For several days last week, the world watched in horror as Somali fanatics
slaughtered shoppers in a Nairobi mall. The chilling video footage from security
cameras, along with the terrifying witness accounts of the carnage perpetrated
by the terrorists, captured the attention of the world.
that the perpetrators quizzed their captives about Islam in order to identify
and single out non- Muslims for death provided yet another stark and
indisputable reminder of the danger posed by Islamic
Nonetheless, despite this latest act of unprovoked savagery,
there are still many world leaders who just don’t get it.
example, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has shown a knack for
sticking his head in the sand even though the beach at Southend-on-Sea is more
than an hour’s drive from London.
In a tweet he sent out in response to
the Kenya attack, Cameron wrote, “I am sickened by the attack on the #Westgate
shopping centre killing 3 British nationals,” adding that, “It’s been done in
the name of terror, not religion.”
Even in a medium dominated by the
likes of intellectual heavyweights such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Britney
Spears, Cameron’s tweet stands out for its sheer foolishness.
is truly a sad case of wishful thinking taking the place of sober
To begin with, by what right does Cameron claim to know better
than the culprits themselves what the motivation was for the attack? From the
statements and tweets of the Somali al-Shabab terrorist group, which was behind
the Kenyan bloodbath, it is patently clear what their motives were: religious
zealotry as well as revenge for Kenyan military operations in
Tweets issued by the al-Shabab press office (yes, they actually
seem to have one), repeatedly referred to the terrorists as “mujahideen,” or
holy warriors, and to the victims as “kuffar,” or infidels. That is not the
political terminology of terrorists driven solely by a strategic
It is religious Islamic imagery being used by religious Muslims
who view their actions as furthering a religious aim.
Hence, for Cameron
to assert that the Kenya outrage had nothing to do with religion is simply
In a subsequent statement, Cameron went even further and said,
“They do it in the name of terror, violence and extremism and their warped view
of the world. They don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else
in the world.”
While I certainly would like to hope that Cameron is
right, the question remains: who is the British prime minister to declare
whether they do or do not represent Islam or Muslims? Isn’t that for Muslims
themselves to decide? And if what Cameron says is true, why has al-Shabab
succeeded in recruiting funds and personnel for its nefarious aims in the United
States, Britain and elsewhere? And why hasn’t there been resounding, worldwide
condemnation of al-Shabab and its actions by Muslim religious, communal and
civic leaders? Cameron, like so many others, prefers to live with the soothing
and comforting fiction that it is only a small, marginal band of extremists that
is behind such atrocities.
But the fact is that in just the past two
weeks alone, Kenya was not the only country to be hit by Islamic
The Philippines, Thailand, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Nigeria and Israel all suffered attacks by Muslim terrorists. These
included the bombing of churches and passenger buses, assaults against funeral
worshipers and policemen, beheadings, car bombings and ambushes.
attack requires not just attackers, but people who plan them, finance them,
harbor the assailants and sustain the organizational infrastructure behind
Whether we like it or not, murder and mayhem in the name of
religion is something that is far too widespread in the Muslim
Ironically, most of the victims of Muslim terror are actually
fellow Muslims, and it would of course be unfair and inaccurate to paint all
Muslims with the brush of extremism. A study published last month by Pew
Research’s Global Attitudes Project found that two-thirds of the Muslims
surveyed said they are concerned about Islamic extremism in their home
countries, most revile al-Qaida and many see no justification for suicide
attacks. These findings are encouraging, and offer a glimmer of hope that
extremism can perhaps be defeated.
But the only way to do so is to
acknowledge reality, not deny it; That same Pew study also found that 20 percent
of Turks, 25% of Egyptians, 33% of Lebanese and 62% of Palestinians all believe
that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified.
This means tens
of millions of Muslims have no moral or religious qualms about people strapping
a bomb to themselves and carrying out a suicide attack. That is hardly a small
or marginal number.
Clearly, Cameron and others like him prefer to repeat
the mantra that terrorism has nothing to do with religion in order not to offend
Muslims. But what they fail to realize is that by doing so, they insult and
obfuscate the truth.
That might make for good electoral politics, but in
the struggle to save Western civilization, it is a foolish and dangerous act of