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Denying the real motivation for Islamist terrorism

The call to violence is found in a literal reading of the Koran

By Brooke Goldstein

Illustrations on the violent implications of the Koran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Islamists are winning their war to silence critical commentary in the West about Islam. So says Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which originally published the now-infamous images of Muhammad, in his recent book, “The Tyranny of Silence.”

Whether motivated by a cowardly nature or by an obsequious desire to be nice, much of the media and the Obama administration now adhere to a common vocabulary when discussing violence motivated by Islamist theology. There is simply no reference to the theological motivations so relevant to the perpetrators of religiously inspired terror.

We are told that The Islamic State is not Islamic (rather a terrorist “jayvee team”), the Taliban is not an Islamist terrorist group (rather an “insurgency”), the Charlie Hebdo massacres were not coordinated by radical Islamists (rather “individual terrorists”), the Fort Hood murders were not acts of terror (rather “workplace violence”), the terrorist attack on our embassy in Libya was not instigated by imams preaching Islamic blasphemy laws (rather by our own exercise of free speech) and so on.

In fact, the U.S. government has purged the worlds “Islam” and “jihad,” and any language deemed “Islamophobic,” from counterterrorism training manuals, thereby neutering the ability of U.S. law enforcement to identify the motivational factors behind Islamist terrorism.

However, the ad nauseam repetition that “Islam is a religion of peace” every time a terror attack is carried out in the name of Islam no longer has any traction. Even some who, in the past, felt impelled to employ fatuous statements about the lack of Islam’s responsibility for Islamist terrorism seem recently to have constrained themselves. For instance, at a recent panel discussing the “Causes of Radicalization” at the National Press Club, Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution commented that he no longer feels comfortable employing this phrase. Muslims must admit that for many, terrorist violence has become Islam, he said, adding, “ISIS has emerged out of a particular context.”

No matter how much the White House wants to deny it, the Islamic State group version of Islam is very real for its crucified and decapitated victims. Saudi Arabia’s version of Islam is very much a reality for the homosexual teenagers publicly hung for defiling Wahhabi Islam. Boko Haram’s version of Islam is very real for the children slaughtered while attending schools deemed too westernized for the group’s convictions. And the Taliban’s version of Islam is very real for the women put to death for being raped or walking without a male escort, both violations of the Pushtun traditional social code of honor as encapsulated by Shariah law. These violent versions of Islam, prevalent in the Muslim world to varying degrees, must be studied, debated and taken very seriously, especially within our counterterrorism apparatus….

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