10 Things We Should Have Done Since 9/11 to Defeat the Jihad

Speaking from the Oval Office on the evening of September 11, 2001, I gave the American people and the world at large a brief explanation of the 1,400-year history of Islamic jihad, its ultimate goal of imposing Sharia upon the world, and how that would mean the denial of basic rights to women, non-Muslims, and others.

Looking straight into the camera, I said: “We do not seek war with Muslim nations. If war is brought to us, however, we will defend our nation, our allies, our freedom, and our families. We will not be subjugated. This is a different kind of war from the wars we have fought in the past. It is an ideological war and a war fought by believers in certain ideas rather than by soldiers from particular nations. We will, therefore, fight this new kind of war in a new way. No nation of the world will be a friend to the United States if it holds the beliefs that led to this heinous attack today and allows them to be taught. I invite and call upon the Muslims of the world to choose a society based on the principles of the freedom of speech and the equality of rights before the law. Make no mistake: we will defend those principles. And we will prevail.”

That evening I also instructed Secretary of State Bolton to start working in these directions (and seriously, if America had a sane and open-eyed political culture today, and an effective opposition to the ruling party, it would implement measures like these):

1. Tell the truth about Islamic jihad and supremacism.

Already on September 11, 2001, we were hearing that the attack had nothing to do with Islam. Thirteen years later, it is a constant crescendo. On Wednesday, Australian police raided an Islamic bookstore and arrested two Muslims on terror charges relating to their activities in recruiting Muslims for the jihad in Syria. Australian Federal Police National Manager Counter Terrorism Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan insisted: “This has got nothing to do with Islam, this is criminal behaviour by Australians involved in terrorist activity.” That same day, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Islamic State’s “hateful ideology has nothing do with Islam.”

Gaughan and Kerry are just the latest in a steady stream of non-Muslims who know more about Islam than the leader of the Islamic State, the caliph Ibrahim, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has a PhD in Islamic Studies. This denial and willful ignorance about the fact that Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify their actions and make recruits only fosters complacency among non-Muslims and makes them more vulnerable.

This denial and willful ignorance must be decisively rejected. Why? Because it kills. Thirteen people were killed at Fort Hood because U.S. Army officials were afraid to buck the politically correct culture and act against a Muslim officer who was in touch with Anwar al-Awlaki and had frightened his coworkers with his talk of jihad.

Ultimately, no good comes from evading and obfuscating the truth. Reality will always impinge upon fantasy, no matter how cleverly constructed.