John C. Bersia “won a Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing for the Orlando Sentinel in 2000” and “is also the special assistant to the president for global perspectives and a professor at the University of Central Florida.” In this editorial, “Push for human decency key in terrorism fight,” from The Orlando Sentinel, he demonstrates that the understanding of Islamic terrorism held by large portions of the general public hasn’t budged one centimeter since September 10, 2001. Bersia repeats assumptions that have been refuted again and again, showing no awareness that they have been refuted at all — which is not surprising, since the mainstream media has steadfastly ignored the refutations:
I do believe, though, that nations could stop a fair amount – probably the bulk – of today’s terrorism if they mustered the gumption to fix problems that insult human decency: poverty, a lack of opportunity, human-rights violations and statelessness, to list but a few. National governments and international organizations bear most of the responsibility. They must correct deficiencies that drive people toward frustration, despair, anger and violence. If those groups fixed the major roots of terrorism, relatively few would rise to replace dead perpetrators….
Bersia demonstrates that he doesn’t have even the slightest grasp of the nature or workings of the Islamic jihad ideology, which uses grievances as pretexts to gain recruits, but does not depend on those pretexts: the grievances always shift, but the ideology of expansionism and supremacism remains constant.
Also, “poverty, a lack of opportunity, human-rights violations and statelessness” don’t fuel Islamic jihad terrorism anyway. Saudi billions do. Is it poverty and lack of opportunity that leads so many princes of the House of Saud to give so much money for da’wa and jihad? Saudi billions and the Islamic jihad ideology fuel Islamic terrorism today. If it’s all about poverty, why isn’t Haiti a terrorist state? Or Bolivia? And study after study has shown that jihadists are not poor and hopeless.
But the rest of society cannot shirk its responsibility, especially in dealing with terrorists who hijack religion, frequently Islam. They use narrow, self-serving interpretations to justify their excesses.
Now here again I call for evidence of this, as I have many times before. I have asked here many times for people to send me examples of Islamic religious scholars rejecting, on Islamic grounds, jihad violence against non-Muslims; rejecting the idea that Sharia law should be instituted in the Muslim and non-Muslim world; and teaching the idea that non-Muslims and Muslims should live together indefinitely as equals. Send me rejections of the ideas that women should not enjoy full equality of rights with men. Send me information that shows that those who write such rejections are not lone voices crying in the wilderness, with the wolves of Islamic orthodoxy ready to pounce upon them, but that they represent broad traditions within Islam and have large followings.
Send me this evidence, please: I’m at email@example.com.
Communities that spawn or sustain terrorists, in the United States and around the world, must assume greater responsibility for their own. Moderate majorities cannot afford simply to fidget over terrorist incidents that reflect badly on their peoples, cultures or religions, while refusing to condemn such acts loudly and publicly.
Right, Bersia. They cannot. They must not. But why do they?
Furthermore, they must not turn a blind eye to unusual behavior in their midst, to idle hands, to rabble-rousers or to those who recruit to the ranks of the “enemy within.” When communities fail to police their own, tragedies can arise, such as the bombings in London a year ago or the recently reported plot in Canada to attack that country’s leaders.
Right. Again, why do they turn this blind eye? Wouldn’t you, Bersia, move indignantly and energetically against some group that was hijacking your religion?
It is too late to change the al-Zarqawis of the world. But if civilized nations fail to provide opportunities and hope to those not already lured into a life of terrorism, they will generate even more violence and diminish their chances for victory.
In other words, let’s continue our suicidal open-borders policy, and let mujahedin stream Westward. This will so fill those mujahedin with gratitude that they will lay down their arms.
This is the kind of advice the President is getting.