Three Myths About Jihad
As the adage goes, “Ideas have consequences.” However, in these dangerous times of savage jihadism, bad ideas can have disastrous consequences. If they woo our Washington policy makers or the citizens who elect them, innocent blood will be spilled, and innocent lives lost.
Equally problematic, if we begin capitulating to this new form of totalitarianism, we will soon see the slow, oppressive loss of our freedoms.
To counter bad ideas, we ﬁrst must recognize them. Here are three desperately wrong concepts about jihadism today:
These new attacks in America and Europe are simply “lone wolf” assaults.
In May, after the Garland, Texas, attempt to assassinate attendees at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, many news outlets, including ABC and NBC, quickly resorted to the “lone wolf” label, implying the attacks were random, unconnected, and isolated. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The January shootings in Paris at the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were orchestrated by Muslims who shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they began their murderous rampage. Here in the United States, Islam-inspired jihadists murdered American military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009; bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013; and attempted the murders in Garland, Texas.
Remember the Charles Manson “family” cult in California that gruesomely killed actress Sharon Tate and others in 1969? Manson was not at the scene, yet he was convicted because he had instigated the murders by influencing the minds of his followers.
In the same way, violent Islam is responsible for these jihadist attacks because it inspired them, whether or not a direct, oﬃcial connection between ISIS and the assailants is shown.
This is not a religious war.
As former Muslim terrorist turned follower of Christ Walid Shoebat points out on his website, after the Garland attacks, ISIS boasted that jihadists will “inﬂict harm” on “the defenders of the cross” in America, meaning Christians. ISIS-aﬃliated terrorists have ruthlessly executed Coptic Christians in Libya, along with Salem Matty Georgis, a 43-year-old Christian in Iraq, whom they tortured then killed for refusing to convert to Islam.
Earlier this year, authorities in Italy charged Muslim extremists with planning an attack against the Vatican. Is this not religious jihad?
Jihadists are not solely responsible for their heinous acts. Americans who speak against them with extreme language share the blame.
This myth is perhaps the most bizarre. Yet media giants propagate it. For example, in the wake of the Garland shootings, a May 6 New York Times editorial, breathtaking in its illogic, slammed the conference as “an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom.” Then, outrageously, it declared, “The greater threat posed by the barbaric killers of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda cannot justify blatantly Islamophobic provocations like the Garland event.”
Though the editorial opened with the statement that oﬀensive speech doesn’t justify murder—a point so obvious one wonders why it even needed to be made—it then revealed its true agenda: to brutalize people who harshly criticize Islam, a religion the liberal media has granted near sacred-cow status.
I do not condone needlessly incendiary language to make any point, for or against anything. However, when it comes to life and death or freedom and tyranny, we must take sides. We must declare where we stand.
It is irresponsible to make free speech a guilty coconspirator with savage jihadists. Politically correct liberals are quick to indict so-called conservative “hate speech” but will not condemn with equal vigor the barbarity of violent Islam.
We must reject these baseless myths and intellectual conciliations if we are to stop the enemies of freedom and innocent life. When leaders in England discounted the true threat of Nazism and tried to compromise with Hitler in the 1930s, Winston Churchill issued a harsh warning—one we need to heed today:
Do not suppose this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the ﬁrst sip, the ﬁrst foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proﬀered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.