Tag Archives: ISIL

By not calling out Islamic Extremism, President Obama is actually hurting innocent Muslims

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I have friends from all walks of life.  I don’t pick friends based on race, color, religion or lifestyle.  I pick my friends based on common interests and how they are as human beings.  That’s assuming they even want to be my friend.  I’ve always maintained, and when you look around you’ll see it to be generally true, that the person who is not a racist or bigot is more comfortable criticizing someone regardless of what they are.  To put it in more basic terms, it’s never shocking to find out that a white man who never says anything bad about black people is actually a racist.  I’m not saying criticizing someone of a specific race is a prerequisite to treating people equally, but I am saying that overcompensation in one direction is often a red flag that something is not right about someone’s thinking.

When you speak of the President of the United States, the general rules of behavior don’t apply.  Therefore when President Obama shows his consistent discomfort and reluctance to call out  Islamic extremists by name, he may not be revealing a bigotry towards Muslims, but he is doing exactly what he claims he does not want to do, and that is marginalize the Muslim population.   No matter how often the President refuses to say the constant barrage of terror is being committed by Muslim extremists, the facts are the facts and the whole world knows it to be true.  Paris, Brussels, Lahore, San Bernadino, various cities all over Israel, are all places where there are examples of recent acts of terror all committed by Muslim extremists.  There, I said it. Muslim extremists. But I did not say all Muslims are terrorists did I?  If anything, by calling the terrorists Muslims Extremists I am separating them from the rest of the Muslim population.  To prove my point, I could easily forward this piece to the likes of M. Zuhdi Jasser, a great Muslim American, without being concerned that I would offend him. Why? Because I am comfortable in making the distinction between him and the terrorists that happen to be the same religion as he and many more millions of Muslims who are not terrorists. When a President leaves a philosophical vacuum he leaves the door open for the less intelligent and thoughtful to make very broad, bigoted, and very often dangerous generalizations.  To be blunt, it is better to make the statement ‘all Muslim are not terrorists, but most terrorists these days are Muslim’, than it is to pretend none of the terrorists are Muslim.

When the President says the terrorists do not represent Islam, he may be making what he perceives as an ideologically positive statement, but the truth is that the IS in ISIS or ISIL still stands for Islamic State, and the followers of the terrorist organization identify themselves as Muslims.  To not distinguish members of ISIS from decent Muslims does not make that go away.  If anything it helps create the reaction some people will have when they read this, which will be to say, “there are no good Muslims”.

Yes Mr. President, there are many people who feel and speak that way.  Why?  Partially because they are extremists or radicals themselves, partially because some are just racist, but very importantly and not to a small part because of the vacuum created by your reluctance to call it by name.   If you look around the world, specifically the western world, other than the Pope, no one individual can impact people’s thinking with words more than the President of the United States of America.  By avoiding the terms Islamic extremism or Muslim terrorists, this President may just be doing the exact opposite of what he claims he wants to be doing, and the anger and hatred it may cause may do all of us more harm than good.

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Nazi-style propaganda

Iran-Missiles11For those who want to even remotely consider accepting the word of a country like Iran, the following report should tell you exactly what kind of people are in control of this fascist government. In a report reminiscent of some of the most vile lies ever told about the Jewish people, Iranian state-run PressTV has come out with a report claiming that the Islamic State is selling Iraqi and Syrian children to Israel.  Their claim is that the trafficking is being done in order to take these children and populate the settlements in the West Bank.  READ REPORT HERE

This type of propaganda is the next step up from the Holocaust denial Iran has been so famous for over the years.  What makes it even more bizarre is that even as ISIL runs rampant through their neighboring countries, Iran somehow has found a way to bring Israel into the equation.  And yet, as usual, the world remains silent.  Some may have been mislead into believing that Iran has become a more reasonable and reliable player in global politics, but this report is just another example of how this Iranian government is run by liars potentially capable of the same evil as Nazi Germany.  Are these the people you would trust with nuclear weapons?  I think not.  The world better wake up before it is too late.

 

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ISIS: Their problem ISIL: Our problem

isis-flagLet me start by saying that the title of this piece does not reflect my personal opinion. I believe no matter what you call them, ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State, that they are everyone’s problem.  I do however feel the title may be reflective of how President Barack Obama feels, or at the very least used to feel about the terrorist group he now only refers to as ISIL.

Much has been made as to what is behind the president’s apparent insistence on only referring to this terrorist organization as “ISIL”.  Some of the most suspicious among you believe it is a way of attacking Israel’s sovereignty, by recognizing their pursuit of the entire Levant, the area of land represented by the “L” in the name of ISIL.  I personally disagree with this assertion. I believe there is something more political behind the President’s language.  “ISIS” stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while “ISIL” stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Subsequently the Levant covers significantly more territory.  It also represents the rapid growth of this ambitious and very vicious terrorist organization.

As the Islamic State continues to grow it becomes an even more viable threat to the United States and its allies.  Obama, a president who seems to be ultra-isolationist, has basically made it clear that he believes Iraqis, Kurds and Syrians need to fight the main battle against the terrorist group in Northern Iraq and Syria.  He has spoken of its containment at least as often as he has spoken of its destruction.  It may be that in the eyes of this administration successful containment means the difference between calling it ISIS or ISIL.

Being a president with a tendency of putting appearance over substance, once the terrorists became strong enough to call themselves ISIL, Mr. Obama had the justification within his isolationist logic to get involved in the fight.  He has openly said that part of his strategy is leaving it to the locals to deal with once ISIL gets contained and shrinks back down to a more localized problem.  Perhaps then it will once again be referred to as ISIS.   If this group threatens the entire “Levant” or beyond, we can get involved, but once it only threatens Iraq and Syria it’s their battle to fight.

If this is indeed the President’s logic, it is a dangerously flawed one.  An organization such as this one, with its ambition and financial means, will never be satisfied remaining in the area of  Iraq and Syria. Ultimately it will go after Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf states, and of course most viciously Israel.  All of this is only a means of furthering its global ambitions. Furthermore, as all experts have been saying, it already poses a serious and dangerous terrorist threat to westerners at home and abroad.

Rather than worrying about whether or not it is called ISIS or ISIL, I hope this president mainly sees it as a dangerous and growing problem that needs to be eliminated at all costs. Anything else should be seen as unacceptable.

 

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ISIS: The Iranian Frankenstein

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When anyone, especially someone high up in the United States administration says that the ISIS or ISIL is not Islamic, besides the fact that it denies its very claim and motivations, it does one other very dangerous thing.  It takes Iran off the hook.

It was reported today that Ayatollah Rouhani of Iran said that “ISIS wants to kill humanity.”  I don’t dispute that claim for a second.  However, what I do take issue with is Iran making it seem as though they are not at all to blame for this mess.  The Sunni and Shia differences aside, it’s the Iranian revolution and its export of Islamic radicalization and terrorism that laid much of the groundwork for the threats now facing millions of people worldwide, including Iran.

Someone in Iran saying “ISIS wants to kill humanity” is like Dr. Frankenstein saying a crazy monster is on the loose.  No kidding.  You created it.  So forgive me Dr. Frankenstein, but why should we trust you now.  The fact that it evolved into something that now threatens you does not diminish your responsibility.

This is another instance where ignoring reality makes the hole we’re getting into even deeper, for by not recognizing Iran’s culpability we allow it to align itself more with the world community, giving it more time and less pressure to develop its nuclear program.  When that happens the world will have another, possibly worse crisis on its hands.  One we could actually stop now in its tracks.   But for that to happen we might have to call it Islamic.

 

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ISIS-ISIL-IS: The only Constant is Islamic

isis-2No matter what you call the terror group now running an area of land the size of Belgium, the one thing you must call them is Islamic.  I wish this was the worst of it, but the whole name thing is making me a little crazy. First they were called ISIS:The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  Then they were called ISIL:The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant. Finally they are IS:TheIslamic State.  Or are they? Depends on who you listen to.  Even then pronunciations seem to change.

In the beginning everyone called them ISIS, pronouncing it as one word sounding almost identical to the English world Ices.  Back then, when the administration saw them as the JV(Junior Varsity) team, they went along with calling them ISIS as well.  Even when the terrorists started calling themselves ISIL, initially most people  still called them ISIS.  Now however, the administration has such an insistence on calling them ISIL they won’t even acknowledge the name ISIS when mentioned.  What makes it even more bizarre, or even irritating is that the President and Secretary of State call the group ISIL and pronounce close to the English words, ICE-ILL, while the President’s Press Secretary and Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby spell it out, referring to them as  I-S-I-L.   This all creates an annoying distraction at press conferences.  A CNN reporter might ask: “What’s the next move against ISIS (ICES)?” Then, depending on who answers, “We must degrade and destroy ISIL(ICE-ILL) or I-S-I-L.”  One area in which the administration is coordinated though is that they never respond using the name ISIS anymore.

Despite the theories from those most suspicious of the President’s motives, I don’t believe the insistence on calling it ISIL is based on something dangerously devious, rather an acknowledgment that it is a threat to a greater area, since the IL covers significant more territory than the IS.  The last IS that is.  The first IS, whether you call it ISIS or ISIL stands for Islamic, which means very simply this group is an Islamic group, no matter what anyone including the President might want you to believe.  And more importantly, no matter what you call them, they are very dangerous.  This is a war.  Oh wait. Not sure if that’s what it’s being called either.  It just might also depend on who you ask.  At least I hope what we have now is a coordinated effort to conduct this whatever they’re calling it against whatever it is they call them.

 

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Want a Better World? Treat Women better

yaziI was sitting watching Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless discuss the Ray Rice incident on ESPN’s First Take, and my thoughts kept wondering back to the situation in the Middle East. After all that is the subject first and foremost on my mind these days. Between the threats Israel continues to face from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran and the immediate threat ISIS poses to the region and the rest of the world, I couldn’t help but have the thought so many people of us have these days. The world is a really messed up place.  All of a sudden the Ray Rice incident and international politics crystallized into one as I realized what is actually one of the main sources of everything that is wrong in the world today.  The treatment of women.

This was actually mentioned to me in a discussion I had with a cousin of mine about a month ago.  She stated how so much of the bad behavior of Muslim extremists has its root in the mistreatment of women.  I agreed with her when she said this, never disputed it, and put the thought somewhere in the back of my mind.  But over the past few weeks it kept gnawing at my brain, and little by little has worked its way back to the forefront.  Here’s why.

The promise of 72 virgins up in heaven is genuinely used as motivation in terrorist training.  Somehow certain elements within Islam that require women on earth to cover up any degree of beauty they have, are promising available and virginal women up in heaven as a reward for men that kill, maim and destroy.  They are exploiting perversion to encourage murder.  A man’s desire for a woman is not a perversion.  A man pursuing 72 virgins is a perversion, especially in a society where women’s natural beauty is suppressed and covered up,  and especially when they have the  perception of acquiring the virgins through mass murder and suicide. The whole idea of having a woman who is specifically a virgin is more about conquest than it is about desire.  Wanting a woman for conquest rather than desire or companionship is in itself inherently degrading to women.

I believe part of what has drawn some to join ISIS or ISIL is the ability to live a lawless life in which they have the power to do whatever they want.  The abuse of women is no small part of this.  As tragic and despicable as it is, I don’t think anyone was terribly surprised to hear of how Yazidi women captured by ISIS terrorists have been and still are being used brutally as sex slaves.  If there were no women to abuse in the “Levant” I wonder if we would see the same unrelenting pursuit by these terrorists to conquer these territories.

Basic respect for women makes a man behave a certain way.  It’s not about the basic or natural needs of  a man, it’s about seeing a woman as nothing less than an equal human being.  It’s about not tolerating abuse of a woman in any form, including a football player punching his fiance in an elevator.  I make no claims to be perfect nor do I claim to have treated every woman perfectly, but this is not about perfection.  This is about basic decency and not having tolerance for the abuse of women.

Stop and imagine for one second what the world would be like if women weren’t being treated improperly.  If you do this openly and honestly you’ll not only see a better world, but a safer one as well.

 

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Should we show the gruesome images?

1408572490517_Image_galleryImage_sotloff_jpgThere has been some discussion after the most recent beheading of an American journalist that displaying the images is counterproductive.  I considered the argument credible enough to address it and wanted to speak on the subject and welcome the debate.

Yesterday after the news broke that journalist Steven Sotloff had been murdered in the same gruesome fashion that James Foley had been murdered, I posted the news together with an image of Sotloff next to an ISIS terrorist seemingly moments before his murder.  There are those who feel that displaying such images gives ISIS exactly what they are looking for, notoriety, attention, and a lot of frightened people.  I will be honest.  I’m on the fence regarding this issue.  With that said it is easy for me to make both sides of the argument.

ISIS, or ISIL, appears to be in some ways as literal as any terrorist group we’ve ever seen. What I mean by that is that their number one weapon of choice is fear.  They are literally focused on pushing their agenda by generating as much fear and terror as they possibly can.  More than likely it explains how they blitzed across Northern Iraq to a crumbling Iraqi army.  They want to terrorize every American watching and want to instill fear into every civilized person on the planet.  The videos and photos they release are designed to create that effect, and it can be argued that displaying them plays right into their hands.

The other side of the argument is that the display of the images and videos changes nothing other than awareness.  Awareness may manifest itself in horror, but we must ask ourselves this question.  Is it better to be horrified and aware of an impending danger or peacefully ignorant to its existence? Granted there is a middle ground.  We can be aware without being terrified. But fear is an emotion we can control.  If we actually see those images and or videos and rather than being afraid we become angry and determined, an argument can be made that the displays actually backfired on the terrorists.

I’m not really sure what is correct.  I clearly lean towards the second option as evidenced in the photograph I displayed yesterday, but I am so uncertain and respectful of the other opinion that I have chosen a different picture today.   It’s a fluid situation as I expect my feelings on the subject will be as well.

 

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