We Americans pride ourselves on our cultural sensitivity. We would rather denounce Pamela Geller than condemn the jihadis who want to kill her.
Recently, many important writers refused to honor Charlie Hebdo because they believed that drawing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed was completely beyond the pale.
Following the lead of an American president who declared in Cairo that the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam, these intellectuals insist that no one should ever hurt the feelings of Muslims… or of any other disadvantaged or oppressed group.
When these groups commit acts of violence, the pusillanimous left is quick to explain that they are legitimate acts of political rebellion. The only real criminals are the agents of oppression, the police. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
College students apparently have nothing better to do with their time than to put up trigger warnings, lest the delicate sensibilities of their friends and colleagues be hurt by a discouraging or disparaging word.
Clearly, the enemies of free speech have gained a foothold in America.
Some Americans believe that sensitivity will help us to win the war against Islamist terror. As you know, good peace-living Muslims become terrorists because privileged white Westerners insult their religion.
Even some members of the military hope that sensitivity will help us to win the hearts and minds of Muslims.
David French summarizes the rationale for this attitude:
Those who argue against publishing Mohammed cartoons — like the ones featured in Pamela Geller’s now-famous “Draw Mohammed” contest — often claim that the cartoons don’t just provoke terror, they also alienate Muslim friends and allies. Thus, even if one wishes to be defiant in the face of jihadist aggression, publishing the cartoons is still foolish because of the effect on our friends.
For example, writing in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings, Gregory Aftandilian, a senior fellow for the Middle East at the Center for National Policy, wrote that “the decision [to publish Mohammed cartoons] is counter-productive to the fight against Islamist extremists, as such depictions alienate many mainstream Muslims — the very allies we need to discredit the extremist ideologies of ISIL and Al-Qaeda.” Responding to Geller, Haroon Moghul, a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understandings, claimed that Mohammed cartoons “alienate Muslims, who are American citizens and often first in line to report planned terrorist attacks.”
The America media quivers in fear when it comes to discussing Islam. French continues:
No western combatant in the history of the Middle East warfare has worked harder to be sensitive and responsive to cultural and religious concerns than America and its NATO allies. Our leaders compliment Islam at every opportunity. Our soldiers are deluged with cultural-training sessions that go beyond extolling the virtues of Middle Eastern culture to downplaying or denying its many flaws – providing a distorted picture of reality. Our mainstream media is far more careful to avoid offending Muslims than any other religious group in American or European life. Their only regret is that they can’t do the impossible — they can’t browbeat everyone in the United States into perfect, politically correct compliance.
Cultural sensitivity is promoted as a winning tactic in the war on terror.
And yet, it is the reason why we withdrew from Iraq. It is the reason why we have been trying to extricate ourselves from Afghanistan. It is the reason why we have refused to take sides in Syria.
How’s it working out?
Not very well, French explains. It’s making us look weak and cowardly:
In a world where strength matters, our incredible insistence on sensitivity is often seen as head-scratchingly weak. As Bing West has ably written, the Surge turned the corner in Iraq when local allies realized that we were the “strongest tribe,” not the most sensitive tribe.
For having spent time in Iraq himself, French can share an observation about how cultural sensitivity costs lives during a war:
Local tribal leaders provided reliable intelligence about the meeting time and location of a particularly deadly terrorist cell. The catch? The cell met in a local mosque, during Friday prayers, and its leader just happened to be the imam. They begged us to raid the mosque. They pleaded with us strike the terrorists who had killed so many villagers and made their lives a living hell. But we couldn’t do it. Permission denied. So the cell kept meeting, and kept planting deadly IEDs, and was finally wiped out only when our soldiers were ambushed from the mosque — triggering a more than day-long firefight that destroyed much of the village. Our sensitivity cost lives.
Abandoning the Kurds until ISIS was on the outskirts of Erbil is far more dangerous than ten thousand Mohammad cartoons. Our precipitous withdrawal from Iraq alienated potential allies — driving them straight into Iran’s arms — far more than did Terry Jones (or anyone else) burning a Koran. Did we send a message of sensitivity or stupidity when we armed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government, then suspended support for the el-Sisi regime, a stalwart enemy of jihad?
Of course, there are other ways to deal with homicidal Muslim fanatics. Witness what is going on in China.
Recall that after China suffered several terrorist attacks, it responded by instituting a series of repressive policies.
The Washington Post reported:
China says foreign religious ideas — often propagated over the Internet— have corrupted the people of Xinjiang, promoting fundamentalist Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Islam and turning some of them towards terrorism in pursuit of separatist goals. It also blames a radical Islamist Uighur group — said to be based in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areasand to have links to al-Qaeda — for a recent upsurge in violence. In March, a gruesome knife attack at a train station in the city of Kunming left 33 people dead, while in May, a bomb attack on a street market in Urumqi killed 43 others.
In September, for example, Chinese authorities decided to ban Ramadan:
China’s campaign against separatism and terrorism in its mainly Muslim west has now become an all-out war on conservative Islam, residents here say.
Throughout Ramadan, police intensified a campaign of house-to-house searches, looking for books or clothing that betray “conservative” religious belief among the region’s ethnic Uighurs: women wearing veils were widely detained, and many young men arrested on the slightest pretext, residents say. Students and civil servants were forced to eat instead of fasting, and work or attend classes instead of attending Friday prayers.
Reporters and commentators, in the Washington Post and other media outlets have declared that this repression was breeding resentment and rebellion.
Of course, this same crowd confidently predicted that the Tiananmen massacre in 1989 was going to provoke a revolution against the ruling Communist party.
Now, Chinese authorities are attempting to forestall the movement toward jihad by forcing Muslim-owned business in Xinjiang to sell alcohol.
Walid and Theodore Shoebat explain:
Before a Muslim community gets into Jihad mode, the first thing they do is call on all Muslims to repent from alcohol, pork and tobacco….
What the west needs to learn, and they will, slowly, is that Islam is the antithesis to western ethics: the more you have repentant Muslims, the more they are prone to violence while in the Judeo-Christian ethics, it is usually that the repentant gives peace and also finds peace.
The Shoebts explain that this difference helps us to understand the latest Chinese attempt to crack down on radical Islam:
So in China, unlike the west, they get it. The Chinese authorities launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of the drug of Islam in China’s western region. So they have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and even promote them in “eye-catching displays,” as Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. Alcohol and tobacco, while it is a problem, to the Chinese is the lesser of the two evils. So now establishments that failed to comply were swiftly dealt with and were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.
Government employees and children are also barred from attending mosques, lest they consume the drug [of radical Islam] and are even prohibited from observing the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. And in many places, women have been barred from wearing Hijabs and the men are discouraged from growing long beards.
The Shoebats predict that if America and the West become increasingly under attack by Muslim extremists, similar methods will arrive on our shores:
The Muslims in China prove one thing, that certain situations require and demand taking certain measures. Measures that the U.S. would not consider, until of course, Muslim violence escalates.
There is no doubt that the west will eventually take drastic measures as we see in China. It was Benjamin Franklin who once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” yet Obama wants us to believe that a pound of cure is worth the ounce of Muslim contribution to western society.