by Norman Berdichevsky (July 2016)
On December 22, 1942, just a year from the attack on Pearl harbor, an ad was placed in The New York Times expressing the devotion and patriotism of loyal German-Americans to the United States, and their determined opposition to Nazi tyranny and the cold blooded extermination of the Jews of Europe and the barbarities committed against other peoples that was corrupting the soul of the German people expressed by the words “We utterly repudiate” every thought and deed of the Nazis. The authors not only proclaimed where they stood, they asked to know where the readers of the declaration stood. The declaration was signed by 48 prominent German-Americans including Babe Ruth. The ad also bore a portrait of Jesus with a crown of thorns.
Could any declaration have been clearer? Nothing was left in doubt. Yet, since September 11, 2001 no such statement or hint of total repudiation of the extremist Jihadist philosophy of radical Islam has been forthcoming by any recognized Islamic body, community or acknowledged leader in the United States. Many Muslim “leaders” continue to side step the issue, pretending it does not exist, claiming Jihad refers to an internal struggle of conscience.
The support of the Obama government to eliminate the term from their vocabulary only aids this pretense. This comes as no surprise. Many Muslims have been among the victims and intimidation rules the lives a large part of the Muslim population of the Middle East and large parts of Asia and Africa as well as Europe and North America.
Loyalty of Japanese-Americans
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army was a fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in World War II. Most of the families of mainland Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps in the United States interior.
Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in Europe, in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany. The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. The 4,000 men who initially made up the unit in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2.5 times. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (5 earned in one month). Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. Its motto was “Go for Broke.“
And American Muslims ? ? ?
The massacre and wounding of at least one hundred Americans in a gay nightclub in Orlando by a Muslim terrorist fanatic who hated homosexuals was hardly shocking after the many incidents since Sept. 11, 2001, often referred to as “workplace violence” or the acts of “lone wolves,” but failing to concentrate on the one common element linking them all that provided a motivation.
In the Orlando case, ISIS spared us the meaningless controversies of our law enforcement agencies, government and media whether the atrocity was an “act of terrorism” or a “hate crime.” Nevertheless, the jihadi was referred to for days dutifully as “the suspect,” in spite of his on the spot confession of loyalty to “The Caliphate.”
There may indeed be many “Muslims in Name Only” living in democratic and liberal states who have permitted themselves the luxury of avoiding the call to Jihad but it is only a tiny minority of these who dare to oppose what they know would be a traumatic confrontation with today’s Islamists who regard the idea of a modern state based on the common identity of a nation to be incompatible with the loyalty demanded by all Muslims to the “ummah” (Muslim nation).
There is thus no Muslim equivalent of a Babe Ruth or the 442nd Combat Team apart from a few voices crying in the wilderness from former Muslims or reformers such as Irshad Manji, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Egyptian author None Darwish (all women) who have often been mocked by so called “Liberals,” even by the moral cowards at Brandeis University who withdrew an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she had “offended” Muslims.
My wife and I were in Israel this last May which was proclaimed as “Gay Pride Month.” All along the Tel Aviv beaches for miles, the city authorities had displayed thousands of gay flags to honor and assure all visitors that Israel does not tolerate discrimination. The gay flags ended abruptly at the border between Tel Aviv and the Arab section of neighboring Jaffa.
For those people who think only Israel or Jews or gays are in danger, the victims of Jihad and potential targets include all people in the civilized non-Muslim world such as the participants in the 2013 Boston Marathon. The participants in the race or those attending a California government function for colleagues in San Bernandino could in no way be linked to any transgression of Muslim law but they were still targets! What united them was their identity as non-Muslims and nothing else. My son was one of those who ran in the 2014 Boston event! I am VERY proud of him for his courage and determination not to be frightened or prevented from running in the sport he loves in the face of threats.
May what happened in Orlando serve as a warning to the entire world. The near silence instead of a primal scream of protest from Muslims in the West to the many atrocities committed in the name of Islam shows that there are really no “lone wolves.” There is only the wolf pack and those wolves who must operate to demonstrate their loyalty to the pack when faced with confrontation by the power of intimidation.
We know the victims are as diverse as the marathon runners in Boston, Gays in Orlando commuters on the tube and buses in London, or a movie producer in Amsterdam, a writer in Denmark, passengers aboard jet airliners, American Soldiers at American military bases, Christians in much of the Middle East, and until 1948, Jews throughout many of the Muslim majority nations such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Blacks in the Sudan, women in Nigeria, the list goes on and on and includes passers-by of every description including thousands of Muslims “regarded as deviant.”
The perpetrators include both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims whose interpretation of Islam holds all obstinate non-Muslims (“kaffirs”) as legitimate targets until they acknowledge the supremacy of Islam. Territories such as Israel, Spain, Chechnya, Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Armenia and even large regions in China, Ethiopia, and India which were once under the sway of Muslim rulers are FOREVER considered as part of the Muslim realm destined to be ruled in a Caliphate.
Jihad vs. The World
In the 1960s, the political leadership of every Muslim state had set a course on imitating the Western concept of the nation state and paid lip service only to the concept of the idea that all Muslims constituted a world-wide community. These views were shaken by a renewed extremist Islamist campaign in Egypt led by the Muslim Brothers founded and inspired by the Islamist theorists Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949) and Sayyad Qutb (hanged by the Egyptian government in 1966), in Pakistan under the influence of the continuing conflict with India and the views of cleric Mawlana Mawdudi (1903-1979), and most dramatically, by the triumph of the revolution led by the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989) that overthrew the Shah in Iran.
The credo of the Muslim Brotherhood, for which there is no possibility of misinterpreting, states that “Allah is our goal, the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way and death in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration.”
The ultimate goal of the Jihadi movement is to destroy all those regimes that are opposed to the precepts of Islam and replace them with a world-wide Caliphate founded on Islamic principles. The emergence of militant Islamism among both Sunnis and Shi’ites and the call for all legislation to be based on the Koran as well as world-wide Jihad has become as much a threat to the “moderate” rulers in many Muslim majority states.
The assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (by the Muslim brothers) was a harbinger of the growing Jihadi threat and the desire to implement an Islamist solution wiping away the vestiges of Western and secular institutions everywhere in Muslim and Arab countries. Attempts to placate the Islamists in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Malaysia, Lebanon and elsewhere have only led to their increased strength
Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim brothers and Hizbollah is an Iranian puppet committed to a Shi’ite variety of the same world-wide Jihadist call. Western politicians and so called Leftwing or “progressive” political forces urging or pressuring Israel to “negotiate” with these two Jihadist terror organizations display a willful ignorance and simply refuse to acknowledge the reality of their violent heritage. The same demands are made upon the more realistic Russian and Chinese authorities who have refused to grant increased autonomy and separatism for the Muslim minority.
If we are to learn anything at all from history, it is that the Islamist concept of Jihad was unequivocally understood as “violent holy war” against the infidels and not subject to interpretation. It remains a political weapon that has been used quite similarly by the last Ottoman Caliph, the Taliban, the Iranian mullahs, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and rival extremist Sunni and Shi’ite clerics in Iraq today. It is still attractive to much extremist opinion in large parts of the Arab world, Chechnya, the Sudan, Pakistan and even in Indonesia.
In the West, a “silent majority” of many Muslims prefer to duck the issue and give no more than lip service to the principles of the democratic states where they now live that guarantee civil and human rights to all citizens.
Norman Berdichevsky is the author of The Left is Seldom Right and Modern Hebrew: The Past and Future of a Revitalized Language.
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