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ZUMWALT: In the Wake of the Westminister Bridge Attack, What the Mice of Gough Island Can Teach Us About Islam

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The British-built de Havilland Comet was the world’s first commercial jetliner, placed in service in 1949. But in the early 1950s, several of the planes crashed. To prevent further loss of life, the fleet was grounded to identify the problem’s source and correct it.

The ultimate cause was attributed to a design flaw—the square-cut windows led to fatigue cracks in the airframe. Resolving the problem required installing an oval-shaped window replacement.  By accurately identifying and addressing the problem source, air travel once again was made safe for Brits.

But today, another problem makes Britain unsafe for its citizens. Unfortunately in the aftermath of a March 23 terrorist attack on Westminister Bridge, in which a Muslim jihadist ploughed a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians, Britain’s leadership refuses to identify the cause of the problem in order to appropriately resolve it.

In an exchange in Parliament after the attack, Conservative MP Michael Tomlinson naively asked Prime Minister Theresa May, “It is reported that what happened yesterday was an act of ‘Islamic terror.’ Will the Prime Minister agree with me that what happened was not Islamic, just as the murder of Airey Neave was not Christian, and that in fact both are perversions of religion?”

As disturbing as Tomlinson’s question was, May’s response was even more so, saying, “I absolutely agree, and it is wrong to describe this as ‘Islamic terrorism;’ it is ‘Islamist terrorism;’ it is a perversion of a great faith.” Playing semantics, she ignored a chilling reality about Islam.

May sought to make clear the ideology driving the Westminister Bridge attacker was not the religion of Islam, but a perversion of it.

It was interesting Tomlinson chose to compare the March 23 terrorist attack to MP Airey Neave’s 1979 assassination by an Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) car-bomb. He sought May’s endorsement “terrorism is terrorism,” with neither act triggered by any rightful religious justification. At the time of Neave’s murder, the U.K. had been turned into a virtual battlefield by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as Catholic nationalists opposed Protestant loyalists.

But two important points were obfuscated by the two British politicians’ exchange.

First, as stated, most acts of terrorism in the U.K., from the 1970s through 2001, shared a common IRA link. But by late 2001, IRA-related attacks disappeared, only to be replaced by numerous terrorist attacks with a different link—the vast majority undertaken by adherents to Islam.

Second, as these terrorist acts only involved one or two Muslim attackers, the Brits, as do many Western authorities, sought to dismiss any linkage to Islam as the source of the perpetrator’s motivation. Instead, they chose to identify an attacker as a “lone wolf” perverting the religion or claiming the terrorist’s motivation may never be known—which was done in this most recent case.

Such dismissal of the motivational rationale is disingenuous. It promotes a naïve belief—i.e., Islam is not violent, therefore, any Muslim resorting to violence must not be one. But this ignores Islam’s long historical record of violence.

Proponents of peaceful Islam fail to ask critical questions:

If Islam is peaceful and if those acting violently in its name pervert it, why has Islam experienced a 1400-year storied past of brutal violence? Should not such a history of Islam cause non-Muslims concern something inherently is wrong with the religion? Is it not logical, therefore, non-Muslims be concerned Islam has existed for a thousand plus years and continues to exist as a burning ember, igniting generations of followers into action believing they rightly and justly are doing what the Quran mandates they do—impose their religion upon all others, using force if necessary?

What is incredulous is Western blindness, created by an era of outrageous political correctness, in failing to do what was done over six decades ago to save passenger lives in the aviation industry by identifying a problem and then acting to resolve it.

The danger today is we refuse appropriately to challenge an ideology promoting hatred, intolerance and violence, simply because it is packaged as a religion. How many “lone wolf” attacks by Muslims must we witness before reason dictates we acknowledge a pattern exists, linking such acts to Islam? Reason dictates, based upon Islam’s 1400-year history of violence, we conclude we are not talking about a perversion of Islam causing terrorism—but about Islam itself.

Sadly, many of those declaring Islam peaceful have failed even to read the Quran to verify, for themselves, it is as they preach. Ironically, they simply give Islam a free pass, as an established religion, to co-exist with all other religions. But they fail to understand religious co-existence is not on Islam’s mind. As the Westminister Bridge attacker and those before him represent, Islam’s mandate is domination.

Those accepting Islam as peaceful do other religions a grave injustice. By failing to read the Quran, non-Muslims fail to grasp Islam’s reality—i.e., our very existence is contrary to theirs with the Quran mandating their religion alone survive. It is an end to be imposed by force by Muslims if not embraced voluntarily by non-believers.

There is an uninhabited island, Gough, located in the South Atlantic Ocean, that has been a breeding ground for the albatross for centuries. The bird population has thrived, never knowing predators. This changed recently.

Several years ago, mice—possibly from a passing ship—made their way to the island. They now thrive by feasting upon albatross chicks. Amazingly, conservationists report, the mice attack live chicks—outweighing them 250 fold—while the chicks’ parents do nothing to fend them off.

Environmentalists claim the parents are “ecologically naïve”—i.e., having never known predators before, they simply are blind to a threat to their very existence standing right before them. As a result, concerns exist, over time, the albatross may become endangered.

The question we need consider is whether democracy eventually will go the way of the albatross as a generation of Western parents, ecologically naïve about Islam’s threat to their existence, fail to save their own “chicks.”

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues. 


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