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Is Fear of Blaming Islam Greater than a Need to Fight Terrorism?

Middle East and Terrorism scholar Barry Rubin points out that most current policy makers and opinion shapers prefer to avoid considering Islam as the motive for terrorism. The fear of short term pain is indulged at the expense of preventing the real danger that will follow. And we are being lied to - "albeit for virtuous reasons" - by the politicians and the mainstream press.

Victim being treated after Boston marathon terror bomb blast

Victim being treated after Boston marathon terror bomb blast
Photo Credit: KTVU

But not everyone in America is so paralyzed by the syndrome of “naming Islam as a potential source of terrorism is greater than the terrorism itself” school of cowardice.

Rubin points to a 2011 Pew poll which shows that the American Muslim community sees there is a problem with Islamic-related terrorism, and they want it to be addressed!

According to Pew’s own analysis of the responses of Muslim Americans – and no one can suggest that Pew is a “right wing” political or religious bias – “there is extensive concern among Muslim Americans about Islamic extremism, both around the world and in the United States.”

The Pew results show that fully 60 percent of Muslim Americans are either very (31%) or somewhat (29%) concerned about the possible rise in Islamic extremism in the United States, and that percentage skyrockets to 73%  for the responses of only American-born Muslims.  Just as significant is the alarmingly high percentage (21%) of American Muslims who support extremism in their community.

And who is faulted for failing to address and counter Islamic extremism in the United States? The Pew poll shows that well more than half (59%) of American-born Muslims believe Muslim leaders have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremism.

Imagine, those who would be most directly affected by the feared backlash want what the benevolent but clearly misguided leaders seek to avoid, and they are the ones who are in the best position to know that, in fact, it is a big problem. Not only that, but that same group – American Muslims – implore their own leadership to address the problem.

Why don’t the Muslim leaders act?  Rubin says it is because “many of them are themselves Islamists who are actively indoctrinating young Muslims in the ideological arguments favoring radicalism and violence.”

Failing to do what the community most directly involved wants makes no sense. “That,” Rubin says, “is not only bad foreign policy it is also dangerous for domestic security.”

Rubin writes:

having followed this issue for many years, I have never heard of a single anti-radicalization program conducted by any mosque or “mainstream” Islamic group. Real [Muslim] moderates are isolated, vilified, denied media attention and even forced out of local mosques.

And in talking to The Jewish Press, Rubin explains that the current narrative embraced by this U.S. administration, but also widely supported among the policy and opinion-making elite, is that by refusing to discuss the threat of radical interpretations of Islam and especially political Islamism means we don’t accurately look at current events and learn how to avoid future such events.  Instead, we try to explain away any unsavory possibilities so that America appears as a non-racist society.

Wow.  That’s big.  Let’s pretend there is no problem so we don’t look racist.  Kind of sounds like a doctor pretending her patient doesn’t have cancer so the patient doesn’t think she’s a bad doctor.  Except the patient wants to be healed, or at least more closely examined.

NEW THEORY: ISLAM MOTIVATED, BUT LONE WOLVES

And just in time to reinforce Rubin’s theory, news reports begin to circulate that seizes on a variant of one of Rubin’s theories.  This is one that is slightly different from the original “Islam had nothing to do with it.”

Based on initial interviews with the severely wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he and his brother were indeed motivated by a form of radical Islam, but they acted completely alone.  This works nicely with the Al Qaeda is the only evil I will recognize.

The media rushed to get out the story that the Tsarnaev brothers were lone wolves whose inspiration came solely from the Internet.  Dzohkar told officials that they had no guidance, direction, support or connection to any terrorists or terrorist groups.

Now the narrative is that these two Muslim brothers were infuriated by U.S. aggression against Islam, specifically by the killing of Muslims in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This is, of course, a non-religious reason, because although they acted as Muslims, their actions were not driven by any ideological Islam. These reports have been in the media outlets most likely to be repeated by all lesser outlets, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

This new narrative has the added advantage of including the “blame America” trope, because, surely, if not for the “unjust” wars, there would be no reason for there to be radicalized Muslims acting out in murderous ways against innocent Americans.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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12 Responses to “Is Fear of Blaming Islam Greater than a Need to Fight Terrorism?”

  1. I cannot think of another time in history when a fact that everyone knows was unmentionable. We live in truly bizarre times.

  2. we Jews need to become courageous and speak out. A new holocaust is around the corner. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  3. I agree and well said.

  4. Gil Gilman says:

    The answer to the headline's question is an unsatisfying yes. There is still a difference between blaming moslems and islamists. It is not only Christian cults that have proven dangerous to their followers and others, and at least a U. S. that clamped down on the Branch Davidians, the Jonestown goofballs, the Mansons, and others, ought to be able to handle the mental work necessary to see the same in the cult of the islamists.

  5. Ethan Perks says:

    What we are witnessing is the result of 2+ generations of PC 'Moral Equivilency'. Our media and academia are completely controlled by these left liberal type. If you doubt it. just look at the liberal pablem comming to light in Texas. TEXAS for crying out loud!

  6. Ethan Perks says:

    You forget one thing. It's still acceptable to bash Christians of all stripes. Immagine the response if the 'musical' Mormans' had been titled 'Muslims'. Immagine the actor playing Brigham Young had played the Prophet. Do you suppose fore one minute he would still be alive!

  7. Jews and Christians, Hindus and others, your lives mean nothing to these butchers. To lie is a Mitzvah in the Koran. Liberal Jews you are like those who did not believe what Hitler wrote in Men Kampf. Where are the large Jewish organizations, where are the Rabbis. NEW YORK WAS ALMOST BOMBED. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  8. Whatever you do, please do not blame the Muslims for anything including the bad weather, earthquakes, car accidents, etc. To do so means that you are putting your life and others on the line. Muslims are exempt from anything that is evil, or negative.

  9. Gil Gilman says:

    I didn't forget a thing. I think THAT fear is overrated. I'm still living ;-) and I've been speaking out locally, and face-to-face for decades. Have only heard of the Mormon musical, being from the midwest. I often find religion bashing of the kind you allude to, in and of itself tasteless, even if humorous, but a full dialogue from the standpoint of facts and logic…never! Very often satire and farce are based on fact, and whoever we are, we need to take heed to the nut in the porridge even it squirts out of the middle and hits us in the eye.

  10. �Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition� by David Nirenberg.
    By Michael S. Roth, The Washington Post Apr 26, 2013 10:14 PM EDT.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anti-judaism-the-western-tradition-by-david-nirenberg/2013/04/26/1088809a-8d94-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html

    Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,

    And the Catholics hate the Protestants,

    And the Hindus hate the Muslims,

    And everybody hates the Jews RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  11. Where did you come from? In which world do you live? or have you been in a coma for the past 20 year? radical Muslims R the only evil blood thirsty in our world to day, and to my great sorow Americans like you, refuse to see it, or say it as it's, and I do blame the So called good Muslims for not speaking out!

  12. I like to add, That only Islam generate people to kill and be killed for their religion and many times they use their own children.

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