On Wednesday, two Palestinian terrorists shot up a popular mall in downtown Tel Aviv; the Sunni fundamentalist group Hamas, which is but the Palestinian branch of the broader Muslim Brotherhood, praised and celebrated the attack. Early this morning, a troubled young Islamist, Omar Mateen, killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, in what amounts to the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001; it appears the murderer had already pledged allegiance to the Salafist/Wahhabi fundamentalist group, Islamic State.
On Wednesday, many on the Left rushed to blame the brutal murders on Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria. (To his everlasting shame, the mayor of Tel Aviv did much the same.) Today, many on the Left rushed to blame the NRA, a technically undefinable and cosmetically amorphous class of widely owned civilian firearms frequently referred to as “assault weapons,” and sometimes, even conservative Christians themselves. In what can only be described as simultaneously both amazing and yet entirely unsurprising, the President of the United States referred to “we” as all being part of whom to blame, instead of the genocidal cancer that is radical Islamic terrorism itself.
In these next few weeks, gun control hysteria will only continue to metastasize. Many Republican squishes and moderate Democrats who have previously opposed a ban on “assault weapons” will begin to reevaluate, and some will cave. The overhyped Australia national gun buyback program will resurface in the national discourse; conservatives should soberly resist it at all costs.
Here is the deal. What happened in Tel Aviv and what happened in Orlando is the same thing that happened in both the Paris Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan massacres. It is the same thing that happened in Belgium. It is the same thing that happened in San Bernardino. It is the same thing that happened at the Boston Marathon. It is the same thing that claimed roughly 1,000 Israeli civilian lives over the course of the Second Intifada. It is the same thing that happened in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. It is the same thing that happened in 1998 at the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. It is the same thing that happened at Argentina’s AMIA building, in 1994. It is the same thing that happened at the Beirut barracks, back in 1983.
The truth is simple. Whether it goes by the name of Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, or even the Muslim Brotherhood or the Palestine Liberation Organization—whether it is Sunni-, Shi’ite-, Salafist-, Wahhabi-, or otherwise-based—there is one global Islamic jihad that seeks the existential destruction of infidels. This goes for well-trained jihadist armies, such as Islamic State’s in Mosul, and it goes for “lone wolf” actors such as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Omar Mateen.
Islamic State, which seeks to build a global caliphate and institute an ultra-reactionary unreformed sharia law, throws gay men off roofs. But the “moderate” U.S. military ally of Saudi Arabia, which is also governed by sharia law, makes homosexual sodomy a capital offense. Many on the Left who accuse Israel of “pink-washing,” naturally, are willfully naive about what Palestinians themselves think about homosexuality. The murderer in Orlando today was apparently recently upset at the sight of two men kissing. His father says his religion had nothing to do with it (I guess maybe the whole allegiance to Islamic State thing did, though?), but when was the last time an Orthodox Jew or an evangelical Christian who also views homosexual activity as immoral decided to go shoot up a gay nightclub?
The inability of those—almost exclusively on the Left—to identify and condemn the distinctly Islamic roots of radical Islamic terrorism is worse than an intellectual disservice. It is worse than a disingenuous distortion. It is an obstinate refusal to earnestly seek to extirpate the idiosyncratic progenitor of the consistently worst form of humanitarian travesties in the twenty-first century. The innocent civilians shot down in an Orlando nightclub early this morning by a psychopathic madman screaming “Allahu Akbar” are only the latest victims, but they will not be the last.
I am not anywhere near well-learned enough in the Muslim faith to definitively opine on how authentically or inauthentically these genocidal jihadists are interpreting their faith. But people far more courageous than I, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who has lived under a fatwa kill order for years, simply for voicing this belief), argue that Islam is in need of a broad theological reformation. Perhaps we should actually air that public debate. Perhaps we should also eschew the Left’s preferred universalist multiculturalism and entertain a sincere debate on how various foreign cultures, rooted in values fundamentally anathematic to our own, may or may not easily mesh with the values of the West.
What is indisputable is that there is one global jihad, which has as its highest goal the violent suppression of all infidels. For this subset of Muslims—which may or may not be so tiny (especially in the Middle East itself), depending on how you measure—it is true that certain groups, such as Jews and gays, are frequently at the top of the kill list. But make no mistake—all of us, very much including moderate Muslims, too—are the sworn enemy.
It is probably too much to ask for us to entertain these important questions whilst the presidential race boils down to (1) a woman whose botched moralistic intervention in Libya created a jihadi safe haven, whose continual in-kind support for the genocidal mullahs in Tehran makes the U.S. one of the world’s de facto leading financiers of the jihad, and whose own cronyist family foundation accepted large donations from the Qatari government, which arguably directly funds more Sunni jihadi activity than does any other government; and (2) a catastrophically uninformed dimwit who bemoans the “false song of globalism” and who unfathomably aggrandizes an unspeakable tragedy to take credit for his own purported clairvoyance. But it is what we must strive for, nonetheless.
Jihadism delenda est.