Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Islam is Not Irrelevant to the Problem of Girls Being Slaughtered

There are some reasonable points in a Brookings Institution article in the issue of countering Islamist terrorism.

Yes, reforming corrupt and autocratic rulers in the Arab and Moslem worlds is important to preventing radicalization. That isn't a problem of Islam, strictly speaking:

There is a growing body of research on what drives support for terrorism and, counter to earlier conventional wisdom, it is generally not religion, ideology, or the internet that attract would-be violent extremists. Rather, military or police abuses of one’s own population are among the single largest drivers of terrorist recruitment. Corruption and the biased delivery of public services that erodes the trust between the government and its citizens are also among the key sources of grievance within communities that terrorist propaganda exploits.

This is why I was hopeful for the 2011 Arab Spring; and why I did not mock or dismiss it when it largely failed. Just demanding democracy as an alternative to the traditional choices of autocracy or Islamist rule for Arabs was progress as far as I am concerned. It's a long struggle to successfully change thinking enough to get it.

But the actual response of those unhappily living under that corruption and autocracy is a problem of Islam. The mass murder of little girls at a pop concert in a country far from your homeland is not a normal response to your own government's brutality and corruption.

And even if the misrule of the Saudi government excuses the mass murder of Westerners in America on 9/11 (it doesn't), for example, did the abuse and corruption of Britain inspire the locally born jihadi who killed little girls in Manchester? 

Unfortunately, Islam gives those victims of their own governments a higher purpose for killing and a convenient targets abroad (who include little girls) to blame when fighting their own governments becomes too hard to do without being killed or put in a dark jail until they die from torture, starvation, or despair.

So Islam is not completely beside the point, you must admit.

Chicago has the ingredients of corruption and virtual autocracy necessary to provoke crime and murder, perhaps; but what Chicagoans don't have is a world view that blames Canadians for their misery and celebrates the killing of Canadians--whether English- or French-speakers--as the solution.

If you don't like that comparison, why aren't Venezuelans, Ethiopians, and Zimbabweans strapping on suicide vests to kill civilians far away as logical responses to their poverty and oppression?

Face it, we spend too much time trying to figure out why the jihadis hate us and why we didn't spot their latest plot to kill us:

We indeed have traveled a long way since 9-11. Too many people are back to 9-10. [The jihadi terrorists] hate us, people. All of us. Not just the current administration. Not just the Red State citizens. Owning a bongo and tie-dyed shirts won’t save you. Nor will spouting sympathy for their cause. We’re all targets and they’ll dance over our graves if we let them.

Stop debating to the point of paralysis over what dots should have been connected and what dots existed. The dots keep killing us in the most gruesome manner they can come up with. Just kill the freaking dots! We are at war and we must win.

Sadly, I wrote that plea 13 years ago.

As I've long said, killing jihadis isn't the sole solution to fighting Islamist terrorism. It may even be the smallest part of success. I have no problem admitting that human rights and reform within the Islamic world are necessary in the long run. This is essentially an Islamic Civil War about how Islam will be defined and we are collateral damage in that fight.

But whatever percent of the solution killing jihadis represents, it is damned well the first thing that needs to be done given that in the short run the murderous, hate-filled scum aspire to slaughter our children in our own cities.