If America can learn one thing from Wednesday’s terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper offices in Paris, it should be this: Islam is not a religion of peace.
Maybe it is for some. But our politicians should stop treating it as if that viewpoint is the guiding principle. At the very least, this is what America’s view of Islam should be: It sure is an easy religion to skew to justify terror.
And in that, Islam’s very, very different from other religions.
Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper would disagree. In a phone interview with The Washington Times, Hooper said that while the Paris attacks were to be “condemned in the strongest possible terms … [as] brutal and cowardly,” they were not to be confused with the ideology of Islam as a whole – and that in fact, many religions, including Christianity, are guilty of committing like atrocities.
Just to be clear: He was discussing the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo – the same newspaper that was firebombed by purported Muslim extremists in 2011 after it printed a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed. Hooper acknowledged that the most recent attacks were done by radicals who likely shouted “Allahu Akbar.” But he also said the Paris attacks were not representative of what Islam is about – and that even Christianity has its percentage of bad seeds.
"What is your alternative? To say the faith of a quarter of the world's population is evil and should somehow be destroyed? Any faith of more than 1.6 billion people is going to have some of them who falsely justify actions on that faith," Mr. Hooper said. "There are all kinds of faiths [that] carry out terrorist attacks. We shouldn't generalize."
Okay – so name some examples of Christians carrying out attacks to that in Paris.
"You have the Westboro Baptist Church,” he said, “the killings of abortion doctors based on religious justification, and the racist attacks by white supremacists … Was Christianity [as a whole] blamed for that?"
Well, no – but that’s because that would be insane.
So here are a few counter-examples of Islam at work: Start in the 1980s, the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” and the ensuing fatwa that was placed on author Salman Rushie by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Then fast-forward to 2012, when documentarian Tom Holland saw the cancellation of his show, “Islam: The Untold Story,” because the station that was going to broadcast it had received security threats. Remember the South Park debacle? Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone faced death threats from the New York-based Revolution Muslim for an episode that satirized the prophet Mohammed. So they piped down their satire. Remember Dutch movie maker Theo van Gogh and his 2004 death, when he was gunned down on the streets of Amsterdam by an angry Moroccan Muslim waging jihad? That’s what Revolution Muslim threatened would happen to Parker and Stone. And let’s not forget the machete-hacking of British soldier Lee Rigby by two Muslim converts, the Fort Hood shootings by Muslim’s Nidal Hasan – and Sept. 11.
Drop in the bucket. But can you imagine Christian church members doing the same – and then screaming out “In the name of Jesus Christ!” as they fled? Come on, American leaders. It’s high time to look to the safety of U.S. citizens – rather than to the lobby arm of the Muslim community.
As retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said, about the Charlie Hebdo terror strikes: “Political correctness is killing us,” and America needs to awaken to the realities of Islam.