We cannot have the difficult conversations we need to have as a nation if people are offended by every dissenting view brought up during the process. I literally just said that in my last article, The Plight of the Perpetually Offended, and it is all the more applicable today as America wrestles with serious questions in light of the horrific attacks in Paris. And yet I fear that for one of the great questions of our day, we are too scared to honestly wrestle with the topic that allows for a positive outcome both for the West and those of the Islamic faith. I do not think, and nor will you find in any of my writings that every Muslim is a radical jihadist. I reject oversimplifications of the problem like the phrase, “Today’s Moderate is tomorrow’s radical,” although from time to time we will certainly find that to be true. So I’ll take a leap of faith and run with you on the notion that terrorism has no religion if you will run with me on the notion that at a minimum, the terrorists of our day certainly seemed to have picked a favorite. And acting like that is completely false is intellectually dishonest and hurtful to the conversation we need to have in this generation.
When we dance around the conversation that the majority of America is having in their heads, nothing is gained. You will avoid the explicit implication that all Muslims are terrorist in the public forum, then much of America will retreat to their closets where they whisper to themselves, “I think it might be the Muslims!” No conversation is had and we do not advance on one of the great questions of our day. Consequently, much of America is like Mike Meyers in the Austin Powers clip below trying not to speak of the “mole” that he obviously sees on the “mole’s” face. Watch it till the very end as the latter scene is how I feel these days and just replace the word “mole” with “Islamic terrorism” every time you hear it and pretend that Fred Savage is Islam itself.
Now, many in America or the West will deny they have such thoughts, but let a Muslim stand up and exclaim Allahu Ahkbar on a plane and let’s see how quickly their enlightened pants get soiled. America is wrestling with some tough questions and seemingly conflicting truths right now about Islam and terrorism. If you are asking us to have such a debate without acknowledging the connection between terrorism and the Islamic faith, then you are asking us to have this wrestling match with one intellectual arm tied behind our backs. It doesn’t benefit anyone be they the American people or the moderate Muslims of the world who repudiate such attacks as Paris.
It is confirmed that at least one of the Paris attackers hid amongst the wave of refugees to enter the European Union. Such an action was long the claim of many who were hesitant to take in the refugees, but the tough questions about whether or not terrorist could exploit the refugee crisis were not allowed to be asked. People were told they were racist to have such suspicions of the refugees and that all the military-aged males in the crowd were just fleeing the same type of violence themselves. How dare anyone question whether in a crowd of one million predominately Muslim refugees there might be one or two hardcore jihadists in the mix. I wonder who helped these terrorists plan and execute an attack with such a high body count? Could it be the disenfranchised Muslim youth of Paris or perhaps the battle-hardened jihadi from Syria? If the men below took off their masks, could you pick them out of a crowd of refugees? Does ISIS have an incentive to infiltrate the west?
Because it is also about geopolitical factors and not just Muslims. If you dipped the cup into the American population of Muslims, the odds that you come up with a jihadist or two are low. However, if you dip the cup into the pool of Syrian Muslims the odds will be significantly higher now wouldn’t it. I don’t think that controversial, but just math. So as the wave of refugees from this specific region flood the West, why is it taboo to ask such questions? I am confident there are good people in that crowd who want the best for their families. But I am confident the Paris attacker is not the last. When the Islamic State begins to fall apart, and it will, jihadist will abandon the idea of protecting territory and take their scorched Earth policy to the West. It is suicidal to ignore such facts and refusing to talk about the “mole” is ludicrous.
Each time the President stands up at a podium and acts like the blatant “mole” on the face of Islam is not there, I cringe. The President could just say, yes, Islam has a mole that seems large due to its evil nature, but doesn’t represent the whole body. But because we are a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, we are going to have to accept a certain amount of risk rather than persecute an entire faith. We will be vigilant and not afraid to ask the tough questions that must be asked. You see, I can get with that because that is America and we have always prioritized liberty over the false pretense of security. And with that said, we can now start having an honest conversation about what that would look like. Because the Muslims below who are forming a human chain to protect a Synagogue deserve a fair shake and one that can only come from having grown up conversations.
Even Muslims could do much to advance this conversation by taking a cue from Fred Savage in the clip above. Were they to say, “Yes, I recognize there is a nasty spot of Islamic Terrorism on the face of Islam. I also recognize the irony in that I myself am a Muslim. So what questions do you have?” Because America is trying to wrestle with this issue and we have questions. But as it currently stands, people are called an Islamaphobe for even referencing it. I don’t know what makes one Muslim embrace peace and another embrace ISIS. But neither will society if we can’t talk about it like grown adults and call a mole a mole. There will be more terror to come and it will come from people proudly claiming the name of Islam. I can’t make that not true no matter how much I try to be enlightened about it. But I might be able to separate the wheat from the chaff in the field of Islamic faith better if I were at least able to acknowledge they are in fact both coming from the same field. Start talking about the “mole” world, I kind of feel like society depends on it. If You are a Reasonable Person Who Can At Least See the Mole, Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below.