Banning Words Won’t Help Muslims or Defeat Terrorism

The British police are considering ceasing to use such terms as “Islamist” and “jihadi” in internal discussions of Islamist and jihadist terrorism. Liam Duffy comments:

Unsurprisingly, this parochial debate did not exactly strike fear into the hearts of terrorists. . . . According to critics of the word, “Islamism” should be dropped because it conflates religious belief with terror. But the term, [in contradistinction to] “Islamic,” is intended to draw a distinction between the political ideology and the religious beliefs of more than two million Britons. It is important though to understand how religion informs the political ideology. Which it does, significantly.

When innocent people are gunned down in European capitals and minorities are persecuted in the Middle East, it is of the utmost importance to understand why this is happening. We need to know that we are not simply dealing with a band of malcontents or the vulnerable, but a distinct and coherent violent program which, as repugnant as it may be, should be respected and understood as an opponent.

Perhaps the most overlooked people in this debate are the formidable Muslims standing up to Islamism every single day across the country. Making Islamism more of a taboo than it already is would undo so much of their hard work, and would be a frustrating betrayal of brave men and women who need our support.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Islamism, Political correctness, United Kingdom, War on Terror

 

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf