- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2002

There are frightening lessons to be learned from the Islamic terrorists' kidnapping and slaughter of Daniel Pearl.

The first is that, unlike any preceding immigration to the West, millions of Muslims living in the Western world remain unaffected by Western values such as religious tolerance. Omar Saeed Sheikh, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed (the Army of Mohammed), the Pakistani terrorist group that killed Mr. Pearl, was born in England and educated at the London School of Economics.

One would think that the West's core values would influence the Muslims in its midst. Sometimes this happens, but more often Muslims living in the West actually become more insular and radical.

It was British Muslims, not Middle Eastern Muslims, who first raised the charge against the Indian Muslim writer Salman Rushdie that he belittled Islam and Mohammed in his novel "The Satanic Verses." They pushed the Islamists who rule Iran to issue the infamous fatwa (religious decree) calling on Muslims throughout the world to kill the novelist.

The Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against Mr. Rushdie provided an early example of how radicalized organized Muslim life in the United States and Europe had become: American and European Muslim leaders reacted to the fatwa with either silence or support.

The Washington Post reported last week that Muslim elementary and high schools in the United States routinely teach religious hatred:

"[One] 11th-grade textbook, for example, says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be that Muslims will fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.' Several students of different ages, all of whom asked not to be identified, said that in Islamic studies, they are taught that it is better to shun and even to dislike Christians, Jews and Shi'ite Muslims."

In addition, "maps of the Middle East hang on classroom walls, but Israel is missing." And the article quotes a 19-year-old American Muslim student at George Mason University: "A lot of the [Muslim] students can't make up their minds if [Osama bin Laden] is a good guy or a bad guy."

Given the anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and anti-American sentiments that are held by many Muslims in the West, it is not surprising that there has yet to be a single reported Muslim demonstration in the United States or Europe against Islamic terrorism. Just as it is unsurprising that the leader of the Islamic terrorists who killed Daniel Pearl was British born and educated.

The second frightening lesson of the Pearl killing is the degree of evil emanating from parts of the Muslim world. Let's be honest: Islamic terrorist groups and their many supporters are morally indistinguishable from Nazis they invert good and evil, are sadistic, are imbued with a belief in their superiority over all other groups, and seek to dominate the world.

Yet many in the West deny this evil. Some view Muslim terrorists as inevitable products of the poverty of their societies (despite the extraordinary wealth of bin Laden and the affluence of Omar Sheikh); or as an understandable reaction to U.S. sanctions on Iraq and support for Israel (as if containing Saddam Hussein or enabling Israel to fight Islamic terrorism are not moral policies); or as simply one more example of religious fundamentalism, comparable to American Christian fundamentalism. Former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis likened Attorney General John Ashcroft, an evangelical Christian, to Osama bin Laden.

Perhaps those Americans and Europeans who resist applying the term "evil" to U.S. enemies (whether to the Soviet totalitarians during the Reagan era or to the Muslim totalitarians now) ought to be compelled to view the videotape of Daniel Pearl's throat being cut for the crime of being an American and a Jew. Come to think of it, Muslim school officials should also see the tape.

Watching that Islamic snuff film might awaken them to the type of human beings some textbooks, maps and mosque sermons are producing right in our midst.


Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show based in Los Angeles.

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