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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

November 06, 2010

Is the West Really Islamophobic—Or Under Attack?

An AP article on October 5/6 ran with a headline: “5 Germans killed in Pakistan with Europe on Alert.” Had the Nazi party revived? Reading further, the article said: “An American missile strike killed five German militants Monday in the rugged Pakistan border area where a cell of Germans and Britons at the heart of the U.S. terror alert for Europe---a plot U.S. officials link to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden—were believed in hiding.”

This long paragraph never mentioned the word “Muslim!” The article said: “there is concrete evidence that at least 70 Germans have undergone paramilitary training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and about a third have returned to Germany.” Are these new German converts to Islam or Muslim immigrants to Germany? Why not identify those who want to kill and maim as many of them as possible?

Although the European press is tip-toeing around the problem, their police are not. They are on alert across Europe because they have learned of plans for a Mumbai-like attack in which armed suicide operatives, in public places, kill as many Europeans, including European Muslims, as they can. And an attempt was made by Yemeni terrorists to detonate explosives in the US in late October.

Europeans want to avoid their nasty old tradition of bigotry, but denial isn’t the answer either. Some Muslims living in Europe are increasingly integrated (as are our own immigrants over time). But there is a deadly strain of Islam that is international, has a clearly Islamo-fascist ideology, and is supported by Middle East oil money. This cult is vigorously engaging in missionary work both among young secular Muslims and among disaffected Europeans and Americans (usually in prison). They are armed and dangerous.

One new American citizen, Faisal Shahzad, tried (but failed) to detonate a bomb in downtown New York. He has been sentenced to life in prison. The judge asked: “Didn’t you swear to defend the United States when you became a citizen?” “Yes,” he said, “but I did not mean it.” He warned: “brace yourself, the war with Muslims has just begun. The defeat of the U.S. is imminent, inshallah (God willing).”

A Pakistani woman, Asfia Siddiqui, was sentenced in the US to 85 years in prison as a terrorist. She was arrested for shooting Americans who attempted to question her when she was captured in 2008. She is a Ph.D. scientist who studied at MIT and Brandeis and yet was found with hand-written plans to do a mass-casualty attack on New York City. She was carrying two pounds of sodium cyanide to use as an explosive and had a computer flash drive with plans for injecting poison into fresh fruits. Despite her education, she believes in Islamo-fascism, an incredible choice considering her education and gender. And yet her fellow Pakistanis incredibly insist she is innocent.

Why, if terrorists proclaim that they are Muslims and believe it is their religious duty to war with the West, are we afraid to say so? In Sweden, the press is so intimidated that in publishing crime statistics, it will not print names lest the reading public realize the criminals are Muslim. And here, Juan Williams, a commentator with sterling journalistic credentials, was fired by NPR because he said what many of us (including secular Muslims) think: that he is nervous to fly with passengers wearing Muslim garb.

Norway, in a departure from its past, has stopped Saudi Arabia from financing more mosque building in Norway. It would be “paradoxical and unnatural” to accept funding from a country closed to all religious freedom, they said. This is not Islamophobia; this is self-defense.

In the Netherlands, a popular Dutch member of parliament, Geert Wilders, on trial for anti-Muslim “hate speech;” is reminding the Dutch that freedom of speech is the centerpiece of democracy and they should defend it.

Muslim terrorists cannot bring down a western country unless we let them. We can hope that in the long run, these militants will either provoke the rest of the Muslim world to modernize, or destroy and bring about an entirely new Islam.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and writer. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.