I listen to talk radio.
OK, that may not make me a freak, but it doesn’t make me especially popular in the carpool either. Anyway, I was listening today, and heard something that I couldn’t accept. I was listening to a famous radio show host, who I won’t name here, but his name rhymes with “Bon Frannity.”
Anyway, paraphrasing what he said, it was something like, “This war is not about Islam—it’s about Fascism and Terrorism.” He was echoing the words of our illustrious President, who this morning spoke in front of the United Nations and told the world that the U.S. was not at war with Islam. However, he (our celebrated host) spoke those words with conviction. He believed them, and most likely still does—at least for the purposes of his show. Perhaps he is just playing a role, a part to entertain his listenership. He is, after all, the “second most listened to talk-show host” in the country. But I don’t think so; I think he believes what he says.
But he was wrong.
I would like for him to be right, but I simply can't accept that he was. You see, those who are fighting against us are Muslim. Radical Muslims, the press tells us. The danger is that Radicals have twisted the true nature of the “Religion of Peace.” True Islam doesn’t condone violence. Heck, Muslims can even get out of being drafted into the Army in times of war. It worked for Cassius Clay, right? That should prove that Muslims as a whole don’t approve of violence or terrorism.
But my wanting Mr. Frannity to be right and believing him to be wrong is not what makes this about Islam. What makes it about Islam is that the Imams and Mullahs of mainstream Islam are remarkably silent. Where is the outrage? Where is the indignation? Where is the irritation at those so-called “Radicals?” They are destroying the very foundation of this “religion of peace.” Why are they not clamoring around the world for cessation of such activities as suicide bombings, kidnapping and killing journalists and government officials with whom they don’t agree, and last but not least, flying large jetliners into skyscrapers?
The reason why is apparent, at least to me.
It IS about Islam. It is about the proliferation of Islam all over the world by a people and culture who believe that only those who believe the way they do deserve to live. I use the word “live” with some reservation, as even among mainstream Muslims, women are second-class citizens, and children are routinely abused. Stories were told to me by the Battalion medics in Afghanistan during my tenure there, of Muslim men bringing their wives and children to the clinic operated by the Army for treatment. The reason for this was because even though there were local clinics operated by local doctors, those cost money. Wives and children were not worth the expense of taking them to the local clinic, so they would travel to the Army bases and avail themselves of “free” treatment, for their families, while they would use the local clinics for themselves. Of course, the joke was on them—the treatment at the Army clinic was easily superior to the locals. But the fact was that it was all a matter of economics. Money was to be spent on the adult males, not the women and children.
So, essentially, those mainstream imams and mullahs are simply allowing their religion to be subverted by extremists, in a way that they cannot do themselves. And that allowance is tacitly condoning the actions of the extremists. It has become, not subversion, but outright uprising. An anonymous caller on today's show pout it quite succinctly, when he said, and I paraphrase again, that the fact was that the Radicals were not fighting for the right to worship as they wished. They already have that. What they are fighting for is to make others believe the same way they do, and destroy those who will not convert, or whom they believe have “offended” Allah, or Mohammed, or Islam itself. “Kill those who insult Islam!” “Behead offenders of Allah!” the signs proclaim. Does this sound like a religion of peace? Tell Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg that Islam is a peaceful religion.
Recently, Pope Benedict gave a speech at a university, and referenced a 14th Century Byzantine Emperor. The emperor had said that Mohammed had produced nothing in his life but violence and destruction, and that Islam had not changed since that time. Since the Pope spoke, he has had his life threatened, and was forced to increase his personal security in order to protect his life. He also apologized for giving offense, though I don't think he should have had to do so. Yet, following his remarks, a 65-year-old Italian nun in Somalia, who taught and worked at a pediatric hospital in Mogadishu, was gunned down in the streets—murdered alongside her bodyguard. Was it a Muslim hospital? No, it was run by Austians—charitably—to benefit the citizens of Somalia. Does this sound like a religion of peace? Tell Sister Leonella Islam is a religion of peace. Her final words were, “I forgive—I forgive!”
Seems to me that if you want to convince someone that you are not violent, you should stop committing acts of violence whenever you decide to take offense at some perceived slight. But not the “religion of peace.” Muslims will riot worldwide over CARTOONS, published months prior to the rioting, if the cartoons depict the prophet Mohammed in a somewhat unwholesome light. I don't recall riots in the streets when Universal Studios released The Last Temptation of Christ
. That film upset a lot of people, yet no embassies were burned and looted, no one died. Christ himself taught that we should turn the other cheek, and forgive our enemies. Which is the religion of peace?
It is about Islam. We can call them Islamofascists, extremists, terrorists or whatever we want. But it does not change the facts. Until the “mainstream” leaders of the “Religion of Peace” start publicly condemning the actions of the extremists who execute violence upon the world, it will remain about Islam. And that makes it a Holy War, a Crusade if you will, or, if you are Muslim, Jihad.
And no one wins a Holy War.