“The greatest hurdle Americans need to get over in order to properly respond to the growing threat of radical Islam is purely intellectual in nature; specifically, it is epistemological, and revolves around the abstract realm of ‘knowledge.’ Before attempting to formulate a long-term strategy to counter radical Islam, Americans must first and foremost understand Islam, particularly its laws and doctrines, the same way Muslims understand it — without giving it undue Western (liberal) interpretations. This is apparently not as simple as expected: all peoples of whatever civilizations and religions tend to assume that other peoples more or less share in their worldview, which they assume is objective, including notions of right and wrong, good and bad. …. [T]he secular, Western experience has been such that people respond with violence primarily when they feel they are politically, economically, or socially oppressed. While true that many non-Western peoples may fit into this paradigm, the fact is, the ideologies of radical Islam have the intrinsic capacity to prompt Muslims to violence and intolerance vis-à-vis the ‘other,’ irrespective of grievances. … Being able to understand all this, being able to appreciate it without any conceptual or intellectual constraints is paramount for Americans to truly understand the nature of the enemy and his ultimate goals.”
Such were the words that opened my testimony to Congress . One year later, none other than President Obama’s top counterterror adviser, John Brennan, has come to personify the approach I warned against — namely, the misguided phenomenon of westernizing Islamic concepts .
A Fox News report, titled “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam ,'” has the details:
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of “political, economic and social forces,” but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms.”
In other words, despite the fact that Islamists describe all their goals in “religious terms,” Brennan sees them — you know, people like Osama bin Laden who murdered 3,000 Americans — as naught more than victims of the system. And why is that? Because Brennan believes that “political, economic and social forces” — the three I specifically stressed in my excerpt above — are the only precipitators of violence. So jihadists can openly articulate their violent bloodlust through religious terms all they want, it matters not: Brennan and his ilk have their intellectual blinders shut tight and refuse to venture outside the box.
It’s past time for intellectuals and those who think they are to begin looking at Islam absent the filtration systems we’ve acquired in the Western world.
Islam is not what progressives think Islam is. The evidence is there for all to see once they remove their rose colored glasses.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.