The Threat to Worldwide Values - A Personal Response

I mourn the thousands of innocent people killed on September 11, 2001 and for the dedicated heroes who tried to rescue them at great personal cost. I mourn also for our fallen troops and for the innocent civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I fully support our brave and determined troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other nearby areas who have fought to uphold the moral principles we here hold so close to our hearts. In the events that have followed, our world-wide reputation has been tarnished, in ways unthinkable to us and to our world-wide friends just a few years ago.

I strongly endorse our country's determination to stamp out those who have brought such tragedy to our nation and others throughout the world.

We must name those terrorists that have brought this tragedy to our nation and to so many in the world.

These terrorists are extremist Islamists who are bent on waging Jihadist war on all those who are against them and their narrow interpretation of the Qu'ran. These Jihadists, who until recently were led by Osama bin Laden, among others, make alliances with ANYBODY in order to achieve their long-term objective. That objective is the annihilation of all who stand in their way. That includes not only us here in the United States, but free people everywhere (including moderate Muslims who do not subscribe to the extremist views of the Jihadists).

Continued funding from the Wahabbis of Saudi Arabia has infiltrated much of the academic and political thinking in our country and clouded our perception of the extremist danger. The only real way to stop this risk is by helping Americans and all free-thinking people understand the real danger of extremism. I commend three sources for increasing your understanding of this fundamental issue and its influence over the last 1400 years. All three sources are available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (and from most public libraries).

The first is Bernard Lewis'
The Crisis of Islam (Holy War and Unholy Terror). The Boston Globe has called it "A lucid and concise work by the great Mideast scholar" "an indispensable primer." This book opened my eyes to the many aspects of the Muslim history and culture which have been on our world scene for centuries, but of which I personally was woefully ignorant. It is a very worth-while read.

The second book is an absolute must for your reading. It is Walid Phares'
Future Jihad.

Description: C:\Future Jihad.jpg

Dr. Phares discusses Middle East conflicts within the UN Security Council and provides advice to the US and other western governments on international terrorism. He teaches at Florida Atlantic University where he reveals many of the fundamental misunderstandings about the aims of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorist organizations. He illuminates the connections between Jihadism and nation states around the world and illustrates how terrorism could play out on a global scale.
Future Jihad also shows how our defenses have been infiltrated, identifies the future generation of homegrown terrorists and reveals the strategies these terrorists are adopting.

I recommend his book without hesitation. It's a frightening read because it's a long overdue wake-up call on the true name of terrorism and the source of 1400 years of hatred, beginning with the split between Shiaa and Sunni elements. Jihad is a name you won't forget, after you fully understand its meaning to Islamic fundamentalists.

The third book is in a completely different category. It asks that you join in understanding from an Islamic perspective those Muslims who strive to reconcile their religious values living in the modern world vs those Muslims who always revert to the 7th Century and the "fundamentals" of their faith.

The book is Reza Aslan's No god but God.

Reza Aslan very clearly identifies that the root cause of the current problem with the Islam faith (and he is a Muslim) is that it has been hi-jacked over the centuries by misogynistic men with a tribal mentality. They have substituted the original doctrine of equal rights of that faith with the rigidity of masculine dominance, most specifically their self-declared radicalized version of the Qu'ran, including the imposition of harsh Shariah law in many countries.

Their first target is not the West, or Jews, or Christians, or Zionists, or Crusaders, or any other outsiders (what the Jihadists term "the far enemy"). Their first target is those hundreds of millions of Muslims who do not share their puritanical world view ("the near enemy").

Perhaps the most hopeful development in this internal battle to define the faith and practice of over a billion people is that Muslims themselves are becoming increasingly aware that they are as much endangered by the extremist agenda as are the so-called infidels."

"The theology of those Wahhabists who wish to return Islam to some imaginary ideal of original purity must be once and for all abandoned. Islam is and has always been a religion of diversity.

Mr. Aslan states that in reality The Islamic Reformation is already underway. "Reformations, as we know from Christian history, are bloody events...and the Islamic Reformation has some way to go before it is satisfactorily resolved."

In my viewpoint, we do indeed need to identify and support moderate Muslims who are struggling mightily in Iraq and elsewhere to stand up against the extremist Islamists, those minority Jihadists who falsely claim they represent all of Islam.

However, if these moderate Muslims cannot or will not stand up to the extremists because of threats to their families or themselves, then I think our common cause with them, unfortunately, is foundering if not indeed lost, at least for now. I believe those of us not of the Muslim faith must face up to this reality, and recognize the implications, hard as it may sound for them, and for us.

(Return to my home page "Know What You Stand For" if you want to at any time.)

Why? Because we, as world-wide-citizens, need to stand fully prepared to fight those radical Jihadists. I hope I am wrong in the timing, but I believe it will probably take some generations for the new Islamic Reformation to win the battle for the soul of Islam against the extremist Jihadists.

Therefore, we, as world-wide citizens, need to fully recognize the threat to our country's safety posed by this small group of minority extremists and stand fully prepared to fight those radical Jihadists.

We have finally withdrawn from a war in Iraq that many of us said we should not have entered. The Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis are working with their best-intentioned efforts to implement an enduring constitution. Will they - with our help - succeed? Or will the bitter lessons of history repeat themselves?

Importantly, under the leadership of President Obama, we have finally directed our military and economic resources in the correct area: the mountains of Pakistan, where the terrorists fled, the breeding grounds of the Jihadists.

Description: C:\terre.gif

My conclusions?

Finger-pointing and recriminations do absolutely no one any good at this point.

I do, however, believe we need to realistically assess the validity of our continuing military presence in this broad area, especially in Afghanistan where the lessons of history teach us that the tribal loyalties most often win out in the struggle to overcome corruption in government.

More to the point, our US concept of "democracy" is most likely not be the true motivator for peoples in this area (of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan) that so many here in our country seem to take for granted.

We absolutely need to remain
determined to stamp out terrorism, most especially as a threat to our citizens here at home. We must remain fully committed to deploy our resources to that end. We need to help others, but we need first to stay strong ourselves in our own self-defense. Only in that way can we help others.

I personally believe we must withdraw ALL our troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and all countries in that part of the world as soon as reasonably possible, hopefully within months. We must stop the drain on our economy and the damage we are doing to our own troops, physically and mentally. We do have a responsibility to compensate the countries we have invaded and occupied for the damage we have done to them. But they do not in any way want us there. The lessons of history tell us, again, that tribal mentalities there continue to dominate any form of democracy we are trying to impose upon them.

I, like most American citizens, remain fully confident that we in the United States will indeed stand together and never, ever, let our faceless enemies destroy all we hold dear. They have
not won. Nor will they ever. We will prevail. So, "Lord, be with us always, and help us to think very carefully before we act."

Description: C:\usaflag.gif

I would certainly appreciate hearing from you with your individual responses to my thoughts above. Just send me an Email today. Put "My Reply" in the subject line, with any comments you may choose to make. I will forward your replies, if you so indicate, both to President Obama and to our congressmen. I welcome your thoughts and ideas and I thank you very much!

Bob Jenks