It took just minutes last Monday for Senator Mark Kirk in a tweet, to reflexively confront Tammy Duckworth’s grossly inaccurate portrayal of the roots of radical Islam. While doing an interview at the Chicago Tribune editorial Board, Duckworth, who was defending her position of opening our borders to Syrian refugees, alleged that politicians like Mark Kirk “demonizing Muslims and Islam turn people against us”. Kirk appropriately called Duckworth’s assertion “naïve and dangerously foolish”.

It is horrifying that Tammy Duckworth as a potential candidate for the United States Senate, remains unprepared to uphold the sacred obligation of defending our nation against enemies both foreign and domestic. Today, that enemy would be those who practice the ideology of radical Islam and because Ms. Duckworth and all too many policy-makers continue to mis-characterize the nature and origin of radical Islam, they are ill-prepared to take those steps that will ultimately be necessary to confront the growing danger.  In order to protect ourselves and our allies against the ravages of radical Islam, whether perpetrated in the streets of Aleppo, Syria, Cologne, Germany, Jerusalem or San Bernardino California, it is essential that we understand the goals and the strategy of our Islamist adversaries. By blaming policy or politicians for the thousands of atrocities that are perpetrated each day in the name of radical Islam, we are led away from attaining this critical understanding and consequently from the implementation of an effective counter-strategy. Since the seventh century, radical Islam has ravenously pursued an agenda of world domination. The evidence of this imperialistic drive is the unending trail of barbaric murder and terror of innocents, which has, and continues to take place, on every single continent.

As an avid student of history and a former military officer, Senator Kirk well understands that just as it wasn’t some “obscure video” that caused what had been portrayed as a spontaneous “Islamic rage” in Benghazi in 2012, which led to the murder of four Americans, nor was it the insensitive offense of Islam by Buddhists which has led to the ongoing destruction of ancient Buddhist relics, or to the enslavement and gang-rape of Nigerian school-girls by Boko-Haram.

The myth that radical Islam has been stoked as a reaction to Western excesses and cultural insensitivity dangerously obscures the well documented history of Islamic expansionism which has occurred since the birth of Islam in the seventh century. Disconnecting ISIS killers who slit the throats of eleven year old Syrian Christians, or the genocidal push by Iranian mullahs to possess a nuclear arsenal, from this telling chain of brutality serves only to invalidate the fear of those who from the perspective of an historical context well understand the imminent danger posed by radical Islam. This process of invalidation would be similar to the removal of crucial evidence from the scene of a crime. Ms. Duckworth’s mis-leading mischaracterization of those like Senator Kirk who seek only to defend themselves and their constituents (including Muslims) from the well-established dangers of radical Islam, obstructs our national path to safety and security.