Americans Should Take Islamism Very Seriously
By Dr. Thomas Patterson – November 14, 2023
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
In a speech following 9/11, President Bush assured us that in spite of this terrorist attack, all humans deep in their hearts long for freedom and brotherhood. It’s a comforting sentiment, but it’s not true.
Radical Islamists openly proclaim their disdain for freedom as another decadent Western value. Iranian street crowds commonly chant “Death to America.” They are deadly serious. Radicalized Muslims think and behave so radically different than we do that we keep dangerously misjudging them and making massive blunders in our adversarial dealings with them (think Iran nuclear deal).
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a leading Muslim reformer, recently explained in the pages of the Arizona Republic that not all Muslims are Islamists. Some are moderate, even members of secular political movements such as the Iranian Women’s Revolution. But Islamists are the dominant side of the House of Islam, in part due to their massive financing by oil-rich Persian Gulf tribes. This allows them to control Islamic propaganda and education.
For Islamists, the sole purpose of life is complete submission to the will of Allah, as interpreted by their imams and scholars. Unfortunately for the world, what Allah wants is nothing short of complete domination, the establishment of a hegemonic caliphate and the subjugation of all non-Muslims.
Thus, the life of an Islamist is an unceasing war or “jihad” in pursuit of this ultimate goal. No boundaries are acknowledged in this quest. Kidnapping, beheading, rape, murder of innocent civilians, including their own, torture and atrocities of all kinds are not even deemed regrettable but are applauded.
These Islamists don’t fight wars for traditional reasons. They don’t battle for independence, territory, resources, or national pride. Their single goal is annihilation or subjugation of their enemies, which the Quran defines as all non-believers, especially Jews.
The problematic response of America and the West to this religion-based violence is appeasement and accommodation. We can solve our differences with talks! Surely if they understood how much we are willing to concede to bring matters to a peaceful conclusion, they would work with us.
Bad idea. To the Islamist warlords, appeasement is merely a sign of weakness. It’s a green light to ramp up the aggression.
Anthony Blinken’s trip to the Middle East to beg for a cease-fire was a telling fool’s errand. It undercut our ally Israel, which is in a bilateral existential war with radical Islamists. It gives Hamas a chance to rest, recruit, and rearm. Moreover, it has zero chance of bringing about a more immediate or favorable resolution of hostilities.
Our current American leadership appears incapable of comprehending the potential mortal danger we are in. They want to believe the “bad” Muslims are only a tiny minority. They think that if we can only defeat Hamas or Al-Qaeda or whatever terrorist organization is currently rampaging, they will surrender and all will be well.
It’s not just Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran we are fighting, but an entire global mindset, a medieval anti-western ideology of evil. For each specific foe we defeat, there are always others to replace them. Jihadists actually welcome martyrdom because it assures hero status and a better afterlife.
Americans need to understand also that an important part of jihad – the imperative to eventually kill or convert – is subversion from within. Millions of immigrant Muslims worldwide have no intention of assimilating. They are taught that their duty is not to learn the ways of their new country but to infiltrate their culture and demand accommodation.
They are seeing some success. Young Americans who are the product of our inept educational system deny that Israel has the right to defend itself. Nearly half agree that the horrific war crimes of Hamas were justified. Tens of thousands fill the streets chanting for the elimination of the Jewish state. The students weren’t born with this mindset. They learned it from radicalized authority figures.
We Americans deserve to be proud of our history as a fair, compassionate member of the international community. But being a good neighbor shouldn’t require suicide.
We may not wish to be at war with Islamism, but they’re waging deadly war against us. Meanwhile, Americans fret about climate change and Islamophobia. Time to wake up.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.