* Denial of reality in the Department of Homeland Security has created an Orwellian nightmare where incompetent, clueless officials are happy to be led by the noseÂ by slick Islamic infiltraitors.
Andrew McCarthy, author of the great new book Willful Blindness, skewers the new U.S. government’s prohibition of the word “jihad” in National Review:
The Government’s Jihad on Jihad
Still lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
The Department of Homeland Security (and, by extension, the Bush administration) is on a jihad against jihad â€” the word, that is. Its mission is to purge such terms as jihadism, Islamo-fascism, and mujahideen from our public lexicon. Is this a serious strategy or an episode in politically correct indoctrination? That question is being banged around in several venues, not least National Review Online’s “Corner.”
…After paying lip-service to the notion that “the terms we use must be accurate and descriptive,” the DHS guidance urges that we drop jihad from our lexicon, despite its being a perfectly accurate description of what al-Qaeda and other Muslim terrorist groups are doing. Why? Because, according to DHS and the “influential Muslim Americans” with whom it consulted, the true meaning of jihad is the subject of honest to goodness dispute. Indeed, DHS, in its best moral equivalence, frames the disputants in this supposed controversy as “polemic[ists]” â€” rather than, as is actually the case, one group accurately invoking jihad to convey the concept of holy war pitted against another trying, whether out of good intentions or duplicity, to reinvent jihad as the virtuous striving to become a better person.
America at war with itself
Not surprisingly, DHS has declined to identify the allegedly “wide variety of Muslim American leaders” with whom it consulted. However motley it may have been, though, it evidently failed to include Muslims whose interpretation of jihad aligns with either Islamic history or the highly touted Dictionary of Islam. As the scholar (and former Muslim) Ibn Warraq observes, the latter defines jihad as “a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad,” elaborating that the Koran and other scriptures establish it as “an incumbent religious duty.”
Nevertheless, it is a safe bet that our government’s influential Muslim Americans included the Muslim Public Affairs Council. MPAC was quick to issue a press release lauding the new DHS guidance and patting itself on the back for both its “regular . . . engagement with government agencies including [the Department of Homeland Security,]” and its long advocacy of a “nuanced approach” that stresses “the importance of decoupling Islam with [sic] terrorism.” Unmentioned, of course, is MPAC’s history of lobbying the government for the removal of jihadist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the government’s lists of designated terrorist organizations. (The peerless terrorism expert Steve Emerson provides details, here.)
In any event, the ipse dixit about a friendly jihad, just as validly construed to be a virtue as a mortal threat, flows naturally from the ipse dixit at the heart of the DHS guidance: The premise that “many so-called [so-called?] ‘Islamic’ terrorist groups twist and exploit the tenets of Islam to justify violence[.]” (Emphasis added.)
Really? The Koran (which Muslims take to be the verbatim word of Allah) commands, in Sura 9:123 (to take just one of many examples), “O ye who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are near you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty unto him.” Does DHS really expect us to believe a terrorist has to “twist” that in order to gull fellow Muslims into thinking Islam enjoins Muslims to “fight those of the disbelievers who are near you, and let them find harshness in you”?
As policy, DHS gives us rose-tinted category error. It confounds Islam with Muslims and non-violence with moderation. There are about 1.4 billion Muslims in the world and the majority of them would not come close to committing a terrorist act. But their rejection of jihadist methods is not an en masse rejection of jihadist goals. Similarly, the belief that America should become a sharia state, which is not all that uncommon among even American Muslims, is not a moderate one, even if a Muslim who holds it is not willing to blow up buildings to make it so. And even if most Muslims resolve the tension between their faith and modernity by choosing to take scriptures non-literally, or by marginalizing their violent directives as relics of a bygone time and place, that makes those Muslims peaceful people; it does not make Islam a peaceful religion. Where combating Muslim terror is concerned, Islam is a hurdle you need to get over, not a means by which you get over the hurdle.
In short, under the guise of prescribing how our government officials should speak “strategically” so as not to offend potential allies in the Muslim world, the new guidance (and, importantly, the government ethos that produced it) is transparently intended to sell Americans on the Islam of DHS’s dreams, not the Islam we actually have to deal with.
* From a reader:
Muslims the world over (those who are literate) must be laughing all the way into their mosques if following this story. We’ve got ignorant, but “liberal and open minded” citizens attacking anyone who dares questions Obama’s religious upbringing (Muslim, former Muslim, never Muslim, et al). We’ve got the US Government wringing its hands and hiding from words. We’ve got people saying/implying that if you don’t vote for Obama then you’re a racist and/or Islmaphobe. We’ve got a Presidential candidate born of a “deadbeat Kenyan father and hippie screwball mother* who attended a “church” for 20 years that preached the most vile things about the country that issued you your passport and mother’s, too. A “church” that preached the most vile things about his fellow citizens of no color or successful people of color. ad nauseum