Islamist Terror and Stockholm Syndrome

Perhaps the clearest evidence to the narrowness of the Western attitude towards Islamic terrorism is the decision by the Clinton administration, in the aftermath of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in February 1993, to treat it as a criminal justice matter rather than an act of terrorism.

The anti-Western terrorists -- whether Communists or Islamists -- have recognized Western weaknesses and learned to exploit them with propaganda couched in Western terms. They cleverly declared their struggle to be for justice, peace, brotherhood, and liberty. Yasser Arafat was among the first to adopt the Soviet tactic of speaking to the West in its own words. (Arafat spoke of self-determination, justice, etc., words that appealed to the ears of Westerners in North America, Europe, and the Shenkin Street crowd in Tel Aviv.)

In the wake of 9/11 and a host of other attacks worldwide (including continuing attacks in Israel), one would have expected a heightened understanding of the true motives of Islamic terrorism and the political and ideological aims of its leadership. Instead, the West is preoccupied with “understanding” the “psychological” causes of Muslim hatred. This is reflected in President Obama’s attempt to appease the Muslim world with a response that says: “What is wrong with us and how must we change and improve our relationship with the Muslim world?” Few Westerners are asking: “What is wrong with the Muslim world and what are its aims in relation to the West?”

Since World War II, the West has experienced a steady erosion of its sense of justice. The prevailing ideological trend in intellectual and public discourse is to attribute the ills of the world to the West, and in particular to American policies. The fashionable line in intellectual and media circles is that justice rests with the Third World -- including Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims -- inferring the West’s role in having created the situation and its responsibility to solve it.

In this context, it is easy to understand the publishing of the recent anti-Israel calumny in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, which is fed by self-hatred, hatred of the West, and primarily a perverted sense of guilt over the misdeeds of the West. And, in the war between Israel and the Arabs (Palestinians), Israel is represented as part of the “evil” West, particularly since Israel is on the front line of the struggle against Arab-Islamic terrorism.

The most vital task of Western leaders is to regain their sense of justice and pride in Western civilization, co-opted by leftist ideologues since the end of World War II. The West must reject relativism and political correctness and the guilt that comes with it.

Compared to other cultures and civilizations -- in particular to the Islamist creed -- the West is light-years ahead in progress, compassion, and justice.