The national debate over Islamism is long overdue
Posted by permission from AIFD; its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.
M. Zuhdi Jasser
Chairman, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
In Wednesday’s Washington Times, it was refreshing to see Tony Blankley lead the way in demanding that the American public start asking more questions about Islamism. He asks the questions which very few are asking and yet seems so obvious after so long into this war.
The unrelenting series of Islamist terrorist actions around the world could not be disconnected groups when they all share the same Islamist ideological goals. Hezbullah and its recent prelude to war against Israel cannot be “Just another Coincidence?“. He poignantly says the following which is excerpted from his July 26,2006 editorial.
“Most Europeans – and far too many Americans – still see Hezbollah terrorism as just part of that Arab-Israeli mess in the Middle East. (And, of course, Hezbollah doesn’t want foreigners to stop it from killing.) But, more importantly, most of the peoples of the world – including U.S. citizens – still don’t believe that radical Islamist terrorism is a grave, worldwide challenge to civilization. And therein lies our greatest strategic failure to date. So long as most people – certainly most Europeans, perhaps most Americans – see Islamist terrorism as merely the more or less disconnected actions of a relatively small number of fanatics, then Europeans will never send their sons to fight and die to defeat it.”
What should be done? Here are his specific recommendations which should be heeded if we are to win this war:
The president should give a series of major speeches on the nature of the worldwide threat…The Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees should hold extensive, high-octane, joint, select public hearings in the next two months on the nature of the threat. Let the best advocates for each perception testify. Former presidents, princes, generals and specialists should all come and testify. Congress can and must give both depth of analysis and sustained public attention to such a presidential initiative. The media should give major front-page and top-of-the-news attention to such a great debate. It is not enough for Fox, The Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, talk radio, selected authors and blogs to carry on the debate. The mainstream media
should join in giving prolonged, prominent coverage in conjunction with such hearings.
In five years we have, remarkably, never had such a sustained effort to publicly debate the nature of the danger. At the outset of the Cold War, Congress spent years holding hearings on the “red menace.” Some people think they overdid it. I do not. It required that sort of an effort to establish the public support and bipartisan judgment over the 50 years that Communism was in fact a worldwide threat to civilization. It was such a threat; and it was defeated – but only because the public, for 50 years, understood the danger and voted for politicians who were prepared to devote trillions to defense.
As the Iranian parliament today distributed Hezbullah flags to its members shamelessly in true to form radical islamofascism, the interconnectedness of Islamist regimes and terrrorist Islamist organizations like Hezbullah was again plain for all to see. And yet, we remain nationally silent with so little debate in the public arena over Islamism.
Mr. Blankley finishes with continued clarity for our next steps against Islamism as a nation:
“Before action must come belief; before belief must come understanding; before understanding must come education and debate. In the beginning was the word. It is time to begin.”