It appears that many of our national leaders are clueless as to the history and orthodox teachings of Islam. That would be excusable if they admitted their ignorance. Instead, however, they offer wildly inaccurate statements and attack “straw men” in order to perpetuate a myth about Islam as a religion of peace.
While all Western societies stagger from news of the recent atrocities in Paris, no one doubts that ISIS has proudly taken credit for this slaughter. Some leaders (Hollande, Cameron, Putin) have rightly identified “radical Islamic terrorism” as the source of this most recent evil . But our administration (and all the Democratic candidates running for president) are peculiarly unwilling to link this and most other terror attacks to the religion of Islam.
At the recent Democratic presidential candidate debate, held the evening after the massacre in Paris, each candidate was asked if they would agree (with Marco Rubio) that “we are at war with radical Islam.” All three offered incoherent responses. Martin O’Malley declared, “I believe calling it what it is … radical jihadis,” as if “jihad” has somehow become detached from its origins in the Qur’an and Islamic theology as a term of warfare against the non-Muslim world. Bernie Sanders eschewed the term used by Rubio, declaring that those words are not “what’s important.” Instead, the real issue is groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda who are “a danger to modern society” principally in their treatment of women and children.” Apparently Mr. Sanders hasn’t taxed his mind enough to ask what motivates such groups to spring to life, and why they pursue the dangerous course they are on. Hillary Clinton gave the most expansive, yet vacuous answer: To say we are at war with radical Islam would be “…painting with too broad a brush.” She dismissed the phrase as “not particularly helpful,” and then went on to set up and knock down straw men — “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.” Thank you very much for that scintillating analysis. From what source, pray tell, do these jihadists spring? Buddhist monasteries? Secular humanistic think-tanks? Western capitalists planning the overthrow of the world? Right wing Christian seminaries? Taoist sleeper cells?
Parroting Mr. Obama, she offers up the bromide that the world is at war with “violent extremists,” meaning those who use “religion” for power and oppression. I wanted to see the expression on her face as she spoke, but I couldn’t because of the elephant in the room blocking the TV cameras. Is there any question which “religion” is directing its power and oppression against the rest of the world such that the world feels the need to protect itself?
The dog and pony show continued with Mr. Obama’s press conference and John Kerry’s later comments to the American Embassy staff in Paris. We’re winning against ISIL (known by everyone except our administration as ISIS); this terror attack is just an unfortunate, but minor, setback. Make sure you don’t confuse this group with anything tied to Islam, because as we all know, Islam is a religion of peace. What is the rationale for this attack, then? Apparently it is just the irrational desire to destroy — nihilism. When our present secretary of State, John Kerry, addressed our diplomats, he said that one could perhaps understand the “legitimacy” — then changed that word to “rationale” of the mindset behind the Charlie Hebdo attack (after all, cartoonists had offended Muslims by drawing caricatures of Muhammad, so why shouldn’t the aggrieved respond by killing the cartoonists and others behind the French magazine?). But now, this slaughter of 132 innocents, with hundreds more injured, by ISIS terrorists. In Mr. Kerry’s mind, there can be no rationale — certainly no religious (i.e., Islamic) one.
Perhaps a reading of the ISIS missive, entitled “A Statement on the Blessed Onslaught in Paris against the Crusader Nation of France,” would help those unable to grasp the motives of these particular terrorists. It begins with the bismillah, the phrase which opens every chapter of the Qur’an save one: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” followed immediately by a quotation 59:2 of the Qur’an: “Allah said, ‘They thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah; but Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and he cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers.’ So take warning, O people of vision.” The terrorists are variously referred to as “brothers,” “soldiers of the Caliphate” and “believers.” The attack is termed a “battle” which was victorious due to Allah. Paris is described as “the capital of vice and prostitution, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe” (not many in the Western world would think of Paris as leading the mission of Christ in Europe, but in the eyes of fundamental Muslims, this fantasy justifies their hatred). The “believers” targeted this enemy in hopes of being “…killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of his religion, his prophet…, and his allies.” By their efforts, Allah “…cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland” (a reference back to the quotation of Sura 59:2). The letter culminates with a warning to France and all non-Muslim nations that they will remain at the top of the ISIS target list and that “…the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our prophet…, and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the land of the Caliphate….” This warning is punctuated with “God is the greatest” (i.e., Allahu akbar, rendered in English), and the letter closes with a final quotation again from the Qur’an: “And to Allah belongs all honor, and to his messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know” (63:8).
In spite of this direct communication from ISIS principals demonstrating their clear, Islamic mindset, Western leaders as illustrated by British Home Secretary Theresa May continue to declare that these attacks “…have nothing to do with Islam.”
Certainly it is true that not all Muslims subscribe to the orthodox Islam promoted by ISIS. But Islam by its very nature is hegemonic, supremacist, power-hungry and violent when necessary in order to advance its religiously-driven tyranny over the rest of the world. The problem is not Muslim people by and large, who are more victims of this terrible scourge than perpetrators of it, but the tyranny of Islam will continue to bloody the world body until non-Muslims have the will to decisively resist.
The title of this blog comes from the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, written in another time under very different circumstances. Yet in the mysterious ways of Providence, these words still steel the backbone of those under threat of subjugation: “Against us the bloody standard (banner) of tyranny is raised….” May the French today (and all the free world) be heirs of those who centuries ago resisted tyranny, and may we stand strong against those who would force an Islamic wasteland on those who love freedom. “Marchons, marchons…!”