Because of this simple truism, one of the greatest lies of our age—that violence committed in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam—has made an intrinsically weak Islam the scourge of the modern world, with no signs of relief on the horizon.
It is, therefore, useful to expose the main strategy used by liars in government, media, and academia: 1) to ignore the generic but chronic everyday reports of Muslim violence against non-Muslims around the world; 2) to address only spectacular Muslim violence, which, because it is almost always committed by professional jihadi groups can be portrayed as a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat that particular “terrorist group” and the problem vanishes.
By way of example, consider the Islamic targeting of Christian churches. Last month, after two Egyptian churches were bombed, leaving 51 worshippers dead, everyone was quick to point out that something called “ISIS”—which of course “has nothing to do with Islam”—was responsible.
On Easter Sunday, 2016, more than 3,000 miles away from Egypt, in Pakistan, approximately 70 Christians were killed in a bomb attack, also specifically targeting Easter celebrations. Then we were told that something called “Taliban”—also “nothing to do with Islam”—was responsible.
Meanwhile, some 3,000 miles west of Egypt, in Nigeria, Christians are also under attack. There, 11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches destroyed. According to the official narrative, something called “Boko Haram” is responsible. This is another group that habitually bombs churches during Christmas and Easter; another group that, we are told, “has nothing to do with Islam,” but rather is a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.
About 5,000 miles west of Nigeria, in the U.S., Americans were told that something called “al-Qaeda” attacked and killed 3,000 of their countrymen on 9/11; defeating that finite group would cease the terror. Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed, and victory loudly proclaimed—until, that is, an even more savage manifestation called the “Islamic State” came on the scene and went further than al-Qaeda could’ve ever dreamed.
The problem is not merely that the liars in media, government, and academia refuse to connect the dots and insist on treating each of the aforementioned groups as disparate, finite groups with different “political” or “territorial” motivations—none of which has anything to do with Islam. The greater issue is that regular Muslims who are not called “ISIS,” “Taliban,” “Boko Haram,” or “al-Qaeda,” commit similar acts—and much more frequently—though this is rarely mentioned by big media.
Thus, although ISIS claimed the Egyptian church bombing before Easter, it is everyday Egyptian imams who “preach hatred and violence against Christians to the public over loudspeakers”; it is everyday Muslims who persecute Christians “every two or three days”; every day Muslims who riot and kill whenever a rumor surfaces that a church is going to be built, or that a Coptic kid “blasphemed” against Muhammad, or that a Christian man is dating a Muslim woman. In short, it is every day Muslims—not “ISIS”—who cause Egypt to be the 21st worst nation in the world in which to be Christian.
Similarly, though the Taliban claimed 2016’s Easter bombing, it is everyday Muslims who discriminate against, persecute, enslave, rape and murder Christians almost every day in Pakistan. Thus it is everyday Muslims—not the Taliban—who make Pakistan the fourth worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, that is, a non-Muslim infidel. And, though Boko Haram is always blamed for the more spectacular attacks on Christians and their churches, it is everyday Muslims, including the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who make Nigeria the 12th worst nation in which to be Christian.
This is the real issue. While the media may name the terrorist groups responsible for especially spectacular attacks, few dare acknowledge that Muslims in general engage in similar acts of violence and intolerance against non-Muslims all around the world. Indeed, Muslims—of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, hardly just “terror groups”—are responsible for persecuting Christians in 40 of the world’s 50 worst nations in which to be Christian. Accordingly, what “extremist” “terrorist” and “militant” groups are doing is only the notable tip of the iceberg of what Muslims are doing all around the world. (See “Muslim Persecution of Christians,” reports which I’ve been compiling every month since July 2011 and witness the nonstop discrimination, persecution, and carnage committed by “everyday” Muslims against Christians. Each monthly report contains dozens of atrocities, most of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive 24/7 blanket coverage.)
It bears repeating: Media aren’t just covering up for Islam by pretending that the spectacular attacks committed by Islamic groups on non-Muslims are finite, localized, and most importantly, “have nothing to do with Islam.” They are covering up for Islam by failing to report the everyday persecution non-Muslims experience at the hands of everyday Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim police, and Muslim governments (including America’s closest “friends and allies”)—and hardly just Muslim “terrorists.” They dare not connect the dots and offer a holistic picture.
Accordingly, the world must continue to suffer from Islamic terror. Not only have these lies allowed countless innocents to be persecuted into oblivion in the Muslim world, but they have allowed the same persecution to enter America and Europe, most recently via mass immigration.
The fact remains: an ugly truth must first be acknowledged before it can be remedied. It may be hard to acknowledge an ugly truth—that Islam, not “radical Islam,” promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims—but anything less will just continue to feed the lie, that is, continue to feed the jihad and terror.
In short, the problem is not so much the “Islamic State” as it is Islamic hate. The former is but one of many temporal and historical manifestations of the latter, which, as an integral part of Islam, transcends time and space.