When they are all done sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya those Political Correctness Police are working very hard to going to get us all killed. Wars need to be framed—enemies have to be defined . Lets face it, to get a country behind a War the people need to have the enemy defined. But as we go on in this War on Terror those PC nuts do not want to call the enemy what they are: Islamists practicing Jihad. No, they are radicals or militants (I thought a militant was a terrorist who killed Jews?). These”generic” terms for our Islamofacist enemy is even beginning to creep into the government’s vernacular .
Jihadists, Islamists, and “Extremists” – what’s in a name? By Jeffrey Imm Another U.S. threat assessment has been issued that refuses to identify the enemy threatening us, and instead defines the enemy only as “extremists”. Today’s annual threat assessment from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) fails to use the terms “Jihad”, “Jihadist”, “Islamism”, or “Islamist” in identifying the enemy. The question must be asked how the U.S. can meaningfully assess threats, if it can’t even identify the enemy. The term “radical Islamic” (used twice) and “militant Islamic” (used once) is the only term close to “Islamist”, and such terms as “radical” and “militant” have very different meanings to different people. Predominantly, when describing the enemy, the DNI annual assessment today uses the term “extremist(s)” (used 18 times) or “extremism” (used twice). In effect, the DNI views that America is fighting a war against “extremism”.
This follows last week’s State of the Union message where the term “extremist” was the primary definition of the enemy, with the term extremism, extremist(s) used nine times in defining the enemy (see recent columns on this by Counterterrorism Blog’s Andrew Cochran and by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy). Our national leadership continues to ignore political “Islamism” as defined in the 9/11 Commission report, and refuses to make the distinction, as per Dr. Jasser, between “personal spiritual Islam from political Islam”, but instead addresses threats from ambiguously defined “extremists” as its primary concern.
Jihadists and Islamists are also concerned about “extremists”, which illustrates the non-value of the term “extremist” in referencing the enemy. For example, Osama Bin Laden is concerned about “extremists” in Iraq. Bin Laden made this clear in his October 22, 2007 message calling for Jihadists in Iraq to unite. In that message, Bin Laden warns of the “ta’assub” (fanatics, extremists), who would sow dissension among Jihadist mujahideen. Islamists have the same concern about “extremists”. For example, in the documentary Islam versus Islamists, Tempe Wahhabist Imam Ahmad Al Shqeirat views anti-terror Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser as an “extremist”. Moreover, in the eyes of Islamists, those accused of “blasphemy”, “apostasy”, and any other challenge to the Islamist ideology are “extremists”. When developing a United States threat assessment, is defining the enemy as “extremists” the best that the intelligence community has to offer?”Radical Islam” is similarly imprecise. Competing Islamist groups view each other as representing “radical Islam”, much in the same way that Indonesian Islamists viewed the now-banned Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah group as “dangerous” because it practiced a different version of Islam. The definition of political “Islamism”, as defined in the 9/11 Commission report, remains the keystone in addressing the ideology behind “Islamist terrorism” or “Jihad”. Ambiguous terms only serve to facilitate vacillating on the difficult decisions that the United States must make in this war, and undermining our resolve to win it.
As George Weigel states in his recent commentary about the inability to name the enemy, “if the United States can’t explain to the world why religious freedom, civility, tolerance and democratic persuasion are morally superior to coercion in religious and political matters, then America stands disarmed before those who believe it their duty to impose a starkly different view of the good society on us.”
On February 4, the UK media also reported that both the terms “Jihad” and “Islamist” are no longer to be used by UK government individuals, according to a new handbook issued by the UK government to all departments. The new handbook states that UK government individuals should no longer refer to Islamist extremism or Jihadi fundamentalism, but view terrorists as “criminals” or “extremists”.
When the United States begins treating the Jihadist threat like the United Kingdom does, we can be certain that we are losing the ideological war against the enemy. After all, we can’t even state their name.