My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: “Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As ‘Anti-Islamic Activity’ To Woo Muslims.”
Her Majesty’s government is not alone in feeling it’s not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed “respect” is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity” Britain’s home secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. “There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief,” she told her audience. “Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.”
Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” â€” in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.” But I don’t recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year-old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.
Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen’s annual Ramadan banquet.”
A few days ago, a pre-trial hearing in an Atlanta courtroom made public for the first time a video made by two Georgia Tech students. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee went to Washington and took footage of key buildings, and that “casing video” then wound up in the hands of Younis Tsouli, an al-Qaeda recruiter in London. As the film shot by the Georgia students was played in court, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee’s voice could be heard on the soundtrack: “This is where our brothers attacked the Pentagon.”
* Perhaps that’s why he is no longer a CIA official. But how could such an asshat ever become a CIA official in the first place?
* Another sucker for the Muhammedan grievance theater:
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Angry, violent reformers and terrorists would have arisen out of the Middle East with or without Islam, says a former top CIA official.
“A world without Islam would still see most of the enduring bloody rivalries whose wars and tribulations dominate the geopolitical landscape,” Graham Fuller, the CIA’s former head of long-term strategic planning, writes in the cover story of this month’s issue of the magazine Foreign Policy.
Fuller, 69, who lives in semi-retirement north of Vancouver, says in the article that a terrorist attack on the U.S. like that launched Sept. 11, 2001, would likely have occurred even if the Muslim religion had never existed.
“If not 9/11, some similar event like it was destined to come,” Fuller, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, argues in his opinion piece, titled “A World Without Islam.”
Islam provides a convenient scapegoat for those trying to explain the origins of terrorism, he says.
“It’s much easier than exploring the impact of the massive global footprint of the world’s sole superpower,” says Fuller, who spent most of his career with the CIA in Muslim countries, advising top U.S. government officials.
“In the bluntest of terms, would there have been a 9/11 without Islam? It’s important to remember how easily religion can be invoked when other long-standing grievances are to blame. Sept. 11, 2001, was not the beginning of history.”
* That’s true. But if Fuller had educated himself about history, educated himself about the 1400 years of Muhammedan jihad and Arab imperialism, he wouldn’t be the Asshole of the month now.