The quote in the title of this piece is taken from a very scholarly and quite extensive analysis “What ISIS Really Wants” which appeared recently in the online edition of The Atlantic Magazine and will appear in its March 2015 print edition and is based on the author’s significant research into the background and development of what the Obama Administration has condescendingly, and recently, referred to as the JV team to “core al Quaeda” but continues, to this date, to refuse to call it what it calls itself: Islamic! In this writing, I hope to call attention to the already widespread notice this excellent piece of reporting by Graeme Wood has drawn, which “offers a blistering brief on the religious motivations of the Islamic State that should have been required reading at the extremism summit”, according to Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online, in a column entitled, with his usual wit, “Nothing to see here, Nothing at all”. He goes on to say:
“By insisting that ‘religious violence’ is an oxymoron, Obama, Kerry, and their spinners are saying that religion can only be a force for good (a view many on the left loudly insist is not the case, at least when it comes to Christians in America). This is obvious nonsense.” (emphasis added)
I am deeply concerned that, in the face of all evidence and despite the glaring fact that ISIS refers to itself as the ISLAMIC State, the Administration continues to deny that it is what it says it is and more deeply concerned that there are many citizens who will look no further than these comments, so directly disconnected from reality, on the basis that since he, after all, is the President, there must be some logical reason why he continues to do that which more and more seems to be not only illogical but, more and more, downright foolish. And, that is why I join with the many commentators whose opinions I regard very highly in urging every single American citizen to read, and, moreover, to study carefully as I did, the very lengthy article in The Atlantic as it is impossible to read that study and come away with any other conclusion than that there is something far beyond simply a mindset which is illogical and disconnected from reality going on with the Administration’s continuing denial of the reality we, and the World, are facing in this menace of monsters whose butchery includes mass beheadings and — as horrible a torture as one can possibly imagine being inflicted upon a human being — burning “infidels” alive! As many widely published commentators have observed, refusing to call Major Hasan’s vicious act of terrorism what it was and instead to refer to it as “workplace violence” — a phrase which, incidentally, did “violence” to the victim’s rights to receive benefits to which they are finally entitled now that this inane classification has been removed–and steadfastly denying the reality of the Paris attacks and instead calling them “random acts of just shooting random folks” instead of what every person with a functioning mind could see was (a) revenge against a publisher for “insulting the Prophet” and (b) as to the shooting in the Kosher deli, an act of terrorism born of virulent anti-Semitism, just to pick 2 examples, betrays at the least an inclination to favor the Muslim point of view at all costs. This was further borne out recently when Obama termed — immediately after the occurrence– the shooting of 3 Muslims in North Carolina a “hate crime” but has been silent, to this date, on the mass beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians by ISIS. One need not be a “right wing-nut” of the type routinely disparaged by those of the far left to discern a rather distinct difference in the way the Administration has reacted to incidents involving Muslims, on the one hand, and Christians and Jews, on the other.
As part of his preparation of this article, Wood interviewed the leading expert on the theology of ISIS, Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, and some of his observations are in such stark contrast to pronouncements by such faux experts on Muslim theology as John Kerry it is truly stunning:
“Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”
“Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent.
“According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”
Additionally, the author interviewed several supporters of the ISIS theology, including Anjem Choudary in London, who shared these chilling observations in which he said the Islamic State’s savagery was actually a policy of “mercy”:
“Choudary took pains to present the laws of war under which the Islamic State operates as policies of mercy rather than of brutality. He told me the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies—a holy order to scare the shit out of them with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict.”
These, obviously, are just a very few highlights from this very fine piece of writing and I cannot urge too strongly that all Americans who want to know the actual truth about this vicious and extremely determined enemy read it in its entirety; once you do you will simply not be able to stomach all the “lexicological pretzels” (Goldberg again) into which the Administration and its pathetic spinners are twisting themselves in their continuing efforts to deny what everyone else can clearly see, that we are at war with a very, very extreme strain of Islam, which must be destroyed like the snake it is.