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We view Islam through filters that are killing us

That, in essence, from Raymond Ibrahim, whose bio suggests that he knows of what he speaks:

"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 [1]. 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 [2].

A Fox News report, titled "Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam [3],'" 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.


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Comments (7)

In his memoirs of World War... (Below threshold)

In his memoirs of World War Two Winston Churchill has a line about the period between the abandonment of Czechoslovakia (4th largest land army in Europe) and the Hitler/Stalin partition of Poland. Goes something like "It was astonishing how rapidly the scales fell from peoples eyes." Democracies always deceive themselves about the intentions of their enemies. Or deny that the enemies exist. And this is always a mistake.

John Brennan, unfortunately... (Below threshold)

John Brennan, unfortunately is in a position way above his 'intellectual pay grade'.

Here is an argument I have ... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Here is an argument I have used effectively against the nimrods who, when confronted with these truths about the Isamic fundamentalist outlook on the world, immediately fall back on "Well, Christians are just as bad, they bomb abortion clinics and fight holy wars", blah blah blah.

I say, "You know, Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Ocean are basically the same thing..."

-- They both have boats on them.

-- They both have fish in them.

-- They both could be called "large bodies of water".

-- They both affect the climate around them.

-- They both raise poperty values as you get closer to them.

-- They both share a significant number of chemical properties.

etc etc.

And of course, anyone who says that Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Ocean are basically the same is an idiot who has nothing further to add the conversation.

Someone who can list the similarities of Islam and Christianity in politics, and is unable to see the vast differences (because of a militant ideological predisposition not to), has nothing of value to add to the conversation.... at all.

So many of our scribblers, ... (Below threshold)

So many of our scribblers, blabbers and governing "experts" seem to lose their common sense when they decide to speak.

I heard on FNC last evening, an incredible statement to the effect that Brennan is correct in the sense that we do need to differentiate between the mass of peaceful Muslims and the minority of murderous ones.


Muslims need to differentiate. If there is a difference. The moderates need to clearly stand apart and disavow the extremists.

I can recall reading that a relatively small percentage of Germans were Nazis. Nevertheless, when it came time to fight them we had to fight them all. It mattered little whether they were Nazi, or not. It does not matter how many Muslims share the radical view, as long as they are prepared to support those who do.

I would like for Brennan, et al to identify the moderates and differentiate between them and the extremists when they view the "Arab street" celebrating in the thousands after 9/11.

No! If there are moderate Muslims, let them be heard, and let them be seen, and let them disavow the murderers among them. Not our job.

"All I needed to know about... (Below threshold)

"All I needed to know about Islam I learned on 8/1/01"

I have been aware of radical Islam since the late 80's and they have NEVER failed to live up to the tenets of their religion. There is no such thing as a 'moderate' follower of the religion, the Koran forbids it.

In the end its all about control, just like the Borg, "You will be assimilated" or killed. its their way.

The moderat islamists are s... (Below threshold)

The moderat islamists are simply those that are waiting to see if the extreme islamist win. They are hoping they do with nothing more required of the moderates than acquiescence.

Um... small typo ... 9/1/01... (Below threshold)

Um... small typo ... 9/1/01...

I blame the moonlight, weak as it was, for my finger slippage.
Besides, the 8 IS right by the 9.
My glasses were dirty.
The AC came on and the cold air made me flinch.

SLAP ... OW!
Meh, enough with the excuses...it was late and I muffed it.






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