Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Criminal Terror vs. Islamic Terrorism

Donald Trump said he remembered “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center.

A subsequent investigation by NJ Advance Media did turn up credible evidence to support Trump’s claim, although not on the scale he believed. As Mark Mueller reports for NJ.com:

[A] police officer who worked on 9/11 and residents on the outskirts of Journal Square say they witnessed small pockets of people celebrating before the groups dispersed or were broken up by authorities.

The NJ Star-Ledger editorial board commented on these findings in an editorial titled Trump's story on 9/11 Jersey City celebrations is finally put to rest. The editors condemned Trump’s comments as “offensive [for] suggesting sympathy for terrorism is broadly shared among Muslims in America when in fact it is a fringe sentiment. It is the moral equivalent of smearing all white Americans for the actions of violent white supremacists.”

Maybe. But the Star-Ledger seems to minimize the threat from Islamic Jihad. Toward the end of the article, the Star-Ledger writes, “In fact, a cold body count shows that Muslims extremists have killed 26 Americans since September 11, while non-Muslim extremists have killed 48.”

I left this comment, edited for clarity:

In fact, there is a grave danger in this equivocation.

True, people like Elliot Rodger (2014 Isla Vista killings) and Dylan Roof and people like the Tsarnaev brothers and Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook were all terrorists. That much they have in common. But this similarity is superficial and ends there.

Rodger, who was waging a “War on Women,” and Roof, a racist, were criminals motivated by personal collectivistic hatred. The Tsarnaev brothers and Malik and Farook were soldiers in a militant religious army. Rodger and Roof were crazed loners whose terrorist acts began and ended with them. The Tsarnaev brothers and Malik and Farook were part of an imperialist movement motivated by radical Islam aggressively fighting a war for totalitarian world subjugation under Sharia law. Their terrorism neither began nor ended with them. (By “radical,” I mean fundamental, as in a literal, ultra-conservative interpretation of the Quran that embraces submission and jihad.)

The Rodgers and the Roofs are dangerous thugs but don’t pose a threat to American or world civil society. Imperialist Islam is a major, broad-based threat to Western civilization. Even if it may represent only a “fringe sentiment” among American Muslims, radical Islamist jihadism has strong support among a substantial minority of the world’s Muslims. It is a dangerous force that cannot be wished away by refusing to name it or by sanitizing it as common criminality or isolated domestic terror.

The distinction between criminal terror and Islamic terrorism is the reason we have a police force to deal with crime and a military to deal with foreign enemies. This distinction cannot be whitewashed by lumping them together under the undefined term “extremist.” People who don't explicitly recognize and name the enemy can never acknowledge the long-term threat posed by the Radical Islamist movement. In turn, they needlessly put our national security at risk. The Islamic imperialist movement, left unrecognized and unchecked, could one day pose a threat greater than the Axis Powers or Soviet communism. That can never be said of “non-Muslim extremists” like the Charleston Church killer and his ilk.

Related Reading:

Winning the Unwinnable War, Elan Journo

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