Sydney M. Williams
Thought of the Day
“Islamophobia – Unfair or Understandable?”
January 8, 2015
In a dozen incidents, four hundred and sixty-eight people died at the hands of Islamic terrorists in the month of December. The list does not include the discovery of a mass grave found in eastern
that contained the bodies of 230 tribesmen killed by ISIS.
The attacks ranged from 140 killed at the Peshawar
school attack in Pakistan,
to the two who died in the Sydney,
hostage crisis. The scope of Islamic terrorism is global. The attacks in
December occurred on every continent except South America and Australia Antarctica.
Like it or not, the civilized world is at war with militant Islamist
While Mr. Obama began his Presidency using euphemisms common to appeasers, he recently has been more circumspect. It has been several months since he has said that Al Qaeda was decimated. He still does not speak about a “war on terror” or even linked the words “terror” and “Islamic.” But there has been nothing recently about “overseas contingency operations.” His refusal to admit that the
shooting – the worst Islamic-motivated attack on soil since 9/11 – was anything
more than “workplace violence” remains an outrage to the men and women who were
killed that day, to the military as a whole, and as an insult to the
intelligence of Americans. It is an outrage because the families of the victims
would be eligible for additional benefits if their husbands and fathers had
been killed in an attack classified as “terrorist.” On the other hand, Major
Malik Hasan remained on the Army’s taxpayer-funded payroll for three and a half
years, collecting nearly $300,000, until his conviction in mid 2013. Mr.
Obama’s silence on this issue is an insult, as all Americans know the meaning
of “Allahu Akbar,” which Major Hasan shouted as he shot his victims. U.S.
A phobia is described as an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object or belief. By that definition no phobia should be welcome in civil societies. Even though Islamic extremists have been attacking western targets for decades, it wasn’t until 9/11 that Islamophobia became a concern. And even then, President Bush continuously reminded the American people that the war on terror was not a war on Muslims. He did so immediately after 9/11 when emotions were running high. Profiling was not allowed by airport screeners. President Obama went further. He traveled to
in late spring 2009 to show solidarity with Muslims. He refused to intercede in
“Green” revolution in the summer of 2009; thereby condemning to death hundreds
of dissidents who demonstrated for freedom. There are those on the Left who
keep telling us that Islam is “a religion of peace and tolerance.” It may be for many if not most Muslims, but
the Islamic terrorists who kill invoke their God and shout: Allahu Akbar! Iran
Fanaticism is difficult to combat. Fanatics succeed by having mindless followers. Islamic extremists are fanatics. It is something those of us in the West find difficult to comprehend. Years ago, most Americans when asked willingly – perhaps not enthusiastically – served in the armed forces; but only a few nut jobs would put on a suicide vest. Japanese kamikaze pilots were either drugged or imbued with an extreme sense of patriotism. Nazis, who paraded German streets in the 1930s and early ‘40s, shouting “Heil Hitler,” were intoxicated with the hateful words of their leader. Such attitudes are not normal, but appear too often when emotion overrides reason. Horace famously wrote of the blind willingness to die for God or one’s country: “Dolce et decorum est pro patria mori.” British officers in World War I, emphasizing patriotism, sent hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths in mad dashes from trenches across no-man’s-land in places like the
Somme. The poet Wilfred Owen justifiably
disparaged Horace’s word, as: “the old lie.” However, that is our enemy, even
when it appears in militant form.
Islamophobia may not meet the standard of traditional civil behavior. In fact, it does not. We should judge people by the individual they are. But, skepticism is healthy and common sense suggests discretion. Unfortunately multiculturalism and political correctness, with their fear of offending, have made us more vulnerable. With Islamists having been responsible for 90% of recent terrorist attacks, is profiling a bad idea? We want the police to be alert. Should we at least not be wary? It is not just “white middle aged men” who have a phobia about Islamists; it is those who witnessed Islamic terrorist attacks in
York, London, Madrid,
and elsewhere. It is those who understand the determination of militant Islamists.
It is school girls in Paris Nigeria,
and school children in .
It is those who saw the Muslim Brotherhood retreat in Pakistan when
General Sisi ascended to power. So, while Islamophobia may not be fair, it is
understandable. Its negative repercussions should not concern us. As a society,
we have come a long ways in the past seventy-five years. Imprisoning a few
hundred radicalized, battlefield-captured Islamists at Egypt , which has been a good thing, is
not the same as sending thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans to internment
camps, which was a mistake. Guantanamo
There is, among those on the left, a tendency to look upon all acts or terror as a manifestation of mental illness, or the consequence of a dysfunctional family. They superciliously accuse those who are overtly Islamophobic as being racist. The New York Times, in an editorial yesterday on “The Marches in
Dresden,” captured that thinking when they wrote about the
populist movement PEGIDA, an acronym for a group in , Patriotic Europeans Against
the Islamization of the West. They wrote of a “vaguely defined sense among many Europeans that their identities,
destinies and livelihoods are being somehow
threatened by people of different cultures, religions and color.” Really? Ask
the people who work at the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” if there
was anything vague or “somehow” threatening about the Islamists who yesterday
shot dead twelve of their staff, while shouting that they were avenging the
Prophet Mohammed. Germany
Some 40% of British Muslims recently polled declared they would like to see their country be an Islamic state under Sharia law. That is a frightening revelation. The West cannot want a religion that substitutes theocratic control for political power. The rule of law and the rights of individuals are integral to our way of life. Political leaders, in the
and in Europe, have bent over backwards to
accommodate Muslims and have gone to great pains to explain that our fight is
not with the religion of Islam. They have little to show for their niceties.
Who, then, is the realist? She who remains alert to potential danger; so therefore is considered Islamophobic, or he who is politically correct, so blithely turns the other cheek? All phobias may be wrong. But when we consider the reign of terror militant Islamic extremists have unleashed on the civilized world, Islamophobia is rational and understandable.