Monday, 19 January 2015

“It’s not Islam!” they say– but it is.

French President Hollande said the murderous Paris terror attacks were “an insult to Islam.” 

His Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said, “We are at war with terrorism and radical Islam.” Days later he said France was at war with “terrorism, jihadism and radicalism." Then, in the same speech he said, "France is not at war against Islam and Muslims," before announcing a series of measures that will "draw on the lessons" from last week's attacks.

How can you draw on the lessons if you’re confused and cannot define what you’re fighting?

And don’t look for clarity and guidance from the White House. President Obama has been in denial from day one. Not only was he absent from the Parisian boulevard parade of world leaders he has been MIA on Islamic terror since he took office. The best he came up with over the French terrorist attacks was to pledge to stand with his allies against the “scourge” of terrorism. Well good for him for his vacuous words. What scourge would that be, Mr. President?

The problem with Europe and America over the last couple of decades, apart from their political prevarication, has been the loss of traditional values, mainly faith and honesty – two essential pillars, if not the bedrock, of democracy.

They ditched faith decades ago for the raunchy life of a free-ranging liberalism and secularism. Christian European nations may still have crosses on the national flags, but they have ditched Christianity. Church aisles are emptying. In many places churches have now become mosques.

Socialist secularism has taken it upon itself to replace Christian and Jewish community charity and caring with state-run social and welfare benefits.  The welfare system, altruistic in intent, has brought with it a harmful dependency for an increasing number of dysfunctional and single-parent families. It also raised a generation with a chip on their shoulder and rebellion in their heart.

One of the assets of a faith-based society is the preservation of the tradition family as the foundation of a solid social order. The strong maintenance of the family unit is found among families with traditional Christian, Jewish and Muslim ethics. Sadly, this did not prevent second generation Muslim immigrants from having an anti-establishment grudge and a festering anti-Semitism, and they began acting on their rebellion in crime and in noisy and often violent demonstrations. They turned inward, finding a cause in Islam.

Honesty, truth, has been replaced by censored speech in order not to offend anyone speaking out against the rise of radical Muslims within a society. This censorship is called Islamophobia. It’s OK to offend Christians, the Pope, and Jews, but be awfully careful what you say about radical Islam. It may upset the people who make crude anti-Semitic jokes, when they are not expressing their hate against Jews, but who get so upset if you joke about Mohammed that they may actually kill you. Charlie Hebdo, anyone!

Better to appease them. Better to say that those that kill in the name of Allah are not actually acting in the name of Islam, even when they shout “Allah Aqba!” and quote the Koran as they partake in their bloody rampage. Funny how non–Muslims seem to know what isn't Islam.

Better to hit on Israel, criticize it, condemn it, threaten to sanction it, while ignoring Palestinian outrages, the anti-Semitic rhetoric of its leaders, and the fact that Hamas is designated a terrorist organization aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. Better not to say that. It might offend Muslims, and we wouldn't want to do that, do we?

Wholesale beheadings in Syria and Iraq by a group that calls itself Islamic State shocks a world that insists that it’s not Islamic.  Of course it is!

As a Jew, I don’t care much about Mohammed. That would be an understatement. Ask me why.

One pertinent incident happened in 627 AD when Mohammed beheaded eight hundred Jewish men and boys at Medina and enslaved the women and young girls. These people weren't even fighting him. They were his trophy victims. Remind you of anything?

So, please, don’t tell me to ignore Koranic history that is acted out across a large swathe of the globe today as being somehow irrelevant to our day and age. Tell me I’m a cynic, but don’t tell me I’m an Islamophobe. If Jews have learned anything it is that when people say they want to kill us, they really mean it.

If somebody beheads eight hundred of my people as part of a victory celebration, don’t tell me that I should respect him as the leader of a peaceful religion.

I demand that they prove to me they are a peaceful religion, because I don’t see any sign of it.

Don’t tell me that they are not anti-Semitic. As an Israeli Jew I am surrounded by people baying for my death and destruction, and my fellow Jews abroad are living under threat and fear.

Let me be brutally honest. The Judeo-Christian world have had our own lunatics. When the Klu Klux Klan came in the night with burning crosses, it took Christian America to eradicate this form of Christian terrorism. They faced up to what confronted them and dealt with it.

When Baruch Goldstein murdered Muslims in Hebron he was, quite rightly, called a Jewish terrorist and condemned by all Israelis. When Yigal Amir assassinated Israeli Prime Minister, Yizchak Rabin, he was rightly called a radical Jewish terrorist. His action united everyone in Israel against him with huge public demonstrations. The Israeli government clamped down to remove this poison from our society. It was wall-to-wall words and action to identify, name, shame, and remove this menace from our midst. We put our house in order. So must the Muslim world with their radicalization.

Taking France as a case-study, not all anti-Semitic viciousness is Muslim-based. The victimization of Officer Dreyfus was embedded in the French military system. The Vichy government was a right-wing fusion with fascism. The National Front cannot shake off their anti-Jewish sentiment. But, in recent years, every murder of French Jews, all of them, have been committed by Muslims of North African origin. That’s not Islamophobia speaking. That’s a fact.

There is little hope that Socialist and left-wing Europe can find its way out of the blind cul-de-sac of its political creation. They compound the failure of their policies by offering more of the same gruesome medicine that makes them even weaker.

Hope may be coming with the emergence of a more conservative political wing grabbing what is left of indigenous voters linked to moderates despairing of damaging progressivism and demanding change.

Recently, British Home Secretary, Theresa May, promised tougher action against anti-Semitism. Wouldn’t it be more effective to hear from British imams that they will take tougher action against anti-Semitism? Instead, their silence is troubling.

Western non-Muslims can confront Islamic radicalism, but it must be the Muslim world that leads this struggle. It is they who must put their house in order.

Just as Christianity and Judaism reformed, so must Muslims reform and establish a modern, tolerant, more enlightened form of their religion, and eradicate an ideology that kills more of them than us. They must do it because this ideology is lodged in the heart of their faith, not ours.

Failure to do so must make what is left of a Judeo-Christian world suspicious that a silent inactive Muslim community in their midst is in support of a global caliphate, lying dormant until they join the final assault on what is left of the non-Muslim world.

For us to confront this ideology without moderate Muslims taking the lead will simply be construed as a clash of civilizations. Fortunately, we witness bright signs appearing on the horizon. Blow-back is taking place in Egypt and Tunisia.

Egyptians rejected the Muslim Brotherhood that was slowly imposing their harsh brand of Shariah. The new President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, cracked down not only against the Muslim Brotherhood but all forms of radical Islamic terror from Al-Qaida in the Sinai to Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the Middle East, and increasingly large swathes of Africa, often stern measures to stabilize a country must come before Western-style democracy can be established.

One Arab country, however, that did succeed in shaking off three years of choking Islamist chaos and violence was Tunisia. Tunisia began what is known as the Arab Spring with the suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi, a simple vegetable seller who set himself alight in protest against an oppressive regime. Now Tunisia democratically overthrew an Islamic government. They drafted a new constitution before decisively defeating the Islamists in parliamentary elections, followed by the presidential elections of December 2014.

It would be good to see other Muslim countries counter the shift to Islamism. The battle is still on in Libya. Hezbollah holds too firm a grip in Lebanon. There is little hope for Turkey under the oppressive rule of Erdogan who uses his governance to close down opposition and a free press and gradually moving his people away from Ataturk principles toward an Islamic agenda.

In America, President Obama has been worryingly behind events. He was far too quick in promoting Islam in America. He embraced the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood by giving them an open door to the White House.

He failed to understand Egypt post-Mubarak as Egyptians turned away from Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime. He criticized el-Sisi, driving him into the arms of Russia, when he should have been more perceptive and helpful.

He restricts language to his policy-makers, intelligence, and military that disables them from naming the enemy the United States is fighting, even though they clearly identify who they are.  Astoundingly, Obama is fixated on closing Gitmo by releasing hardened Islamic terrorist leaders back to Yemen and Pakistan to fight and kill again. America and the West will pay dearly for this.

We have a long way to go. The West is still unable to see what is happening not only in the Middle East, but in their own backyard. Their leading Muslim leaders are all too quiet.

When they tell you it’s not Islam you know they have lost their political compass. They are losing their countries out of sheer willful blindness and their inability to face the truth and deal with it.

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’

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