By Joseph Kellard
While the Obama administration tries to eliminate any mention of Islam in connection to that religion’s faithful who, through words and force, are working to destroy the United States, Israel and other Western nations, there are individuals who are doing the opposite by clarifying certain crucial terms and issues.
That is what Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel” and “Nomad,” accomplishes in this 2007 interview in which she rejects the term “war on terrorism” as inaccurate.
“It’s not a war on terror, it’s a war on Islam,” she says. “… The United States was attacked on the 11th of September in the name of Islam.”
This is true, and to name it otherwise is to deflect the blame for this war where it properly belongs, on its Islamic initiators and aggressors. “Terrorism” is merely an action, in particular a tactic, and actions are derived from people who initiate them. You wage a war against particular people, not their actions or tactics. So who are committing the terrorist acts? What motivates them?
In this war, it is the people most faithful to Islam. Ms. Ali is right to say that the Muslims who flew planes into the Twin Towers did so based on a conviction, that their attacks were ideologically motivated, no different than the communists and Nazis. In short, she identifies what the Obama administration wants to whitewash: that the terrorists act on particular ideology: Islam.
Yet this identification is not as precise as it should be, and thankfully Ms. Ali understands this issue and takes it an important step further. She appears uneasy with the term “war on Islam,” but not necessarily because it is still imprecise to say one is waging a war on a religion. Rather, she understands that this is an imprecise perspective from which to name the war.
Wars are started by aggressors, those who initiate force. The aggressors in this war are those faithful to Islam, who initiated this war, decades prior to 9/11, specifically on the West – particularly the people who most represent the core Western values that they adamantly oppose: reason, individualism and freedom. Properly described, this war is the Islamic radicals’ war on the West. And Ms. Ali shows that she understands this fact when she says: “It isn’t a war that was declared on Islam, but it is a declaration of war in the name of Islam on civil society and all the freedoms that we believe in.”
The Obama administration – just like the Bush administration before it but on a greater scale – evades these important facts. Meanwhile, certain defeatists still spout perhaps the weakest charges against the so-called war on terrorism, that is, that we can’t know who our are enemies are because they don’t wear uniforms, like the Nazis did during World War II. But think how much worse it is when our leaders fear even to name the ideology that motivates these non-uniformed Islamic aggressors? If we ever expect to destroy our Islamic enemies enough to have their followers permanently cease their aggression against us – and we’ve known for decades that our main enemy is the mullahs ruling in Iran --then we must, as a first crucial step, precisely name our enemy and the ideology that defines them.
Thankfully, we have individuals like Ms. Ali who are brave enough to identify our ideological enemies.