Working as hard as it possibly can to downplay the threat from radical Islam (even though adherents absolutely refuse to use that term or any reference that might indirectly tie ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al Nusra, Hezballah, Hamas, or dozens of other terror groups to Islam), the Left has adopted three key memes in the wake of the Paris terror attacks:
[See Update-II for a fourth meme]
- Any effort to use adjectives (e.g., Islamic or even Islamist) when describing terrorists is akin to advocating a "clash of civilizations," i.e., a war against all of Islam. (It's comical to note that there's a trend among left-leaning media to call ISIS by it arabic name—"daesh"—thereby avoiding any confusion exemplified by Barack Obama's astounding statement, "The Islamic State isn't Islamic.")
- Any effort to attack or otherwise take an aggressive posture against Islamist groups is "giving those groups what they want"—whatever that means.
- The acts of terrorist groups must be viewed within the context of the oppression felt by members of those groups; the "imperialistic actions" of the West, and the "insults" suffered by Islam because of the freedoms (of speech, of gender, of sexuality) imposed by the West.
Like most memes eminating from the Left, there is a certain nonsensical, fantasy quality to each. Let's consider each in sequence:
It's is a given that a majority of Muslims want simply to lead peaceful lives, but the media avoids polling that would provide us with insight into how big that "majority" is (one has to wonder why). Setting that aside, no rational person is suggesting a war on Islam. Rather, those of us who prefer reality to fantasy recognize that a warped interpretation of Islam's Koran and its commentaries drives Islamist terror groups. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Western leaders to call upon the Islamic "majority" to act aggressively to rid their 1.6 billion adherents of Islamists. In an earlier post I suggested a few ways that might be done
, but suffice it to say that we need Islam's help. We'll only get it if we ask for it directly, and bluntly express our concern about Islam as a catalyst for terrorism. Dancing around the issue (as the Left tries so hard to do) works if you adopt a fantasy worldview, but it will do absolutely nothing to rid the word of Islamic terrorism.
Leftists tell us that if we declare war on Islamic terror, we will give ISIS (or any of the other terror groups) "what they want." Here's what Islamists REALLY want:
- a world dominated by Islam with Sharia law as it's controlling force
- a population that has been forceably converted to Islam
- a population terrorized to force strict and unquestioning adherence to Sharia
- no religious freedom whatsoever
- no freedom of expression or speech (it's possible that some on the left might like this)
- women as second class citizens
- gay and transgender people either murdered or forced into hiding
- sexual repression overall
and that's the short list. So if waging war to stop what Islamists REALLY want is in some alternate universe "giving them what they want," well, let's just step through the looking glass and be happy. The Left's arguments relative to meme #2 are abject nonsense.
In the worldview of many on the Left, everybody (except white, western, male capitalists) is a victim. And of course, many on the Left believe that victimhood provides cover for violent, outrageous acts because those who perpetrate the acts are "oppressed. Forget for a moment that many Islamic terrorists in the West are themselves the children of wealthy families, are college educated, and have requested visas to live here (as opposed to their home country). No matter—why let facts get in the way of a social justice narrative?
These memes will persist and become more strident as so-called "war talk" escalates. After all, the last thing we want to do is "give ISIS what it wants" by acting violently to destroy it.
UPDATE - I:
In a bit of encouraging news, it looks like at least one French Muslim has gone viral in his opposition to the Islamists. He's saying and doing what we in the West should ask all moderate Muslims to do. From YahooNews
A French Muslim’s emotional plea for his community to lead the battle against Islamic terrorism is getting a lot of traction.
In a video that has gone viral throughout his country, Bassem Braiki, who is from the city of Vénissieux in eastern France, strongly condemned the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 and wounded hundreds.
“I am addressing all the French Muslims: Let’s protect our beautiful religion. Let’s go and track these impostors who pretend to be Muslims and kill people. It’s not the authorities who are going to get rid of them. … It’s us,” Braiki said, as translated by the Independent.
Mr. Braiki recognizes that it is Islam's responsibility—not "the authorities" (the West)—to rid Islam of this barbarous stain.
UPDATE - II
Over the past few days a fourth Leftist meme is gaining traction in the media. It refers to the Syrian immigrant controversy and goes like this:
- From 1938 to 1942, the U.S. rejected Jewish immigrants from the German Holocaust, condemning them to return to extermination caps in Europe. Do we want to do the same thing with Syrian refugees today?
This meme implies that there is similarity between the events of 1938ff and today. There is NONE! There were no Jewish terrorists in Europe, no bombings that killed innocent civilians, no attacks on public hotels, restaurants and stadiums, no beheadings, no "caliphate" or its equivalent, no Jewish condemnation of the West, no call by religious leaders to fight anyone but the Nazi's who perpetrated acts like Kristallnacht. There was NO chance that even one Jew in the refugee group would bomb a building, gun down innocent civilians, or otherwise perpetrate terror in the United States, NO chance at all. Zero.
The Jewish refugees were turned away by Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt under the advice of an anti-Semitic cabal at the State Department and within his inner circle. Ironically, Roosevelt initially refused to acknowldged the Nazi threat (sound familiar?) and worked very hard to resist entry into a fight with them (sound familiar?). Almost 40 million people died as a consequence of a war with the Nazis. Had aggressive action been taken in the mid-1930s, many of those deaths could have been avoided. Today, radical Islam is the equivalent of the Nazis of the mid 1930s.
For some Democrats to suggest that there is an analogy between the Jewish immigrants of 1938ff and the Syrian refugees today is anti-historical and deeply offensive. Few are suggesting that we turn away "widows and orphans" (to use Barack Obama's anti-factual construction), but rather, that we pause while we establish better mechanisms for vetting the male refugees who, very recent history in France indicates, may be seeded with a small but deadly number of Islamists who are more than willing to terrorize U.S citizens.