CHARLOTTE, NC, January 14, 2015 – Bruce Thornton of FrontPage Magazine has written a brilliant article about the absurdity of those who believe that Islam has been “hijacked” by extremists.
It is not what Thornton says that is so new, but how he says it. “Our ancestors for centuries acknowledged the true nature of Islam, a simple fact proven by 1,000 years of Muslim aggression,” he writes.
It is Thornton’s reasoning that makes his piece powerful. The words simplify the complex and present the controversy in a clear, rational spotlight.
In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Paris followed by a unity march that included dozens of world leaders, Thornton answers many of the questions that have long plagued us from Islamic apologists.
“Many Westerners,” writes Thornton, “continue to sleepwalk through the war against jihadism. This means that after all the brave words and feel-good marches, little significant action will be taken to prevent such atrocities from happening again.”
Thornton is not the first analyst to express pessimism over the impact of the rally in Paris. He calls for a follow-through in order for it to be effective. If there is none, which is what the extremists expect, then the status will remain quo.
“For many apologists,” explains Thornton, “it’s just easier to call the jihadists ‘crazy.’ But jihadists are not insane, and their violence cannot be dismissed so simply. They are proud Muslims, adherents of a 14-centuries-old faith that conquered its way to one of history’s largest empires, the warriors before whom a now dominant, arrogant West once trembled. Their faith preaches that Allah wills the whole world to be united under the rule of Islam and its illiberal, totalitarian law code.”
If Islamic apologists know this, they certainly do not recognize it, because all too often they cite Christianity and the Crusades as the counter arguments to modern-day extremism.
Thornton continues, “If you want contemporary evidence for the reality of jihad, look around the world today, where Muslim violence is endemic, and accompanied by theological arguments drawn straight from Islamic scripture, theology, and jurisprudence.
“As we speak, plenty of Muslim human beings every day in Nigeria, Libya, Syria, northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen, to name a few venues of jihadist violence, are doing horrible things…and all the other atrocities that are also copiously documented in the history of Islamic conquest and occupation.”
Next Mr. Thornton cites Ahmed Harqan, an Egyptian critic of Islam, who asked directly, “What has ISIS done that Muhammad did not do?”
Apologists cannot respond to that question because they have not studied the life of the Islamic prophet.
Once again Thornton reaches beyond the intelligence level of the majority of Islamic supporters who prefer to equate Muhammad with Jesus rather than do any legitimate research to discover that the prophet of Islam was 180-degrees apart from Christ.
As Thornton points out, “it’s no coincidence that of the 7 global conflicts costing at least 1,000 lives a year, 6 involve Muslims.”
What is so sad is that Thornton’s facts should be obvious to any reasonable observer.
Here is where Thornton challenges traditional rebuttal when he writes, “Another tack is to invoke the tu quoque fallacy, charging that Hebraism and Christianity are just as violent as Islam. What it ignores is the fact that someone started the violence by serially invading and conquering the lands of others, and enslaving and oppressing their people. The siege of Vienna in 1683 was the last in a long history of Islamic military aggression against Europe and the centuries-long occupation of Western lands; the Crusades were an attempt to liberate from oppressive occupiers a land that had been Christian for centuries before being invaded by the armies of Islam.”
If apologists know this, they certainly do not admit it, but Thornton is dead on accurate in his analysis.
He then goes on to challenge the argument that Christianity and Judaism are as bloody as Islam. “The violence in the Old Testament…reflects the brutal reality of its times, not a theology binding the faithful for all times. As for the New Testament, the only violent verses apologists can dredge up, as a New York Times article did last week, come from the apocalyptic predictions of Revelations, or these words of Christ from Matthew: ‘I come not to bring peace, but a sword.’ Grade-school catechumens know that this is a metaphor, not a call to jihad, like the Koranic verses instructing Muslims to ‘slay the idolaters wherever you find them,’ or to ‘fight those who do not believe in Allah,’ or to ‘kill them wherever you find them.’”
From here Thornton discusses the concept of so-called “moderate” Muslims. “The whitewashing of Islam’s violent prescriptions serves another fantasy, the idea that there are vast majorities of ‘moderate’ Muslims whose ‘religion of peace and tolerance’ has been ‘hijacked’ by a tiny number of ‘extremists.’
“But we’ve been waiting ever since 9/11 for ‘moderate’ Muslims to ‘step forward’ and ‘proclaim very loudly’ that the jihadists have distorted their faith…but the Muslim masses globally have been mostly silent. Of course, many Muslims have no desire to follow Islam’s precepts about waging jihad, and just want to live their lives in peace.”
Where are those “moderates” asks Thornton, “we have not seen the kind of public, unequivocal, unqualified, mass condemnations of the jihadists one would expect if the latter were a fringe whose beliefs are so alien to traditional Islam.
“What we have seen are thousands of Muslims celebrating in the streets after 9/11. We have seen riots and murders in response to Westerners exercising the right to free speech. We have seen rallies against Israel in which nakedly genocidal rhetoric is indulged. And we have seen that significant numbers of Muslims, including large majorities in the Middle East, continue to support an illiberal, intolerant shari’a law that codifies the attitudes and beliefs justifying such violence.”
In his summation, Thornton cites the words of one of the world’s greatest political philosophers who wrote, “The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.”
The words are those of Alexis de Tocqueville written in 1838.
And so the “sleepwalking” continues.
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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