The work of Americans of good conscience – who also happen to be adherents of the Muslim faith – people like Asra Q. Nomani, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and M.J. Khan is being undermined not only by the bloody violence of radical Islam, but of the failure of Western institutions to recognize and address the ongoing threat of jihad.
We all know why the barbaric savages entered the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and brutally murdered a dozen people in early 2015; why attackers murdered 130 in attacks that included Paris’ Bataclan theatre; why a married jihadi couple in San Bernadino gunned down 14 co-workers, and why a self-radicalized jihadist slaughtered 49 in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando: because their hateful, murderous ideology demands that they convert, subjugate or kill people who do not believe as they do, and they profess that their religion motivates, guides and justifies their actions.
Those facts are grounded not in race, but in cultural identity and ideology. That is why no amount of navel-gazing will wash away the fact that radical Islamic fundamentalism is the root of not only the San Bernardino, Orlando and Paris attacks, but of scores of other attacks, including the rise of ISIS, the beheading in the London street, the Madrid train bombings, the London Tube bombings, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Fort Hood shooting, the Times Square attack, and September 11, 2001 & 2012 in Benghazi.
Those who engage in moral equivalency as a way to minimize and mitigate the seriousness of Islamic terrorism or its unique nature fail to accept and understand the reality in full, naked view: for followers of radical Islam, murder and terror are integral to their identity, not tangential. They exist to destroy. That is who they are. There can be no compromise, no dialogue, no reconciliation, no middle ground with such an enemy. Only complete and utter elimination from within and without will resolve this crisis.
The argument being advanced – primarily by the left, and by some on the right – that we cannot engage in reconsideration of our national security apparatus, or the methods and tactics being used both in the short- and long-term out of consideration of “empathy,” or “the American Spirit,” or the “importance of a multicultural society” willfully ignores the real threat presented by those who view their own deaths in the effort to cause mass casualties as a desirable outcome.
One of the perspectives that illustrates the intellectually vapid underlying intent and purpose of the obtuse side of the argument can be readily summed up as: It’s not fair that we only call it terrorism when Brown/Muslim/Middle Eastern people do bad things. We should call it terrorism when White/Christian/Western people do bad things too, because of fairness. We can dismiss this attempt to equate one with the other by realizing that to do so is to engage in pointless intellectual dishonesty. That isn’t just stupid, it’s criminally negligent.
Instead, we must – as a society – realize the threat presented, identify it by name, and work to eliminate it. We can work with moderate Islamic groups and individuals to identify communities and people in need. We can work with Muslim communities to target those elements that foster the rise in radicalization and address them before they get out of hand. We can increase the presence of law enforcement, community and government leaders within those neighborhoods that need it most, buttressing and strengthening their chances of assimilating into American culture and short-circuiting radicalism.
Doing so requires unleashing the free market, reducing taxes and regulation, allowing these communities to develop businesses, to grow economically and prosper, removing the most accessible incentives for violence and increasing the chances for success. And by highlighting and underwriting the work of American Muslims like Asra Q. Nomani, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and M.J. Khan, who are determined to bring an end to radical Islam by building In other words, the cure for Islamic radicalism within America is the American Dream. We only need to let it work.