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Rubin Reports

The lesson from the Boston Marathon bombings could not possibly be clearer. Yet few people, due to various complications, will address that real issue.

Part of the problem is this. Most powerful institutions and people say that Islam is a religion of peace. There’s no problem, except for a few mysterious extremists who just seem to pop up either at random or due to American and Western sins.

The next largest segment says that Islam is an inherently violent and extremist religion. Thus, since the problem is Islam, there’s nothing to do but to combat it directly in some form.

Both of the main Western responses, then, deny the importance of waging a real and serious battle within Islam.

Yet where do the terrorists come from? In the case of these two brothers, they were Muslims all of their lives and yet suddenly they became—without any major direct experience—radical terrorists.

The cause, of course, was revolutionary Islamist propaganda, especially but by no means exclusively from al-Qaeda. There are literally hundreds of Internet sites, videos, preachers, books, and everything else you can think of that promote revolutionary Islamism. They tell Muslims that they should and must be revolutionaries and terrorists; they cite holy works to do so.

What the heck is there on the other side?

Let’s think for a moment about some of the things that don’t exist:

–A Radio Free Islam that systematically preaches (the last word is not chosen at random) an anti-extremist approach to Islam. Obviously no Western government could do such a thing but there are supposedly enough wealthy Muslims to finance such an operation.

–There are virtually no programs at mosques to explain why terrorist, Islamist, and extremist Islamic positions are wrong and bad. Wrong because they don’t accord with what those who say so deem to be a “proper” Islam; bad because they are immoral, ruin the lives of those who embrace such ideology, and hold back the societies where enough people have such a view.

–There is remarkably little literature and few preachers—especially ones who are as well-financed as the radicals—that a young Muslim is going to read on Internet or hear on videos or elsewhere to learn about an alternative path.

–Where are the videos? Where are the web sites? Where is the social disapproval among Muslims?

On that basis, one could argue that there is no moderate—or at least no non-violent, non-revolutionary– Islam that can be developed. But that simply isn’t true. The works and the moderate individuals exist, but they are not given support, even in Western countries, nor do they have the resources to wage the battle. Everyone who ignorantly drones on about Islam being inevitably radical doesn’t know how hard Islamists have had to work for forty years or  more to create what exists now, nor how many people who are Muslims oppose this movement in Iran, Arabic-speaking countries, Turkey, and other places. One mistake–made by President Obama in his Cairo speech among other places–is to extol Islam as the main political identity people who are Muslims should have.

Everyone who ignorantly drones on about Islam being inevitably radical based on religious texts doesn’t know how hard Islamists have had to work for forty years or  more in the real world to create what exists now, nor how many people who are Muslims oppose this movement in Iran, Arabic-speaking countries, Turkey, and other places. One mistake–made by President Obama in his Cairo speech among other places–is to extol Islam as the main political identity people who are Muslims should have.

It is like the situation in the Cold War when the Soviets and their supporters were well-organized and well-financed, but the social democrats, liberals, and conservatives opposing them were not. Not only the U.S. government–through covert and other means–stepped into the breach, but so did lots of organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and others.

In the era of Islamism, there are a lot of major problems in terms of its opponents’ responses.

First, any Western, non-Muslim financing or help to those groups would be used to discredit them.

Second, in a bizarre manner Western societies favor the radicals, giving them good press and praise.

Third, moderate Muslims are penalized and ignored.

Fourth, the ability to critique precisely what is radical in Islam and what is wrong with Islamism is handicapped by the successful effort to brand any attempts at making such distinctions as “Islamophobia” instead of a sensible fear of revolutionary Islamism. It is equivalent to branding any such attempt to critique Communism as anti-Sovietism or as a mindless antagonism to liberalism or pure reactionary views.  Communists tried such techniques, but they only worked to a very limited extent.

Fifth, part of the last three problems is due to the far left’s (often pretending to be liberal) alignment with radical Islamism (the current world’s most powerful right-wing ideology), despite the latter’s repression of women’s rights, desire to murder gays, and opposition to just about everything else the left is supposed to believe in.

Sixth, who cares that Islamist organizations that are mere covers for radical activities issue a statement decrying an Islamist terror attack simply because it was staged by some other group, at the wrong place, or at an inconvenient time? Let them campaign against radical, violent, and intolerant interpretations of Islam or be exposed for who they really are.

Here’s something amazing in the 2011 Pew Research Center poll about American Muslims. One question asked how concerned one was about the possible rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S.  Sixty percent said “Very, somewhat” in 2011; 35 percent said “Not too/Not at all.” The main point Pew concluded from this is that there wasn’t a big change because it was down 1 percent from the 2007 poll.

But the very loud alarm bell is ignored. If 60 percent of American Muslims say they are concerned doesn’t that say that there is a huge problem here? Perhaps a problem many of them would be willing to help deal with if given help and encouragement?

Another question is even more amazing. “Have U.S. Muslim leaders done as much as they should to speak out against extremists?” A remarkable 48 percent said “Have not done enough,” compared to 34 percent who said they have “Done as much as they should.” In other words, half of American Muslims don’t think their own leaders have worked hard enough to counter extremism!

If American Muslims say—despite their self-interest and peer pressure—that half their own leaders haven’t done enough, why shouldn’t the rest of the country come to the same conclusion? And why shouldn’t changing that situation be a major priority rather than acting as if no problem exists?

This, then, is the dilemma and why young people like the Tsarnaev brothers will be indoctrinated with extremist Islam with almost no alternative offered on the other side. If groups that are Muslim Brotherhood fronts are going to be treated by the American establishment as examples of normative, moderate Islam, what space is there for any real moderate Islam?

If the enemy is not going to be defined as radical Islam or Islamism or some other phrase that identifies the issue, then how can anyone campaign against such doctrines?

The West has paralyzed itself, and, ironically, the first people who are going to suffer are Muslims who are not Islamists and not radicals. The proper allies and those to whom sympathy is to be extended are not Hamas, Hizballah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamists in Syria, the sophisticated Islamists in Turkey, CAIR, and such groups but their enemies within the Muslim community.

That is the lesson of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. Otherwise, there will be many more Tsarnaevs just as there have been repeated “conversion” experiences to become radical terrorists in case after case in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and many other countries over the last decade.

With a massive pro-Islamist, pro-terrorist propaganda machine on one side and almost nothing on the other side, how could someone expect anything else to happen?

If you are interested in reading more about Egypt and radical Islamist movements, you’re welcome to read my book Islamic Fundamentalists in Egyptian Politics online or download it for free.

If you are interested in reading more about the role of Islam in the Middle East today you’re welcome to read my book Tragedy of the Middle East online or download it for free.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Want it to stop for a long time? Then treat it like the cancer it is, remove it at its roots. Vaporize the whole damn town from whence it came... The only reason that these demons understand and respect is FORCE applied quickly and without mercy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This question needs to be answered by a prominent Muslim:

How can a practicing, observant, Koran-reading Muslim be a "moderate" Muslim?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i would add to your list of why Islamism hasn't been attacked, taken down, put in the stupid vulgar place it belongs, is an un-written ethos pervading the Muslim culture itself that says you don't criticize your co-religionists, never, no way, no how.

That inhibits a lot of speaking out.

Then there is that gigantic (imaginary) cadre of "peaceful" Muslims which tacitly endorses individuals who slaughter & wreak havoc all over the planet, people they see as restoring the rightful Ummah.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (66)
All Comments   (66)
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Come on Barry, Radio Free Islam, give me a break...
Read the Koran, read Shariah Law, if we had Radio Free Islam, it would be non stop preaching of terror, murder, mayhem and havoc twenty four hours a day. This is Islam, Terror is Islam any one who is a Muslim and attends the Mosque services is taught to destroy all others for they stand in the way of the world domination by Islam.
Radio Free Islam, yeah, that is a great idea.
I willl donate to you any time you wish to start the program of teaching brotherly love to Islam. Good idea, right!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The best to have fewer teenage Muslim terrorists is to have fewer Muslims. We should do every thing we can to make the practice of Islam more difficult.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Should say "The best way" to have fewer ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If they rebel against their parents and get into sex and drugs like US & UK kids, they're having too much fun to get into a warped religion/ideology... ;-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
it's like having the nineteen fifties debate about the nazis and the "good germans". a figment of the media imagination the notion vaporized when we were once again shown the documentary evidence. the president, should be using the bully pulpit to be clear about our expectations. it would be clear who and what is the enemy and the consequences they can look forward to.
he would be using it to stop the anti-semitic muslim insinuation into our schools and universities and the blood libels and so-called events on campus.
it must be such an effort for obama to understand anything that is happening. perhaps, we should box up the lost limbs and federal express them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the politically correct treatment of all immigrants should end.They should develop the skills needed to ignore things said. I think the same applies to all those who claim they are bullied. Kids are too sheltered these days. The workplace is open to lawsuits over the least slight. Lawsuits over nothing are too common. I would like to see a return to honesty and to having to earn respect. If Muslims are those who commit the most "terrorism", they deserve the treatment they get. They try to continue their tribal customs including murder of those whom they fill have insulted them or brought dishonor upon their family. There is a price to pay for that in modern society and they should expect to pay thaqt price. When they emmigrqte to the US, they should be expected to become Americans...learn the language and adopt the mores. They have the freedom to prqctice their religion but they should not expect Americans to adopt their religion or culture.Those protesting and ruining parks and other public spaces should expect to pay for the damage they incur. Their bizarre activities should be called just what they are; parents who tolerate their activities should share the punishment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If mainstream Islam (if there even IS such a thing) truly wanted to change, they would take steps to end their tacit support of terrorism. For starters, perhaps a prominent Imam might proclaim that the "reward" for taking innocent lives in jihad is not 72 virgins, but eternal damnation in hell. We know that won't happen though, because of the deafening silence from the Islamic world after each of these tragedies occurs. Quite the opposite, there is either silence or celebration of victory such as the construction of a mosque at the 911 site.

They are the ones who need to clean house, not us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How about we get fatawa from a few Ayatollas calling for the death of these terrorists who have "hijacked" Islam for their cause.

But don't hold your breath waiting to see one. The Ayatollas and Imams are too busy issuing fatawa against authors like Salman Rushdie (Satanic Verses) or cartoonists.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is one of the few rational analyses I have heard.

One small quibble; we are looking to moderate Muslims, not to turn them into Christians. There is no reason to ban polygamy as long as it is not common practice, and that is taken care of by other things. In fact, I was told that Ayatollah Khomeni discouraged polygamy..
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am proud to say that we Israelis helped Boston prepare for the attack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-1Gsztba9s
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We must look for the customers of the attack. These young people are stupid and self-serving. They were bribed with money. I am sure that the organizers were nearby, watching the performers. I think your FBI agents have to work harder in this direction. We in Russia have experienced all of this from experience.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The current brand of government we have will not look for the customers. They already know who they are and the revealing of same will not help their agenda.

The narrative of evil, racist, homophobic, islamophobic America is key. The mediots are already trotting out the "America is to blame" horses for show and parade and the target audience for that is the under 35 crowd who will lap it up and become properly self-loathing.

It's truly sad to me to see that the generation that prided itself on independent thought and "fighting against the man, man" is also the purveyor of dumbing down the youth and getting them to believe garbage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't think they were motivated by money. Consider what they have just endured (one dead the other severely injured and facing life in prison, possibly death penalty). What motivated them was hate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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