I deviate from columns pertaining to dating and marriage to a more immediate concern – survival.
While we can certainly agree that the murderous actions in different countries by certain Islamic individuals may also be a combination of certain familial dynamics and dysfunction and local political grievances, overriding these individuals actions is the commonality of a shared belief that their actions, however murderous, are justified in the name of Islam.
We in Israel stand aghast, but not surprised, as we see the increasing number of murderous attacks on innocents abroad, as we have experienced for too long.
And ever more acutely, as we see before us an exact duplication of such atrocities outside of Israel, do we see the hypocrisy, duplicity and more importantly the resulting danger and explosion of Islamist terrorism that emanates from at best a gross misreading of this scourge of our time, and at worse an understanding, and denial that will perpetuate a reality far worse to come.
Hypocrisy: A Car Deliberately Driven into Innocents Is Terrorism
As is so often the case, Israel was the first to bear violent witness to a new medium of indiscriminate murder — the vehicular attack. Jews and Israel have always been the guinea pig. The world ignored and even tolerated. And most mainstream media refused to even call such attacks terrorism. Rather those innocents murdered and maimed were “victims of a cycle of violence” or “undetermined car accident.” Once again, it took the terrorist attack in Nice to call a spade a spade. At least European lives were worth something.
Aversion to Naming Individual of Nice Attack
While the name of the terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was released soon after the attack, many mainstream outlets refused to actually name him on news bulletins and articles. Why? Because his name would counter the painful reality so many seek to desperately deny. This was not a Solomon or Christiaan, but tragically, once again, a Mohammed. Literally. And more importantly, another individual of the Muslim faith who engaged in a murderous act he felt was justified by his faith, as others have — whether in Boston, Paris, Jerusalem or Brussels.
Immediate First Victim was a Muslim
Of course, the media had no problem, and in fact over-extended their voices in constantly emphasizing the “Muslimness’ of the supposed first victim of Nice. Why? To immediate play to their narrative that Muslims are also victims.
And of course they are.
More Muslim have been killed by Islamic Jihadists that any other people.
But this fact has hardly translated into consistent worldwide denunciation and action amongst the majority of Muslims towards their minority of coreligionist – for not least – killing their own.
And crassly so, it’s one thing when Muslim themselves ignore the murder and mayhem amongst their own, it’s quite another when it’s exported to local cafés in Jerusalem and Paris.
The fact that Muslim themselves have born the brunt of murderous mayhem does not mitigate the responsibility for the “vast majority of peace-loving Muslims” and especially leading Muslim leaders and clerics – to publicly denounce, protest and call for an outage of such a cancer in their faith.
Where in a population of 1.2 billion Muslims is the million and one march to Mecca by Muslims demanding that Jihadists be excommunicated from the Muslim faith?
Desperate Desire to Explain Away Mayhem. If Only…
The mainstream media desperately try to explain away such murderous actions as not (at least in part) the tenants of someone’s understanding of their faith — but rather the cause of a troubled up-bringing, of criminality, of an individual living on the fringes of society.
And if that was not enough, very often casting seeds of self-introspection that maybe WE are some way to blame for his/her actions. If only WE had been more sensitive to his needs, if only WE had been more sensitive to the stigmatization of immigrants… then this whole tragedy could have been averted.
But the worst, is the seemingly fixation if the above all fails – to simply right-off the actions as those simply of a deranged individual with a mental illness.
Again as if the problem in Islam has nothing to do with this. At worst, simply co-incidental.
For individuals challenged by genuine mental illness, and especially those who are courageously effectively managing their illness – such ludicrous judgments are an affront to them, as they should be to us all.
An individual with mental illness is not by default a card carrying Jihadist, someone just waiting to explode. Violence and mental illness do not go hand-in hand. On the contrary, the reality is that most people with mental illness are inherently non-violent. Theirs is not a preoccupation to hurt others, but an often long and lonely road in helping themselves.
And when a terrorist may indeed have some additionally associated mental illness, his or her deranged and deformed, twisted mind-set that not only validates but encourages killing, is not something mental as it were – but something read, taught, studied embraced, validated by others, and inculcated in his or her actions.
Not a Perversion of Islam. A Version of Islam.
Immediately after each terrorist attack we inevitable hear Western governments declare that this terrorist action “has nothing to do with Islam.”
Clearly to every other rational person, Islam is what motivates them.
But the reality is that it is not just a perversion of Islam.
It is a version of Islam.
A version of faith within a religion – Islam – that has been wrestling for decades in finding its place in modernity. And failing. Failing individually, and failing nationally in Muslim country after a country. A people and nations stuck in the dark ages.
And these are not isolated lone wolves, but followers of a universal theological movement within Islam who believe terror is a legitimate tool in seeking a world Islamic Caliphate.
Minorities Have Dictated History
To be clear as those rush to call xenophobia. No rational person believes that the majority of the world’s Islamic population of 1.2 billion are terrorists. Far from it.
And we hear it time and time again after an attack, “The vast majority of Muslim..”
But nevertheless, there is universal consensus that rational Islamists represent between 15-20% which translates into about 300 million. But let’s we have it totally wrong — and is just 1%. That is still 1,000 000 people. The death and destruction of 9/11 took just 9 individuals, the attacks in Nice just 1.
Civilization is replete with history where radical minorities – whether individuals, segments or groups of a population, dictated national agendas.
The so-called ‘vast majority’ became irrelevant.
President Obama answered a recent critique for not calling terrorism “Islamic Jihadism” by saying that “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.”
The President misses a profound point.
No one in their right mind believes that calling terrorism for what it is “Islamic Jihadism” will be like a magic wand and end this scourge of our generation.
But what it will do — if repeated and repeated — is force a constant spot light on Muslims and Muslim leaders.
It will help ensure that what needs to be a preoccupation of confronting this evil within their faith will not go away.
Yes it will make “peace loving Muslims” more and more uncomfortable — but maybe they need to be.
They should be more than uncomfortable with coreligionists killing and murdering in their name.
A religion that they hold so dear.
They need to get-up, stand-up, shout-up and wrestle within the civil war of their faith. It will force ever more a belated and necessary discourse, soul-searching, the rigorous intellectual arguments that Muslims themselves the world over need to more aggressively embrace – and more importantly actualize concrete, bold and self-sacrificing programs, policies and actions to vigorously counter the Islamist version of Islam, that has been adopted by a minority of many.
As they seek to wrestle their “peace-loving Islam” away from the murderous Islamists, then we need to constantly push and pull the Islamic world into action of transformation. There is a necessary and belated civil war. And that can only be achieved by calling a spade a spade and providing the support we can — where ultimately the salvation, can only come from within.
A World of Relativity
Two Jewish individuals in Israel murder an innocent Palestinian young boy. There is complete unanimity across the Jewish religious spectrum — immediately denouncing it.
A whole nation mourns, an entire Jewish people feels a tremendous notion of shame.
The New York Times and others run pages and pages of critical editorials, opinion pieces and analysis after analysis of the Israeli mind-set. In a state of decline.
Not to discount so heinous an abhorrent murder. One is way too many.
And then the Muslim world.
With tens of thousands killed in the name of their faith. Bombings, be-headings and worse.
Many on a daily basis.
Where is the daily outrage? Where are the critical editorials, where are the critical opinion pieces. Forgot the NYT and such ilk. In the mainstream Muslim papers?
Just where are marches of the millions in shame, outraged by the actions of their fellow co-religionists?