Defining the Enemy
How are we going to win this war unless we can identify our enemies? Some of us have been referring to them as Islamofascists or Radical Muslims and both labels fit, but imperfectly. As I learn more about them I become more confused, and it’s not supposed to be that way. The situation should become clearer after gaining more knowledge. In two columns – last year and again last month– I described a conversation I had with a former advisor to our Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told me that our top military and political leaders were being advised by agents of the very people we’re fighting against. He came out of the closet at CPAC in Washington a couple of weeks ago and I was in the audience.
His name is Stephen Coughlin, and he gave an overview of the thesis he delivered to the Joint Chiefs that got him fired. To sum up, he laid out a convincing case that radical Muslims, or “Islamists,” are following the dictates of the Koran more closely than our moderate Muslim allies do. Al Qaeda means “the foundation, the base,” for a reason. He said the older, more peaceful verses in the KOran were abrogated by the later, more aggressive verses our enemies follow. Our moderate Muslim allies are akin to what some in the Catholic Church call “cafeteria Catholics.” That is, Catholics who pick what aspects of the religion they like and reject the rest. Many Catholics support abortion and homosexual “marriage,” though the Church explicitly rejects both. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, for example, are prominent pro-choice Catholics, but Catholic leaders are starting to get tough. Recently, a Rhode Island bishop refused the Eucharist to Congressman Patrick Kennedy because of his public endorsement of abortion. According to Coughlin, Muslims who follow the Koran and Islamic Law (Sharia) closely are the ones with whom we’re at war. Our moderate allies are, if you will, “cafeteria Muslims,” and more of them have been killed by the radicals than have Christians and Jews.
This is very troubling, because it negates what Presidents Bush and Obama claim: that “Islam is a religion of peace.” While most Muslims are peaceful, thank God, the fundamentalists are gaining. They’re perceived as “the strong horse” by an increasing percentage of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, especially the expatriates and their offspring living in the UK, France, Holland, Sweden and other European countries. They’re in the United States too, as we learned last November when native-born jihadist Maj. Nidal Hassan killed thirteen “infidel” soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded dozens of others.
Holland, the most liberal country in Europe, is wrestling very publicly with exactly this issue: Who or what is our enemy? Is it a religion? A set of teachings? A book? Writing in the Wall Street Journal, novelist Leon De Winter says:
What started as a trial against Geert Wilders for alleged Islamophobia has nearly turned into its opposite: a historical case about the message of the Quran. The Amsterdam court trying the controversial Dutch politician is now preoccupied with the question of whether this book, sacred to more than a billion believers, can be compared to one of the most vile publications in the history of Western civilization – Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Freedom Party, insists that the Koran is political as well as religious because it encourages its followers to subjugate or kill Jews, Christians and anyone else who doesn’t believe in Islam. The Dutch government charged Wilders with “hate speech” for pointing this out. However, as De Winters says: “On trial is not so much Geert Wilders, but the Holy Book of Islam.” Holland’s hate crime laws, then, are in direct conflict with freedom of speech, and with truth itself because Wilders quoted both books quite accurately. The country’s ruling multiculturalists will lose if they convict Wilders, and they will lose if they exonerate him. They’re wishing now that they never brought him to trial at all because whatever they do, they cannot refute Wilders’ claim that Holland is being forced by multiculturalists to tolerate the intolerable.
Wilders’ positions resonate in European cities with sizable Muslim populations in which homosexuals, women and Jews are afraid to walk in Muslim neighborhoods for fear of being beaten or raped. By trying to silence Wilders, the hollow rhetoric of the tolerant, multicultural, diversity-celebrating, ruling elite of the European Union is being exposed. No matter which way the Wilders trial is decided, the world will be forced to acknowledge that fundamentalist Islam, or “Islamism” is incompatible with the democratic ideals of Western civilization.
This is exactly what European and American leaders are afraid to admit. As Stephen Coughlin put it: “You cannot defeat an enemy you are not allowed to define.”
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin Tom is a history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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