Wednesday, July 14, 2010
FROM CNS NEWS: "The Obama administration’s reluctance to acknowledge and confront the religious motivation behind Islamist terrorism is not helping the counter-terror effort, leading experts warn in a new report.
"The administration’s recently released National Security Strategy defines the enemy as 'al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates,' but Washington Institute for Near East Policy report argues that it is a bigger one – 'the extremist ideology that fuels and supports Islamist violence.'"
Or, as David Wolpe put it in his Newsweek column entitled, Tell the Truth: There Are Islamic Terrorists,
Will lying about people's motivations change their behavior? If I decide that global warming needs to be stopped so urgently that I blow up every car factory in the free world, will I be tamed if you label me a "climate crusader" rather than an eco-terrorist? Surely not; the reasoning is faulty, the strategy foolish and the result a moral muddle.
If a person deliberately terrorizes (catch the lexical connection?) in the name of a faith, then he or she is a terrorist whose faith should be implicated in that label. Yes, there are Jewish terrorists and there are Christian terrorists. At the moment, the most severe terrorist threat to peaceable relations in the world comes from neither faith. We do peace loving Muslims no honor by refusing to properly label their violent brethren. There are Islamic terrorists. We know this. To say otherwise is a cowardly evasion.
To use the words 'Islamic terrorists' no more indicts all Muslims than to say that there is teenage drug use indicts all teenagers. Is there disproportionate drug use among teens? Indeed. Are there specific sociological reasons that can offer a partial explanation? Undoubtedly. Is it nonetheless a phenomenon that needs to be labeled, understood and combated? Certainly. Now read back, with still more urgency, those same questions with the Islamic terrorist in mind.
To arrive at a name for something does not mean you understand it. We can call someone an Islamic terrorist and still know little of the person's psychology, or world view, or the shaping forces of his life. But surely to call something by its proper name is a first step in understanding; we have known that since Socrates insisted thousands of years ago that the protagonists in any argument define their terms. So here goes: someone who targets innocent people in the name of Islam is an Islamic terrorist. Next question.