Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
When it comes to the connection between Islam and “anti-infidel” violence, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in America are either liars or fools, or both. No other alternative exist.
The reason for this uncharitable assertion is simple: If Islam was once a faraway, exotic religion, now hardly a day goes by without Americans hearing calls for, and seeing acts of, violence committed in the name of Islam. If our leaders don’t, many of us still have “ears that hear and eyes that see” (Proverbs 20:12).
Today, Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to kill or subjugate all who resist it—including all non-Muslims.
This message is hardly limited to jihadi groups like the Islamic State. It’s the official position of several Muslim governments (including America’s closest “friends and allies,” like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as demonstrated in a forthcoming article); it’s the official position of Islamic institutions of lower and higher learning, including Al Azhar, the world’s most prestigious Islamic university; and it’s the official position broadcast in numerous languages on Islamic satellite stations.
In short, there’s no excuse for ignorance about Islam in America—especially if you hold a position of leadership or authority. Yet it is precisely those in such positions who vehemently deny any connection between Islam and violence. Why?
The most recent example took place on January 7. Edward Archer, a convert to Islam, shot and wounded Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett. He later explained his motivation: “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.
Kenney’s assertions are either the product of an addled brain or calculated lies. Take your pick, but there are no other alternatives.
If those running the show still don’t “get it,” the overwhelming majority of Americans have by now learned, in Donald Trump’s words, that “there’s something going on” with Islam, “You see the hatred. I mean, we see it every day.”
“We see it every day” is absolutely correct—hence why those who deny it must either be liars or fools. (See “Muslim Persecution of Christians,” reports which I’ve been compiling every month since July 2011, and witness the nonstop violence and carnage committed against non-Muslim minorities living under Islam.)
Still, Kenney’s falsehoods and/or foolishness are mainstream. Most politicians—practically every democrat but also a majority of republicans—makes the same claims, beginning 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.
More recently, democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admonished us to get aboard the wishful thinking bandwagon: “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Republican leaders like John McCain say that “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’Reilley flippantly dismiss jihad as “a perversion of Islam, we all know that.”
And so it goes. In the context of the most recent slaughter of Americans at the hands of Muslims—one last December and one last November, both in California—the usual chorus of politicians, media, and others made the same tired claims.
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 motivated by Islam—he was described as a “devout Muslim,” had an ISIS flag, and praised Allah in his manifesto—“local and federal authorities continue to insist that Faisal Mohammad, 18, carried out the vicious attack because he’d been banished from a study group.”
In response, the father of Byron Price, who was stabbed while defending some Merced victims, observed that, “Everyone is afraid to be politically incorrect… [I]t seems like to me we aren’t getting the whole story. I just wonder how much of this is driven from way higher up and is politically driven — I just don’t know.”
Unfortunately, it was one thing to be politically correct when America existed in a utopian bubble away from all the nastiness “over there,” but to be politically correct at this late hour when the tentacles of the global jihad are well entrenched in America is suicidal, literally.
Either way, political correctness is a fancy way of saying “lying”— bringing us right back to our question and a final observation: It doesn’t matter if those running the show are liars or fools, for at day’s end, the result is the same: the world’s strongest nation lays paralyzed before a vicious threat that grows more emboldened by the day.
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