Time.com Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Scherer, recently reported (2/19/2015) on the public debate between conservatives and President Obama regarding the best terminology to use for the Islamic State. According to the President, ISIS is desperate for “legitimacy,” and if they are deemed “Islamic,” such a representation will further ISIS recruitment efforts and will negatively impact U.S. interests:
Those who identify the black-clad extremists with their religious roots, the commander-in-chief argued repeatedly, are peddling a “lie” that will drive recruitment by the nation’s enemies and ultimately hurt U.S. interests. “These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists’ narrative,” … [Obama] accused others in the public sphere Thursday of aiding the terrorist cause by highlighting the connection between Islamic teachings and Islamic State’s tactics, which include rape, beheadings, crucifixions and slavery. “That narrative sometimes extends far beyond terrorist organizations,” he continued. “That narrative becomes the foundation upon which terrorists build their ideology and by which they try to justify their violence, and that hurts all of us. Read more.
President Obama’s point is well-taken. If our leaders can refute the notion that ISIS (or al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, Boko-Haram, etc) is Islamic, there is less chance that ISIS will be able to recruit other Muslims to its efforts; and, there are over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world — even a small percentage of that number matters.
To add legitimacy to his argument, Obama states a truth: “It is a lie… We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.” That is an interesting statement. Why does the perversion of Islam have anything to do with America being at war?
The President made this same point in a speech on last year’s anniversary of 9/11:
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. … ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. Read more.
A similar statement was made by counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan in a 2010 speech before the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he described violent extremists as victims of “political, economic and social forces,” and said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms.” In this same line of thought, State Department official Marie Harf recently stated on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” “We need … to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether –” I cannot imagine that the reason why Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri successfully formed al-Qaeda from the hills of Afghanistan was because Muslims needed a jobs program. It is almost as if the more our leadership opens their mouths about Islamists the more foolish America looks.
Actually, public statements on the disconnect between Islam and ever-present terror activities began with President George W. Bush shortly after 9/11. President Bush is quoted in the Time.com article to have stated:
“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith, and it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that,” Bush said, as the rubble in lower Manhattan still smoldered. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”
The problem for the Administration, of course, is that from time to time the truth comes out. In a press conference last year, Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and Chuck Hagel, then-Secretary of Defense, made this statement:
“It is possible to contain them,” Dempsey said, in a Pentagon press conference alongside the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel. “They can be contained, but not in perpetuity. This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.”
“Apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision” — does that sound like a terror organization or a religious one? Since when do terrorists have an end-of-days, apocalyptic vision?
It is inconceivable that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. Islam at its very root is violent. Peace in Islam only occurs after dominion and subjection of its subjects has occurred, and to the particular branch within Islam that those in power adhere to.
The Middle East is almost entirely Muslim today and 1,400 years ago it was the heart-beat of Christianity. What happened to the Christians? Historian Philip Jenkins in his book, the Lost History of Christianity puts it this way:
Given that the destruction of Christianity has not been much studied, we can make certain general observations, stressing above all the role of states. Though churches may lose political influence under Christian states or in predominantly Christian societies, though they might be secularized, they do not vanish. … In most of these cases, churches collapsed or vanished because they were unable to cope with the pressures placed upon them by hostile regimes, mainly Muslim. While religions might sicken and fade, they do not die of their own accord: they must be killed.1
If Islam is a religion of peace why isn’t there peace in Syria? Or Iraq? Or Yemen? Or Libya? Or Africa? Or Egypt? Or Bahrain? Or Iran? Or any country where Sharia law is practiced? Why isn’t there peace between Sunnis and Shias throughout the Muslim world? Methodists and Baptists may disagree on key elements of Scripture but when was the last time you saw them beheading one another in the name of Jesus Christ?
Is it possible that America’s leaders are using their own version of “al-taqiyya“? Taqiyya is the Islamic doctrine that supports lying when to do so advances Islam and its objectives. One source quotes a Bukhari Hadith as follows:
“Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). “The Prophet said, “You may say it.” Hadith 5.59.369 (Read more)
Joseph Goebbels is reported to have said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, eventually it becomes the truth.” It appears that America’s leaders have resorted to deception to win a war. They have opted for a lie rather than the truth. The more they tell it, the more we are supposed to believe it. Yet, I do not think their strategy is working. ISIS has reared its ugly head all the while our leaders have been telling us that Islamists are terrorists whose motivation has nothing to do with Islam. If the world believed our leaders, ISIS would never have risen up; nor al-Qaeda or al-Shabaab or Boko Harram. If the world believed our leaders, why is there a dramatic rise in anti-Islam movements all over the non-Muslim world? The world does not believe American leaders. The world has come to understand the deception so easily seen in our leaders. In fact, the more we cry non-Muslim, the more the world is interpreting Muslim.
It has been almost fourteen years since 9/11 occurred. It was the Fall of 2001 when I first started down the road to understand why someone would kill 3,000 innocents all the while giving glory to god in the chilling words, “Allahu Akhbar, Allahu Akhbar” (god is great, god is great). Death in the name of Allah will never give evidence that Islam is a religion of peace, in fact, precisely the contrary. Muslims may be a peaceful group by and large; but Allah is not a god of peace. He is darkness, evil, and death, and ISIS is the clearest example in the modern-day that his messenger, Muhammad, is anything but a messenger of peace. It was Jesus, not Muhammad, who said:
Matthew 7:17-20 (NASB) “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
If fruit reveals the tree then the tree is a tree of evil. In my research on my book, I came across the most revealing statement of the “tree” I have read to date:
Special Dispatch No. 2845 … Egyptian Cleric Wagdi Ghneim on HAMAS’ Al-Aqsa TV: “We Pray to Allah That We Be Terrorists, If Terror Means Jihad.”
“We are a nation that excels in the production of the art of death … I will die anyway, so I should be creative to make sure my death is for the sake of Allah.” Later, he said: “Brothers, we pray to Allah that we be terrorists, if terror means Jihad for the sake of Allah.”
Jesus come quickly.