Talking about Islamic terror without talking about Islam is as futile as talking about Nazi Germany only in terms of the outcome of WW1. While that defeat and the subsequent territorial humiliation were obvious factors, the insistence of the media and the experts in talking about the Nazi Party only in terms of British and French foreign policy and refusing to understand that its members really did believe in racial superiority and a program of conquest helped contribute to a disastrous world war and the deaths of millions. Similarly pretending that Islamism is a reaction to foreign policy, instead of a campaign of theocracy and conquest, has already caused countless deaths and will cause countless more.
Islamic terror without Islam is a strategy. It leads to talk of a War on Terror and to counterclaims that one cannot fight a strategy. Strategies can indeed be a fought, but the best way to fight them is to understand that they do not exist in a vacuum. We are not at war with a strategy, but with those who employ it because it aligns with their religio-political goals. And pretending otherwise in the vain hope of convincing a region where terror is almost as old as the sand that Islam is not compatible with terrorism, because the Saudi tyrants who fund most of the terrorism have told us that denial is a winning strategy, is as criminally foolish as anything that the leaders of free Europe did in the 1930s.
Censoring Islamic terrorism or Islamism, exchanging terrorists for militants, or any of the other Orwellian linguistic gimmicks that the experts are preoccupied with will not stop the next dozen recruits from joining Al Qaeda. Nor is it a particularly successful way of convincing Americans that the people shouting Allah Akbar and shooting at them are not Muslims, but, as Nidal Hasan was labeled, perpetrators of workplace violence.
Euphemisms impress experts who, like the administrators of Oceania, believe that language transforms human experience. In reality language is reshaped by human experience. That is why euphemisms invariably revert in common usage to meaning the thing that they are trying not to be. The only people fooled by word games are the ones who turn them out for a living and the people who pay good money to attend the seminars at which the next word game is presented as a revelation that will transform the way we do everything.
If the media would truly like to take a shot at dissuading Muslims in America from joining Al Qaeda, then instead of playing childish word games that depend on the assumption that their audience won’t know that Al Qaeda is Islamist if they don’t call it that, it should challenge the underlying assumption of Islamism that the Islamic way of life is better than the American way of life. And even a brief look at sexism, racism and injustice in the Muslim world is enough to do that.
If Islamic law is better then why are the people who live in countries run by it so unhappy? If Islam really protects the rights of all, then why are minority populations so repressed that they begin to vanish entirely when Islamic law is implemented? If Islamic law is intolerant of corruption and injustice then why is the Muslim world, including countries under heavy varieties of Islamic law, so notoriously corrupt?
To understand Islamic terrorism, we must recognize that it is an expression of an ideology that uses violence and terror as the means of rule. That is true even when a group such as the Muslim Brotherhood officially disavows its violent past and runs in democratic elections. In other words, to understand Islamic terror… we must understand Islam.
American denial of the Islamic nature of Islamic terrorism is not a propaganda victory, but an ignorant pursuit of ignorance that refuses to deal with the problem and instead takes refuge in advocating the ends of Islamic terror while refusing to acknowledge that the ends are also the means. The Islamic system is built on terror and oppression. Its ends are terror and oppression and so its means are terror and oppression. To advocate the ends of terror is to also advocate their means.
Originally published at Sultan Knish, under the title, “Talking About Terrorism.”