Pakistanis holding Bin Laden poster 370.
(photo credit: Naseer Ahmed / Reuters)
The past few weeks have been difficult ones for the United States and its
allies, as they received some painful reminders that the war on terror is far
In a dastardly attack on April 15, two bombs went off at the
Boston Marathon, killing three people, wounding 264 others and leaving more than
two dozen amputees. A week later, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced
that they had arrested two people in a plot to attack a passenger train heading
to Toronto from New York.
There were other incidents as well. On April
18, gunmen stormed a hotel in the Kenyan town of Garissa and sprayed bullets
into the restaurant, killing 10.
And on April 28, two assassins opened
fire on army intelligence officers in the town of Lamitan in the Philippines,
killing two people.
What all these episodes have in common is one highly
conspicuous fact: they were all carried out by Muslim terrorists bent on killing
as many “infidels” as possible.
Indeed, despite an ongoing avalanche of
violence being perpetrated around the world by Muslim extremists, there are two
words President Barack Obama and much of the Western press seem to have
difficulty saying in close proximity to one another: “Islamic” and
They would rather soothe themselves – and us – into
complacency, as if refusing to call something by its name will magically make it
Take, for example, a May 4 Associated Press story about the
prison sentence being sought by US prosecutors against Manssor Arbabsiar for his
2011 plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Arbabsiar, who admitted
that he had been sent by Iranian intelligence and that he had “no problem” with
the possibility of causing mass casualties, is described by the AP as a “Texas
man” and a “US citizen with an Iranian passport,” as though either of these had
anything to do with his motivation.
Nowhere in the story does the vaunted
news agency bother to state what we all know: Arbabsiar was an Islamic
This kind of self-deception and denial might provide some
fleeting sense of comfort, but it obscures the very nature of the threat that we
are all facing. It is bad enough that the media is playing this game, but it is
far more worrisome that the Obama administration is doing so as well.
commentator Charles Krauthammer recently pointed out, Obama “won’t use any words
that might imply a connection between radical Islam and terrorism, which anyone
over the age of nine knows is the single greatest cause of terror in the world
today. This matters because you have to be clear with your own people about who
the enemy is.”
Making matters worse is the fact that we like to lie to
ourselves and stress repeatedly that moderation prevails in the Muslim world and
that only a small band of Islamic extremists support the use of
If only that were the case! But the facts most assuredly
On April 30, the Pew Research Center issued the
results of a wide-ranging survey, “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and
Society,” which entailed more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in
over 80 languages with Muslims on four continents.
Among the more
chilling findings – and there are plenty – relate to the question of support for
suicide bombings. It turns out that 40 percent of Palestinians, 29% of Egyptians
and 15% of Jordanians say they believe suicide bombings and other attacks
targeting civilians are justified to defend Islam.
At first glance this
may look reassuring; a majority of those surveyed disagree.
how vast the number of people supporting such attacks is: out of Egypt’s
population of 82.5 million, a whopping 24 million think it is OK to strap
explosives to one’s chest and detonate them in a crowd of innocent people. If
even 1% of these Egyptians are willing to actually carry out such an attack, it
would mean there are a potential 240,000 suicide bombers in the Nile state
And the problem is not confined to the Middle
According to Pew, nearly 1 in 5 Malaysians, 1 in 4 Bangladeshis and
1 in 7 Pakistanis also endorse suicide attacks. That translates into 5 million
Malaysians, 37 million Bangladeshis and 23 million Pakistanis who see nothing
wrong with suicide bombings.
Sure, there are plenty of honest and decent
Muslims out there who want peace and quiet. But it is time we stop deceiving
ourselves into thinking that moderate Islam is more prevalent than it really is.
To win the war of civilizations that is currently taking place, we need to
recognize the cold, hard truth that is staring us all in the face: there are
tens of millions of Islamic extremists out there who support jihad against
Israel and the West.
And no amount of wishful thinking or political
correctness is going to make them go away.