Radical Islam: A Problem World Leaders Must Confront

Radical Islam is a growing problem throughout the world.  In Europe, it's a burgeoning issue that politicians have been unwilling to address properly because of the influence of Muslims there, but it's a critical problem in the United States, too -- especially in our nation's prisons.


The mood in the U.S. is so anti-anti-Islam that politicians run for cover whenever Islam is raised as an issue.  Not so with Representative Peter King (R-New York).  He endured death threats and ridicule from liberals because he held hearings in the House of Representatives to investigate the Islamist threat we face as a nation.  The people who castigated King because he took his job in the House seriously will be the first in line to raise a ruckus if/when a homegrown terrorist, maybe an ex-convict who is out on parole, attacks innocent men, women, and children in this country.


I'm reminded of a scene in the movie Ghost Writer.  Pierce Brosnan plays a former British prime minister being charged with crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Geneva, Switzerland for trying to prevent terrorist attacks in Great Britain.  Toward the end of the movie, Brosnan tells his ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) that if he had it to do all over again, he would have two lines for people boarding planes out of England.  The first line would lead to planes carrying passengers whose terrorist affiliations and connections were not investigated.  The second line would lead to planes carrying passengers who had been cleared.  He says, in effect, "You know which planes the chronic complainers would board.  Every one of them would choose a plane that we cleared."


The movie is fiction, but the problem is real.  World leaders who attempt to deal with the growing Islamist militancy problem that's spreading across the globe like a putrid infection are at risk of being charged with crimes against humanity or worse in the ICC.  For example, President George W. Bush was forced to cancel a trip to Geneva in February 2011 to avoid being charged with crimes against humanity for the role he played as president of the United States in creating the federal prison in Guantánamo Bay, where the U.S. holds captured terrorists.


Radical Islam Is a Global Threat


An article in a June 2011 issue of The Weekly Standard titled "From Somalia to Nigeria: Jihad" stops far short of revealing the extent to which radical Islamists have infiltrated countries around the world.  "From Somalia to Nigeria" is across the heart of Africa, from the Arabian Sea to the South Atlantic, but jihadists have a major presence in every North African country, too, from Morocco to Egypt.  Their presence in the Middle East is obvious as well, from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon and Syria, but it doesn't stop there.  They have created strongholds in Iran, Afghanistan, and the Indian subcontinent.  Their reach extends from India to the Philippines and Indonesia and into the heart of Asia from China to Russia.


Jihadists are active in Europe, too, but their presence doesn't stop there, either.  They have footholds in most South American countries, including Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil.  Like a thriving cancer, jihadists have extended their reach to North America from Mexico to the United States to Canada.


Radical Islam is a problem that the entire world must confront.  It's not about politics.  It's about eradicating a festering sore before it turns into gangrene and threatens our very existence.


The YouTube videos below showing recent violent outbursts in Cairo aimed at Coptic Christians who dared to stand up for their rights demonstrate what the Arab Spring has become.  Discrimination against Christians and Jews in the Muslim world isn't limited to Egypt.  It exists in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and most other predominantly Muslim countries.



The U.S. doesn't need a president who bows and scrapes before Islamic despots in hopes of currying favor -- something that President Obama is prone to do.  We need a president who is willing to lead the leaders of the world in a global mission before it's too late.  We didn't declare war on jihadists.  They declared war on us, and they are deadly serious.  We should be, too.


We Don't Need Dilettantes in Leadership Positions


In a recent article, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz pointed out that after a terrorist attack on Norway, Norway's ambassador to Israel said that Hamas' terrorist activity against Israel is more justified than terrorist attacks against Norway.  The ambassador's logic was simple, naïve, and asinine.  "We Norwegians," he said, "consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel."


First things first: the land in question in Israel isn't "occupied."  It's "disputed land."  There's a huge difference.  People in Norway need to get it straight, and so do people in other nations around the world.


Second, Islamofascists have made it clear that they have set their sights on the entire world.  They say that they want a one-world caliphate under sharia law.  They don't really mean that, though -- they don't want the rule of any law.  They are subversive butchers, murderers, and thieves -- Islamist anarchists, as it were.  They are a threat to everyone, Muslims included.  They don't like even each other.


Third, the terrorist attack on Norway wasn't carried out by a radical Islamist.  It was perpetrated by Anders Breivik, a man who was reported by the Western media to be a Christian.  His manifesto proves that that's not so, but the anti-Christian point of view sells in a world where it's okay to attack Jews and Christians, but not Muslims.


We may be witnessing the beginning of a global backlash against radical Islamists in the wake of government unwillingness to address the problem.  In a nutshell, I'm saying that I don't think Breivik was a lone wolf.  Neither do I believe that the anti-Islamists of the world are connected in a formal sense -- not yet, anyway, but that day may come.


When governments fail to do their jobs, people take matters into their own hands.  I'm not excusing Breivik's brutal, unprovoked attack on innocent victims, many of whom were children.  I'm simply stating a fact, and I'll repeat it to make sure that my message is crystal-clear.  If people who are charged with the responsibility to secure our nations won't do their jobs, vigilantism will result.  It's a dangerous consequence of government failure.


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.  His latest book is titled If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You're Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You're Not an Idiot.