Confronting Radical Islamism

The world is under attack. A simple perusal of the news confirms that fact. You know the locations: Orlando, Bangladesh, Nice. You know the victims: Americans, Europeans, Asians, heterosexuals, homosexuals, Christians, Muslims. And, if you are willing to admit it, you know the perpetrator: radical Islamic terrorism.

In the past few months, the world has witnessed an unprecedented level of terror rooted in radical Islamism. Yet, though the months of June and July contained an ISIS-related attack every eighty-four hours on average, world leaders such as Pope Francis and President Obama still refuse to firmly indict radical Islam and its followers for the heinous crimes they commit. Instead, the West prefers to keep its hands tied behind its back while the Islamic State launches despicable assaults and mocks it. Not convinced? Take a look at this propaganda video that was released in November.

ISIS is ready to fight us, and have shown that they will, so are we ready to respond? I think not, as the talking heads, political pundits, and politicians continually refuse to acknowledge the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism. No, the Islamic State does not wage war on a global scale because of lust for money and joblessness. No, the Islamic State does not wage war as result of global weather phenomena, or climate change. Rather, jihadist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram wage war against the world because the version of Islam to which they adhere is not only a religious system of belief, but a geopolitical ideology bent on world domination.

Many on the political Left will object to such a characterization of the terrorist threat. How dare I speak about terrorism as a religious ideology? Clearly, I must hate Muslims, since I would dare to suggest Islam could serve as the foundation for terrorist acts! On the contrary, I do not hate Muslims at all, and do not think all Muslims terrorists. However, radical jihadism, justifiablly or not, grounds itself in the sacred texts of Islam.

Such objections only obscure the search for an answer and only make it harder to identify real danger. I agree it is irrational to assume that all Muslims are radical terrorists. But with dozens of active organizations espousing and defending radical Islamism around the world, we have no option but to correctly identify these radicals and their beliefs. To do otherwise, as world events have shown, is infantile and dangerous.

We must show that radical Islamism is, in fact, radical, a set of beliefs intertwined with a worldview centered on domination and the violent removal or conversion of the nonbeliever. We must be unafraid to challenge those who would state otherwise, standing up to those politicians, religious leaders and the like who would prefer to largely ignore the problem rather than acknowledge it for what it is: a threat to all people, of all places, and of all faiths.

Students should not be afraid to travel abroad. People should not be killed because of their sexual orientation. World Heritage sites should not be destroyed and cultural artifacts lost forever. No one should be afraid to live and work in their own countries. Sadly, this is the world we live in, and it will remain that way until we confront radical Islamism for what it is, what it stands for, and what it seeks to accomplish.

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