Using Our Liberties Against Us
I recently heard about a statement from a discussion that allegedly occurred between an Islamic student attending an American university, and a traditional America student. The following statement may well be a fictitious conversation based in urban legend, but it is an accurate anecdote of the real threat America faces from the ideology of radical Islamic extremism. The Islamic student apparently stated resolutely, "Because of your Democracy we will invade you. Because of my religion we will dominate you." It rings as almost a parallel to the prophetic proclamation of Nikita Kruschev, who uttered from an Iowa cornfield during his excursion of the U.S., "we will bury you."
Many liberals, as well as certain of my conservative brethren, have sounded the alarm about the perils to freedom that come from surveillance programs initiated or expanded under the Patriot Act by the current administration. Yet, one has to wonder how we could have or will continue to root out existing internal security threats without them? Such regulation occupies a thankless status. I often have said to colleagues in regards to small, consistent pay increases in my profession: "You hardly notice the difference when you get your raises, but you would sure notice if you weren't getting them." I would suggest something similar could be said regarding onerous security measures. You don't notice that they do any good, but I suspect you would notice something bad were they not in place. That sort of condition lends itself to pejorative consideration.
Imagine a different scenario. You pick up a major newspaper on September 12th, 2001. On page A-17 is a short news story about how several small groups of young Saudi males carrying box cutters, were stopped by security at JFK and Logan International Airports. You chuckle audibly and think to yourself, "what were they trying to do, hijack airplanes armed with razor knives?"
"Because of your Democracy, we will invade you..." We see here the "flaw" that the Jihadists will exploit to gain a foothold. Prohibitions against ethnic profiling, treating terrorists as citizen criminal suspects in the civil court systems, maintaining an impregnable wall of information exchange between intelligence agencies, referring to the interception of foreign communications as "domestic spying," all contribute to the "invasion" under the guise of maintaining civil liberties.
I don't have anything against libertarian hawks who warn us about the threat to loss of our personal freedoms under The Bill of Rights. They do serve an function in our republic. Yet, what strikes me, is the cavalier attitude many of the same folks have toward the perpetual threat of terrorism. Of course, securing our borders will go a long way toward the security problem, but it wouldn't stop any "sleeper cells," or those who have already breached our porous borders. I am not comfortable with the attitude that perceives 9-11 as a freak anomaly.
Those who are politically left of center, take a foreign policy approach to answering the questions of terrorism. It seems that virtually any act of violence by Islamic terrorists, is justified by leftists on the basis that we either invaded Muslim lands, have supported Zionism, or that the socioeconomic suppression of the Islamic third world has made them resentful of our relative and common wealth. But fundamentalist unity and propensity for violence is not the phenomenon of a particular economic class of Muslims. Fervent activism transcends these simple economic explanations. An example is the recent foiled terrorist plot in Britain, where well respected and successful physicians were allegedly behind the plot.
The idea of "freedom" has been superseded by the latter day virtue of personal autonomy. It doesn't take much infringement to feel oppressed when your highest ideal is to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. Recently, I heard a noted Christian apologist assert that a morally strong America would present the greatest deterrent to terrorism within our borders. He is correct for many reasons. Pluralism and diversity once denoted ethnic variety. Today these concepts could just as easily signify moral ambiguity. If the Constitution is used predominately as a sword to advance group "rights," it will become a suicide pact. The gauntlet of political correctness is a malignant, freedom eating cancer.
"...Because of our religion we will dominate you." This seems like an odd thing to say if you are trying to convince someone that your personal faith is the "religion of peace." We can go around in a circle on the whole issue of whether Islam has been hijacked by extremists, or whether there are violent indicts embedded in the ideological fabric of Islam. Moderate Muslims will likely claim the former, while Jihadists will claim that the moderates are an abomination to true Islam. The real question is whether the Koran or other Islamic literature can justify and support the contemporary Jihadists movements.
Secular humanists have drawn parallels between the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the contemporary Jihadists mindset, recounting the historical record of Holy Wars waged by the Hebrew nation, along with other violent accounts, primarily from the Old Testament. The secularist, after giving me a dissertation about how rational he or she is, will then, unabashedly make ludicrous analogies between the late Jerry Falwell and Osama Bin Laden.
Following that logic, we must assume that Christians read in their Bibles that David slew Goliath, then get the idea that they must exterminate all remaining descendants of the Philistines. We see a large distinction between the continuing applicability of Biblical history versus Jihadist edict. Who was the last Christian who strapped a bomb on himself and blew his body to bits, in a hall packed with humanists or adherents to some other religious faith?
Last year's furor over the cartoon lampooning Mohammed, was a perfect illustration of both the reckless use of free speech by secularists, coupled with the violent proclivities perpetually festering in the Muslim world. What sort of uprising would follow the public mocking of Jesus Christ? If the Christian community was really thought to have the same propensity for violence and totalitarianism as radical Islam, I doubt the secularist would be so eager poke his local Christian in the eye with these silly comparisons.
Finally, I believe that Muslims who want to distinguish themselves from their radical counterparts, would do well if they were more demonstrable in condemning violence as it occurs. It is simply inadequate to merely argue that the concept of Jihad has been distorted.Robert E. Meyer
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA