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The Nature of the Enemy

Reader comment on item: Should airport security procedures include ethnic and religious profiling?

Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Israel), Nov 16, 2006 at 09:11

To better appreciate Dr. Pipes' recommendations, consider the following: In reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. placed 114,000 Japanese—many American-born—in detention camps. In reaction to 9/11, the U.S. rejected "ethnic profiling."

In World War II the nation was in arms against its enemies. Movie stars enlisted in the army, and Hollywood produced scores of movies exposing the evil of Nazi Germany. Today we are confronted by an even greater evil, but one would never know this from American statesmen, let alone Hollywood.

"Know your enemy" is a basic principle of statecraft. President George W. Bush has yet to really identify the enemy. He and various pundits refer to the enemy as "Islamic extremists" and "Islamofascists," as if the enemy was a fringe group of Muslims—Muslims that have "hijacked" Islam. But as serious and candid scholars have shown—suffice to mention Robert Spencer—the enemy is mainstream Islam, Islam pure and simple.

That's what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Mainstream represents when he calls for "a world without America and Israel"—meaning a world without Christianity and Judaism.

But Americans—especially liberal-left-wing politicians, professors, and journalists—cannot take Ahmadinejad seriously, no more than their English counterparts in the 1930s could take Hitler seriously. It will take a nuclear Iran before they awaken from their compalcency or dogmatic slumbers.

Sixty years separate Pearl Harbor from 9/11. During this period the university-bred doctrine of moral or cultural relativism permeating the mentality of American (and European) intellectuals. They simply cannot take evil seriously. They look upon Islam as something exotic. They try to explain Muslim terrorism as the result of poverty or a reaction to American foreign policy, as something that can be appeased—especially by sacrificing Israel. They cannot face the fact that it's not what we are or what we do that is the issue. The real issue is the nature of Islam. Syrian-born psychiatrist Dr. Wafa Sultan, who renounced her Muslim upbringing—she now lives in California—has emphatically stated that Islam cannot be reformed—it must be "transformed." Obviously this is not on the agenda of American foreign policy.

But this means that the West is confronted by its most lethal and ruthless enemy. This enemy denies the sanctity of human life, uses children as human bombs. This enemy is obtaining the means to creating a world without America. In comparison with what must be done vis-a-vis this enemy, the idea of "ethnic profiling" is a world-historical joke.

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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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