The 'I' Word

"Islam" is the I word, the greatest taboo amongst "journalists" and government spokesmen today.

Consider this article at CBS News. Two years ago the FBI interviewed the older brother, Tamerlan, looking for "extremist ties" or "ties to Chechen extremists." That's it, just "extremists." No hint as to what kind those might be, for we dare not name the Religion of Peace.

The boys' mother gives the game away (sort of): "Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in 'religious politics' about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in 'jihad.'"

"Religious politics." Now that's a little more suggestive. Lutherans petitioning for a zoning variance to turn their church into multi-family housing units? The National Council of Churches looking "for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern"? Tamerlan could have been lending a hand to most any kind of "religious politics." But then mother mentions "jihad." That is troubling. I've never heard of Lutherans, Methodists, or, for that matter, Baptists being involved in jihad, in trying to persuade politicians with pressure cookers.

Incidentally, look up Tamerlan's namesake. According to some estimates, the 14th century Muslim conqueror of south-central Asia killed 5% of the world's population. That's impressive, a wonderful role model for a modern follower of the Religion of Peace.

Meanwhile, our president is baffled as to motive. In his press conference Friday, Mr. Obama did not mention religion at all, much less the I word. "Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence [1:58]?" His heart is not in the sentiment, read listlessly, the question purely rhetorical, merely a throw-away line. But he is filled with certitude when it comes to diversity, using the word twice: "That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong [3:30]." Strong? Strong enough for a great city to be held hostage for four days by only two true believers? And the three dead bombing victims "reflected all the beauty and diversity of our country [4:40]." Didn't Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reflect our diversity as well?

Welcome to self-censorship. "Islam" is the I word.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.


"Islam" is the I word, the greatest taboo amongst "journalists" and government spokesmen today.

Consider this article at CBS News. Two years ago the FBI interviewed the older brother, Tamerlan, looking for "extremist ties" or "ties to Chechen extremists." That's it, just "extremists." No hint as to what kind those might be, for we dare not name the Religion of Peace.

The boys' mother gives the game away (sort of): "Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in 'religious politics' about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in 'jihad.'"

"Religious politics." Now that's a little more suggestive. Lutherans petitioning for a zoning variance to turn their church into multi-family housing units? The National Council of Churches looking "for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern"? Tamerlan could have been lending a hand to most any kind of "religious politics." But then mother mentions "jihad." That is troubling. I've never heard of Lutherans, Methodists, or, for that matter, Baptists being involved in jihad, in trying to persuade politicians with pressure cookers.

Incidentally, look up Tamerlan's namesake. According to some estimates, the 14th century Muslim conqueror of south-central Asia killed 5% of the world's population. That's impressive, a wonderful role model for a modern follower of the Religion of Peace.

Meanwhile, our president is baffled as to motive. In his press conference Friday, Mr. Obama did not mention religion at all, much less the I word. "Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence [1:58]?" His heart is not in the sentiment, read listlessly, the question purely rhetorical, merely a throw-away line. But he is filled with certitude when it comes to diversity, using the word twice: "That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong [3:30]." Strong? Strong enough for a great city to be held hostage for four days by only two true believers? And the three dead bombing victims "reflected all the beauty and diversity of our country [4:40]." Didn't Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reflect our diversity as well?

Welcome to self-censorship. "Islam" is the I word.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.


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