The peaceful majority
Jordan Ryan | Sunday, November 22, 2015
Friday, Nov. 13, Paris, France fell victim to the vicious and unrestrained attacks of the terrorist organization ISIS. The U.S. Executive Office immediately released a predictable statement announcing, “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” ISIS members were quick to seize responsibility for this slaughter of innocents perversely claiming that their god directed them to carry out these despicable attacks. This cowardly invocation of religion to justify monstrous acts is a typical response of ISIS and has created undeserved and unnecessary suspicion towards the entire Muslim world. Despite the obvious, the White House (and all Democratic aspirants for that address) has refused to acknowledge even the existence of radical Islamists. To President Obama and his wannabe Democratic successors, it is finally time to confront our enemy and admit what this terror group truly is, a radical perversion of the Islamic faith.
During a Feb. 1 interview with CNN, President Obama declared that terror groups such as ISIS are not an “existential threat to the United States or the world order.” With all due respect, the President has been proven wrong. It is time for Mr. Obama to show leadership by admitting his mistake, proclaim ISIS to be a radical Islamic terrorist organization and begin to effectively eradicate these cowardly murderers. To overstate the obvious, there is no evidence that the war on terror is in any way abating. In fact, ISIS had credibly warned the West of future attacks, claiming that Paris is just “the first of the storm.” It is time for a change in direction.
ISIS is an acronym for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” or also known as “ISIL,” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Far from a disorganized group of individuals, ISIS is quickly developing attributes of a nation state. The organization currently controls territory in Syria and Iraq roughly the size of Britain with a population of over six million people and a growing economy driven by oil revenues and donations from wealthy extremists. ISIS brands itself an “Islamic Caliphate,” which means that the members consider themselves to be the political and religious successors of Muhammad. It is this intentional misinterpretation of their duty that causes them to perform such heinous acts of violence. Unfortunately, they have proven to be effective at carrying out their evil intentions.
Hillary Clinton’s claim during last Saturday night’s debate that she did not wish to use the phrase “radical Islam” out of fear of painting “with too broad a brush” exemplifies the dangers of refusing to confront the realities of this threat. Referring to ISIS as a perversion or radicalization of Islam does not demonstrate a lack of respect for Muslims or the Islamic faith. To the contrary, by isolating and vilifying the misdirected invocation of the Islamic God as justifying the contemptible conduct of ISIS, America would join in the chorus of Muslims around the world who have condemned the extremism of ISIS in Allah’s name. To not recognize this group for what it is will feed the Islama-phobia, which could consume our nation.
“Islama-phobia” is a term coined as a result of the failed education of the American public about the differences between Jihadists and other Muslims. Most Muslims are not Jihadists. Muslims are not all terrorists. It is crucial that our leaders embrace this obvious distinction.
Muslims across the US view this atrocity in horror. I see my Muslim friends on my Facebook vigorously pointing out how terrorism is seen nowhere in the Quran and 99 percent of Muslims are not in any way associated with or supportive of ISIS’ heinous acts. The wrongful association of Islamic terrorism with all Muslims impairs their ability to practice their religion freely and instills unnecessary fear in the eyes of misinformed Americans. It is time to separate the wheat from the chaff and allow the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims to coexist with the Americans who practice other faiths. These are bad people, Mr. President. Don’t allow them the credibility of being associated with a peace-seeking God prayed to by the vast majority of Muslims.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.