Op-Ed: Words, Words, Words - But They Count
Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient...
Words matter. They can enlighten or confuse us.
Despite what the western mainstream media say, Muslim terrorists are not merely “militants.”
An armed terrorist is not an “activist.”
Contrary to myth, an Israeli “settler” is not a “colonizer”—although many Muslims, who have “settled” in Europe and who have created hostile, violent, and separatist enclaves, (“no go zones”), are essentially “colonizing” Europe in order to establish a European Caliphate.
Europe is gone. My Muslim and ex-Muslim dissident friends agree that the UK, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland—are “gone, all gone.”
America and Canada are still standing—as is Israel. However, Muslim-majority countries are themselves increasingly the victims of Islamist takeovers that are far bloodier than what is happening in the West. All across the Muslim world, women have disappeared from view, their faces and bodies increasingly covered. They are wearing the totalitarian Islamist flag totally or partially on their faces, heads, shoulders, arms, and bodies.
However, Americans and Europeans have been trained, madrassa style, to believe that terrorism is not really a major threat, that it has nothing to do with Muslims, Islam, Islamism, or the Qu’ran or a Palestinian State—but even if it does, we have only ourselves to blame for having “colonized” and “occupied” Muslim “holy lands.”
Israel is long familiar with this specific accusation. Some Americans are only now just beginning to realize that, like Israel, our alleged “crime” is that of daring to exist, and to exist as modern, democratic, nation states with a free press and a commitment to human rights, women’s rights, religious rights etc.
America and Israel's very existence shames, taunts, dwarfs, offends, the dysfunctional apartheid tyrannies. This “shame” will only cease when we cease to exist. This assessment is hotly denied because, if one actually believes it, one understands that we may be facing a one hundred year religious war, with Palestinian statehood a step towards it.
Just as Westerners are being indoctrinated in our secular madrassas, wave upon wave of Muslim children and young adults are being taught in religious madrassas that Allah wants Muslims to become terrorists in order to murder infidels, that if they happen to kill other Muslims by accident, it does not matter.
A recent documentary on HBO, (of all places), depicts bloody and merciless Islamic suicide bombings in Muslim-majority countries (Jordan, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan); we see footage that is rarely shown in the politically correct mainstream American media. The film, Killing in the Name Of is about a religious Muslim crusader, Jordanian Ashraf Al-Khaled, whose Amman wedding had been blown to bits by Muslim terrorists who were tied to Al Qaeda.
Thereafter, Ashraf launches a one-man crusade to talk to Muslim terrorists and to the next generation of terrorists about Islam as a “peaceful,” not a “violent” religion. He opposes the use of Islam to teach hate and violence. Ashraf talks on camera with the terrorists who carried out the Bali bombing and with young boys in an Indonesian madrassa. He also interviews an Indonesian Muslim recruiter, (“Zaid”), who assures him that he can prepare someone to commit a suicide operation in one month.
Ashraf was mainly concerned about the high Muslim-on-Muslim, not the high Muslim-on-infidel casualty count. Zaid found Ashraf, misguided, short-sighted, too soft, even narrow. Zaid explained that even though so many Muslims are being killed by Muslim terrorists that “the (Bali) hotel was targeted because Jews and Crusaders would be nearby.”
The Bali terrorists, who had already served their sentences, regretted nothing. They have dedicated their lives to a Higher Cause, that of terrorizing and subduing infidels in order to establish a global caliphate. They say so themselves. The twelve to fourteen year old Indonesian madrassa boys are completely brainwashed, hardened, and view Ashraf as a fool or some kind of idiot. Murdering, maiming, and doing so in Allah’s name, is the only thing that gives their lives any meaning.
I don’t know how many Americans watched this program nor do I know if they drew the same conclusions that I drew. I must note that the film’s title stops short of telling us in whose name these terrorists kill. It is Allah, of course, but perhaps this simple truth might be seen as “Islamophobic,” or “racist,” and “racially insensitive.”
In my view, words matter, both what is said, and what is left unsaid.
Clearly, the Islamic jihadic threat to civilians the world over is huge. Israelis, and now Americans, understand the dangers of “asymmetrical” warfare, the hidden propaganda costs of being forced to fight armed terrorists dressed in civilian clothing, who hide behind civilians, in hospitals, ambulances, mosques, and churches, who are not necessarily “state actors,” who slip in and out of other people’s countries, who cry that their rights to national recognition are being abrogated, and who are being increasingly joined by home-grown and radicalized third and fourth generation Western terrorists.
They increasingly have access to biological and nuclear weapons.
These are among the charmers who have consistently lied to the media and who were glamorized there, described as “freedom fighters” with a “just” cause, and not as dangerous death-eaters who live to hate and kill.
As I’ve said, words matter. How we name reality matters. To date, both American and European universities and the mainstream media have refused to use the word “Muslim” when they talk about “militants,” or “terrorists.” If pressed, the media will describe Muslims as “persecuted” and “oppressed,” not only in Muslim majority countries but in the West as well.
On college campuses, all over America, 9/11 was dedicated not to mourning or heroizing the victims of 9/11 but to trying to “understand” Muslims and Arabs. The focus was on how they have been “wronged,” and what more America can do to set this right. Saudi funded pro-Islamist academics keynoted and were made available to the media.
This disinformation campaign must end if America is to fight back in the war which has been declared against her and which the state of Israel has been fighting since its inception.