The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, was a little behind the curve when she reacted to the bloodbath in Paris by insisting that "the attacks have nothing to do with Islam". This is the old spin that, although some terrorists might claim to be Muslim, there's nothing inherently Muslim about their terrorism.
But why be so modest? In the United States, the most senior members of the Democrat establishment are taking it to the next level. Secretary of State John Kerry:
It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism â€“ I mean, you name it.
As my friend Douglas Murray remarked:
So long as you don't name it 'Islam'.
Quite. Secretary Kerry doesn't care what you name it as long as you don't name it "Islam". Because the not-naming of Islam is more important than the actual naming of whatever it is. Even the qualification that many have been careful to make over the years - of course, most Muslims aren't terrorists but an awful lot of terrorists unfortunately happen to be Muslim - will no longer suffice. As President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton assures us:
Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
So not only is terrorism nothing to do with Islam, but Muslims have "nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism". She said this a few hours before yet another US citizen was killed by terrorists shouting "Allahu Akbar!" - this time in a mass slaughter at the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali. Hostages were given a stark choice: if they could recite from the Koran, they would live; if they were incapable of reciting from the Koran, they would die. So whoever these terrorists were - "you name it" - they knew enough about Islam to be able to recognize quotations from the Koran. Yet they can't be Muslims because Muslims have "nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism".
So who does have something to do with terrorism? Republicans mainly. Republicans are the greatest recruiting tool for terrorism that has ever been devised - far more effective than jihadist snuff videos on social media. Just ask President Obama:
MANILA, Philippines -- President Obama on Wednesday angrily accused Republicans of feeding into the Islamic State's strategy of casting the United States as waging war on Muslims, saying the GOP's rhetoric has become the most "potent recruitment tool" for the militant group...
"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate," Obama said during a news conference at a leadership summit here, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
The president said that the group "seeks to exploit the idea that there's war between Islam and the West, and when you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land that feeds the ISIL narrative."
So "Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism" except when Republicans goad them into it. In this case, they goad them by suggesting that Christians need more "protection" than Muslims. In the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, the Christians did, indeed, need more protection - which is why they're dead and the observant Muslims are alive. In Syria and Iraq, in less than two years, the oldest Christian communities on earth have been entirely eradicated - every Christian male is dead or fled, and their prepubescent daughters are now rape slaves for the sexual inadequates of ISIS. So, whether they're "more worthy of protection", those Christians could certainly have used a little of it.
Even when you make it out of your "war-torn land" and join the great swarm of refugees yearning to breath free, a Christian can use a little "protection":
Rome (CNN)Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard -- killing them -- because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.
Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.
It is certainly true that, in their march to victory, ISIS and its affiliates are happy to slaughter any Muslim who gets in their way - mainly those inclined to a moderate accommodation with the sane world: Kurds, Jordanian Air Force pilots, post-Gaddafi Libyan democrats... But the willingness to kill any Muslim who gets in your way doesn't change the fact that the killing is in the name of Islam, and Islam is the way. As I wrote all those years ago in my book America Alone:
Many of the developed world's citizens gave no conscious thought to Islam pre-9/11. Now we switch on the news every evening and, though there are many trouble spots around the world, as a general rule it's easy to make an educated guess at one of the participants: Muslims vs Jews in "Palestine", Muslims vs Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs Christians in Africa, Muslims vs Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs Russians in the Caucasus, Muslims vs backpacking tourists in Bali, Muslims vs Danish cartoonists in Scandinavia. The environmentalists may claim to think globally but act locally, but these guys live it. They open up a new front somewhere on the planet with nary a thought.
Islam already enjoys a unique dispensation in this regard. When a swastika is found on a bathroom stall on an American campus, officialdom does not line up to say that most white people "have nothing to do with racism". Au contraire: insufficient denunciations of "white privilege" lead to the immediate loss of your job. When a single killer is discovered to have a Confederate flag emblem among his possessions, that's reason enough to have it removed from all public land within the country, and even to have ancient TV shows that include a motor vehicle with a Confederate flag decal canceled from the rerun channels. But when the Koran and invocations therefrom are found among the possessions of killers in Bamoko, in Tel Aviv, in Paris, in Chattanooga these are just daily 24/7 exceptions that prove the ironclad rule that Muslims "have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism".
Now the Democrats are doubling down. Terrorism? You're free to "name it" anything but Islam - "Republican-driven psychopathism", as Kerry and Obama suggest. The DNC has just released the following campaign commercial:
That's pretty audacious a week after mass murder in the City of Light. But the party is nothing if not bold, and, as Rahm Emanuel famously said, they never let a crisis go to waste. They've calculated that it's time to seize the moment and that they can add Islam to the ever lengthening list of subjects that prudent persons - particularly those with an eye to electoral viability - do not raise.
So it is unacceptable for western societies to have an honest discussion about, say, mass Muslim immigration and the expansion of ever more self-segregating communities within their borders. After all, this terrorism stuff is merely, as John Kerry says, "criminality". And we have the greatest criminal investigative agencies in history, all busier and more lavishly funded than ever:
One of the militants in the Paris attacks traveled to Syria from his hometown in France and back, officials said, even after his passport had been confiscated and he had been placed under judicial oversight. So did another, despite having been arrested eight times in petty crimes and having been listed as a national security risk in France.
Even the man suspected of organizing the massacre on Friday, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a well-known figure in the Belgian jihadist scene, is believed to have traveled between Islamic State-controlled territory and Europe a number of times â€” including for an attack plot in Belgium in January.
I've mentioned before the German police estimate that simply tracking one serious person on a terrorist watch list consumes the time and money of 60 government employees. Meanwhile, being the guy on the watch list is incredibly cheap:
Take, for example, the January attacks in Paris against Charlie Hebdo magazine, a police officer and a kosher grocery. Amedy Coulibaly claimed to have helped the Kouachi brothers with their "project" by giving them "a few thousand euro" so they could buy what they needed to buy. The two Kouachi brothers reportedly received $20,000 from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), but the rocket-propelled grenade launcher and the Kalashnikov automatic assault rifles used by the Kouachis cost less than $6,000. Coulibaly himself reportedly used a false income statement to take out a 6,000 euro loan to finance the purchase of weapons for the attacks. And while AQAP claimed responsibility for the Kouachis' attack, Coulibaly self-identified with ISIS.
After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Steve Emerson was mocked across Europe and threatened with a lawsuit by the Mayor of Paris for suggesting that there were "no-go zones" where the state's writ does not run. In the last week the Government of Belgium has admitted that Molenbeek, five miles from the EU's governing institutions and Nato headquarters, is exactly that. The non-existent no-go zones are the incubators of jihad, and the entire political establishment of the western world is committed to expanding them.
The snot-nosed sophists of a fin de civilisation west like to sneer - even as the bodies are still in the streets - that you've got more chance of winning the lottery than of being killed by terrorism. They're a near parodic reductio of the man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. For terrorists, the point is not the dead: The dead are there to cow the living. They've done that very effectively on everything from freedom of speech to the right of their chattels to take the oath of citizenship in head-to-toe body bags. In my speech at the Danish Parliament on the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons, I quoted my compatriot George Jonas:
Terrorism's great achievement isn't hijacking jetliners, but hijacking the debate. Successful terrorism persuades the terror-stricken that he's conscience-stricken.
Which is why, in the decade after 9/11, Western governments ramped up Islamic immigration instead of slowing it to a trickle; and their citizens were "very supportive" of those who converted to Islam in record numbers, instead of mourning the wholesale abandonment of their inheritance; and their community-outreach enforcers dragged those who disrespected the Prophet into court for ever more footling infractions, instead of obliging Islam to adjust to core western values like freedom of expression.
And so now we have the considered position of Kerry, Clinton and Obama: Terrorism is to do with everything except Islam.
Yeah, that'll work.