Even at the height of World War II, citizens of the United States could take comfort in the following:
- Nazi Germany had a capitol–Berlin–and a single, all-powerful leader–Adolf Hitler. Once Berlin was occupied and Hitler dead or captured, the war would be over.
- And, for all their ferocity, German soldiers were easy to recognize: They wore gray uniforms, spoke German and waved flags emblazoned with swastikas or imperial eagles.
Wehrmacht soldiers marching through conquered France
Today, Western nations under attack by Islamic “holy warriors” face none of those advantages. Islam has no single capitol city–or leader.
Nor do Islam’s jihadist legions wear uniforms. Many of them don’t speak Arabic or wear clothing associated with Arabs, such as flowing robes and headdresses.
More ominously, millions of Islam’s potential “warriors” live within the very Western nations they despise. They can get all the instruction and inspiration they need to wreck havoc simply by going to the Internet.
Or, if they have the money, by traveling overseas to such terrorist-recruiting centers as Syria or Afghanistan.
And yet, faced with an unprecedented threat to their security, many Western leaders refuse to publicly acknowledge this fundamental truth:
Even if the West isn’t at war with Islam, Islam is at war with the West.
Leaders like President Barack Obama, who insisted, at a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in February, 2015: “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
And leaders like British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said on August 29, 2014: “Islam is a religion observed peacefully by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a poisonous ideology observed by a minority.”
On June 20, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a censored version of gunman Omar Mateen’s call to a 9-1-1 operator. While taking a break from slaughtering 49 defenseless men and women and wounding another 53, Mateen pledged his loyalty to ISIS.
Fortunately for the United States, the Bureau hasn’t always been so craven.
Ronald Kessler, author of the 2011 book, The Secrets of the FBI, quotes Arthur M. Cummings, the Bureau’s then-executive assistant director for national security:
“I had this discussion with the director of a very prominent Muslim organization here in [Washington] D.C. And he said, ‘Why are you guys always looking at the Muslim community?’”
“I can name the homegrown cells, all of whom are Muslim, all of whom were seeking to kill Americans,” replied Cummings. “It’s not the Irish, it’s not the French, it’s not the Catholics, it’s not the Protestants. It’s the Muslims.”
Occasionally, Muslims will condemn Al Qaeda. But “rarely do we have them coming to us and saying, ‘There are three guys in the community that we’re very concerned about,’” said Cummings.
“They don’t want anyone to know they have extremists in their community. Well, beautiful. Except do you read the newspapers? Everybody already knows it. The horse has left the barn.”
Cummings has no use for such Politically Correct terms as “man-caused disasters” to refer to terrorism. Nor does he shy away from terms such as “jihadists” or “Islamists.”
“Of course Islamists dominate the terrorism of today,” he says bluntly.
In May, 2014, Steven Emerson, a nationally recognized expert on terrorism, posted an ad in The New York Times, warning about the dangers of PC-imposed censorship. And he posed the question: “How can we win the war against radical Islam if we can’t even name the enemy?”
He has a point–and a highly legitimate one.
Imagine the United States fighting World War II–and President Franklin Roosevelt banning the use of “fascist” in referring to Nazi Germany or “imperialist” in describing Imperial Japan.
Imagine CNN-like coverage of the Nazi extermination camps, with their piles of rotting corpses and smoking gas ovens, while a commentator reminds us that “Nazism is an ideology of peace.”
Then consider these Islamic terrorist outrages of our own time:
- The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., which snuffed out the lives of 3,000 Americans.
- The 2004 bombing of Madrid’s commuter train system.
- The attack on the London subway in 2005.
- The killing of 13 U.S. Army personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, by a Muslim army major in 2009.
- The bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013.
- The kidnapping of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014.
- The slaughter of 12 people at a Paris satirical magazine that had published cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed in 2015.
- The murders of more than 100 people in ISIS attacks across Paris in 2015.
- A series of deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels, killing 31 and injuring 270 in 2016.
In every one of these attacks, the perpetrators openly announced that their actions had been motivated by their Islamic beliefs.
In his groundbreaking book, The Clash of Civilizations (1996) Samuel Huntington, the noted political scientist at Harvard University, noted:
“The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”
The West may not be at war with Islam–as countless Western politicians repeatedly assert. But Islamics have no qualms about declaring that they are at war with the West.