How we have struggled to deny this! A few days after 9/11, President Bush found an imam to stand next to him as he told told the world that the word “Islam” means “peace.”
In fact, “Islam” means “submission to the will of Allah.” One thing that Allah wills is the subjugation or murder of the infidel, i.e. non-Muslims. You don’t have to be a student of comparative religion to understand this. All you had to do on September 11, 2001, was look around at the smoldering ruins of what had been the World Trade Center.
The U.S. State Department tells its employees that “jihad” means “inner struggle.” In fact, it means homicidal mania. You don’t need to be a linguist to see this. The families of the forty-odd people Hasan gunned down understood this immediately.
A reporter for The New York Times, grasping for a straw of exoneration, suggested that Maj. Hasan had been suffering from “post-traumatic stress syndrome.” An editorial in The Washington Times wittily observed that “pre-traumatic stress syndrome” would be closer to the truth. Maj. Hasan had never seen combat. When not garnering a medical degree at the expense of the U.S. government, he was busy imbibing al Qaeda’s hideous doctrine of hate from wackos like Anwar al-Awlaki.
Why was Nidal Hasan even allowed in the army? In London a few days ago, I had tea with a friend who is an Arabist. He told me that, had he been the army recruiter who interviewed Hasan, he would have denied him entry to the army. “Nidal,” he explained, means “warrior,” “combatant.” It was a name you didn’t really encounter before the 1960s and the rise of radical Islam. Nidal Hasan’s parents inscribed his ideology on his birth certificate.
I had no idea what “Nidal” meant. Probably you didn’t either. But, 8 years after 9/11, an army recruiter ought to have known it.
There was nothing subtle about Nidal Hasan. His hatred of the infidel, like Falstaff’s dishonesty, is “gross as a mountain, open, palpable.” He paraded it. Colleagues at Walter Reed Hospital commented on it. It raised an eyebrow, but not much of an alarm, at the FBI. (See Andy McCarthy on the FBI’s bumbling treatment of the case.)
It took five days for President Obama to travel to Ft. Hood and say something about the Islamic terrorist outrage that had been perpetrated there. He didn’t call it a terrorist outrage, of course. Why? Two main reasons: 1) Doing so might offend those “mainstream” Muslims General Casey’s diversity program caters to; and 2) it might suggest that the Obama administration isn’t as effective as it should be about protecting America from terrorists.
Instead of telling the truth, President Obama described Maj. Hasan’s attack as an “incomprehensible” act that “no faith justifies.”
In fact, Maj. Hasan’s rampage is perfectly comprehensible because it is explicitly justified, indeed encouraged, by Islam, the faith he embraces.
Until we are willing to face up to that truth, we will not be able to defend ourselves effectively. Nor, finally, will we be able to defend the rights of those pacific people who call themselves Muslims but have abandoned the toxic heart of Islam.
Bottom line: Islam confronts the liberal democracies of the West with a critical existential test. Islam is Janus-faced. It presents itself as a religion, but one with explicit and uncompromising political ambitions. It faces not only the hereafter, but also the here-and-now. The West can strive to make a place for Islam’s inward aspirations. The West, if freedom is to survive and prosper, must also strenuously deny Islam’s political claims.
Islam presents the West with a boundary case, testing the limits of religious freedom. Unlike Muslims, we believe people should be allowed to worship unmolested as they see fit. But in order to protect that commodiousness, the West must be intolerant of doctrines, like Islam, that preach intolerance.
Doctrines that have a religious dimension must not be allowed to draw on the prestige, the privileges, the immunities we accord to religion when they do so in order to deny those privileges and immunities to others. Such movements — Islam is one — should be regarded as what they are: activist political organizations whose aims are destructive of our institutions.
Back when he was capitulating to the dwarfish tyrant that rules North Korea, President Obama said “Words must mean something.” He was right about that. It’s a pity that, here as elsewhere, his actions do not live up to his words. Which is why, were I a betting man, I’d wager there will be no Purple Hearts distributed at Ft. Hood. Looking for the purloined letter? It’s right there in front of you.