Tomorrow marks one year of Jihad Watch.
It has been a tumultuous year, and I thank all those who have helped make this samizdat effort take off in so many ways. If I named you all by name, it would make this a very long post; but please know that I am grateful to each of you.
Jihad Watch is dedicated to breaking the media blockade on Islam, and to introducing into the public debate the elements of Islam that give rise to fanaticism and violence, so that both non-Muslims and Muslims can take appropriate action.
It is a small effort, but growing steadily. And it is a samizdat effort because what we say here is not allowed to be said by most major media outlets. Yet it is the truth.
The truth about Islamic radicalism is available now to everyone. They can read books by Bat Ye’or, Ibn Warraq, Serge Trifkovic, and even by me. And there are books by so many others. These authors represent a broad spectrum of approaches and intellectual levels. The problem in America and the West today is not that the truth is not out there. It is that it is still widely ignored. It is consciously and systematically ignored and obfuscated by the media establishment.
If Serge Trifkovic wrote for the New York Times instead of Chronicles, the world would be different. People would know what we were facing, and Jihad Watch might not be necessary. If Ibn Warraq wrote for Simon and Schuster instead of Prometheus Books, people would know. If Bat Ye’or were on NBC and CBS, people would know.
But the media establishment has a virtual stranglehold on getting this information OUT. Instead of being featured and lionized as they deserve, people like Ibn Warraq and Bat Ye’or are smeared or simply ignored. On Monday I was in the Cleveland airport, having a casual conversation with a pilot. He didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t tell him, but he happened to bring up the subject of Islam. He told me it was a peaceful religion that has been hijacked, that the Bible is just as violent as the Qur’an, etc. Has he ever read the Qur’an? Or Trifkovic? Or Ibn Warraq? Or Bat Ye’or? No. And he certainly hasn’t read my books. He was just repeating what the media told him.
There are millions of people like that out there. How to reach them? Jihad Watch is one small, very small, effort to do so. But the larger question of how to break the media stranglehold still preoccupies me. Since it is a willful and conscious rejection of the perspective that we bring on the question of Islam and terrorism, I don’t have any idea how to break through it — except to keep on telling the truth, here, day after day.
Nor is this simply a problem of the liberal control of the major media. Even the “conservatives” O’Reilly and Hannity passed on having me on their shows when my publisher, Regnery, offered them first crack at my book Onward Muslim Soldiers — although they often do feature Regnery authors. Had they even read my book, or Trifkovic’s, or any of Bat Ye’or’s? I doubt it. They just figured it was out of the bounds of polite discourse, and that was that.
This is THE problem facing America today: it has become improper and unacceptable to talk honestly about the primary challenge that our nation faces: Islamic terrorism. How will we ever defeat the global jihad if we cannot acknowledge what it is, and where it comes from? Yet this perspective continues to be obfuscated by red herrings: “not all Muslims are terrorists,” “all religions can give rise to violence,” “you are saying that we must go to war against all Muslims,” etc. These caveats are all either untrue or irrelevant, and I have answered them many times here over the past year. Yet they continue to be raised, every day: the Crusades! The IRA! My sweet Muslim neighbor! But how, after all, does the fact that Christians once waged Crusades help us in any way to deal with Islamic jihad today? The government and media establishments continue largely to refuse to acknowledge that there is any problem with Islam itself — and thus the problem continues to fester for both non-Muslims and Muslims. If you won’t admit it’s broken, you certainly can’t fix it.
So one year of Jihad Watch is complete, and I have signed on for another. The samizdat journalists of the Soviet Union ultimately prevailed; it is not beyond the realm of possibility that we will someday also — no matter how bleak the situation may seem today.
And once again, I am extremely grateful for all your support and kindness over the past year.