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On Dead Terrorists & Legitimate Islamists
Israel - Middle East
Friday, August 09, 2013
Alf Cengia

Back in 2012, senior State Department official, Michael Hirsch confidently declared to the National Journal that:

"The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." (Emphasis mine)

This past week the post-death Al-Qaeda terror chatter resulted in the shutdown of 19 United Sates embassies and consulates around the world. The current threat has been called the most serious in a number of years and the extent of the chatter was likened to that of pre 9-11.

I guess the CIA must have gone into their basements, dug out and dusted off their old Ouija boards to contact all these noisy dead guys...or something to that effect. Will the next headlines contain warnings about spectral terrorists terrorizing embassies and consulates ala Achmed the Dead Terrorist?

I wonder what form Hirsch's legitimate expression of Islamism might look like. Please pardon my cynicism; I'm not sure what's more ridiculous - that anyone should believe that people would opt for a better expression of Islam just because Islamists have been defeated, or that someone should actually entertain such a statement to begin with.

The search for a vocal and moderate - whatever that may mean - expression of Islamism is as elusive as the sneaky Loch Ness monster or the bashful Bigfoot. Except in this case, there are no suggestive ripples in the water and no tempting large footprints to track - just a lot of obfuscation.

Should we assume that a proponent of moderate Islamism would condemn the idea of Muslims flying airplanes into buildings killing unsuspecting infidels? Are we being presumptuous in thinking a moderate Islamist would denounce someone like Osama bin Laden?

Not so fast.

When Fox News interviewed Reza Aslan regarding the claims in his book about Jesus, the liberal main-stream media screamed conservative bias. Wall Street Journal Columnist Sarah Ruden noted that the only controversy surrounding "Zealot" was Fox's alleged faulty questions. She wrote in favor of Aslan, not once picking up on several academic errors which scholars shouldn't commit. Neither did she delve further than Zealot.

But, then, Ruden is a published revisionist as well. She wrote: "Paul Among the people - the Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time."

Imagine that!

Aslan is a protected moderate. If he wrote a book misrepresenting the gospel accounts of Jesus Christ's claims to divinity - well, all the better for it. He is delivering a message that some people desperately want to believe, both about Jesus and about moderate Islamists.

He obviously enjoys basking under a sympathetic media spotlight. But don't try to pin him down on some of the more unsavory aspects of Islam. During an interview with patient interviewer Cameron Kash, Aslan fielded annoying questions regarding where all those moderate Muslim voices were. He refused to condemn bin Laden:

"...because there is no central authority in Islam, no one can say that Osama bin Laden’s version of the religion is invalid, or that he is not a Muslim."

Isn't the central authority of Islam the Qur'an? What does the Qur'an say about killing infidels? The Nigerian-British jihadist, who hacked the soldier to death, declared that:

"…we are forced by the Qur'an in Sura at-Tauba, through many, many ayah throughout the Koran that we must fight them as they fight us, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

How would Aslan respond to that? Alas, he scrambles to maintain his composure and answer the persistent interviewer's questions. He finally offers his selection of prominent moderate Muslims: Eboo Patel, Amina Wadud, Faisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan. He considers former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be a liberal reformer.

In response, Robert Spencer notes the following:

"Eboo Patel dissembles about Muhammad’s behavior and Islamic teaching; Amina Wadud, the only possibly genuine reformer in this group, aroused Muslim anger by having the temerity to lead prayers as a woman; Rauf has refused to denounce Hamas; lied about his commitment to religious dialogue; lied about whether the Islamic center planned for the Ground Zero site will contain a mosque or not; lied about whether or not the project is getting foreign funding; and was involved with a group that helped fund the jihad flotilla against Israel. Daisy Khan has likewise engaged in lies about and defamation of freedom fighters."

Spencer cites Aslan's prediction that:

“The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is a good thing.

I guess a "good thing" can also be a relative thing.

And, as always, Ahmadinejad wears his heart on his sleeve:

"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel's existence) will repeat."

Now that would be a shame! If nothing else, I admire the liberal reformer's openness.

In the case of the main-stream media's fervent protection of Reza Aslan, we see a world wanting to believe the best of its restricted examples of moderate Islamism. It doesn't want to dig too deeply below the surface because it would rather believe a comfortable myth.

Yet if these so-called moderate examples of Islam are really wolves in sheep clothing, then what can we determine about the likes of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority? These two organizations make no effort to hide their hatred of Israel and openly refuse to recognize a Jewish state. They don't even pretend to be moderate. So why should Israel trust them?

Nevertheless, Israel is badgered and cajoled into sitting down at the table and pretend that peace talks are occurring when they're really a facade. I suppose the fantasy keeps a lot of people happy.

Not the Palestinian leaders, mind you.

After all, Israel is still there!

About Alf Cengia

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