Washington, and American think tanks elsewhere, and American universities too, are full of bruce-riedels. They are called, because that is what they call themselves, “terrorism experts.” They’ve made out, over the past decade, like gangbusters. They get government grants, they are interviewed, they attend conferences, they spout solemn nonsense that those knowledgeable about Islam could quickly shred, if the well-prepared were present at those conferences, at those think tanks, in those Pentagon and State Department offices where the money is handed out. You might think that their misunderstanding of the ideology of Islam, as set down five years ago, or six, or ten, might forever disqualify them from being hired, or consulted, or asked to speak at this or that conference or meeting or on the radio or television. But nothing, apparently, not the most obvious and tendentious of errors, prevents them from continuing. Remember that idiotic self-described “head of the Al Qaeda desk” — the one with a fixation on, and antipathy, toward Israel and its suppporters? Remember how many non-Muslim Defenders of the Faith tenure-ensconced here and there, where they are eager to hire and promote Muslim defenders of the faith, still appear, as the famous explainer-away of Al Qaeda (he doesn’t put that book on his Wiki page), Bruce Lawrence (the man who hired Ebrahim Moosa, self-described brave fighter against “colonialism” and so on — though Islam is the greatest colonial power, the greatest example of successful imperialism, in the history of the world).
There are many bruce-riedels. Some of them — fewer now – raise the issue of “Israel-Palestine” as the key to Muslim hostility. Others talk about American intervention in Iraq, or Afghanistan. Or the French in North Africa. Or the British in Iran. Or this, or that. They never discuss the texts of Islam. They don’t appear to know, what is taught in madrasas, or what is discussed, endlessly in mosques. They have no understanding of what is in the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira. They can’t take the time, they lack the patience and the wit, to read and re-read and thoroughly assimilate these texts, and how they are received by those who, as Muslims, grow up in countries, or communities, or families suffused with Islam. They lack knowledge, they lack intelligence, they lack imagination. And yet they are still here, still appeared on radio and television, still being consulted by others as ill-prepared and mediocre. It’s a national-security matter. It’s a threat to the West, and to Infidels everywhere.