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Defining the enemy

Reader comment on item: [President Bush and] Naming the Enemy

Submitted by Allen Weingarten (United States), Aug 17, 2004 at 12:09

I appreciated this article on many levels. Mr. Pipes properly replaced the term "war on terrorism" with "war on ideological extremists", and emphasized our enemy's hatreds and violent methods. As he points out "they hope to bring about a collapse of America." Moreover, Mr. Pipes provided the needed perspective wherein the civilized world is threatened by barbarism. Finally, It was helpful for him to point to the need for "the battle of ideas" to begin.

Yet if we are to take ideas seriously, we ought to consider that an enemy (for example fascist Germany or communist USSR) has two components, namely the ideology that motivates, and the State that provides the power. Here it is to be noted that it is the ideology of Islam, which divides the world into Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb, that requires that the former undermine the latter. (For a Muslim to deny the path of force would be blasphemy, since the word of Allah can only be guaranteed by the sword.) Thus, even if not all Muslims are on board with terrorism, there is no strong aversion to it. Moreover, it is the Arab States (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, etc.) that support and protect the activists. This not only aids their training, but provides political defense and propaganda.

It should also be recognized that the greatest attack upon America is not terrorism, but the ideological insurgency of militant Islam. The Islamists have learned to take advantage of our liberalism, to protect their depredations by stifling discussion, and attacking those who would restrict their subversive activities. It is our political correctness that insists on treating fundamentalist Islam as a fellow religion rather than as a committed enemy, that undermines any serious defense against it.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (28) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1do muslims and islamists follow a different doctrine? [93 words]XavierNov 4, 2005 06:4227769
Aren't Islamists true Muslims according to the Koran? [467 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
William KarkowAug 29, 2004 20:1016574
Must expose the brutality [104 words]S.C.PandaAug 25, 2004 06:1616485
"Does President Bush Really Get It Yet?" [262 words]Ms Judy KeckAug 24, 2004 21:1516475
Ideological war [65 words]D. ConnellAug 24, 2004 09:1916468
Islamo-fascism [61 words]Prof. Victor DanushevskyAug 23, 2004 22:3616465
Identifying Enemies of Democracy [16 words]John Randall PeacherAug 23, 2004 04:0816463
U.N. Role [54 words]F. WexAug 22, 2004 17:4716462
Fellow travellers [242 words]David and Valerea ThomasAug 21, 2004 00:0316451
Another related enemy [117 words]John P ReynoldsAug 20, 2004 22:1416450
Where are they? [45 words]Frank van DeventerAug 20, 2004 17:3316449
Words [147 words]William StenwickAug 20, 2004 13:5116448
The Awakenig [139 words]R MckeeAug 20, 2004 12:0816447
ISLAMISTS [76 words]jaime eisenAug 20, 2004 08:3916445
It's About Time [180 words]Carl BossieuxAug 19, 2004 13:3416434
Very nice article [53 words]BernardzAug 18, 2004 02:4116414
Huntington was right the first time! [197 words]Mike LallatinAug 17, 2004 20:5316409
The truth of Islamic Fascism [526 words]Arlinda DeAngelisAug 17, 2004 19:4816407
Murderers [36 words]F.B.WexelbaumAug 17, 2004 14:5916402
Naming the Enemy [219 words]Geoff GAug 17, 2004 12:4416401
The Term Islamist - Is It the Issue? [172 words]Ira KatzAug 17, 2004 12:1416397
Defining the enemy [289 words]Allen WeingartenAug 17, 2004 12:0916395
Political correctness is tying our hands [68 words]SaeelAug 17, 2004 11:1916392
What's in a "Name!" [214 words]M RothchildAug 17, 2004 09:3816390
Religion is antithetical to life as a human. [72 words]Ralph C. Whaley MDAug 17, 2004 08:3516387
Importance of your work [91 words]Flora SteinmanAug 17, 2004 07:5216386
1Not extremists and not fringe [83 words]Moshe DarAug 17, 2004 05:1816385
Has Bush got the name right? [253 words]Anthony ChaseAug 17, 2004 05:0316384

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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