Opinion

Islamic terror attacks expose the left’s ignorance

John Rossomando Contributor

Whenever terrorists motivated by their Islamic faith strike, such as happened recently in Times Square, the left goes into denial mode. They become trapped in their materialist clichés that these attacks have roots in poverty or racism, ala neo-Marxist social theory. This keeps them from confronting reality.

Dr. Daniel Pipes, a noted scholar of Islamic extremism, says the left is in denial about the cause of Islamic terrorism because it views everything in terms of materialist economics.

“They are still burdened with this misunderstanding and can’t see ideas,” Pipes said. “So therefore if this savant tries blowing up a truck in Times Square, it’s probably connected to his having a foreclosed house.”

The idea a minority group could actually want to do harm to nice white people based on their interpretation of their religious creed is completely foreign to the progressive, urbane leftist.

MSNBC host Contessa Brewer’s simple-minded comments in the wake of the attack typifies this ignorance.

“There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country,” Brewer said during her segment. “There are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way.”

Brewer’s way of thinking is as narrow and provincial in scope because it ignores the fact other cultures and religious traditions are not like ours and some actually wish us harm.

If the problem is race, then how do you explain the routine murders of dark-skinned Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt, Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Arab Christians in the Palestinian territories at the hands of Muslim extremists?

These peoples became Christians in the 1st and 2nd centuries and were not converted by white missionaries. Consequently, they do not fit into the leftist colonialist stereotypes about Christians.

The Coptic Orthodox, Assyrians and Arab Christians share similar cultural traditions, eat the same foods and share the same language as their Arab Muslim neighbors, yet al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, etc. routinely commit acts of violence against them in an effort to convert them by intimidation.

To say the violent persecution endured by the dark-skinned Christian minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world is anything other than religiously motivated is complete absurdity.

When was the last time an Arab Christian strapped a bomb to his or her back and blew themselves up in a crowded marketplace in the name of Jesus Christ? The answer: never.

My Coptic friend likes pointing out that Egypt was a Christian nation until the 7th century, but it was converted to Islam at the point of the sword. Those Christians who refused to convert were given second-class citizenship and had to pay a stiff tax known as the jizya or face death.

As far as I am concerned this is not about race because when it comes to values of family, community and hospitality, most people from the Middle East put white Americans to shame. I know this about their culture, having attended predominately Arab Orthodox and Catholic churches over the past decade.

I have had similar experiences with many of the Muslims I have met over the years.

Leftists maintain a utopian provincialism that ultimately assumes every culture thinks the way they do; consequently, they end up becoming prisoners of their own learned ignorance. Non-Western cultures must be judged within the context of their way of thinking, not through the lense of post-Enlightenment Western culture the way the left does.

This is especially true when it comes to the left’s assumption that religion is a private affair for devout Muslims, just as it is for the millions of secularized nominal Christians in the West. This translates into an ignorant belief Jihadist Muslims separate their politics from their religion the way they do.

Comments made by liberal Fox host, Allen Colmes, last Friday in response to questions posed by Fox anchor Megyn Kelly drove this point home for me. Colmes told Kelly, Attorney General Eric Holder was right not to point the finger at radical Islam for the attempted Times Square bombing, the attempted Christmas underwear bombing or the Fort Hood shooting because they were political acts, not religious ones.

For devout Muslims, Islam is a complete worldview with its own laws, customs and ways of doing things, so the idea Jihadist Muslims separate religion from their politics is absurd.

The left naively sees violent Muslims as their allies because of their common hatred of Western civilization and Christianity in particular, Pipes says.

Considering the left’s cavalier theological ignorance of orthodox forms of Christianity, let alone Islam, it is easy to understand why they take the ostrich’s approach to the various schools of Islamic thought.

Muslims range from those who embrace the pacifist Sufi interpretation that views jihad as a spiritual struggle to the modern heirs of the late 13th century, early 14th century Islamic scholar Ibn Tamiyya who interpreted jihad as a violent defensive war against Islam’s enemies. His modern followers include Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida and Hizbullah.

They see Islam besieged by leftist values, namely atheistic Western secularism, sexual libertinism and everything they represent and have resorted to violent means in an effort to fight it.

“The Muslims today face a barbaric onslaught from their enemies ̶ the Jews, the Christians, atheists, secularists and others. This lslamic lands are being invaded by various winds of desire and corruption,” Saudi Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Ibn Baz writes in an article on the Islamic Network’s website: “…[T]his attack aims at domination over the Islamic world; dividing it, attacking it culturally and morally perverting the true image of religion. Therefore, it is amongst the priorities of the Islamic call (da’wah) to break this attack.”

They hate us because we are decadent in their view, not because we are rich.

Leftists and even some conservatives like saying Jihadist Islam is outside the pale of Islamic thought.

But how can they make that assumption considering Sunni Islam lacks the equivalent of a Pope who can pronounce what is or is not authentically Islamic?

Was Ibn Tamiyya, considered one of Islam’s greatest scholars, heretical for his interpretation of Islam? If so, who is to judge?

The Jihadists look to Quranic verses such as Surah 2:216, which says: “Fighting is prescribed upon you, though you dislike it.” According to the commentary on this passage found in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s “The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an,” fighting in the cause of truth (Islam) is one of the highest forms of charity because “What can you offer that is more precious than your own life?”

According to the U.K.-based Islamic Student Society of the Midlands’s blog most of the scholars looked to by Western governments and left-leaning intellectuals come from the Sufi school of thought.

So if this is true, how can Sufi scholars speak for all of Islam anymore than Osama bin Laden does, or anymore than Pope Benedict XVI speaks all non-Catholic Christians?

Another argument the left uses is the Jihadists are fighting us because of their poverty, but this ignores the fact many of the most notable Islamic terrorists were a) well-educated, and b) belonged to well-paying professions such as medicine or engineering.

The current attacks are little more than a continuation of the wars fought against Western Europe by the Ummiyad Caliphate in the 7th century and over 1,000 years later by the Ottoman Empire before it was forced back from the gates of Vienna on Sept. 11-12, 1683. They lack conventional means to attack us, so they have resorted to guerilla tactics instead.

John Rossomando is a journalist whose work has been featured in numerous publications such as CNSNews.com, Newsmax and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.