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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

December 19, 2015

Neither Bigot Not Apologist.

Our country is tied in knots on how to regard Militant Islam. Donald Trump, a bumptious Republican presidential candidate, is gaining traction because he speaks openly about our Muslim problem. However, he is a bully and a demagogue, suggesting we bar all Muslims entering our country from abroad, even our own Muslim servicemen. Will he next suggest deporting all Muslims already here, including citizens, having them join the deported Mexicans, perhaps?

His proposals are obnoxious, impractical, and violate American law. Those of his followers moved by fear do not consider that more people die on our highways in one month than Islamists can manage to kill in a decade. Put Jihadis in perspective. The sky is not falling.

On the other end of the political spectrum are the Apologists, those who repeatedly deny that militants are "real Muslims." They echo the Muslim spokesmen who proclaim that Islam is a "religion of peace," something that has never been true. Islam began and has now resumed its innate history of militancy. Muslim "tolerance" is only possible when Muslims are a minority population, a modern phenomenon not found in any Muslim-majority country.

Surprising Apologists are the National Women?s Studies Association, which passed a resolution to boycott Israel for their "gender-based violence perpetrated against Palestinians and other Arabs." They are silent on how the Muslim world and Islam itself persecutes women. Feminist groups have been mum for years on this issue, yet they profess to support women?s rights. (See Phyllis Chesler in the New York Post, Dec. 7, 2015.)

Both Bigots and Apologists are wrong. Trump lumps all Muslims (most of whom are not violent) with the militants practicing a new form of Islamo-fascism. But Apologists ignore that while most Muslims are non-violent, many still support the killers with money (much of it labeled "Palestinian relief") and now, unfortunately, protect radicals and politicized mosques in their midst.

Jihadis are living as a fifth column within the US and even more so in Europe, ready and willing to carry out deadly assaults. It is not difficult for our authorities to catch and abort groups conspiring to do mayhem; Jihadis are not very bright. But the only way to stop lone-wolf (self-radicalizing) Jihadis is for their families and neighbors to report them. They know when a community member has radicalized. New beards, excessive prayers, and burkas are red flags.

Muslims living in the West must put loyalty to their host country ahead of their religion, like other Americans. President Obama said as much, and was criticized by Muslim activists for "singling out their community for the actions of a few." He was then criticized by conservatives for not saying enough.

The Apologists who think that all American Muslims are innocent and critics are overreacting might consider the following: US authorities this year have arrested 56 Muslims in the US for plotting with the Islamic State, and 71 since 2014. Roughly 250 Americans have attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight, and 900 active probes of Muslim supporters are ongoing in every state. Three hundred American Muslims are active online supporters of ISIS, and several thousand passively consume ISIS propaganda. [US Program on Extremism: ISIS recruits in the U.S. Legal System.]

But where the Apologists are delusional is comparing today?s anti-Muslim bigotry with past attitudes to other immigrants, notably the Irish. No other large immigrant group arrived with a built-in violent ideology against the US. All these ethnic communities, despite prejudice against them, integrated as soon as we, the majority, let them.

Finally, to Bigots who claim all Muslim Americans are unable to assimilate, I urge you to read what might point to the future of American Islam: a proclamation by M. Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza, spokesmen for the Muslim Reform Movement. They reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice, and politicized Islam. They support a secular government, democracy, and modern concepts of human rights.

This is a direct attack on Islam?s religious texts and historic belief system. Good start. That is exactly what the Enlightenment did in the 18th century.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink