Letters to the Editor

Islamism point

July 12, 2010


To the editor:

David Burress’ critique of Charles Krauthammer’s July 2 column on Islamist violence fails to engage the point. First, Burress sets up a strawman scenario where all members of an ethnic group are persecuted to catch a small, troublesome subset. Krauthammer neither expressed nor implied such a proposal regarding terrorists.

Then, regarding Krauthammer’s specific concern — Islamism — Burress professes confusion, defining the term dismissively as anyone “we don’t like” or, trivially, as “Muslims who are angry at America.”

Let me help. “Islamism,” in Krauthammer’s argument, means the politicized, right-wing, militant Islam that opposes classical liberalism, democracy, secular government, gender equality, sexual freedom, free speech, open inquiry, religious pluralism and a host of other modern values, an ideology that would substitute Sharia law for Enlightenment ideals everywhere, under threat of violence. Does Burress believe we can’t address that threat without impugning all Muslims, that we must allow retrograde extremists to hide behind the respect we extend moderates and progressives?

Ordinary, peaceful Muslims are the principal victims of militant Islamism and deserve our unstinting help. Undiscerning arguments that treat an attack on extremists as an attack on all Muslims patronize and abandon the very people Burress would defend, making a muddle of both reason and morality.

Ideologies inspire actions. To candidly recognize and oppose those that are most threatening to everyone’s well-being is not bigotry, but humanity.


Mixolydian 7 years, 8 months ago

David Burress doesn't need to worry about Krauthammer's view on Islamic terrorism.

Obama has the top rocket scientists at NASA working right now to solve the problem of the irate low self esteem muslims.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 8 months ago

he should have tapped the Air Force. They launch way more rockets than NASA

Kirk Larson 7 years, 8 months ago

Except NASA rockets kill fewer civilians.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

In other Religion Of Peace news: “TOLEDO, Ohio -- A federal judge in Ohio is set to sentence two Chicago area cousins who pleaded guilty in a plot to recruit terrorists and raise money for a holy war against U.S. troops.

U.S. attorneys say the two were training to kill American soldiers in Iraq as part of a plot organized by three men in Toledo.

Prosecutors on Monday will recommend a 9-year sentence for Khaleel Ahmed, of Chicago, and a 10-year term for Zubair Ahmed, of suburban North Chicago, when they go before a judge in Toledo. Both pleaded guilty in January 2009 to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Authorities say the men once traveled to Egypt with the intent to commit violence and that they met with an FBI informant and talked about learning to shoot machine guns and sniper rifles.”


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

Come on, Bruce. You know as well as the rest of us that Krauthammer wasn't suggesting some sort of intricate surgery to remove the "Islamists." He wants to continue to whale away with the largest and bluntest instruments we can invent, no matter how many thousands of innocents that affects.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

Maybe, but the point is a good one.

There is a large and significant difference between moderates and extremists, in all religions.

It makes no sense to either claim all followers of Islam are dangerous terrorists or that none are.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 8 months ago

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

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

geek, your * key is sticking. You might want to have that looked at.

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 8 months ago

The militant Islam conservatives sound just like United States Conservatives...

"opposes classical liberalism, democracy, secular government, gender equality, sexual freedom, free speech, open inquiry, religious pluralism and a host of other modern values"

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

Why, just look at all the head-chopping videos American consevatives have posted on the interwebs in the last few years. Or consider the hundreds of people killed in riots the last time somebody drew a cartoon of Jesus.....

mr_right_wing 7 years, 8 months ago


Does anyone remember a piece of 'art' sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (aka our own tax dollars) in which a crucifix was put in a bottle of urine? Does that 'artist' still today live in fear tor their life?? (Did they ever?) Imagine if the same thing had been done with the koran?

Has Comedy Central ever been so scared of Christians that they didn't allow Jesus to be mocked on South Park??


mr_right_wing 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm assuming you are referring to the man who killed Tiller?

Hey, you can find unbalanced people in any group; I have nothing but respect for the United States Marines; but Lee Harvey Oswald?

We could go on and on...

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 8 months ago

OK, so Conservatives in the U.S. are like Islamic militant conservatives, but with less fatwas.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

Who legitimizes whom and how?

I don't think moderate religious folks legitimize extremists at all.

And how would you go about eliminating all religions, anyway?

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 8 months ago

Then he should admit that he hates white people.Then release the full details of his death panels. Then admit that he was born in Kenya.

Then I might think about taking off my tin foil hat.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 8 months ago

I think a good point might be that calling it "Islamism" does not make for good inroads with the moderate and progressive muslims. Just like saying christianism refers only to the worst, most bigoted, and prone to violence christians.

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