CHARLOTTE, NC, January 22, 2015 – Perhaps Strother Martin said it best when he uttered his famous line in the movie “Cool Hand Luke“: What we have here, is failure to communicate.“
With each passing day, the perceptions of Islam become increasingly muddled, and a “failure to communicate“ is one of the primary reasons.
Barack Obama recognizes that Muslim populations in the United States have, to a great extent, been able to assimilate better than their counterparts in Europe. Even so, the president refuses to use the words “extremist“ or “Islamists“ or “Islamic extremism” when addressing these matters in public.
Meanwhile, in Europe, which is still reeling from an attack in France as well as with potential threats in other countries, leaders are not afraid to define the problem with the appropriate words. But they are also part of the ongoing problem. They are guilty of allowing the lack of assimilation by Muslims to get out of control.
Earlier this week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), an Iraq War veteran, went against the administration’s “don’t say ’extremism’ and maybe it will go away’”policy by stating that “unless you clearly identify your enemy, then you cannot come up with a very effective strategy.“
Gabbard is correct, except for the fact that the White House does not appear to have a strategy for dealing with global terrorism. Which only makes matters more confusing.
And though she was on the right track, Congresswoman Gabbard missed the point later when she remarked “this is not a so-called indictment of all Muslims. You have people who are practicing in a spiritual way, studying the Koran and doing their best in their own way to develop their relationship with God.”
“Studying the Koran” is where Gabbard jumps the rails because the Koran is precisely where the extremists obtain the foundation for their radical ideology. The Koran directs Muslims in the direction of terror.
One major factor in misunderstanding the differences between Islamic extremism and non-violent Islam is that large numbers of Muslims who do not endorse the extremist approach do accept the core idea of Muslim world dominance. In essence these people comprise a considerable portion of the group known as “moderate Muslims.”
It is because they believe in that ultimate goal that they either do not or cannot speak, following a terrorist event.
As Ryan Mauro of The Clarion Project suggests, “The answer isn’t to endlessly praise these leaders for condemning Al-Qaeda-type attacks in the hopes of changing their minds. The answer is to forcefully respond to their mischaracterizations, hold them accountable and find better Muslim partners to uplift.”
Assimilation, or the lack of it, is a major contributor to the problems now facing Europe. By allowing Islamic enclaves to evolve, especially in major cities throughout the continent, Muslims have been able to pretty much exist within their own culture without adhering to the laws of the new countries in which they reside.
In essence many European Muslim communities have become parasites on their host nations.
The assimilation process breaks down when integration fails, because the basis of Islamic teaching runs counter to Western morality by allowing disaffected youth a greater opportunity to be radicalized from within their dominant surroundings.
Saudi Arabia has long used its abundance of petro-dollars to promote Wahhabi Islam in Europe. As the home of the Prophet Muhammad and the birthplace of Islam, Wahhabism’s extremist ideology carries considerable weight in the Muslim world.
Those who do fight back are frequently labeled as “Islamophobes.” Though the charge may be completely inaccurate, the word itself carries the perception of validity. In the end, Muslims and their apologists have learned that employing the term “Islamophobia” is an ideal way to shut people up.
Given the fact that one word can carry so much weight, it then becomes easy to see why the failure of Barack Obama to use the term “extremist” or “Islamist” does make a difference.
So while the war of words continues domestically, the war of bombs continues globally.
To begin cleaning up the problem in Europe, its leaders must eliminate the so-called “No go zones” and pass legislation that forces people to live by the laws of the governing nation.
Coddling the enemy only adds to the problem and further enhances our “failure to communicate.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of “What in the World” and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod