This Threat Cannot Be Fought if We Aren’t Honest About What Drives it

Posted on Mon 02/23/2015 by

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By Andrew Bolt ~

Henry Ergas on the great evasion:

Obama’s claim that “No religion is responsible for terrorism, people are responsible for terrorism”, combined mendacity with hypocrisy.

The jihadis may indeed be “madmen”, as Obama said; but to deny they act in the name of Islam is as absurd as denying the crusades were fought under the banner of Christianity.

Nor was Obama on more solid ground in blaming Islamic extremism on poverty and disadvantage…

On the contrary, the ringleaders of the Madrid train bombings, three of the four 7/7 bombers in London, Theo van Gogh’s assassin Muhammad Bouyeri and the medical doctors arrested in the UK’s “doctors’ plot” all seemed to be models of successful integration. And well before the Copenhagen attacks, a study of 1113 young Muslims in Denmark found that the 24 per cent who sympathised with radical Islamism, were well educated, spoke fluent Danish and had (or could have had) good jobs.

Similar findings emerge from subsequent research by Johannes Kandel, who estimates that a third of Germany’s Muslim youth now hold radical Islamist views …

Islam’s revival is consequently hardly unique; but what is different is its link to religiously motivated violence…

Those factors are partly inherent in scriptural Islam itself. Extremists are more likely to invoke religious authority if they can find in it support for their extremism; and the obligation of jihad, the duty to make the whole world submit to the authority of God and the belief in the restoration of the Caliphate all lend themselves to that purpose, as does Islam’s glorification of the Prophet’s exploits in battle.

But what makes matters worse is that dangerous forms of those beliefs are not just held by extremists. Rather, they are widespread in Islamic communities, even in the United States, where (contrary to Obama’s assertion that America is free of Islamism) the Pew Research Centre found 8 per cent of Muslims believe suicide bombings against civilian targets can be justified…

All that means the future may well bear out Samuel Huntington’s grim forecast of a “clash of civilisations”, in which religion is “a central, perhaps the central, force”. And history shows religious conflict lasts far longer, and is far more savage, than almost any other, as the calculus of costs and benefits gets drowned in the passion of belief.

That is the threat the national security statement must tackle. The jihadis may well be lunatics, as Obama suggests, living and dying in a fantasy world in which they play out terrifying video games. But if so, they are, to use Marianne Moore’s phrase, “real toads in imaginary gardens”. And at the heart of those gardens lies Islam. Until we squarely face that truth, we won’t know how to deal with it.

Frank Furedi on why any concession to the enemies of free speech will inevitably encourage even more demands to censor ourselves – or else.


Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.