Andrew D. Lappin

Defeating ISIS is not a Strategy

Hillel Yaffa Ariel, a thirteen year old American teenager was sleeping soundly in her bed last Thursday evening when seventeen year old Mohammed Tarayreh, broke into the home of her parent’s located in the tiny village of Kiryat Arba, Israel. Tarayreh then proceeded to her bedroom. As she slept peacefully, Tarayreh proceeded to stab her, in the chest, “dozens of times”. This heinous desecration of life was immediately celebrated by the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency who proclaimed the deceased Tarayreh, a “Martyr”, the highest of all possible honors accorded in Islam. Tarayreh’s mother described her son as a “hero” who made her “proud”.

Mir Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen is a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Hours before his son’s deadly rampage in Orlando, Seddique, of Afghan ancestry, posted a pro-Taliban video on Facebook. On June 13th just one day after to the Omar’s Orlando massacre of 49, Seddique again on Facebook, proclaims “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.” Could it be possible that the outcomes resulting of the teachings of the proud mother and the rants of the homophobic father are ideologically connected? Could it be that these parents have been reading from same 1,400 year old “playbook” of Islamist sublimation?

Might we speculate from the same gruesome patterns of butchery that have been found at the scene of similar events in cities like Istanbul, Limani, Lafole, Baghdad, Kuwait City, Mogadishu, Paris, London, Madrid, Brussels, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Toronto and Tel Aviv that the same “playbook has similarly been used to breed a mushrooming army of predatory alien-monsters?

Since 9/11, radical Islam has claimed over 28,695 attacks worldwide. Despite this rampant scourge however, the official policy of the United States government has been to continue two decades’ worth of policy delirium that has refused to name radical Islam as the global propellant that has been accelerating this wave of heinous atrocities. Instead we have been shoehorned into excusing the utterly inexcusable.

Referring to the Orlando shooter as a “deranged individual”, President Obama re-committed the same strategic transgression last week as he did in response to the Fort Hood massacre in 2009. In that instance, despite Nadal Hasan’s infamous cries of “Al Akbar”, our president, ignoring the vigorous national outcry, adamantly insisted that the barbaric execution of thirteen unarmed soldiers be innocuously reframed as a case of “workplace violence”.
It has sadly become the ingrained response of those charged with protecting the safety and security of our nation, to act more like Socratic philosophers than ardent defenders. Instead of naming the Islamist source of the violence as it has repeatedly occurred, they have developed “sophisticated demographic explanations” that side-step the connection between Islam and the accelerating rash of horrific events. They have repeatedly invoked the use of ambiguous terms like “extremists “and “lone-wolves” to obscure the obviously associated Islamic fingerprints of perpetrators. Accordingly, American’s have been lulled into the misleading narrative that jihadism (radical Islam) is something that is happening “over there.” Even when repeated events of carnage have occurred on our doorstep, we continue to allow this fantasy of incalculable danger to continue to be painted as “geographically non-relevant”. We have learned to assuage our fears by pretending that increased drone strikes and other military tactics (ISIS body counts) alone will somehow address the core workings and the associated Islamist infrastructure that has over the previous generation been insidiously embedded globally.

To the contrary, our present policy of uncoupling jihadist violence from its 1,400-year-old Islamic roots, has left us blind to the institutional and cultural support that has enabled the spread of Islamist doctrine. Historical Islamist aspirations, which once included the brutal conquest of vast swaths of Europe, are once again in the process of being played out today. The ultimate objective of an effective strategy which successfully confronts this unwelcomed reoccurrence needs to recognize the sources of support and the institutional infrastructure that has, enabled the aggressive dissemination of an ideological doctrine which has historically and, is at present, focused on the brutal and unyielding sublimation globally of all “non-believers.

Instead of scrubbing the connection between Islam and the many obvious trademarks of jihadist brutality, the President should immediately testify to the fact that more practicing Muslims have been slaughtered and displaced at the hands of radical Islam, than by any other culture, creed, or religion. With a policy that affirmatively confronts radical Islamist doctrine, we can help the majority of Muslims who in fact have rejected a Sharia compliant lifestyle, to bond in unity with other peoples who have made the same choice. If the majority of Muslims reject the imposition of Sharia law then an affirmative stand against the totalitarian grip of Sharia law cannot be viewed as an attack on the religion of Islam. In fact it is only by non-Muslims leading the charge that Muslims will feel secure enough to coalesce in visible opposition. It is time to end the 1,400 year old myth that has long allowed a destructive political movement (i.e. political Islam) to have masqueraded as a legitimate religion.

We do not yet have a strategy to deal with this globally metastasizing cancer. Defeating ISIS is not a strategy. It is a tactic. Only a universal strategy will serve to put this cancer into remission. The history of all great struggles demonstrates that until we are able to recognize and explicitly identify the enemy’s ideology that creating a strategy will not be possible.

About the Author
Andrew D. Lappin is a redeveloper of urban industrial properties. He is a former board member of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Embers Foundation, the Committe for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), and serves on The Illinois Policy Board which monitors corporate compliance with the state's anti-BDS statute. The opinions expressed are by Lappin personally and NOT the views of any of the organizations with which he is affiliated.
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