Obama, in his remarks at the closing of the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, had this to say:
[W]e are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.
True, we are not at war with Islam. But a good portion of Muslim world is at war with us or otherwise supports those who are, and the basis for that is not a "perverted" interpratation of their faith. Their actions are found on the fundamental tentents of their religion. To claim otherwise is a complete denial of the last 1,400 years of history.
Muslims have been spreading Islam by the sword near ever since their religion was conceived in the 7th century. Islam has been the greatest imperial force the world has ever seen. Between the 7th century and the 18th century, Muslims conquered the Middle East, all of North Africa, Byzantium, a goodly portion of central Asia and India, Sicily, parts of Greece, and much of Spain. They threatened to overrun France until stopped by Charles Martel in the 8th century. By 1683, Muslims had conquered southern portions of Central Europe and were laying siege to Vienna, Austria. After 1683, Muslim nations stopped their wars of conquest.
The near three century hiatus the West has had from Islam's wars of conquest has not occurred because Islam has moderated. Islam has never had a Renaissance or Reformation. It was untouched by the Enlightenment. The Islam of today is the same militant, expansionist Islam of the 7th century. The hiatus in the wars of conquest came about simply because the West went through the Industrial Revolution and was too powerful for the Muslim nations to challenge. The only moderating influence on Islam has been the imposition of Western governmental forms in some of the Muslim countries. As Sultan Knish explains:
Islam never became enlightened. It never stopped being ‘medieval’. Whatever enlightenment it received was imposed on it by European colonialism. It’s a second-hand enlightenment that never went under the skin.
ISIS isn’t just seventh century Islam. It’s also much more recent than that. It’s Islam before the French and the English came. It’s what the Muslim world was like before it was forced to have presidents and constitutions, before it was forced to at least pay lip service to the alien notion of equal rights for all.
The media reported the burning of the Jordanian pilot as if it were some horrifying and unprecedented aberration. But Muslim heretics, as well as Jews and Christians accused of blasphemy, were burned alive for their crimes against Islam. Numerous accounts of this remain, not from the seventh century, but from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Those who weren’t burned, might be beheaded.
These were not the practices of some apocalyptic death cult. They were the Islamic law in the “cosmopolitan” parts of North Africa. The only reason they aren’t the law now is that the French left behind some of their own laws.
Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia that were never truly colonized still behead men and women for “witchcraft and sorcery.” Not in the seventh century or even in the nineteenth century. Last year.
The problem isn’t that ISIS is ‘medieval’. The problem is that Islam is.
What progressives mistake for modern Islam, whether while touring Algeria or on the campus of their university, is really an Islam whose practice has been repressed by the West while its ideology remains untouched. Modern Islam is in a state of contradiction. It’s a schizophrenic religion whose doctrine calls for supremacism but whose capabilities prevent it from exercising the full measure of its doctrines.
Islam is the 90 lb. weakling that wants to be the school bully. It can’t punch you in the face, so it stabs you in the back and then blames someone else. When you punch it back, it plays the victim.
Terrorism and the march of ISIS accross the Middle East are not some anomaly of history, they are a resumption of it. That matters because:
“You cannot fight what you refuse to name… and you cannot win against something that you will not fight.”
We have no chance of avoiding continuous war, perhaps apocolyptic, with Islam so long as our governing class refuses to take the first step of acknowledging reality.