It may look like a duck and walk and talk like a duck, but the United States government wants to make sure we all know it’s not actually a duck.
The Associated Press this week reported that Secretary of State John Kerry is “warning the West to be careful about calling violent extremists in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other places, Islamic radicals, even though they may cite their faith as a justification for killing children and others.”
Kerry told an audience of opinion leaders at the World Economic Forum, “it would be a mistake to blame Muslims for crimes their faith rejects,” and “called for a global effort against violent extremism,” according to the AP report.
So, Kerry, a non-Muslim, wants us to believe that he knows Islam rejects these crimes, despite the fact that these crimes’ perpetrators claim to be directed by Islam. So, even recognizing that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are not homicidal maniacs, some percentage of them have found a way to glom onto a misinterpretation of that faith that directs them to wanton ruthlessness in its name.
Even if it’s only 1 percent of the world’s billion Muslims, that’s a million homicidal maniacs operating under the banner of their barbaric version of Islam, whether we like it or not, and no matter what we call it or don’t call it.
We seem, at this point, to be just about the only “civilized” country that continues to refuse to call a spade a spade – or an Islamist an Islamist, as the case may be.
By contrast, the AP reported that French President Francois Hollande told the same assemblage that “Islamic extremism is a problem that must be opposed,” and on Thursday, the British foreign secretary urged the defeat of what he called “the scourge of violent Islamist extremism.”
I understand not wanting to paint all Muslims with the same violent, blood-thirsty, savage brush, but to ignore that all the “violent extremists in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other places” happen to have some brand or other of radical Islamism in common, is naive and ignored at our own peril, I’m afraid.
An unwillingness to name the enemy does nothing to diminish the danger it poses. It serves only to inure us to the truth, possibly preventing us from adequately preparing or effectively trying to prevent attacks from an enemy that has sworn to destroy us.
Whatever we call it, this rose stinks the same. We may as well use the name it calls itself.
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