In PJ Media today I explore the latest in willful ignorance and myopia:
In Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Kenya, Somalia and elsewhere, Islamic jihadists are more aggressive and audacious than ever – but the denial about who they are and what they hope to accomplish is thicker than ever.
Counter-jihadists are in the position reminiscent of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. This play tells the story of Dr. Thomas Stockmann, who lives in a small town in Norway that is visited by people from far and wide because of its baths, which are said to have healing properties. Because of the baths, which Stockmann has championed, the town is growing and prospering. But then Stockmann discovers, to his surprise, that the baths are, in fact, not only not medicinal, but contaminated, and are making those who bathe in them ill.
The town, however, will not hear of it, and instead of hailing Stockmann as a hero, they brand him an enemy of the people, and continue on the path to disaster.
So it is today. Those who speak the truth about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat are shunned by the mainstream, derided as fringe characters, and vilified as bigots and racists. And those who retail pleasing falsehoods about the jihad threat, or ignore its existence altogether, are in positions of power and influence.
Here are five new signs of the prevalence of myopia regarding jihad, and its deleterious consequences.
5. Prof: U of Calgary ignored warnings about “radicalization” of Muslim students
With a Muslim from Calgary, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, waging jihad in Iraq with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a former University of Calgary professor of religious studies, Aaron Hughes, says that for years he was concerned about Muslims on campus becoming jihadis, but that university officials were uninterested.
“I was very much bothered by the conservative nature of the Muslim student body,” Hughes recounts. “I was definitely aware of the potential for radicalization on campus. That is another venue in which potential radicalization could occur, so not just at mosques, but also on campus.” However, “I had been mentioning the conservative nature of these students and the university; they just weren’t interested in it.”
Hughes was also annoyed with these “conservative” students because they professed to know what Islam was all about: “They made teaching Islam from an objective perspective very difficult because they knew what the ‘real’ Islam was. Of course they didn’t.” Or maybe they did, but this professor, certain that Islam was a Religion of Peace, was sure that they were actually misundertanders of Islam, no matter how pious they were and how much Qur’an they knew.
In any case, university officials disregarded Hughes’s warnings about these students. They knew Islam was a Religion of Peace as well. The prospect that there could be jihadis on campus was no doubt inconceivable to them.
4. Lawyer for Muslim who tried to join jihad says he engaged only in “nonviolent terrorism”
Mohamed Hassan Hersi, a Muslim in Toronto, has been convicted of trying to join the jihad terror group al Shabaab. Canadian prosecutors want him to serve ten years in prison, but his defense attorney has argued that he should serve only four years, since he was engaged only in “non-violent terrorism.”
In response to this, Crown attorney Jim Clark displayed a bit of the common sense that is usually so lacking in such matters. “I don’t know what non-violent terrorism is,” he said. “All terrorism is inherently violent.”
Indeed. The phrase “nonviolent terrorism” is as meaningless as another recent coinage, “moderate Islamist.” These phrases are invented as Western officials become contortionists, twisting themselves into pretzels trying to avoid facing the reality of jihad.
3. CIA officer: We had no idea ISIL would seize Iraqi cities
A former CIA officer, John Maguire, has said that the CIA did not foresee the advance of ISIL. “This is a glaring example,” he said, “of the erosion of our street craft and our tradecraft and our capability to operate in a hard place. The U.S. taxpayer is not getting their money’s worth.”
John Maguire doesn’t say it, but another reason why the CIA was completely wrongfooted by ISIL’s advance was because the Obama administration has completely deemphasized the jihad threat, and pretended that al Qaeda was the only jihad group. An obscure offshoot of al Qaeda in a country Obama was anxious to forget was not likely to be the object of serious analysis.
Read the rest here.