Robert Spencer: How to stop Islamic jihad

Islamic terrorism doesn't spring from Muslim poverty, but from Muslim ideology; it isn't analogous to America's urban street crime; we need a president who understands that.

ISIS in retreat, or resurgent?
ISIS in retreat, or resurgent?

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 31, 2016 — Robert Spencer of “Jihad Watch” is a leading authority on Islam and its teachings. If more people knew who he is and listened to his warnings, the U.S. would be in a much better position to deal with Islamic jihad.

In April, Spencer discussed jihad while sitting on a panel at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat in Ranacho Palos Verdes, California. Spencer’s comments were so clear, it would be difficult for a reasonable person to misinterpret what he said.

He gave an analogy of the Obama administration’s approach to Islam that was not only poignant, but also laugh-out-loud funny.

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Said Spencer, “I was talking to my wife and we’re having a little trouble with her brother. He thinks he’s a chicken and I said to her, ‘You know, we’re going to have to have him committed’ and she said, ‘I would, but we need the eggs.’”

Commenting on Secretary of State John Kerry’s endorsement of the administration’s position that ISIS is “not Islamic,” Spencer asked, “if you were a Muslim and you were about to join ISIS … would that (Kerry’s analysis) make you change your mind?”

Then came the clincher, “Because everybody knows that Muslims look to non-Muslim political leaders to tell them what’s Islamic and what isn’t.”

Donald Trump frequently tells the story about a woman who finds a snake on a cold wintry day and, feeling sorry for the reptile, takes it in and nurses it back to health. One day the snake bites the woman and just before she dies she asks, “Why?” To which the adder replies, “Because I’m a snake.”

Spencer relates a similar story, but his is true. A friend “told me about an Iraqi that he worked with, quite extensively, and he was going back to the States. And so he was saying goodbye to his Iraqi counterpart, and the Iraqi said to him, ‘you’re a good man, and it’s been good to work with you, and I’m going to be very sorry when the time comes for me to kill you.’”

That is the mindset we are dealing with, one that many of us refuse to comprehend, especially the president of the United States.

Using comparisons between World War II and the War on Terror, Spencer makes the simple point, “We went into Iraq and Afghanistan, defeated the people who were in power very quickly, and then the whole thing went wrong because we implemented Sharia constitutions in both countries that enshrined as law the very same beliefs and attitudes that had led those countries to be hostile to the United States in the first place. It is as if we had gone into Germany after the war and put Goering in charge after Hitler had killed himself.” (emphasis added)

What makes Robert Spencer so effective is his ability to back up his reasoning with facts and knowledge. He knows more about Islam than most of his Islamic counterparts know about their own religion. It is difficult for Muslims to challenge him; he is always ready with a stronger counterargument.

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Think about the money the United States has spent on infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then ask yourself, as Spencer does, “how many people who were handed a basketball by an American soldier do you think thought, ‘Gee, the Americans are really nice. I’m not going to become a jihadi’?”

Such strategies are based upon the idea that poverty is the root cause of terrorism, a mantra keenly endorsed by President Obama. The theory is that if we “make nice” with these people and build them things, then jihad will eventually disappear. It’s a false premise. Jihad is based upon the teachings of the Quran and is not necessarily rooted in poverty as Obama strongly believes.

According to Spencer, the first step to combating Islamic jihad is a thorough house-cleaning in America’s foreign policy when the new president takes office next January. Not just a change of personnel, but a “definitive repudiation of the people who have applied these failed policies again and again.”

Spencer cannot understand why we refuse to work with Vladimir Putin against a common enemy, using the example of our alliance with Joseph Stalin during WWII. Perhaps it would not be a bad strategy to make a temporary pact with someone more ruthless than our politically correct Western allies to help resolve the issue.

But first we must recognize that there is a problem. And January 2017 is still a long way off.

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 (

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod

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