Posted 07/18/2007 ET
The religion of “peace” strikes again. Over the past week, three stories have demonstrated once again what current Islam is all about, and “peace,” it isn’t.
First, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Islamic militants laid siege to the central Red Mosque, using it as a base of terrorist operations. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf ordered the militants to leave the mosque compound, or, he said, “you will die.” When they refused, he ordered the Special Services Group commandos to remove them by force. When the battle had ended, over 100 people lay dead, including the militants’ leader, pro-Taliban cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, and hundreds of weapons had been seized, including automatic firearms, mines, grenades, and booby traps.
Second, the Islamic Republic of Iran confirmed a state-sanctioned stoning. A man convicted of adultery was stoned to death two weeks ago in a village in northern Iran. He and his female companion reportedly had been imprisoned for eleven years. She was also sentenced to die by stoning, but according to USA Today, it is unclear as to whether her sentence was also carried out.
And third, Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released several new messages. In a videotape, he condemned Musharraf for moving on the militants and called on all Muslims to join a holy war to avenge the army assault. “Musharraf and his hunting dogs have rubbed your honor in the dirt in the service of the Crusaders and the Jews,” he said. (“Hunting dogs” is an old communist propaganda phrase, but he also threw in “Crusaders” and “Jews” to show he’s a good Muslim.)
He also released an audiotape, in which he threatened to retaliate against Great Britain for granting knighthood to Salman Rushdie several weeks ago. Rushdie’s 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, is considered by many Muslims to be blasphemous against the prophet Mohammed, so many Muslims (including high-ranking Pakistani officials) have renewed calls for his death and retribution against the British government.
Mohammed Ali Hosseini, Iran’s foreign affairs spokesman, said that the knighthood “will definitely put the British officials in confrontation with Islamic societies. This act shows that insulting Islamic sacred values is not accidental. It is planned, organized, guided and supported by some Western countries.”
So now it’s the West’s fault that one guy wrote a novel back in 1988.
This is the religion of “peace.” The slightest criticism of Islam is treated like a mortal wound and the individual who inflicted it must die. Even in free societies with fully protected freedom of speech -- like the United States and the United Kingdom -- no one is allowed to criticize Islam, or you risk the Rushdie treatment: fatwas calling for your death, living in fear and hiding, life in ruins. Which, of course, is the essence of terrorism.
What kind of faith is so insecure as to not be able to take any criticism? When Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or any other religion is attacked, you don’t see death threats. You don’t see people pouring into the streets, raving like maniacs, threatening to kill people and wipe entire countries off the map, burning people in effigy, etc.
With other religions, there is a civilized approach to letting feelings of offense or hurt be known. What happens in the Muslim world -- at the slightest hint of criticism of Mohammed or the Koran or the religion -- is a rapid-fire public fury and violence. Even when there has been NO assault on Islam, Muslims looking for a pretext will make one up, and amplify the lie, knowing that they can count on the left-wing international media to give it legs. For example, there was no desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay by U.S. soldiers; in fact, the desecration was carried out by several of the Muslim detainees themselves, because they knew they could spin the story by accusing the Americans and the world media would pile on. The al Qaeda “Manchester Manual” explicitly tells captured terrorists to cry “torture” if they are captured, since the Western media falls for that false claim every time. Once the story takes off, a violent spectacle is sure to follow. It’s a well-orchestrated show to keep the rest of us in a state of fear and intimidation.
Of course the one thing these clever terrorists have in common is Islam. Nobody wants to say that out loud, though, because it’s too politically incorrect. Whether it’s rioters in France or detained terror suspects in Great Britain, people are loathe to identify them as Muslim or to identify the current fight as a holy war. Never mind that the enemy has no problem calling themselves holy warriors and their fight a jihad.
Despite headline after headline showing us that this is no religion of “peace” as we understand “peace,” we aren’t even close to being on the same kind of war footing they are. Islamic terrorists have a seriousness of purpose we haven’t begun to fathom -- despite the successful mass murder plots, repeated busted plots, their statements of intention, the beheadings and stonings, and the horror of September 11, Madrid, London, Bali, etc.
There is only one way we are ever going to win against this kind of fanatical but methodical enemy. And that is to be willing to be ruthless. It’s a tough thing for democratic, life-loving societies to absorb and act upon. But without that stance, we lose -- the war, our country, our lives. Musharraf is no Jeffersonian democrat, but last week he did what we should be doing full force: destroying terrorists before they can destroy us.
|Monica Crowley, Ph.D., is a nationally syndicated radio host|