In the aftermath of the July 16th Chattanooga murders claiming the lives of five U.S. servicemen and the FBI’s findings concerning the killer’s motivation, we desperately need a correct diagnosis to be made as to cause. Unfortunately, both the media and our government refuse to give it.
The FBI’s official finding on Chattanooga shooter Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s motivation was the gunman was a “homegrown violent extremist” acting on his own.
Any time an act or attempted act of violence in the U.S. involves a Muslim clearly exposed to radical Islamist propaganda, the media leads us on a mindless journey to explore America’s societal ills. But rarely does that journey follow the obvious road signs that would take us to the correct destination— radical Islam.
The media will often blame our failure to embrace Muslim immigrants. It is ironic, as it was a Colorado college-town’s heartfelt welcoming gesture of inclusion towards a visiting Muslim that, quite innocently, provided the spark for today’s Islamic extremism.
In 1948, educator Sayyid Qutb left his native Egypt to pursue a masters’ degree at a college in Greeley, Colorado. Invited to attend a church social, he became enraged when, after dinner, the lights were turned down low, the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was played, and young men and women began slow dancing together.
Apparently, witnessing their close embrace and “revealing” women’s dresses (while they were ankle-length and sleeveless, Qutb found them offensive for exposing the arms’ bare skin) was too horrifying an experience for him.
Qutb returned to Eygpt to write about Western decadence in his essay, “The America That I Have Seen.” He would pen numerous other books maligning Western culture as materialistic and soulless, demanding its cleansing—i.e., its total eradication by forcing Islam upon the world.
Qutb saw Islam as a double-edged sword—one side political, the other religious—with which to impose it upon all non-Muslims. Thus, Qutb was one of the most influential thinkers in, and a key originator of, Islamist ideology.
As a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, Qutb’s Islamist activism resulted in his arrest, conviction and execution in Egypt in 1966. But his writings had far-reaching impact. Three decades later, two high-profile students—Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahari—were so influenced by Qutb they sought to expedite his ideological global cleansing.
The reality of Islam today—i.e., the proper diagnosis for what ails it—is it suffers from Qutbism. As such, it is Islam—not generic “violent extremism”—that poses a serious danger not only to our way of life but, as five Americans sadly discovered in Chattanooga, to our daily existence.
Failing to make the correct motivational diagnosis for the Chattanooga shootings as well as other instances of violence perpetrated by Muslims does nothing to help find the cure.
Our government knowingly contributes to this fraudulent diagnosis as evidenced in last month’s panel discussion in which the Director of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, participated.
Johnson claimed it “critical” to use the term “violent extremism” rather than call Islamic terrorism by its real name. His rationale for this is we must fuzz up Islam’s linkage in order to “build trust” and “cooperation” within the Muslim community. In other words, to curry favor with a Muslim community doing nothing to stop the violence, the American people should be deceived as to its motivational source.
When asked if this approach denies an Islamic component to violence, a straight-faced Johnson said, “I could not disagree more” as Islam “is about peace.”
Clearly, Johnson has been programmed by his boss to spew forth the “Islam is a peaceful religion” mantra. He should read the Koran to better understand how truly outlandish this assertion is.
The repeated efforts of the media and the U.S. government—either to defend Islam or turn a blind eye to its perpetual call for violence against non-believers in order not to offend Muslims—hide a serious ill.
That ill is within Islam. Acknowledging this is the first step in finding a cure. This means worrying less about offending Muslims and more about giving Americans the right diagnosis.
The diagnosis that Islam is ill is not one made by non-Muslims alone. Muslims who believe it is possible to peacefully practice their religion should it only evolve from the Qutbism engulfing it have taken a stand. It has been recognized by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. At great risk to his own life, he has called for a “religious revolution,” seeking the help of Muslim leaders in fighting against its extremist influence.
Ironically, an Egyptian president sees the linkage an American president refuses to see.
In the aftermath of the June 17th Charleston church shooting by white activist Dylann Roof that killed nine innocent black people, an immediate link was drawn to the Confederate flag because pictures of it adorned his website. While that website made clear Roof’s white supremacist beliefs, it was “guilt by association” for a flag he never alluded to as the motivating source for his violent act.
Yet when killers of the Islamic persuasion identify their religion as the motivating source for their murderous acts, President Obama rejects it.
This borders on intentional deception, as such rejection belies findings of a U.S. government agency specifically established in the aftermath of 9/11 to track and analyze acts of terrorism globally.
Since 2004, the National Counterterrorism Center has tracked global terrorism. Its statistics leave no doubt a strong correlation between Islam and terrorism exists.
An April 2015 article by Y. K. Cherson, citing those statistics for 2011 and beyond, sums up the story they reveal as follows:
…in 2011, Muslims were responsible for 94 percent of the fatalities in terrorist attacks. Since 2011, with ISIS on the scene, the number of the fatalities—victims of the Muslim terrorist attacks—sharply grew, together with Muslims´ share in the world terrorism that is steadily closing in on 100%.
There is no gray area about Islam’s violent link. The motivation for Chattanooga’s Muslim violence is not some nebulous “violent extremist” link within American society—it is Islamism. The overwhelming evidence of this linkage is being blatantly ignored by the Obama Administration.
Interestingly, the Cherson article makes note of a reverse correlation concerning terrorism and Islam.
One of the most highly developed, democratic countries in the world not experiencing a single Muslim terrorist attack on its soil is Japan. The reason? Japan is practically closed to Muslims.
In refusing to properly diagnose the linkage between Islam and Muslim terrorist violence, our government and media perpetuate the deception upon the American public that, since Islam is a peaceful religion, any Muslim committing violence cannot, therefore, be a Muslim.
Islam has rarely been the peaceful religion Obama would have us believe it to be. Yet government agencies responsible for our safety are helping perpetuate this deception by providing the fraudulent diagnosis Muslims who say they are killing non-Muslims in the name of Islam really are not, and disregarding calls from within the Muslim community for reform (for example, it took months of pushback for President Obama to agree to help Egypt’s Sisi with defense against radical Islamist groups, including the Islamic State).
It is not by happenchance these violent acts are performed by Muslims—it is because they believe it to be their duty as Muslims the acts are performed. A fraudulent diagnosis only leads us down a false path in search of a cure.
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.