Tuesday, January 29, 2008

British Government Solves The Problem Of Islamic Terrorism, Renames It "Anti-Islamic Activity"

<-- Anti-Islamic Activity

With the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, recent turbulence in Pakistan, continued troubles in the Holy Land between Palestine and Israel, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unwillingness to abandon his quest for nuclear technology, many thought that Islamic jihad had never been a more relevant topic for political discussion. Apparently, they were way off base. The other day, British home secretary Jacqui Smith bravely declared in her first major speech on the topic that "there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief. Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.” What a relief this must have been to the families of the victims of Islamic terrorist attacks.

As it turns out, there aren't really any problems with Islam today. The problem is actually with troublesome anti-Islamists who insist on dying in the name of Allah and taking some infidels with them as they go. When the Danish Cartoons were first published and violent (not to mention fatal) riots broke out in numerous Islamic states to protest the perceived insult to Islam, these riots were, in fact, not related to Islam in any way. And when Islamic terrorists flew two planes into the twin towers, their activities were patently anti-Islamic.

Of course, Mark Steyn addresses the revelatory re-designation of Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic activity." The full article is at the link:

Her Majesty’s government is not alone in feeling it’s not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed “respect” is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity”


Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.” But I don’t recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year-old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.

Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen’s annual Ramadan banquet.”

A few days ago, a pre-trial hearing in an Atlanta courtroom made public for the first time a video made by two Georgia Tech students. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee went to Washington and took footage of key buildings, and that “casing video” then wound up in the hands of Younis Tsouli, an al-Qaeda recruiter in London. As the film shot by the Georgia students was played in court, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee’s voice could be heard on the soundtrack: “This is where our brothers attacked the Pentagon.”

“Allahu Akbar,” responds young Ahmed. God is great.

How “anti-Islamic” an activity is that? Certainly, not all Muslims want to fly planes into the Pentagon. But those that do do it in the name of their faith. And anyone minded to engage in an “anti-Islamic activity” will find quite a lot of support from leading Islamic scholars. Take, for example, the “moderate” imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once observed that “we will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through the sword, but through dawa” – i.e., the non-incendiary form of Islamic outreach.


The British home secretary would respond that not all moderate imams are as gung-ho to detonate moppets. Which is true. But, by insisting on re-labeling terrorism committed by Muslims in the name of Islam as “anti-Islamic activity,” Her Majesty’s government is engaging not merely in Orwellian Newspeak but in self-defeating Orwellian Newspeak. The broader message it sends is that ours is a weak culture so unconfident and insecure that if you bomb us and kill us our first urge is to find a way to flatter and apologize to you.


This is now a recurring theme in British life. A while back, it was a local government council telling workers not to have knick-knacks on their desks representing Winnie-the-Pooh’s porcine sidekick, Piglet. As Martin Niemöller famously said, first they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character and, if I was, I’m more of an Eeyore. So then they came for the Three Little Pigs, and Babe, and by the time I realized my country had turned into a 24/7 Looney Tunes it was too late, because there was no Porky Pig to stammer “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!” and bring the nightmare to an end.

Steyn even mentions Elizabeth May's "crusader" comment and connects it to the issue at hand:

A couple of days later, Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green party (the fourth-largest political party), spoke out against her country’s continued military contribution to the international force in Afghanistan. “More ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage,” she said, “will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad.” As it happens, Canada did not send troops to the Crusades, mainly because the fun was over several centuries before Canada came in existence. Six years ago, it was mostly the enemy who took that line, Osama bin Laden raging at the Great Satan for the fall of Andalusia in 1492, which, with the best will in the world, it’s hard to blame on Halliburton. But since then, the pathologies of Islamism have proved surprisingly contagious among western elites.

You remember the Three Little Pigs? One builds a house of straw, and another of sticks, and both get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Western civilization is a mighty house of bricks, but who needs a Big Bad Wolf when the pig’s so eager to demolish it himself?

As Irshad Manji points out, the Prophet Mohammed defines religion as "the way in which we act in relation to others." Ergo, how adherents of Islam act towards others defines Islam. Most muslims I know are courteous and friendly but, regrettably, relatively quiet when it comes to condemning radicals. They claim they don't have to justify the actions of extremists. They may disagree with their deeds and words, but they shouldn't be called upon to explain the actions of others. Fair enough. But next time somebody claims Osama bin Laden speaks for Islam, remember that he does if there's nobody willing to speak louder than him.

Thousands of radicals - some civilians and some influential leaders - call for jihad against Israel and the West. These terrorist groups are not acting independently of their religion; they are acting in its name and with the sanction of more than a few leaders. Jihad is an Islamic problem, and re-designating Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic activity" is simply a willful denial of reality. Moderate muslims must assert themselves and soon. This will not be accomplished by breezing past the problem with craven politically correct euphemisms.

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