Leaders both here and in Europe are reluctant to identify those with whom we are at war. They are not fools, and I do understand their reluctance to say that the West is at war with one billion Muslims. Some demagogues might say that, but that is just as foolish as saying we are at war with Terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy.
We had no problem being at war with Nazism or Communism, without saying that all Germans and all Russians are bad people. But plenty were, and we engaged in real wars with them, both of which we won.
This conflict is a war declared on us by Islamists, a sect guided by their particular interpretation of Islam. Authorities keep saying that "this is not real Islam, it is an aberration." Yet the Islamists with their death industry justify their interpretation of Islam on their Muslim texts themselves.
Since the onset of this "return to the roots" movement in the early 20th century, Islamists have killed more fellow Muslims than Westerners----and this has been going on all over the world where Muslims rule.
This is a great internal war for Islam, a war between "originalists" and "modernizers." It is an ideological war, and the cause of it was realization, early in the 20th century, that Islam was no longer a great and powerful civilization. At that time, every Muslim majority country was under colonial rule, mostly by Christian Europeans.
There were two ways to analyze this dilemma in the Muslim world: the modernizers who recognized the Muslim world's backwardness and wanted to change it; and the Islamic fascists who wanted to take back control of all lands where Muslims had once lived, using as their model the values of 7th century Arabia.
The modernizers have lost the battle. It is not happening in Muslim majority lands. They have seen these efforts reversed in once secular Turkey, which is under their "mildly Islamist" (The Economist) leadership. President Erdogan has managed to wipe out much of secular modernism with a campaign of creeping Islamization. Iran, which was another modernizing country under the Pahlavi rulers, has reverted to a repellant Shiite Muslim state that has brought nothing but grief to its population.
The source of the most primitive form of Islamic ideology are the Wahabbi clerics in Saudi Arabia. The world would never have cared that this group had created a nasty culture in their desert kingdom had it not been for oil: the value of which in the 20th century enabled them to set up brainwashing schools all over the Muslim world and finance terrorism. They (and Pakistan) produced the murderous warriors that the world is now facing. Our mistake after 9/11 was that we did not go after them! Their oil money is still supporting ISIS, their most poisonous spawn.
We have shrugged when Saudis lash or decapitate subjects who have "insulted" Islam or violated one of their draconian laws. But we are not shrugging now when ISIS carries out the same horrors on their captives. Consulting the Koran, slavery and crucifixion are back in style. This is what Militant Islam will do to non-complying Muslims, and of course, to those of us not the least interested in religion at all.
We are at war with Primitive Islam, but so are the Muslims who have not bought into this dreadful ideology. Their own internal war has spilled out among us all, and we cannot tiptoe around whom and what we are fighting.
What ISIS did in Paris, comparable Muslim sects are doing in Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. This is the world's Public Enemy No. 1. Militant Islam is its name, and terrorism is its tool.
In a surprise move, the US has finally used the word "Genocide," a category that we have been reluctant to use even against the Turkish genocide against the Armenians. Now we are leveling this term officially against ISIS. This is a start that should be followed up by calling a spade a spade.
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.net.