Q: Who is winning the really important war of ideas — the one between the West and itself? A: Not the side that understands jihad as a foundational Islamic institution.
This is nothing new. From September 11 onward, the yeoman effort of elites has been to wrench “Islam” away from all acts of jihad. But now, particularly after the London and Glasgow attacks, their efforts have achieved a deeper level of denial, and, worse, broader consensus.
The new British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has directed ministers to omit “Muslim” when discussing (Muslim) terrorism. And forget the generic “war on terror”; even that pathetic phrase is off limits. (This has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Brown’s unctuously stated goal to make Britain “the gateway for Islamic finance.”) The new Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith (love that “i” ending) refers to British Muslims as “communities” — maybe a prelude to not mentioning them at all. Both have done the “perversion of a great faith” dance to enlightened applause, taking cues from the unpublished “EU Lexicon,” which reportedly nixes such “offensive” phrases as “Islamic terrorism.”
British literary lions couldn’t agree more. Philosopher John Gray and historian Eric Hobsbawm recently said on British television that even the word “Islamist” was “unfair” because “it implied a strong link to Islam.” Never mind the link is doctrinally accurate. Better to accommodate mortal threat without identifying its Islamic roots. Instead of defending their nations — for starters, stopping Islamic immigration and, with it, the progression of Islamic law into Western societies — our elites have decided to pretend Islam isn’t there at all.
In the media, the effort is misleading to the point of farce. Joel Mowbray, writing at the Powerline blog, noted that the New York Times has identified Britain’s Muslim terrorists as “South Asian people” — which, considering Britain’s largest South Asian population is Hindu, is beyond absurd. “Diverse group allegedly in British plot,” the Associated Press reported, missing that unifying Islamic thread. “All 8 detainees have ties to health service,” wrote the Toronto Star, “but genesis of terror scheme still eludes investigators.”
If they read Robert Spencer’s jihadwatch.org, the essential daily compendium of jihad and dhimmi news, they might get a clue. But, very ominously, Mr. Spencer’s Web site is being blocked by assorted organizations which, according to his readers, continue to provide access to assorted pro-jihad sites. Mr. Spencer reports he’s “never received word of so many organizations banning this site all at once.” These include the City of Chicago, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, GE IT, JPMorgan Chase, Defense Finance and Accounting Services and now, a federal employee in Dallas informs him, the federal government.
Reason given? Some Internet providers deem the factually based, meticulous analysis on display at jihadwatch.org to be “hate speech.” This should send Orwellian shivers up society’s spine, but, alarmingly, such reactions to jihad analysis are increasingly the norm.
Case in point: Objecting to a recent column characterizing his views as being non-comprehending or indifferent to jihad, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, senior counterinsurgency adviser to our forces in Iraq, wondered in an e-mail whether I “may not like Muslims, and that’s your choice.” It was a long e-mail — one of several — but even these few words convey the viewpoint, increasingly prevalent, that discounts the doctrinal centrality of Islam to jihad violence convulsing the world, from Iraq to London. In the mental no-jihad zone (and, in Lt. Col. Kilcullen’s case, despite what he calls his “significant personal body count of terrorists and insurgents killed or captured”), only personal animus can explain alarm over the Islamic institution of jihad (let alone dhimmitude). “Alternatively,” he wrote, “you may think Islam contains illiberal and dangerous tendencies.”
I may think? I do think “tendencies” such as jihad and dhimmitude. “Again,” he said, “you’re entitled to that view.”
“That view” is increasingly absent at the top, where Islam itself is politically and strategically beside the point. Consider current military thought, as expressed by Lt. Col. Kilcullen: Typical terrorists, he wrote, are “driven by fundamentally non-religious motivational factors.” I wonder which non-religious motivational factors inspired Glasgow’s terror-docs to scream “Allah, Allah” while ramming a flaming car into the airport.
Of course, it gets worse. Debate now divides the Pentagon over a new lexicon for Centcom. At stake is the Islamic term “jihad” itself, which could become officially verboten within the ranks of the fighting force that is actually supposed to defeat it.
This might leave us speechless, but it better not shut us up.