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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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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

At a memorial service held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for slain police officer Sean Collier on Wednesday, April 24, Biden gave a four and a half minute speech about what he called “21st century terrorism,” which people have been asking him about “since 9/11/.” He mentions “Al Qaeda central out of the Fatah” (not sure what that means), or “two, twisted, perverted, cowardly knock off jihadis.”  Knock off jihadis?

Biden makes it clear that Rubin is correct – the biggest disaster this country thinks it needs to avoid is the one that would happen if Islam is named as a possible motivating source.

They do it to instill fear, they want us to jettison what we value most, our system of justice, our guarantees of freedom, our free flow of information, our transparency – that’s their target.  The moment we change, the moment we look inward, the moment we go into a defensive crouch, that’s the moment they win.

Biden went on to talk about how proud he was of Boston, of Massachusetts, of the students, of the United States for not yielding to fear, for not compromising our values, or weakening our constitutional guarantees, or closing our borders.

The closest Biden comes to naming the “mysterious motive” is when he calls the Tsarnaev Terrorists “craven, misguided, perverted apostles of a decent and honorable faith.”

So the great fear is that if Islam is mentioned American values go straight to Hell in a handbasket.  There is no middle ground: if we talk about Islamism as a source of terrorism, our values will be compromised and the greatest nation on Earth will crumble.

The choice made is to safeguard the name and the feelings of members of Islam from any reproach – so that we can…what?  Be taken down in a halo of smug superiority by those who exploit this latest greatest American Achilles Heel?

Rubin’s response?

“The proper response is to denounce the terrorists, the ideology of terrorism, and the right of focused self-defense, which means doing everything possible to retaliate against those responsible and not citizens of another country chosen at random.”

CORRECTION: The funding source that denied the renewal of Rubin’s mid-1980′s grant to study terrorism because “we don’t think terrorism would be a problem in the future” was the Ford Foundation, not the U.S. government.  Also, Rubin’s preferred term for terrorism motivated by Islam is “Islamism,” which he considers to be an ideology, distinguishing it from “Islam” which is the religion.  See his take on the AP Stylebook’s new limit on the word Islamism.

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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