Rod Dreher approvingly quotes Steve Emerson about what an outrage it is that the various news channels omitted the adjective, “Islamic” from all descriptions of the extremists who terrorized Mumbai last weekend. Emerson argues that the omission is “craven” and “politically correct”:
It is time to stop caving in to the PC crowd. If we refuse to use the term Islamic terrorist, we conveniently take away any onus of responsibility for Islamic groups to halt the murderous ideology they propagate. In fact, in nearly EVERY claim of responsibility, which I studied, for hundreds of violent Islamic attacks which took place since 9/11, the common justification by the Muslim terrorist perpetrator was that there was a “war against Muslims” by the West and the Jews that had to be avenged. The real truth is that there is war against the West and the Jews by Islamic jihadists. And no amount of territorial withdrawal or peace negotiations will assuage them.
I also do not comprehend why Emerson finds the ravings of terrorist madmen barbarians so credible. Yes, these thugs “justify” their actions (slaughtering innocents, in direct contravention to Qur’an 5:32) by claiming that the West is waging a war against Islam. Does Emerson believe that to be true? Does Emerson think that the average mainstream muslim like myself believes that to be true? And what benefit does our usage of the word “Islamic terrorist” actually confer with regards to that specific belief, anyway? Emerson never explains the relevance, his argument is essentially just hand-waving.
Emerson says that there is a real war being waged on the West (and Jews) by these madmen. Well, I agree with that. But given that we are waging war against them in return, and them only (and not all of Islam as they like to claim), doesn’t use of the phrase “Islamic terror” actually cloud the issue rather than clarify who our enemies are?
Emerson simply has no argument that these phrases would confer any benefit. In fact, using the terms “Islamofascism” and “Islamic terror” etc actually do more harm than good, because they confer religious legitimacy upon the terrorists that they desperately seek. They try to claim they are waging a holy war (jihad), but in actuality they are committing hirabah, not jihad
. The use of these terms helps them in their own propaganda that they are acting on behalf of Islam and that the West is engaged in a war against the faith. Ironically, the very reasons that Emerson quotes as for why we should use these terms, are actually the very reasons we should not!