By Andrew E. Harrod, Investigative Project on Terrorism
“America is at war; and has been since at least September 11, 2001, but no one is really sure who with,” Robert Spencer writes in his recently released Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth about the War We’re In. Thankfully, Spencer’s important book makes a significant contribution in clarifying this catastrophic confusion.
That “Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion” no different from…other faiths” in multicultural ecumenism, Spencer observes, forms a Western policy “cornerstone” and “cherished dogma of today’s political correct elites.” Yet President George W. Bush’s claim before Congress on Sept. 20, 2001, that al-Qaida terrorists “practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism” does not “become any truer for being oft repeated.”
“[U]unlike other modern faiths, Islam is a political religion” whose “comprehensiveness is often a matter for boasting among Islamic apologists” in comparison to “Christianity’s vague set of moral precepts,” Spencer writes. Such detail includes a “denial of basic rights…integral” to Islamic law despite attempted Muslim portrayals of sharia as “so amorphous as to defy characterization.” Islam’s death penalty for apostasy, for example, gives it something in common with cults, making leaving in one piece difficult.
Sharia interpretations “more compatible with Western pluralism and liberal democracy…have never gained any significant traction among Muslims.” However undesirable, centuries-old Islamic orthodoxy invariably and unsurprisingly has controlling legal authority.
“Jihad” in particular, “behind all the obfuscation and denial, is in fact primarily an Islamic doctrine of warfare,” drawn from the Qur’an’s “open-ended license to wage war against and plunder non-Muslims.” Despite various references to righteousness (e. g. Sura 5:8), the “Qur’an doesn’t teach that all are equal in dignity.” Rather, Islamic conversion can mean rejecting “nation and people as infidel” in favor of a “new loyalty instead to the supranational Islamic umma.”
Spencer offers plenty of examples, including Fort Hood terrorist Major Nidal Hasan had a “broad tradition within Islamic teaching” justifying his killings with “numerous proponents.” Although “not the only understanding of Islam…even the larger number of Muslims who do not adhere to it have failed to work in any effective way to rein it in.” Accordingly, “Al Qaeda and other groups like it make recruits among peaceful Muslims” as “exponents of true and authentic Islam.” Unfortunately, faith fundamentals in Islam do not necessarily favor freedom over sectarian force.
Read more: Investigative Project.org