Cultural Sensitivity and America’s Continuing Crisis
Our relativism relating to Islam isn't winning us any points with Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, or here in America.
November 24, 2010 - 12:00 am
You’re about to be groped, X-rayed, and generally humiliated in the airport. The Islamic Fiqh Council, however, has issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from going through an X-ray machine. Separately, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is advising Muslim women to avoid pat-downs beyond the head and neck. Our culturally sensitive administration will undoubtedly acquiesce. You, however, will be groped and X-rayed, unless of course you show up at the airport dressed in a tent.
Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant ACLU is coming to the defense of Anwar al-Awlaki, the imam who inspired Major Nidal Malik Hasan, murderer of thirteen of his fellow soldiers in the Fort Hood massacre. The imam also trained Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the underwear bomber, who attempted to blow up a Northwest flight last Christmas. But al-Awlaki is still an American citizen, a status of which the administration didn’t relieve him. Despite his abhorrence of America, al-Awlaki, the ACLU argues, is protected by the values of the system he would destroy. From his base in Yemen, his voice fills the airwaves with calls for death to Americans, but the ACLU wants to give him a stay-alive card as he hatches more plots to kill our citizens.
After stooping and genuflecting to the Islamic world and cutting Israel off at the knees, President Barack Obama has had such a positive impact on the Muslim street that its attitudes toward America were slightly better during Bush’s last year.
Cultural sensitivity has fared no better in Afghanistan, where the rules of engagement put the lives of our soldiers at greater risk in an effort to reduce civilian casualties. The administration has decided to trade American deaths for Afghan lives. The Afghan people, however, seem to have engaged in the rational calculus that it is better to side with those who will be there, the Taliban, than those who have announced their intention to leave.
Obama has been continually indecisive about the Afghan departure date, to the point of irritating our unenthusiastically committed NATO allies. Combat roles for European troops in Afghanistan are becoming a political liability. The Dutch have pulled out and the British will not stay beyond 2015, no matter what America does. But the Obama administration’s enunciating a departure date does show the Islamic world that we are not occupiers, just as it shows the Taliban that they can disengage, pop off a few suicide bombings, and await our departure.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is still unable to utter the words “Islamist terrorist,” preferring to engage in Newspeak about “man-made disasters.” The real man-made disasters are the multi-ethnic states of Iraq and Afghanistan, lines on the map encompassing diverse people who have found familiarity breeds contempt and contempt breeds irrational violence. But more irrational is our hubris, thinking that we can suddenly transform seventh century societies into modern democracies amid the most virulent and transformative ideology on the planet, radical Islam.