By Steve Emerson
The Daily Beast
December 1, 2008
Terrorism expert Steve Emerson says there's no hope of victory in the war on terrorism until we call it what it really is.
This past Saturday, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece entitled "What They Hate about Mumbai ", focusing specifically on the free market sins of that great city. With contrived evenhandedness, the op-ed managed to blame both Hindus and Muslim extremists - without blaming either party in particular for the murderous attacks.
Without realizing it, the Grey Lady had hit upon a great travel series. In the best spirit of jihad for dummies, why not a year's worth of op-eds focusing on "Why They Hate____" filled in, mad-libs style, with the U.S., Britain, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Kenya, and the other 74 countries where radical Islam has reared its violent head? With only the moral blindness that the New York Times could capture, each op-ed would portray the attacks in a contrived even-handed way, without blaming, or even naming, the perpetrators of the attacks - Muslim jihadists.
Watching and reading the last 5 days of reports of the Mumbai attacks was an Alice in Wonderland experience. Even after an Islamic terrorist group took credit, TV anchors and reporters assiduously avoided the term Islamic terrorist. They must have consulted with the Thesaurus for the Politically Correct to determine that the word "gunmen" would not offend any jihadist.
The real truth is that there is war against the West and the Jews by Islamic jihadists.
On Wednesday, even though everyone knew by then that the perpetrators were jihadists, CNN constantly referred to the terrorists as "extremists" with no modifier. Hell, they could have been the Basque ETA or the ultra right wing U.S. militia. Then a CNN anchor asked his guest with totally innocence, "Now why would an extremist group target a Jewish house of worship?" Because, my dear politically correct anchor, it was an Islamist terrorist group.
The most that government officials, in cahoots with mainstream media, could utter were names like Al Qaeda (AQ) or Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) as potential suspects. Yet even here, the discussions were mindless. One talking head said it could not be AQ since AQ behavior is to have massive simultaneous explosions (as if Al Qaeda follows a pre-programmed script). Another expert said LeT did not have the resources to carry it out, forgetting ever so slightly that all Islamic terrorist groups share resources, recruit from other terrorist groups, train each other, provide each other with equipment and, most importantly of all, want to destroy their "enemies".
In the United States, after 9/11, a group of American men (mostly converts) pleaded guilty or were found to be guilty of training with LeT and of trying to "wage war" against the United States. Evidence produced in the trial showed that LeT's website - before being taken down - focused disproportionately on two enemies: Americans and Jews. In 2004, Ismail Royer, an official with the Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR) who had trained with the Taliban, pled guilty to weapons and explosives charges. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In later grand jury testimony, Royer admitted that the cell's primary goal was to fight with the Taliban against United States forces in Afghanistan.
Our politically craven governments, followed in part by the media, have now started to ban the use of the term "Islamic terrorists" or "Islamic militants", insisting that they simply be called "extremists" or militants. The government's rationale was a page picked right out of the playbook of western radical Islamic strategy: Portray the use of the term "Islamic terrorist" as "racist" and as allegedly stigmatizing all Muslims.
Last year, the Departments of State and Homeland Security issued an internal memorandum that henceforth no one could use the term "Islamic terrorists" and could only use the generic term "militant" or "extremist". Even President Bush, who once invoked the term "Islamofacism", now refuses to use the term Islamic terrorist. In Canada, the author Mark Steyn was the subject of three human rights complaints and subsequent trials for calling radical Muslims terrorists and other such "slurs". He won all three tribunals.
It is time to stop caving in to the PC crowd. If we refuse to use the term Islamic terrorist, we conveniently take away any onus of responsibility for Islamic groups to halt the murderous ideology they propagate. In fact, in nearly EVERY claim of responsibility, which I studied, for hundreds of violent Islamic attacks which took place since 9/11, the common justification by the Muslim terrorist perpetrator was that there was a "war against Muslims" by the West and the Jews that had to be avenged. The real truth is that there is war against the West and the Jews by Islamic jihadists. And no amount of territorial withdrawal or peace negotiations will assuage them.
But thankfully, there remains a glimmer of hope, and not from the condescending columnists of the New York Times or the State Department know-it-alls, but from courageous Muslim moderates in this country like Zuhdi Jasser or brutally honest Muslim columnists in the Middle East. While the West refuses to utter the term Islamic extremists and as a corollary holds no one responsible, at least one Muslim columnist has the guts to tell the truth of where the responsibility lies.
Aijaz Zaka Syed, a Muslim columnist who wrote a column for Sunday's Khaleej Times Online:
"It's all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves these psychopaths do not represent us..."
"The great religion that preaches and celebrates universal brotherhood, equality of men and peace and justice for all has been hijacked by a demented, miniscule minority. And, as my friend says, only Muslims can solve this problem. Only Muslims can confront these anarchists in their midst..."
"Only they can get their faith freed from the clutches of extremism. This is no time to hide. It's time to stand up and speak out. For the terrorists will continue to speak on our behalf, until we do not speak up. This is no time for silence. Enough is enough!"
Indeed, enough is enough. It is time to start listening to folks like Mr Syed or the courageous Zuhdi Jasser, rather than cave in to the PC crowd. Reporters seem incapable of reporting Islamic radicalism at home unless there is a conviction. And even then, as The New York Times has so dishonestly but consistently demonstrated, there are only good sheiks and good Islamic groups, not bad ones that preach jihad.
Even after the conviction of the defendants of all 108 counts in the Holy Land Foundation (Hamas) trial this past week, The New York Times poignantly focused its reporting not on the convictions for abetting terrorism and contributing to countless deaths of civilians, but on the tear jerking sobs of the wives and daughters of the convicted defendants who (surprise) claim their fathers were innocent. Now can you imagine the New York Times focusing its coverage sympathetically on the families of the convicted members of the KKK or neo-Nazis? Now further imagine reporters from the top newspapers getting their exclusive information for stories from un-indicted co-conspirators in the Hamas case.
It all comes together. After more than 7 years since 9/11, we can now issue a verdict: Islamic terrorists have won our hearts and minds. Let's thank those who made it happen: the U.S. government, European governments and the mainstream media. It's time to stop placating or being intimidated by Islamic front groups who masquerade as civil rights groups. In 2007, the perversity of was demonstrated when the FBI released its annual 2007 hate crime reports. Of the total 1,628 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 69.2% were Jewish and 8.7% were Muslim. Yet by my still unfinished account, there were at least 40 times more stories last year about Islamophobia than about anti-Semitism.
The Mumbai massacre was a heavily planned plot carried out by Islamic terrorists. Period. Memo to Obama: Until the onus of responsibility is put on Islamic "civil rights" groups that want to ban free speech and claim that anyone who uses the term Islamic terrorist is a racist, there is no hope of winning the battle.
Steve Emerson is Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and author of 5 books and countless articles on terrorism. His most recent book is Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.