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The Imaginary Islamic Radical

by Daniel Greenfield

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The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.

But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side?

It can’t be beheading people in public.

Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.

It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.

Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.

If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?

Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.

Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.

If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?….

Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.

Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.

We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.

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