We Must See the Real Threat to 'Connect the Dots'

Friday, 08 Jan 2010 11:45 AM

By Tawfik Hamid

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The recent Christmas terror attempt by the Nigerian Muslim Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab raised several concerns about failure of the system in the U.S. to connect the dots.

There is no single doubt that this event among many others such as the Fort Hood massacre point to a serious problem in connecting the data.

The question that must be raised is, "Have we only failed to connect the dots or have we failed to see them to begin with?"

Since Sept. 11 and in fact before it, we failed miserably to see several clear dots and threats that could have changed our approach to the problem of radical Islam and enhanced our capabilities in fighting it.

Some of the dots that we failed to see include the following:
  • We failed to see that in most approved Islamic Shariah books, jihad is predominantly taught in a violent manner. We believed in our dreams and imaginations that jihad is a peaceful concept instead of doing our homework to learn how it is defined by mainstream Islamic books and media. We obviously failed to confront the reality until the reality confronted us.
  • We could not see that the problem of terrorism is clearly linked to a religious ideology. Our political correctness made us unable to see the most apparent thing, which is, when thousands of terror attacks and suicide bombings are conducted predominantly by dedicated and devout Muslims who belong to several economical and educational levels, it is imperative to think of the ideology as the number one cause for the problem.
  • We did not recognize that Shariah, still today, allows stoning of women until death for adultery, kills people for converting from Islam, and promotes wars against non-Muslims to spread Islam. It is a violent and inhumane law that carries major threat to the future of our civilizations.
  • We were unable to see the clear link between teaching violence and barbarism in Islamic jurisprudence books and the development of a violent mind that can ultimately lead to terrorism and barbarism.
  • We kept talking about moderate and radical Islam without setting parameters to define them. This made us support some radical Islamic groups, organizations, and individuals thinking that they are “moderates.”
  • We failed to comprehend that the lack of a strong reaction in the Muslim street against the terrorists is indicative of a serious cultural problem that encourages and supports radical Islam.
  • We failed to see that allowing radicals in our military who clearly express sympathy and support for our enemy — such as the case of Nidal Hasan who committed the Fort Hood massacre — is a form of insanity.
  • We could not realize that carrying a U.S. passport or having U.S. citizenship does not grant immunity from becoming radicalized.
  • We could not figure out that Muslims killing one another in extremely barbaric manners in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be due to or explained by the presence of an Arab-Israeli conflict or by U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. We failed to ask the basic question: Why do Muslims kill one another?
  • We failed to see that disrespect for the life of non-Muslims, as currently taught in main stream Islamic jurisprudence books, is a — if not the — main underlying factor behind terrorism. We simply could not see that the barbarism practiced by radical Islam has its roots in what we call “moderate Islam,” or Shariah.
In brief, our failure to defeat radical Islam is not simply a failure in connecting dots. It is primarily a failure to see these dots.


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