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Don't Downplay the Source of Militant Islam

Reader comment on item: Aim the War on Terror at Militant Islam

Submitted by Jack Lynch (United States), Sep 20, 2002 at 18:38

Daniel,

I want you to know how much I appreciate and admire your work. Yours is a much-needed voice in the exchange of ideas today. I have seen you on FOX News and even on Zola Levitt Presents recently. Both appearances were excellent.

As regards this article, however, I fall into that category you call the "political conservatives or evangelicals," and I must disagree with you in some areas of this article.

You assert that my position is that the enmity that Muslims have for Christians "stems from the Koran itself and so is immutable." Your conclusion is that this position does not hold because "If Muslims by nature are hostile, how does one explain Turkey, with its militantly secular culture…?" I would say that your premise is wrong. I don't believe that all Muslims are by nature hostile (i.e. violent) because of their belief in the Koran and Hadith. Many Muslims are ignorant of the very books they deem holy, just as many so-called Christians are ignorant of theirs. As for Muslims who are familiar with the Koran and Hadith and are still peaceful, it is because they choose to ignore its calls to killing for Allah and focus their beliefs on other aspects of the Koran, not because those calls aren't there.

You also state, "And if Islam is the problem, then there is no possible strategy for winning…Insisting on Islam as the enemy means a permanent clash of civilizations that cannot be won." Respectfully, I suggest that your argument is a non sequitur. You are maintaining that Islam can't be the enemy because there is no winning strategy.

Let me distinguish between Islam the "centuries-old faith" and Islam the people. You claim that the "faith is not the issue but one extremist variant of it is. Militant Islam derives from Islam but is a misanthropic, misogynist, triumphalist, millenarian, anti-modern, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, terroristic, jihadistic and suicidal version of it." This description of Militant Islam is right on the mark. But when you say it "derives from Islam," I take it you mean that it does not square with the "faith," that is, what is taught in the Koran and Hadith, but merely some sort of twisted version of that faith. Yet without exception, every adjective you used to describe "Militant Islam" precisely fits the teachings in their holy books. Kill every Militant Islamist on the face of the earth and it will still rise up out of its ashes, for IT IS TAUGHT IN THEIR BOOKS. I plead with you. You must see this and face it. It is the Koran and Hadith that contain the seeds which eventually germinate into groups like the Wahhabis. The violent teachings found in these books are a perfect reflection of Muhammed's life. If you look at what he did in his life, and then read the Koran and Hadith, can you be the least bit surprised that violent terrorists spring from Islam?

Christianity has had its violent times as well: the Crusades and the Inquisition. But there is a major difference. The Crusades and the Inquisition in no way reflect Christianity as taught in the Bible. Those who have committed atrocities and terrorism "in the name" of Christ did so in spite of biblical teaching, not because of it. By contrast, Muslims who commit these acts find their support in their holy books.

To conclude, I do not disagree with you that your strategy of weakening militant Islam around the world, fighting it any way we can. But the faith must be discredited as well, preferably through exposure to what it actually teaches. Politically correct distortions by the media are dangerous and only exacerbate the situation. Recognizing that militant Islam is the immediate enemy is crucial, but do not downplay the source of this virulent pathology.

Sincerely,
Jack Lynch
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