Such were the words that opened my testimony to Congress. One year later, none other than President Obama’s top counter-terror adviser, John Brennan, has come to to personify the approach I warned against, that is, the misguided phenomenon of westernizing Islamic concepts.
Which is more likely to elicit an irate Muslim response: 1) public cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, or 2) public proclamations that Muhammad was a bisexual, sometime transvestite and necrophile, who enjoyed sucking on the tongues of children, commanded a woman to “breastfeed” an adult man, and advised believers to drink his urine for salutary health?
Will the recent killings of al-Qaeda leaders Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri have any tangible effects on the “war on terror”? Vice President Joe Biden — who referred to the slayings as “devastating blows to Al Qaeda in Iraq” — certainly seems to think so.
If the same exact criticisms being made against Islam today were also made centuries ago, is it reasonable to dismiss them all as “Islamophobic”— that is, as “unfounded fear of and hostility towards Islam,” as theCouncil on American Islamic Relations would have it?
The Obama administration has just announced its intent to ban all words that allude to Islam from important national security documents. Put differently, the Obama administration has just announced its intent to ban all knowledge and context necessary to confront and defeat radical Islam (news much welcomed by Islamist organizations like CAIR).
Is it inconsistent for Muslim “holy warriors” to engage in voyeuristic acts of lasciviousness? Because would-be jihadists and martyrs have been known to frequent strip bars — such as the 9/11 hijackers and MajorNidal Hasan, whose “late-night jiggle-joint carousing stands at odds with the picture of a devout Muslim” — many Americans have concluded that such men cannot be “true” Muslims, leading to the ubiquitous conviction that they are “hijacking Islam.”
According to a recent ABC report, “As many as three dozen criminals who converted to Islam in American prisons have moved to Yemen where they could pose a ‘significant threat’ to attack the U.S., according to a report on al-Qaeda from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
O Islão deve parecer uma religião paradoxal para os não-muçulmanos. Se, por um lado, ele é constantemente retratado como a religião da paz, por outro lado, seus adeptos são responsáveis pela maioria dos ataques terroristas ao redor do mundo. Apologistas do Islão gostam de enfatizar que o Islão é uma fé construída sobre padrões éticos elevados; outros salientam que é uma religião da lei.
L’islam doit apparaître aux non-musulmans comme une religion bien paradoxale. D’un côté, on ne cesse de la présenter comme la religion de la paix et, de l’autre, ses membres sont responsables de la majorité des actes terroristes dans le monde. Les apologistes de l’islam soulignent que cette foi se fonde sur une grande exigence éthique. Les autres constatent qu’il s’agit d’une religion légaliste.
Islam must seem a paradoxical religion to non-Muslims. On the one hand, it is constantly being portrayed as the religion of peace; on the other, its adherents are responsible for the majority of terror attacks around the world. Apologists for Islam emphasize that it is a faith built upon high ethical standards; others stress that it is a religion of the law.