Before I begin, let me start with the obligatory “of course not all Muslims are bad” statement. I have friends who are Muslim, including some that will be reading this article. I would never want to hurt my Muslim friends by in any way associating them with those I refer to when I speak of a “war with Radical Islam”. My Muslim friends are just as threatened by those believers of Radical Islam as my Christian friends for reasons I’ll delve into below.
So what do I mean by “War with Radical Islam”? I am referring of course to an ever-increasing conflict among those who believe in democratic and religious freedoms and the sanctity of life that are opposed by those who engage in Radical Islamic belief. Which further necessitates me to define “radical Islam” as those who follow the Islamic faith in a fashion in which if you do not follow their exact form of observance of that faith then they consider you to be against God and an enemy worthy of either conquering or killing. And with 1 billion or more Muslims in the world, even if only one out of a 1000 is a member of radical Islam, then we’re still talking about 1 million members who believe it is okay to kill or conquer those who do not believe the way that they believe.
And don’t let anyone tell you that my “1 out of a 1000” (which I do use just as an example, not as any factual percentage) is exaggerated; that this is small sector of the followers of Islam and that people like myself are just “Islamaphobes” or whatever other excuse they want to use for dismissing this problem. They can dismiss all they want. Doing so only lets the problem grow. the reality is that, while it was only 20 Muslims that attacked us on 9-11-2001, they were backed by thousands. And they were cheered by tens of thousands on that sad day.
Look at poll after poll taken around the world and you’ll see that the teaching of Radical Islam has large percentages of many country’s Muslim populations taking radical positions. For example, a 2013 Pew Research poll found 57% of Muslims worldwide disapprove of al-Qaeda. Only 51% disapprove of the Taliban. 13% support both groups and 1 in 4 refuse to say. 86% of Muslims in Pakistan, 84% in Afghanistan, 81% in the Palestinian territories and 80%in Egypt favor stoning adulterers to death. 40% of Muslims in the Palestinian territories and 39% of Muslims in Afghanistan said attacking civilian targets to defend Islam is often or sometimes justified. So while the vast majority of Muslims would never take up arms in support of Radical Islam, there is clear evidence that large percentages of them have been at least somewhat influenced by the teachings and publications of Radical Islam.
The danger of Radical Islam to the rest of the world should be readily apparent. As I write this, ISIS, which is believed to have upwards of 30,000 fighters, controls land in Syria and Iraq equal in land area to the distance between New York and North Carolina. ISIS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi recently stated “A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master… The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism… and destroy the idol of democracy”. This is not limited to ISIS. Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas has also been quoted saying “We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world”. We ignore their words at our own peril.
So, are we finally at a point where we can no longer deny that we are at war with Radical Islam? For many decades we’ve had to deal with the like of Hamas, Hezballah, the PLO, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. But now with ISIS, we have a governing body with a growing army holding geographical area which they are committed to expanding to create what they hope will become a global caliphate. It is becoming a collection point for radicals from all over the world to come to get training and combat experience. They are well-funded, organized and totally committed to their cause.
The peaceful majority of Islam must accept some responsibility for the extreme members of their religion. This extremism could not have grown to its present extent if not for the blind eye and, in some cases, active assistance of those who either share some of the ideological extremism but do not want to act in the extreme or those that do not share any of the extremist views but are too afraid to stand up to those extremist elements.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that they have every reason to be fearful. The West rightly condemns the brutal beheadings of captured Westerners. But those acts, as horrible as they are, are a shadow of the mass killings of innocent Muslims that do not follow the path of Radical Islam. Innocent Muslims are just as much in danger as the rest of the world because Radical Islam requires that you believe EXACTLY as they believe and swear allegiance to their cause. Everyone else, including other Muslims, are to be conquered and subjugated. The media really needs to start showing more of the Muslims that resist, and in many cases die fighting ISIS and other radical groups. They need to show the mass killings of Muslims in Syria and Iraq. They need to keep covering the story of the 273 muslim girls in Nigeria that were kidnapped by Boko Haram. They are striking examples of why we must act now to protect our future and the future of the many innocent peaceful Muslims that are threatened by Radical Islam.
Three things must happen soon. One, Western journalists and others need understand that they are on a side of this conflict whether they want to be or not. All to often, Western journalists and liberal “talking heads” on TV seem to be excuse makers for those that would gladly kill them if given the chance. They need to stop try to equate the excesses of Radical Islam with the very justified self-defense actions taken by Israel. They need to help educate the world on the consequences of western nations not taking a more forceful and united action against Radical Islam. Bill Maher recently condemned liberals for being so afraid of being called Islamophobes that they won’t denounce brutality committed in Islam’s name. He was widely criticized in liberal publications. Hopefully that criticism does not hold back other liberals from recognizing that there is no Right or Left viewpoints in our war with Radical Islam. ISIS will kill you just as gladly whether you read the New York Times or the Weekly Standard.
Second, the citizens of the western world must acknowledge that they are at war with Radical Islam. We may not want to be at war with them but they want to be at war with us. Not accepting that fact just makes us less prepared to defend when they take an offensive action. We must learn more about the mentality of those that wish to conquer us so we can better prepare to counter them. If you want a starting point, Google the following terms: Wahabis (also spelled Wahhabi), Dhimmi, Jizha, Sharia Law. Learn what the goals of these people are and you will have a much better understanding of their actions.
And third and most difficult, we must take action against Radical Islam. By “we”, I am being very inclusive. It can’t be just the U.S. and the western countries of Europe taking action. It must also include the peaceful Muslim countries around the world. They must forcefully put an end to the schools that preach radical hate. They must cast out and ostracize Muslim clerics that convince young Muslims that it is God’s will to fight and kill those that don’t believe exactly as they do. They must examine bank accounts to search for and imprison those that finance extremist mosques and terrorist groups. And they must use their militaries, supported by the USA and Europe, to destroy radical groups within their borders. We must become stronger and more willing to take the fight to Radical Islam. For as long as we have an enemy more lethal and committed to winning than we are, then we have no chance of winning this growing war.
Author: Ed Ruth