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Opinion

Opinion

Terrorist ties to Islam can’t be ignored

July 2, 2010

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The Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, the Times Square attacker. On May 13, the following exchange occurred at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas: Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?

Attorney General Eric Holder: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. ...

Smith: OK, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people —

Smith: But was radical Islam one of them?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious-based.

Potentially, mind you. This went on until the questioner gave up in exasperation.

A similar question arose last week in U.S. District Court when Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square attacker, pleaded guilty. Explained Shahzad:

“One has to understand where I’m coming from ... I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier.”

Well, that is clarifying. As was the self-printed business card of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, identifying himself as SoA: Soldier of Allah.

Holder’s avoidance of the obvious continues the absurd and embarrassing refusal of the Obama administration to acknowledge who out there is trying to kill Americans and why. In fact, it has banned from its official vocabulary the terms jihadist, Islamist and Islamic terrorism.

Instead, President Obama’s National Security Strategy insists on calling the enemy — how else do you define those seeking your destruction? — “a loose network of violent extremists.” But this is utterly meaningless. This is not an anger-management therapy group gone rogue. These are people professing a powerful ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in whose name they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize and kill.

Why is this important? Because the first rule of war is to know your enemy. If you don’t, you wander into intellectual cul-de-sacs and ignore the real causes that might allow you to prevent recurrences.

The Pentagon report on the Fort Hood shooter runs 86 pages with not a single mention of Hasan’s Islamism. It contains such politically correct inanities as “religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor.”

Of course it is. Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism is not only a risk factor. It is the risk factor, the common denominator linking all the great terror attacks of this century — from 9/11 to Mumbai, from Fort Hood to Times Square, from London to Madrid to Bali. The attackers were of various national origin, occupation, age, social class, native tongue and race. The one thing that united them was the jihadist vision in whose name they acted.

To deny this undeniable truth leads to further absurdities. Remember the wave of speculation about Hasan’s supposed secondary post-traumatic stress disorder — that he was so deeply affected by the heart-rending stories of his war-traumatized patients that he became radicalized? On the contrary. He was moved not by their suffering but by the suffering they (and the rest of the U.S. military) inflicted on Hasan’s fellow Muslims, in whose name he gunned down 12 American soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

With Shahzad, we find the equivalent ridiculous — and exculpating — speculation that perhaps he was driven over the edge by the foreclosure of his home. Good grief. Of course his home went into foreclosure — so would yours if you voluntarily quit your job and stopped house payments to go to Pakistan for jihadist training. As The Washington Post’s Charles Lane pointed out, foreclosure was a result of Shahzad’s radicalism, not the cause.

There’s a final reason why the administration’s cowardice about identifying those trying to kill us cannot be allowed to pass. It is demoralizing. It trivializes the war between jihadi barbarism and Western decency, and diminishes the memory of those (including thousands of brave Muslims — Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan and Western) who have died fighting it.

Churchill famously mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. But his greatness lay not just in eloquence but in his appeal to the moral core of a decent people to rise against an ideology the nature of which Churchill never hesitated to define and describe — and to pronounce (“Nahhhhzzzzi”) in an accent dripping with loathing and contempt.

No one is asking Obama or Holder to match Churchill’s rhetoric — just Shahzad’s candor.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Comments

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

There is certainly a tie between radical Islam and terrorists.

But we need to look at why many are attracted to radical Islam, and do what we can to minimize that attraction.

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independant1 3 years, 9 months ago

Not all Muslim are terrorists. Muslims around the world are not denouncing terrorism loud enough to be heard. Most terrorists today are Muslim. Most in the media are afraid of Islam, there is a double standard here in USA. Pop culture, celebrity political prognosticators and comedians walk a wide path around poking fun or denigrating islam/muslims but find christianity an easy target.

Where I come from that's called chicken $h1t behavior.

and to get back on topic K is correct terrorist ties to islam cannot be ignored. It's too obvious there is a direct tie to islam and terrorism. Terrorism is islamic politics.

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tunahelper 3 years, 9 months ago

radical islamic terrorists suck.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

Didn't Iran get onto some UN committee overseeing women's right not long ago? Maybe more people should read this: http://www.iran-e-azad.org/stoning/women.html

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bobberboy 3 years, 9 months ago

no one's ignoring it - the great silent majority is watching it VERY VERY closly.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

If terrorists are a concern why did the USA government hire Blackwater/Z and other private mercenary USA corporations?

The CIA is considered a terrorist organization. They wonder around the world assassinating people and subvert existing dictatorships to install new dictatorships.

Islam is not a terrorist organization. Islam may well be the oldest religion in the world.

Bush/Cheney are violent fundamentalist christians who decided that killing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of innocent men,women and children abroad would be okay so long as their war for oil control mission moved forward. How does this approach win friends around the globe?

The USA once armed the Taliban when Russia was invading Afghanistan. So why was not okay for Russia to wage war on nations of oil but it is okay for the USA to wage war and occupy nations of oil?

When did GOD say war and killing was okay?

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BorderRuffian 3 years, 9 months ago

Why bother with the labels and associations, anyway? After all, according to the current administration and to Fearless Leader, it's just all Bush's fault, anyway.

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clown_hater 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 9 months ago

Terrorist ties to christianity and religious rite cannot be ignored. Anthrax Killer. Terrorists in Niger. Killers of American Dr.s Militia Christian soldiers who illegally flew nukes from one end of the country to the other, headed for where? Israel? Destructive. Closed-minded. Unforgiving. Insistent that the rest of the world suffer their rants and outlandish beliefs. Terrorist who are desperate to move this country back in time rather than forward.

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Agnostick 3 years, 9 months ago

July 2, 2010 at 10 a.m. NavyVet (anonymous) replies…

"And your farcical attempt to label all of Christianity as radical because of the disparate acts of a demented few demsontrates your inability to think logically ..."


And what of your ability to think logically? Or anyone else's, for that matter?

If it's not fair to judge or label all members of one religion because of a few crackpot extremists ... why should the standard be any different for other religions?

You don't like it when the screws are put to you and yours... but you have no problem running with glee to put the screws to others... do you?

There's one word everyone can agree on for that.

Hypocrisy.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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devobrun 3 years, 9 months ago

Independent1, the reason is that they hate. They hate capitalism and the freedom which is required for its manifestation.

If you hate capitalism, then you are on a slippery slope toward dismissing freedom. This is a difficult thing for ex-hippies because freedom is the fundamental right of all hippies. Free love, free drugs, freedom, freedom, freedom as Richie Havens shouted. Freedom is a paradox for ancient hippies. On one hand, they want the freedom to smoke dope. On the other hand, they want to tell people that they can't smoke tobacco.

What to do? How do we acknowledge the existence of Israel and Palestine at the same time? How do we manage disparate philosophies?

We vote for the Democrats. And leave it up to them. And when they continue wars in Ashcanistan and Iraq.....we behave just like the Republicans and do a twirl, pirouette, and thank a women.
Obama is killing progressive thought. He can't be the leader and continue the wars in the middle east and be a progressive. If he DCs the wars, then the economy really tanks. If the economy gets any worse, no money comes in to the government via taxes. If taxes dry up.......no more progressive programs.

And then the decision comes to all of us. Are we really going to be a socialist country? Are we really going to nationalize industry?

We might have to.....to pay for the government promissory notes.

But the Islamists will still hate us.

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mdrndgtl 3 years, 9 months ago

"Just a man with nothing to lose, slightly bored and severely confused."

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independant1 3 years, 9 months ago

Another good Krauthammer read, he's an intellectual giant.

One wonders why the usual suspects here never criticize/attack islamic terrorists/ism?

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 9 months ago

If the right accepts this, then why do they not accept headlines like:

The connection between racists and teabaggers can not be ignored

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prolifersforwar 3 years, 9 months ago

someday all the oil will run out and then the USA won't need military bases all over the middle east and we'll withdraw and we can just ignore that region like we do Africa. I mean N-O-T! Haha. Oil will never run out. God will make more! I love invasions! Let's keep this occupation going! Awesome! Meanwhile the these terrorist guys... I don't get why they attack us. Why do they attack like cowards? Oh that's right... they keep attacking because they hate our freedom. They are freedom haters! They hate our freedom and they want to destroy us! But we will be free! I love Merica! I love Merica more than you!

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tange 3 years, 9 months ago

Terrorists. They're all six degrees of Kevin Bacon...

Osama Bin Laden was in "Frontline" (1983) {Return of the Taliban (#24.9)} with Will Lyman was in Mystic River (2003) with Kevin Bacon

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notaubermime 3 years, 9 months ago

One could just as easily state that Christians started it through centuries of crusades, genocides and forced evacuations. Separating religion from Fort Hood is no easier than separating religion from the Yelwa massacre or the Srebrenica massacre. The trick isn't in whether or not to separate religion from these events, but in understanding that concepts like 'Muslim' and 'Christian' are so broad as to be pointless.

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ChiHawkInKS 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

Connections to radical Islam should not be ignored. I agree. However, as soon as you claim that this is the one thing linking all these attackers you will miss another possible connection. Recognize the role of radical Islam, but don't start and end there. Too much will be missed otherwise.

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clown_hater 3 years, 9 months ago

Arizona is on a familiar path when confronted with tyranny

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tange 3 years, 9 months ago

"Why is this important? Because the first rule of war is to know your enemy. If you don’t, you wander into intellectual cul-de-sacs and ignore the real causes that might allow you to prevent recurrences."

One has to wonder whether Krauthammer would recognize his enemy, even if he stared it in the eye... in the bathroom mirror.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

bozo's still bucking for his Order of Lenin.

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clown_hater 3 years, 9 months ago

Bozo, Keep telling yourself that tripe.

Larryville is LJW.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

Just look at all the beheading videos Methodists have posted on the internet in the last few years....

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OonlyBonly 3 years, 9 months ago

Charles Krauthammer hits the nail directly on its head. Not all "terrorists" are Muslims nor are all Muslims terrorists but to deny an obvious link is asinine!

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JrMints 3 years, 9 months ago

Tim McVeigh did NOT consider himself a soldier of Jesus. His terrorist acts were as equally heinous as Islamic terrorist acts but they were not committed with religion used as justification. KKK is a better example as they tried to hide behind Christianity (albeit in a roundabout way). As for geek in topeka"s comment about rape and Catholicism, it just reveals your true ignorance. Yes, some Priests use their position of power to be perverts, but they are not claiming that they were carrying out God's wishes as justification for their heinous acts.

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 9 months ago

American media wants us all to become comparable to the co-dependent woman who looks for fault in everything to justify her husband's behavior but fails to see her own role in the whole destruction.

Terror is to Islam as Tim McVeigh is to Christ. Terror is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity. Terror is to Islam as rape it to Catholicism.

Read "Why do people hate America" It's an excellent book.

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clown_hater 3 years, 9 months ago

Much more violence was done in the name of Socialism. Socialism makes Islam look like childs play. Krauthammer is spot on.

Larryville is LJW online!

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 9 months ago

All religions can and have been distorted by their followers to justify hatred and violence. It's part of our nature as ironic apes: We strive for beauty and peace, then wreak havoc on each other at times as we violate basic beliefs and behavior codes. We can defeat radicals over time, both home grown and imported. The answer, as to most things, is more education and understanding.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't this opportunity be used to list the bombings, shootings, violence all done in the name of Christianity?

The people making the anti-Islam comments, blaming the religion for the violence are usually the same that say people are responsible for their own actions and should not try to blame someone or something else for their failures. But if it gives them excuses to be racists of bigots, that value goes out the door.

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artlover 3 years, 9 months ago

When the alarm goes off you can't hit snooze forever....time to WAKE UP!

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Tarball 3 years, 9 months ago

Krauthammer forgot to mention that Pelosi says that unemployment checks create jobs.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

In other news: "We've heard from multiple sources today that Ohio Homeland Security multicultural relations director Omar Alomari has been fired as a result of our exclusive Jawa Report investigation into his extremist ties and lying on his resume (omitting he had been fired from a local college for sexual harassment of a student). We reported two weeks ago that he was under investigation..." Read the rest at http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/203159.php

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

So by that logic, Tim McVeigh's "links to Christianity" can't be ignored, either.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 9 months ago

Once again, right on point. Krauthammer summed it up nicely..the administration's cowardice.

I'm sure he'll be rebutted with:

  1. Sourkrauthammer
  2. But...but... but, the inquisition.
  3. Brownback's taliban is more to fear.
  4. It's not their religion, it's America's fault that they try to kill us.
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