Europe Must Fight Islamism Without Fighting Islam

Nov. 13 2020

In response to recent terrorist attacks, France and Austria have stepped up their efforts to combat Islamic radicalism. Ed Husain praises their leaders for doing so, while encouraging them to remain sensitive to an important distinction:

The danger is not from the elderly Muslim gentleman with a beautiful beard, nor the lady who wishes to cover her hair out of religious observation. Religious conservatism is not a national-security concern. The threat can come from a clean-shaven, suit-wearing, smart-talking Islamist activist. This danger of political Islamism is not about appearance, but a sophisticated and suave ideological enemy who hides behind false claims of representing the [Muslim] “community.”

To target Islamists and their narrative, as France and Austria have done, is not racist or Islamophobic. Just as targeting Nazis is not anti-German, identifying Islamists and their support for terrorism is not anti-Muslim.

From this basic conviction, we build policies to advance the interests of Europe. . . . Why are Islamists a danger to Europe today? Because the very foundations of European society and prosperity are under direct assault from an ideology and a narrative that only becomes violent because it seeks to end the nation state, remove secular governments, deprive women of their rights, destroy Israel and kill Jews, execute gay people, and force innocent Muslims to live under Islamist rule.

Why is open support for Hamas and Hizballah allowed in European cities? Why were there vast crowds in London gathering to mourn the elimination of Iran’s top terror mastermind, Qassem Suleimani? If Europe’s politicians do not respond with unison and success, far-right political parties will.

Read more at Al Arabiya

More about: Austria, European Islam, France, Islamism, Terrorism

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy