The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Poisonous Tree

It's an interesting coincidence that on the day I posted the last of my three-part discussion of the Islamist threat, entitled A Time for Clarity, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, presented a landmark speech at the UN that is one of the few honest discussions of the threat of Islamic militancy. Here's a small snippet:
It's not militants. It's not Islam. It's militant Islam. Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it's rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: "All politics is local"? For the militant Islamists, "All politics is global." Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.

Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas. To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.

ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.

Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: 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. Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world.

As Hamas's charter makes clear, Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel. But Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists. That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that's why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama Bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior.

So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.
The phrase "poisonous tree" is a perfect description of the challenges that Islam (and the West) faces. The roots of the tree are spreading, infecting the earth in wider and wider geographical areas. The branches are growing, casting a dark shadow that will suffocate freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and freedom of choice. If the tree isn't pruned, or better, destroyed, the roots and branches will become so toxic that they could plunge the world into another dark age.

And yet, the false narrative about Islam's role in all of this continues. That's still another branch of the "poisonous tree" and if it isn't cut off, its toxic effects will sicken us all.