Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Western | leaders

Ex-State Dept. Official: World Must Confront 'Islamism'

By    |   Wednesday, 07 January 2015 07:07 PM

President Barack Obama chose the right words by calling Wednesday's massacre at a Paris magazine office an act of terror, but Western leaders still shrink from saying what also should be obvious: that Islam has a violence problem, a former State Department official told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"The publics of all of these democracies . . . want clarity on who the enemy is," Christian Whiton, a geopolitical risk expert and former State Department senior adviser, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner. "You need to have that before you can be serious about how you're going to defeat it."

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Whiton said evidence of where the problem lies is abundant and not limited to Wednesday's attack on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo — a French humor magazine known for mocking radical Islam — by gunmen who were heard proclaiming "God Is Great" in Arabic.

"Look at the rap sheet," said Whiton. "You're already hearing some talk about how this [Paris attack] is a lone wolf. It doesn't look like it. Frankly, it looks like a very sophisticated, well-trained set of perpetrators.

"But you [also] had Fort Hood," he said. "You had the Boston bombings; the recent attack in Ottawa, Canada; the stabbing of a soldier in London; the hostages taken in Sydney, Australia."

"At least the president did come out [on Wednesday] and call it terrorism — it wasn't 'workplace violence,'" said Whiton. "But we haven't gotten to what really is motivating this, and who the enemy really is, which is unfortunate."

Whiton said that combatting Islamic-inspired terror will require Western governments to push for fundamental changes within Western Muslim communities that have served as recruiting pools for jihadists.

He said that one of the most important tasks "is to get Muslims in the West to instigate change within Islam, and a separation of Islam, the religion, from Islamism, the political tyrannical ideology."

"That's not going to happen until our leaders develop some backbone," said Whiton.
"Also, you have a consistent defining-down on what is terrorism," he said. "The Obama administration tried from the beginning to define it to just al-Qaida and then to just 'core al-Qaida.'"

He said the reality is that terror attacks "aren't being coordinated by some guy in a cave in Afghanistan, but are happening for other reasons — because people can just raise their hands and say they want to be part of this terrorist tyrannical ideology."

Political leaders' failure to recognize that fact is "a shame and a missed opportunity," said Whiton.

"Governments are best at handling other governments," he said, adding that the U.S. should identify regimes such as Iran, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey that support terrorism, and confront them not only for abetting terror but for encouraging the Islamists "who want to unify mosque and state."

"We can say Islam is a religion of peace — whatever," said Whiton, "But saying that, the people who purvey Islamism need to be confronted, and we need to be honest about the threats that face us. This wasn't just an attack on free speech; it's an attack on Western values and freedom. Unifying the West and unifying free nations . . . is what leaders ought to do."

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President Barack Obama chose the right words by calling Wednesday's massacre at a Paris magazine office an act of terror, but Western leaders still shrink from saying what also should be obvious: that Islam has a violence problem, a former State Department official told . . .
Western, leaders, Islam, violence
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2015-07-07
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 07:07 PM
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