TAYLOR: Sean Hannity’s town hall on Islam was a start, but it didn’t go far enough


CHARLOTTE, NC, June 30, 2014 – Sean Hannity recently hosted a town hall program featuring approximately 15 of the so-called talking head analysts who are experts on Islam and the Middle East. According to the producers of the show, it was “good television.”

It wasn’t.

“Good television” has become a catch-phrase these days for any program where three or four people get into a vocal debate, also called a shouting match, by talking over each other so the viewer learns absolutely nothing. Yes, that is “noise” and it is loud, but it is not “good television.”

All Hannity’s hour-long “discussion” proved was that there is no limit to the number of opinions about how to deal with Islamic extremism. Counted among Sean’s group were two people who actually “get it” when it comes to all things Middle East. Pamela Geller and Brigitte Gabriel were the only ones who even have the remotest clue about the problems facing the West when it comes to Islam.

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What makes Brigitte Gabriel so astute is her ability to divorce herself from the muck and mire of micro-analyzing Middle Eastern ideologies.

Gabriel avoids concerns such as Sunni vs Shia or which terror group is the most visible on any given day. She understands the tribal nature of the region and she quickly cuts to the root cause of the problem, Islam.

Put it this way. It doesn’t matter whether you are staring a rattlesnake, a cobra, a copperhead, a black mamba or a coral snake in the face, they are all poisonous. If one of them bites, you are toast. Enough said. The same is true of terrorist organizations. It doesn’t matter which one bites.

As Brigitte Gabriel points out, “ISIS isn’t acting out of anger over borders or ‘politics’ as the West understands the term. ISIS has a specific goal in mind and that is the formation of an Islamic state ruled by Shariah.”

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Why is that such a difficult concept for the West to grasp? Says Gabriel, “this is a common goal of all the major jihadist organizations across the world.”

It is no more complicated than that.

The names of the players do not matter. The foundation of the problem is Islam, pure and simple.

“Israel could evaporate tomorrow and the overriding goal of the formation of Islamic states ruled by Shariah would not change a bit,” points out Gabriel. Jihadists are an angry, hateful group with one, and only one, goal in mind. The enemy is anyone and everyone who is non-Muslim. In fact, even Muslims who have differences are viewed as enemies of each other.

Brigitte Gabriel is a native of Lebanon. She knew her country when Beirut was called the “Paris of the Middle East.” She also saw it turned to rubble by Islamists.

“Too often the West becomes tied up in contemporary considerations and issues that have nothing to do with doctrine and assign too much significance to them,” says Brigitte.

“Islamic doctrine — Shariah — transcends geography, politics and even different Islamic sects,” she continues. In the process, that is all a Westerner really need to know.

As ISIS continues to establish an Islamic state, the threat for the West and the U.S. increases. As Gabriel accurately states, “the conflict in Iraq is portrayed in the Western media as a civil war, the truth is that most of the ISIS fighters are not Iraqi. They are jihadi warriors from around the world, including from the West.”

Sean Hannity should be praised for raising awareness of Islamist jihad that envelop the world today.

On the other hand, he should stop seeking ratings through so-called “good television” and focus, instead, on speaking with people such as Brigitte Gabriel, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer. retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the like who have clear insights into the problems we face in the West and who are not afraid to share them.

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)

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