WND, by Art Moore, May 22, 2017:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — As a Department of Homeland Security specialist on Islam and terrorism, Philip Haney understood his job was to follow the evidence where it led.
When it led to subversive organizations under the protection of a beholden, politically correct Obama administration, he didn’t back down, valuing the security of the United States above his career and personal well-being. His agency’s response was to punish him nine times, eliminate intelligence and shut down cases, including one that might have prevented the San Bernardino attack.
In sharp contrast, the American Freedom Alliance awarded Haney its American Freedom Award at its annual Heroes of Conscience Dinner here Sunday night.
Longtime conservative activist David Horowitz was awarded AMA’s Hero of Conscience Award, followed by a keynote speech by Dutch politician and Islam critic Geert Wilders, whose party finished second in the country’s most recent elections.
Before presenting the award to Haney, AMA Vice President Michael Greer said: “We’d all like to think that we’d do the right thing, but when faced with dire consequences for doing so, I wonder how many would have the courage. And it’s my honor to share a stage with such a man.”
Haney said his story, recounted in “See Something, Say Nothing,” is still in progress.
“None of the cases that I discuss in the book have been resolved to this very day,” he said to the more than 270 AMA supporters in attendance.
“But it is my intention to remedy that. Those of you who believe in prayer, do pray for us, for me and my wife, because we do intend to see this through to the end.”
Haney said it’s important to remember not only what America is fighting against, but what it’s fighting for: the U.S. Constitution.
“I would like to call for a constitutional revival, so that we really know the values that we live by, those freedoms and liberties that our Creator endowed us with,” he said.
Wilders told WND he considers Haney a “true hero.”
“The political correctness of the left in our countries is costing lives,” he said. “If anybody deserves to get this award it it Mr. Haney.”
‘I am talking about Islam’
Wilders began his keynote commenting on the extraordinary security measures implemented for the event Sunday night at the Hilton Universal City Hotel, which was coordinated by the DHS, the Los Angeles Police Department and Wilders’ own permanent security detail provided by the Dutch government. Three airport-style metal detectors were installed near the entrance to the ballroom.
He said the extra security is “unfortunately necessary.”
“They are our last line of defense against the consequences of Islam,” Wilders said.
“Yes, it is Islam that is causing this extraordinary situation where ordinary citizens like you and me need police protection to safely enjoy a fundamental right, which the American Founding Fathers have bestowed on us in the First Amendment. The right to free speech.”
The U.S. Constitution, he said, establishes “the right to discuss every issue in freedom, including Islam.”
Wilders cited a Ronald Reagan quote: “I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.”
The Dutch politician said that “28 years after [Reagan] left office, here in this room, his question looms larger than ever.”
“And the reason is the stronghold which Islam has gained, not only in Europe, but also here in America during the past three decades,” Wilders continued.
“Yes, my friends, listen carefully. I’m talking about Islam. Not about ‘radical Islam. Not about ‘Islamism.’”
He said it “might be uncomfortable to the left, or the politically correct elite, but it is Islam, pure and simple.”
“For the truth is that Islam is not a peace-loving religion. It’s an evil, totalitarian ideology,” Wilders declared.
Wilders, who wears a bulletproof vest, lives in a safe house and is escorted to his office at The Hague in an armored vehicle each work day, insists that while he believes Islam is the problem, he does not hate Muslims. Immigrants who want to assimilate are welcome in the Netherlands, he said.
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July, Wilders recalled to WND that he was in Garland, Texas, in May 2015 when two Muslim men were killed by police as they tried to carry out an attack at a Muhammad art exhibit and contest, regarded as the first attack on U.S. soil in which ISIS claimed responsibility.
Before the Garland event, three U.S. congressmen – two of them Muslim – asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to reject Wilders’ visa, charging alleged ongoing “participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence.”
Having failed to define the real threat — sharia supremacism — Trump walked into a trap of his own making.
National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, May 27, 2017:
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling against President Trump’s so-called travel ban empowers both radical Islam and judicial imperialism. The combination portends lasting damage to the United States.
To rehash, the executive order (EO) proclaimed temporary restrictions (the main one, for 90 days) on travel to the United States by the nationals of six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Those countries, along with Iraq (cited in Trump’s original executive order, but not the revised EO at issue), had previously been singled out by Congress and President Obama — not because they are Muslim-majority countries, but because a) the presence or promotion of terrorism in their territories makes their nationals suspect and b) their anti-Americanism and/or dysfunctional governments render it impossible to conduct background checks on visa applicants.
This Fourth Circuit’s en banc review of prior invalidations of the EO by “progressive” activists masquerading as jurists produced 205 pages of opinions. The outcome was about as uncertain as Secretariat at Belmont, with ten of the tribunal’s 13 judges joining Chief Judge Roger Gregory’s majority ruling to one degree or another.
Three judges filed compelling dissents that will prove quite useful when, as Trump promises, the case proceeds to the Supreme Court. The continuation of the litigation is an unfortunate outcome, even if conservatives and other rule-of-law types, buoyed by Justice Neil Gorsuch’s appointment, may be right that the EO has a better shot in the High Court.
That’s because the EO doesn’t matter. You may not have noticed, but sharia supremacism has already won, regardless of what the Supreme Court does.
See, the EO was never an end in and of itself. It is a means — a fatally flawed one — to a vital end. That end is a vetting system that enables our security services to distinguish pro-Western Muslims from sharia supremacists. That’s the goal. The EO was conceived as a temporary pause while the vetting system took shape.
From a security perspective, though, the EO was utterly ineffective: applicable to a negligible slice of the global anti-American threat. More significantly, as a strategy, starting with the EO rather than getting to vetting has been a catastrophe.
As we have previously observed, in order to install the vetting system we need, the challenge of Islam must be confronted head-on and without apology. That is unavoidable. You can’t flinch. It is a certainty that the Democrat-media complex — of which Islamist organizations are members in good standing — is going to smear you as a racist “Islamophobe.” (Yes, this is another race-obsessed “progressive” narrative, so Islam gets to be the “race,” so that defenders of the Constitution and Western culture can be cast as “the oppressor.”) You have to be content with knowing that you are not a racist, with knowing that you are defending religious liberty, including the religious liberty of pro-Western Muslims.
There is a single battle that must be won. American culture must be convinced that Islam, while it has plenty of diversity, has a mainstream strain — sharia supremacism — that is not a religion but a totalitarian political ideology hiding under a religious veneer.
Intellectually, this should not be a difficult thing to do. Sharia supremacism does not accept the separation of religion from political life (which is why it is lethally hostile to reform Muslims). It requires the imposition of classical, ancient sharia law, which crushes individual liberty (particularly freedom — of conscience, of speech, and in economic affairs). It systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is cruel in its enforcement. It endorses violent jihad to settle political disputes (since such disputes boil down to whether sharia is being undermined — a capital offense).
What I have just outlined is not a “theory.” Quite apart from the fact that sharia supremacism is the subject of numerous books, studies, public-opinion polls, and courtroom prosecutions, one need only look at life in Saudi Arabia and Iran, societies in which the regime imposes sharia. As I mentioned a few days ago, one need only look at the State Department’s warnings to Americans who travel to Saudi Arabia.
Nevertheless, what should be easy to establish intellectually is difficult as a practical matter. Sharia supremacists and their progressive allies maintain that Islam may not be parsed into different strains. For legal purposes, they insist it is a monolith that is protected by religious-liberty principles — notwithstanding that a) progressives are generally hostile to religious liberty and b) sharia supremacists themselves would destroy religious liberty. Perversely, then, they argue that the First Amendment is offended by national-security measures against anti-American radicals who would, given the chance, deep-six the First Amendment in favor of sharia.
It is essential to win this debate over the political nature of sharia supremacism. Our law has a long constitutional tradition, rooted in the natural and international law of self-defense, of excluding aliens on the basis of radical, anti-American political ideology. Thus, if sharia supremacism is deemed a political ideology, we can keep out alien adherents of a cause that both inspires the terrorists of today and, wherever it is allowed to take root, produces the terrorists of tomorrow.
Yet, we also have a strong commitment to religious freedom. If at the end of the debate — assuming we ever have the debate — our culture’s conclusion is that sharia supremacism equals Islam, equals religion, equals immunity from governmental protective measures, then the Constitution really will have become a suicide pact. We will have decided that anti-constitutional sharia radicals are just as welcome as any other Muslim.
It is essential to win this debate over the political nature of sharia supremacism.
Since this is the debate we must have — i.e., Can we legally vet for sharia supremacism? – the Trump administration’s burden was to tee up the debate on favorable terrain. That required having it over something that the public would understand as truly crucial to our current and future security.
That something should have been vetting. That would have put the focus on sharia — specifically, on its noxious, counter-constitutional terms. The argument would not merely be about the possibility that trained terrorists might infiltrate refugee populations. It would be about the resistance of sharia supremacism to Western assimilation, which inevitably leads to the phenomenon of sharia enclaves, to “no go” zones, and to the creation of the conditions in which the jihadists of tomorrow are bred. (See, e.g., Europe.) Vetting is what we absolutely have to do to protect the country. It is not more complicated than that.
Trump, instead, teed things up for guaranteed failure. Instead of a battle over vetting, he forced it to be fought over the EO, which would do nothing meaningful to improve our security. The threat from the six cited countries is less severe than from other cauldrons of sharia supremacism that are not covered in the EO. Since the EO is not a defensible security measure, it can easily be made to look like a gratuitous swipe at Muslims — especially in light of Trump’s reckless campaign rhetoric, which often failed to distinguish sharia supremacists from all Muslims (many of whom have taken heroic measures to help Americans fight jihadists).
Having thus failed to define the real threat, Trump walked into a trap of his own making. Forced to defend itself against claims of racism, forced to defend the pointless exclusion of Muslims rather than the essential exclusion of sharia supremacists, the administration has responded by vigorously contending that the travel ban has nothing to do with Islam. “It’s facially neutral,” the Justice Department insists. The administration now stresses that the EO does not mention Islam, does not target Islam, and is not directed at Islam.
Well, isn’t that wonderful! I’m sure the Supreme Court will be impressed — the administration might even win there . . . though I wouldn’t bet the ranch on getting Justice Kennedy’s vote.
The EO is thus worse than ineffective. It is counterproductive.
But you see, the upshot of the administration’s assurances that the EO has nothing to do with Islam is an implicit admission: If a proposed law or executive order did confront Islam directly, it would be unconstitutional. So then . . . how are we ever going to win the debate over vetting? How are we ever going to make an intellectually honest, convincing argument that adherents to a radical political ideology rooted in Islamic scripture can lawfully be kept out of our country?
The EO is thus worse than ineffective. It is counterproductive. It probably means that vetting will never happen — or, alternatively, that the administration will try to enhance vetting but pretend, as it has with the EO, that the enhancement has nothing to do with Islam.
To be fair, while such dishonesty is not excusable, it is understandable. Inexorably, these battles are fought out in the courts — Congress having defaulted its responsibility to make law and to limit the judiciary’s capacity to interfere, which the Constitution empowers it to do. The courts are no longer courts. They are no longer the peer judicial branch of a government of divided powers, in which each branch respects the constitutional authorities and competencies of the others. The courts now claim supremacy over the two political branches.
Naturally, they are smart enough not to come out and say it that way. They’ve done it by gradually dismantling separation-of-powers. This doctrine always held that the judiciary did not intrude on matters like immigration, national security against foreign threats, and war fighting — matters constitutionally committed to the branches politically accountable to the voters whose lives are at stake. But, as I warned at the time, Justice Kennedy put the last nail in that coffin in the 2008 Boumediene decision, which astoundingly held that alien enemy combatants engaged in an offensive terrorist war against the United States are endowed with constitutional habeas corpus rights, to be asserted against the U.S. government — indeed, against the executive branch that is prosecuting the congressionally authorized military campaign.
Kennedy scoffed at the principle that the judiciary has no business meddling in the political branches’ conduct of war. His Orwellian contortion of separation of powers holds that the actions of the political branches are strengthened by judicial review. Under the new dispensation, it is not the Constitution but the judiciary that determines the legitimacy of executive and legislative action in defense of the nation.
When Kennedy and the Court’s “progressive” bloc ignored the settled jurisprudence of judicial modesty (what we might call, “know your place”), they unleashed the lower courts to do the same — knowing there was always a good chance that five Supremes would endorse renegade “progress.” Thus did the Fourth Circuit, in neutering the EO, ignore a binding 1972 Supreme Court precedent, Kleindienst v. Mandel, which prohibits federal courts from second-guessing executive discretion in the immigration context. Mandel should have made the case a slam dunk in favor of Trump’s EO. Instead, Judge Gregory declared robed oligarchy: There can be no judicial “abdication” in situations where “constitutional rights, values, and principles are at stake.”
Simply stated, that is a breathtaking claim of power to act any time the judges see fit, for whatever “value” they choose to vindicate.
What federal judges do not see as fit is Donald Trump. If he orders it, they will undo it, even if it is manifest that the same orders would be upheld if issued by a different president.
And the judges’ values tend not to be your values. You value American national security. They value a new, aggressive, and indiscriminate protection of religion — provided that the religion is Islam. Your value is a trifle. Their value is transformed into a right of Muslim immigration, derived from the new, judicially manufactured right of America-based Muslims not to have their self-esteem bruised.
Sharia supremacism and judicial imperialism: a combination that is breaking our will in a way no previous challengers ever could.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.
- Insane Fourth Circuit: Muslims’ feelings trump national security by Daniel Horowitz
Political Islam, by Bill Warner, May 25, 2017:
Dr Bill Warner: Islam claims to have the supreme ethical system in the Sharia. Exactly, what is the system of Sharia and how does it compare with the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948?
Under the Sharia:
• Humans are not equal
• Critical thought is rejected
• Torture is allowed
• Only Muslims have the right to life
• There is one law for Muslims, another law for Kafirs
• Children can be brides
• A Muslim woman cannot marry a Kafir
• Apostates can be killed
• There is no freedom of speech
• Inbreeding is encouraged
• Wife beating is allowed
Conclusion: Sharia rights are inhuman and inferior to the UN Declarations of Human Rights.
To learn more about Sharia and how it affects the non-Muslim, read SHARIA LAW FOR NON-MUSLIMS: https://www.politicalislam.com/product/sharia-law-for-non-muslims/
To receive my latest updates, sign up for our newsletter: https://www.politicalislam.com/signup/
Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran on May 27, 2017:
Betraying the voters who elected Donald Trump, the Department of State slipped the news to the contractors on Thursday who then slipped the news to the New York Times just as you were packing up for the beach or getting ready for a family barbecue using the federal government’s favorite holiday weekend trick to bury the news.
Forget everything I said in my post yesterday about Trump’s “average” admissions. If they do as they are now saying they will, Donald Trump will be responsible for one of six highest resettlement years since 9/11.***
Manchester here we come!
Here is the headline (Hat tip: Julia). Emphasis mine:
U.S. Quietly Lifts Limit on Number of Refugees Allowed In
WASHINGTON — Despite repeated efforts by President Trump to curtail refugee resettlements, the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.
The result could be a near doubling of refugees entering the country, from about 830 people a week in the first three weeks of this month to well over 1,500 people per week by next month, according to refugee advocates. Tens of thousands of refugees are waiting to come to the United States.
The State Department’s decision was conveyed in an email on Thursday to the private agencies in countries around the world that help refugees manage the nearly two-year application process needed to enter the United States.
In her email, Jennifer L. Smith, a department official, wrote that the refugee groups could begin bringing people to the United States “unconstrained by the weekly quotas that were in place.”
Refugee groups now predict that entries into the United States could increase so rapidly that the total number of refugees admitted by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, could exceed 70,000.
Refugee advocates were delighted by the State Department’s decision.
“This is long overdue, but we’re very happy,” said Mark Hetfield, president and chief executive of HIAS, an immigrant aid society.
Continue reading here as the contractors say they are worried for next year. Oh, sure they are.
Bottomline is that it appears that the REPUBLICAN Congress (never forget they want to keep big business donors happy by providing a steady supply of cheap labor) appropriated gobs of money for refugee resettlement!
And, the Trump Administration (remember Trump campaigned with talk of a moratorium on refugee resettlement) appears to have no fight left in them on this issue (other issues too!).
***Here are the refugee admissions since 9/11 (those in red exceed Trump’s projected 70,000). Bush had only 2 years in excess of 70,000 and Obama had 3 of his 8 years higher than 70,000.
2001: 87,259 (this year’s number would have been proposed by Clinton in the fall of 2000)
- Memo from Manchester: Don’t Let the Swamp Win on Immigration by Andrew McCarthy
Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, May 26, 2017:
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began Friday with the attack of unidentified militants on a bus carrying Egyptian Coptic Christians. At least twenty-six people were killed and many others wounded in the terror attack.
Passengers were en route to St. Samuel the Confessor, a monastery in the city of Minya (located roughly 150 miles south of Cairo), when the gunmen ambushed the bus, according to Egypt’s Al-Masriya. Three SUVs reportedly pulled alongside the bus and sprayed ammunition into the bus. CNN reports that some fifty ambulances are on the scene to deal with the carnage. Egypt’s Al-Ahram reports that there were as many as 40 children on the bus. Church officials fear the death toll is even higher than reported, saying some 35 Copts were killed in the ambush.
Photos of the deadly assault’s aftermath have emerged on social media.
Just three days ago, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo warned about a potential terror threat.
As of now, no group has taken immediate credit for the killings. The murderers reportedly wore masks and were dressed in military uniforms. However, the Islamic State has repeatedly attacked Copts in past months.
In April, ISIS jihadis carried out two major suicide bombings on Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta, Egypt, leaving 46 dead.
In December, ISIS terrorists targeted Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, killing 29 and injuring 49 more.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has pledged to fiercely combat radical Islam, has called his security cabinet into an emergency meeting, state media reports.
Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the Egyptian population. Minya province, where the attack occurred, has the highest concentration of Copts throughout Egypt. Though their religion and their entry into Egypt predate Islam, Copts are brutally persecuted by the nation’s Islamist groups, which include the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State, among others.
Every year, there is a noticeable increase in the number of Islamic terror attacks during the month of Ramadan, when practicing Muslims fast every day from morning to sunset. Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, according to the religion. Groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda use Ramadan to call for acts of terrorism against Westerners, Jews and Christians, and other non-Islamic groups
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
- On Eve of Ramadan, Islamic Gunmen Kill 28 Coptic Christians on Pilgrimage in Egypt by Patrick Poole
- State Department Says Muslim Brotherhood Terror Cell Hassm Threatens U.S. Embassy in Cairo by Patrick Poole
- Egypt launches air raids on Libya after Friday’s shooting attack
Crisis Magazine, by William Kirkpatrick, May 24 2017:
The most radical part of President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia was not the moment when he referred to “Islamic extremism” and “Islamic terror,” but the next moment when he said, “Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear… If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED” (caps in original text).
That’s a fairly confrontational thing to say when you’re speaking to a crowd of people who believe that your soul will be honored if you commit jihad for the sake of Allah. Martyrs are the most honored people in the Islamic world. For instance, in the West Bank, streets, squares, parks, and schools are named in honor of “martyrs” who, by non-Muslim reckoning, are simply terrorists.
The day after Trump’s speech, a Muslim in Manchester, England provided a test case for the new initiative the president is urging on Muslim leaders. He blew himself up outside a concert arena and, at last report, killed 22 people and injured 59 in the process. Trump said “Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear … if you choose the path of terror … YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.” The question is, what do Muslim religious leaders think about the Manchester murderer—or is he the Manchester martyr?
Has he gone straight to paradise, or has he ended up in the other place? It’s not an academic question. The lives of countless potential victims of jihad terror depends on the answer.
Islamic leaders in the West have ways of fudging the answer in cases like this. Typically, they say that “Islam condemns all terror” or “Islam condemns the taking of all innocent life.” But this is pure evasiveness because, from an Islamic perspective, jihad is not an act of criminal terror, but of justified retribution; moreover, non-Muslims are, by definition, not innocent; and, finally, Muslims are not required to explain any of this because they are allowed to practice taqiyya (deception) in order to defend Islam.
In addition, Muslim leaders can count on Western reporters not to press the issue. A reporter might logically ask “Is this particular individual now in paradise?” But he most probably won’t because paradise is not something that secular reporters are comfortable talking about. For them, it’s alien territory.
But that’s really the central question, isn’t it? If a pious Muslim kills non-believers for the sake of Allah, isn’t he entitled to his reward? And won’t Allah reward him? If that’s not the case, then shouldn’t Muslim religious leaders clearly say so? If Allah condemns suicide bombers to hell, the least that the mullahs and imams can do is to inform impressionable young Muslims of the truth and save them from an eternity in hell. Of course, they would also be doing a great favor to potential future victims of jihadists.
After the Manchester attack, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to “defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence.” We’ve been hearing the mantra about “ideological war” for some time now, but it wasn’t until President Trump’s speech that a world leader actually pinpointed the central front in the ideological war. Young men join the jihad for a variety of reasons, but we know from letters, diaries, and interviews that virgins in paradise is a primary motive. Take away the eternal reward and you take away one of the major incentives to commit terror.
The Koran contains many detailed accounts of the tortures of hell. In fact, these accounts appear on almost every page. The young men who believe in the virgins also believe in hell. And many—especially if they have been indulging in Western-style vices—are fearful they might end up there. Luckily for them, Islam provides a get-out-of-hell-free card called martyrdom. All your sins, whatever they are, can be wiped away by a single act of jihad for the sake of Allah. Many people think that the sinful lifestyle of some jihadists is proof that they are not pious Muslims, but it may simply prove that they trust that Allah, all-Merciful, will forgive the sins of those who sacrifice all for his name.
In line with Trump’s advice and in the wake of the latest atrocity in Manchester, now would be a good time for all the imams and mullahs of the world to set the issue straight and to inform their communities that the reward for killing innocents in concert arenas or any other place is everlasting hellfire.
Will they do so? Probably not without a great deal of pressure. And even then, we can expect lots of fudging, prevarication, and, from some quarters, outright praise for the martyrs. But it’s worth making the effort because, apart from massive worldwide military and police operations, there is no other way of breaking the cycle of jihad violence. The best way to break the back of jihad is to forcefully nudge Muslim leaders to cast doubts in the minds of potential jihadists about their prospects for paradise.
With that in mind, the major world media outlets ought to dispatch reporters to interview prominent imams worldwide and ask them what they think of the Manchester massacre and, specifically, whether the perpetrator is now in paradise or in hell. If the news teams can’t get their act together before the Manchester story has cycled out of memory, they can ask the same question after the next terrorist attack—because there will be more. Many more.
Meanwhile, world leaders can stop talking about defeating “the ideology that often fuels this violence,” and actually do something about it. They could, for example, put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop providing cash incentives to jihadists. In the Palestinian version of Islam, jihad is rewarded not only in heaven but also on earth. If you die while committing jihad, your family will be well provided for. If you live and end up in an Israeli jail, the Palestinian Authority will put aside a pension fund in your name. The Palestinian practice of jackpot jihadism is a fairly blatant incentive to murder. Can Muslim nations be persuaded to condemn the practice? Can Western nations do the same? It would be an important sign that they are really serious about fighting radical ideology.
How about Saudi Arabia? As far as we know, the Saudis don’t offer cash rewards for suicide bombers. On the other hand, they are the world’s largest funder of radical Islamic ideology. Saudi money pays for countless TV stations, madrassas, radical textbooks, mosques, and the extremist imams who commonly staff the mosques. The U.S. just offered the Saudis a massive military aid package as an incentive for fighting ISIS and Iranian terror. We ought at the same time to be threatening massive dis-incentives should the Saudis continue on their path of financing ideological indoctrination.
Even if attempts to pressure Muslim leaders to condemn jihad martyrdom should fail, these efforts would at least have the salutary effect of clarifying things for non-Muslims. It would serve to show naïve Westerners that violence does indeed have something to do with Islam, and that jihad martyrdom is not an aberration of the faith, but a central feature of it.
It will be interesting to see how Catholic and Anglican leaders respond to the Manchester attack. They can play an important role in informing the uninformed about what is really happening and what is really at stake. But so far they haven’t done that. Instead, after every jihad attack, prominent clergy talk in terms of “tragedy” and “blind violence,” as though there were no rhyme or reason to the terror. Unfortunately, that narrative shows no sign of changing. A statement just issued by the Vatican says:
His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence.
Which is pretty much what the pope says after every terrorist attack. The trouble is, these attacks are not “senseless acts of violence.” They make a lot of sense to those steeped in Islamic ideology. How so? Well, you get to punish those who have offended Allah (mere unbelief is considered an affront to Allah’s majesty). You get remission of all past sins (no need to worry about hell). And you get a ticket to paradise.
Of course, jihad martyrdom doesn’t make sense from a Christian point of view, and maybe it’s time for the pope and other Christian leaders to advance that viewpoint more forcefully and unapologetically. That might involve saying that the idea of Heaven as a brothel is offensive to God and demeaning to women. It would certainly involve saying that those who kill innocents are risking their immortal souls. For the benefit of young Muslims, the pope might even explain the Catholic belief in purgatory—that merciful place which offers the opportunity for sinners to eventually get to heaven without having to resort to the murder of young girls.
According to reports, Salman Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber, was “chanting Islamic prayers loudly in the street” in the weeks before the massacre. Undoubtedly, some Muslim leaders, especially in England, will be willing to strongly condemn his actions and—predictably—to leave it at that. They are confident that they can leave it at that because they know full well that the British press will be quite content to leave it at that, and not raise the troubling question of the fate of Mr. Abedi’s soul. It seems well past time, however, to press for an answer to the troubling questions. If Islam really is a force for peace, then Muslim leaders could prove it by uniting to warn potential jihadists that God is not pleased with the murder of innocents, and that Mr. Abedi is now residing in hell.
If they will not say it, then the pope and other Christian leaders must say it. It should not be left to Donald Trump to be the only one talking about the possibility of spiritual damnation. The objection to be expected here, of course, is that it is not the business of the pope or the president to talk about Muslim beliefs. But when Muslim beliefs result in the mass slaughter of school-aged children in England, it’s not simply a matter for Muslims to sort out among themselves.
William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com
- The REAL cause for Islamic terrorism by Nicolai Sennels