Learning the Hard Way

Most ordinary people laugh off as silliness much of what has become known as political correctness. But in the aftermath of Maj. Nidal Hasan’s brutal attack on military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, in November, they have stopped laughing and started questioning the political correctness that dodges the real issue of Islamic terrorism.

Politicians, reporters, and military personnel quickly made Hasan the victim of multiple disorders, pre-traumatic stress, emotional problems, and harassment because he is a Muslim. He definitely, they said, did not commit an act of calculated terrorism.

Yet a clear pattern in Hasan’s life preceded the massacre. Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, in an article on political correctness, gave more than a dozen instances of radical Muslim attacks in America and elsewhere that were passed off as being anything but Islamist terrorism. U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey Jr. almost immediately expressed concern that speculation about Hasan’s religious beliefs could cause a backlash against other Muslim soldiers.

And while all thinking Americans are concerned that law-abiding Muslim citizens not be stigmatized by radical elements, facts are facts. As long as terrorism threatens our safety, it must be understood and exposed by all, not swept under the rug.

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (ret.) called the army’s handling of the case “unforgivable political correctness” that will officially ascribe Hasan’s assault to his so-called victimization, leaving jihad unmentioned. That move could be a prescription for disaster.

Because the attack occurred in the United States, the man who murdered in the name of Allah will receive every protection. The reason being that we are a free, democratic society in which the right to a fair trial––no matter how obvious the evidence of guilt––is a sacred trust under our Constitution. That is America, where the sanctity of life is the model upon which our system has flourished. There is no honor in killing innocents in the name of religion or, for that matter, in the name of social or personal convenience.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many other societies, particularly those that persecute and kill Christians regularly. Why? Because the same warped mindset that justifies leaping on a table yelling “Allahu Akbar!” and firing a hail of bullets at unarmed people is seen by the majority as an honorable, even heroic, act.

So the relevant question becomes, “Why are many of our leaders so reticent to acknowledge the obvious distinctions between violent, radical fanaticism and orderly forms of moral and civil deportment?” It’s infantile to believe changing the semantics will alter the circumstances by which international terrorists conduct themselves. Retreading such terms as global war on terror and jihad to depict something nuanced and more benign does not alter the reality of what is taking place.

America and the West suffer from debilitating denial. They are much like children who cover their eyes believing they can wish away a bad storm by not looking at it. But in this storm people are dying, and millions more stand precariously in the crosshairs of the bin Ladins of the terrorist-criminal netherworld. The cold facts are that self-imposed denial and inaction can get countless people killed and bring down nations.

Babylon’s ancient monarch Belshazzar provides a classic example. With the Medo-Persian army at the gates of the great city, the descendant of the illustrious King Nebuchadnezzar decided to throw a party––to play rather than pray or prepare a military defense. He and his guests felt secure in their raucous distraction, a form of dissipated denial, when God’s words on a wall broke up the festivities: “Weighed in the balances, and found wanting” (Dan. 5:27).

Those words were an epitaph, not an endorsement. Before the night was out, the king was dead and the kingdom was lost. Mighty Babylon had fallen, which proves you can play the word game and manipulate reality any way you choose. But danger is danger, death is death, and defeat begets servitude.

A well-known pastor recently issued an impassioned call for Christians to wake up before it’s too late. In view of the Western church’s current drift into emergent complicity and its alignment with the spiritually and morally corrupt forces in America, his words sounded like those of the prophets of old. But one wonders, “Is anyone listening?” Or have we all gone to the party?

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