Islam is a religion, and like any other faith, it is internally diverse. Islamism, by contrast, is the desire to impose a single version of Islam on an entire society. Islamism is not Islam, but it is an offshoot of Islam. It is Muslim theocracy.
In much the same way, jihad is a traditional Muslim idea connoting struggle—sometimes a personal spiritual struggle, sometimes a struggle against an external enemy. Jihadism, however, is something else entirely: It is the doctrine of using force to spread Islamism.
President Barack Obama and many liberal-minded commentators have been hesitant to call this Islamist ideology by its proper name. They seem to fear that both Muslim communities and the religiously intolerant will hear the word “Islam” and simply assume that all Muslims are being held responsible for the excesses of the jihadist few.
I call this the Voldemort effect, after the villain in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Many well-meaning people in Ms. Rowling’s fictional world are so petrified of Voldemort’s evil that they do two things: They refuse to call Voldemort by name, instead referring to “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and they deny that he exists in the first place. Such dread only increases public hysteria, thus magnifying the appeal of Voldemort’s power.
The same hysteria about Islamism is unfolding before our eyes. But no strategy intended to defeat Islamism can succeed if Islamism itself and its violent expression in jihadism are not first named, isolated and understood. It is as disingenuous to argue that Islamic State is entirely divorced from Islam as it is to assert that it is synonymous with Islam. Islamic State does indeed have something to do with Islam—not nothing, not everything, but something. That something is the way in which all Islamists justify their arguments using Islamic scripture and seek to recruit from Muslims.
Islamic State’s leaders insist that the U.S. and the rest of the West are waging a global war against all Islam and Muslims. This is obvious nonsense, but by a combination of provocation and self-fulfilling prophecy, Islamic State is doing everything possible to make it a reality. Islamic State’s goal is to leave Sunni Muslims—in Europe, America and the Middle East—with no refuge except the terrorist group’s own self-declared caliphate in the lawless regions of Syria and Iraq.
As Islamic State has outlined in its own magazine Dabiq, it aims to eliminate what it calls the “gray zone,” the middle ground between Islamist theocrats and anti-Muslim bigots, so that everyone is forced to pick sides. In this way, Islamic State hopes to turn non-Muslims against Muslims and, once this process is complete—that is, once we all begin to see each other primarily through narrow religious lenses—to set off a global religious war.
Read more by Maajid Nawaz at WSJ.
So, what is the difference between the author’s decades long battle and what Israel did several years ago (before the PC west got so critical of their actions they stopped them) >
Years ago Israel started taking out the leader of the militant Islamists in Gaza and West Bank.
If they pinpoint killed a leader and his organization said so-&-so was the new leader, Israel pinpoint killed the new leader.
Before the world came down on Israel the IDF had pinpoint killed so many leaders that both Hamas and Hezb’allah were afraid to name their new ”leaders.”
These ”leaders” taught Obama how to ”lead from behind.”
They moved from place to place every night and used phony names.
But, more importantly, their movements DIED.
For several years the Israelis had relative peace because the ”leaders” of Hamas and Hezb’allah were on the run.
What Israel did worked.
It was a Leftist, PC West that stopped Israel.
Now this writer wants to – what? – fight in ideology and words only?
Now, who remembers that GWBush tried to put out a propaganda radio and newspaper in Afghanistan and Iraq?
But the LEFT made it stop.
So, who is going to help this writer to propagate a viable alternative message into Islamic countries?
Not the LEFT!
Can you imagine a Kerry, Hillary or Gore telling Islam why this-or-that is proof that their ”allah” is NOT the true God?
It is going to be an evangelical or at least a believer in God who will be able to help with this.
Think Cruz, Huckabee, Trump.
The Ideology will never be killed, its an idea a belief, Nazis still exist not popular not going to over-run a country but the ideolgy is still there. In large groups the feel powerful and are capable of genocide, slaughter on a grand scale. The Nazis were not defeated with words, and are not extinct.
Hillary as solved it. We need more love and understanding.
I’m not sure which is worse…. the fact that Hillary will go to such great lengths to avoid discussing the actual problem to suggest that being more understanding is going to win the war or that there are actually people out there that that message actually resonates with.
Slow down immigration from middle east
The simple reality is that these countries are overrun with Sharia adherence and Jewish hatred. We must focus on assimilating those Muslims already in America and empowering the legitimate moderates.
Deport hostile non-citizen immigrants
Strip citizenship from those that are hostile, by due process, we are at war. Those that try to join jihadist groups should be tried for treason.
Properly classify terror groups this stops government officials from being influenced by them, In addition, much of the radicalization in mosques and universities is funded by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. They must be designated as terror states until there is a change in their policies, thereby prohibiting them from funding radical mosques
Reform the refugee program
Implement a visa entry and exit program.
Pass a federal law to prohibit the consideration of any foreign law when adjudicating in an American court.
We need to clean our house first, keep our homeland safe without trading liberty for safety.
One thing we now know beyond any doubt; this administration uses every opportunity to allow more of these people from these regions into our country, even without properly checking their background. They don’t even look at their Facebook accounts, where Tashfeen Malik was touting her support for terrorism before she come to the US.
The explanations can range from conspiracy to incompetence, but nowhere in that spectrum will anyone find a true concern for national security.
Maajid Nawaz was a terrorist recruiter before he was captured and imprisoned by the Egyptians. His family knew he was a recruiter, but didn’t know what kind of recruiter. Soon as that became public knowledge after his capture, his father and family disowned him. They considered him “to be dead to them”. While in prison, he made a decision to abandon the jihadist movement completely and began to cooperate with Egyptian and British intelligence agencies. Of course, they tested him repeatedly to ensure he no longer subscribed to the terrorist agenda. He also called the jihadi movement akin to following a false prophet – you would gain this, this and this but the only thing you would gain is being a dead terrorist.
Knowing the recruitment messaging, the support within the Muslim community (sympathizer network), financial support, etc., Nawaz gave British intelligence a profile of who makes the ideal recruit, and what it will take to undermine the recruitment methods. Generally speaking, all terrorist organizations (from the IRA to ISIS) read from the same script of how they are fighting the good fight, etc.
Undermining terrorist recruitment is key to cutting off the lifeblood to the organization. It is marginalizing the movement by attacking their financial resources, community support and ideology. What Nawaz is saying is not much different than some of the methods we used in Iraq. For COIN strategy to work in Iraq, we needed to drive a wedge between the Sunni Iraqis and AQI. We maintained a level of contact with the tribal groups supporting AQI and those friendly/semi-friendly with us. By Fall 2006, many of those same tribal groups that fought against us had enough of AQI. Driving that wedge helped set the stage for the force surge, and for the COIN to be effective at the strategic and tactical levels.
Nawaz is saying we need to do the same, but at the global level. We have to marginalize ISIS within the larger Muslim community. The new fighter recruits think of ISIS in “romantic” terms, they are in love with what ISIS does. Not only do we need to strangle that, we also need to use every tool available to cut off the support, financially and inside the sympathizer networks – when you support terrorists, you’re not much different from the terrorists themselves.
Nawaz, he hasn’t quite earned back the trust of his father and family.