At summit on 'violent extremism' (by nobody in particular) Obama stresses need to placate Muslims

Fresh off his op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that spent as much space chronicling the “legitimate grievances” of Muslims as on attacks by Muslims, yesterday President Obama addressed his “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” (transcript). As the New York Times reports:

The president said it was crucial that such efforts include input from Muslim-Americans, who he said have sometimes felt “unfairly targeted” by government antiterrorism efforts.

 “We have to make sure that abuses stop, are not repeated, that we do not stigmatize entire communities,” Mr. Obama said. “Engagement with communities can’t be a cover for surveillance.”

Ever since the day after 9/11, our leaders have been cautioning us against blaming all Muslims for the acts of terror done in the name of Islam. And the fact is that there have been remarkably few hate crimes against Muslims, to the great credit of the American people. Jews are far more risk of hate crime, in fact.

This disproportionate concern for “unfair target[ing]” and desire to exempt all Islamic institutions from scrutiny rests on the dogmatic assertion that there is absolutely nothing in Islam for infidels non-Muslims to worry about.

Mr. Obama said, “we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

This is perhaps the key doctrine of President Obama’s approach to Islam, pretending to speak authoritatively on the nature of Islamic theology. For a man who professes his belief in Jesus Christ as his savior, it is odd to insist that he knows the true nature of Islam so deeply. Others, including Graeme Wood, writing in The Atlantic (no right wing outlet) see it differently.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

The sad fact is that Islam is both a religious and a political system, inextricably bound together, and in its pure, original form, is utterly totalitarian and brutal. Anyone who reads the Koran, particularly Suras 9 – 14 can grasp this. Andrew Bostom, notably, has chronicled the application of Islamic doctrine to kuffars (infidels, i.e., the rest of us) throughout the history of Islam, whenever it had the upper hand, militarily.

It is probably true that most Muslims want to live in peace. But that is because they are not applying the original doctrines of Islam as laid down by its prophet. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a practicing Muslim, is much more realistic about the need for an Islamic reformation. Unfortunately, he does not receive the same sort of welcome by the Obama administration that CAIR and other extremist groups do.

Fresh off his op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that spent as much space chronicling the “legitimate grievances” of Muslims as on attacks by Muslims, yesterday President Obama addressed his “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” (transcript). As the New York Times reports:

The president said it was crucial that such efforts include input from Muslim-Americans, who he said have sometimes felt “unfairly targeted” by government antiterrorism efforts.

 “We have to make sure that abuses stop, are not repeated, that we do not stigmatize entire communities,” Mr. Obama said. “Engagement with communities can’t be a cover for surveillance.”

Ever since the day after 9/11, our leaders have been cautioning us against blaming all Muslims for the acts of terror done in the name of Islam. And the fact is that there have been remarkably few hate crimes against Muslims, to the great credit of the American people. Jews are far more risk of hate crime, in fact.

This disproportionate concern for “unfair target[ing]” and desire to exempt all Islamic institutions from scrutiny rests on the dogmatic assertion that there is absolutely nothing in Islam for infidels non-Muslims to worry about.

Mr. Obama said, “we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

This is perhaps the key doctrine of President Obama’s approach to Islam, pretending to speak authoritatively on the nature of Islamic theology. For a man who professes his belief in Jesus Christ as his savior, it is odd to insist that he knows the true nature of Islam so deeply. Others, including Graeme Wood, writing in The Atlantic (no right wing outlet) see it differently.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

The sad fact is that Islam is both a religious and a political system, inextricably bound together, and in its pure, original form, is utterly totalitarian and brutal. Anyone who reads the Koran, particularly Suras 9 – 14 can grasp this. Andrew Bostom, notably, has chronicled the application of Islamic doctrine to kuffars (infidels, i.e., the rest of us) throughout the history of Islam, whenever it had the upper hand, militarily.

It is probably true that most Muslims want to live in peace. But that is because they are not applying the original doctrines of Islam as laid down by its prophet. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a practicing Muslim, is much more realistic about the need for an Islamic reformation. Unfortunately, he does not receive the same sort of welcome by the Obama administration that CAIR and other extremist groups do.