For the most part, President Bush’s speech at the Israeli Knesset was groundbreaking as it was a stroke of genius, because it was full of the “right stuff”. But a few remarks need to be addressed and clarified because they only help to further obfuscate the central role of the Qur’an and Islamic teaching in promoting jihadist violence.
President Bush: “This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.”
The president is gravely mistaken in thinking that Muslim terrorism has nothing to do with the Qur’an itself. Yes, the TT understands the need for diplomacy when dealing with the sensibilities of the Islamic world, and that no one wants to blame individual Muslims for the acts of terrorism committed by their coreligionists, but it is also self defeating as it is disingenuous to portray their acts of terrorism as being “un-Islamic”. Nothing could be more further from the truth.
The Islamic terrorists and their supporters validate their acts of terrorism, by invoking passages from the very same Qur’an millions of other fellow Muslims follow as the literal word of their god allah. These are very religious men, puritans of their faith, and know all to well that their prophet Mohamed would look with an approving eye at all the violence and mayhem that they are reeking across the globe in the name of Islam. Their deeds are indeed sanctioned by the Qur’an, the Hadiths and the Sunna, and no Islamic scholar to date has been able to, or willing to, counter their interpretation of their holy texts.
The (mythical moderate?) leaders of Islam are caught between a rock and a hard place, for to accurately critique the Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunna, and the Islamists’ interpretation of it, is to openly admit that the jihadists’ rendering of the life of Mohamed, and what the Qur’an actually teaches, has been accurate. They would have to admit that their religion teaches the subjugation of the non-Muslim, that their sharia (Islamic law) is anti-democratic, anti-human rights and is counter-productive to the success of building a modern, liberal secular state, which is needed to safeguard the rights of any particular minority. It’s just too much of a bitter pill to swallow, but necessary nonetheless.
Papering over that reality is not conducive to finding the cure if the aim is obscure the illness itself. No matter how polite and tolerant the West is towards the Islamic world, it will come to no avail if the key problems are not addressed, that being, the Islamic holy texts that promote the jihad ideology as well as anti-democratic thinking. Bush’s recent speech shows just how far the West needs to go in daring to broach that subject, and hammer on it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Pussy footing around the Qur’an central role in promoting jihadist violence will only lead to more jihadist violence. It’s time to name the illness in order to find the cure. more here. *L* KGS