Sunday, June 4, 2017

Where is the Counter Jihad?

This article first appeared in New English Review

As the dust begins to settle in London of Saturday night, the death toll is 6. The police have shot 3 terrorists dead after they went on a rampage running people over and then stabbing others on the street and in a nearby restaurant. This is just another example of what London's Muslim mayor said is something that people living in large cities have to learn to live with.

One network's British correspondent was quick to point out from the scene that the overwhelming majority of Britain's Muslims are horrified and condemn these attacks. That is possibly so, but being horrified is insufficient. Condemning attacks is insufficient. Offering condolences is insufficient. Claiming that Islam has nothing to do with it is insufficient. Their words ring hollow.

I have always been careful to caution that in the face of these atrocities, we must not lash out at innocent Muslims. I hold to that. But I have to wonder: Even if the number of actual jihadists and those in preparation is small, how many are giving some sort of support, financial or otherwise? How many silently approve of what is happening? How many remain silent when terrorists are in their midst as they did for several weeks in Molenbeek, a mostly Muslim neighborhood in Brussels when a major terrorist wanted in connection with the Paris attacks was openly moving about? How many live peacefully among us but hope for the day when our countries will become part of the great caliphate living under sharia law? How many Muslim leaders in the West are trying to bring about the same result as the killers but by using peaceful means, working within the legal system, convincing people that Islam poses no threat, and that the acts of terror do not represent Islam? How many believe in "honour killings" if a daughter or wife becomes too Westernized or independent? How many are subjecting their daughters to female genital mutilation?

Surely, there are many who live secular lives. Surely, some have cooperated with law enforcement and given them tips. I don't mean to ignore them. The problem is that they are in a small minority.

In addition, there are a handful-a handful- of Western Muslims who really want reform in Islam. Zuhdi Jasser and Shireen Qudosi are two of them in the US. Irshad Manji in Canada is another. They speak out at the risk of their lives, and we must support them. Yet, they are too few to make a difference in my opinion.

Here is another question: We hear about the thousands of Western-based Muslims who have left their country of residence to join ISIS or Al Shaabab and fight the jihad in the Middle East or Somalia. How many have we heard of who have gone off to these regions to fight against the terrorists? I know of none.

I do know that in the US, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has attempted to insert itself between the Muslim community and law enforcement. They have urged Muslims not to talk to police or the FBI before contacting them (CAIR). A few years ago, Zahra Billoo, the head of the CAIR San Francisco office, dusted off an old Cold War poster that said that people should slam their doors on the FBI when they come calling.

All this brings me to the point: If Islam is truly a peaceful religion and the jihadists are a tiny minority, where is the counter-jihad? Where are the millions of young Muslim men taking up arms and going to fight the ones who are harming the reputation of peaceful Islam? Why is there no army of Muslim volunteers in Iraq and Syria fighting against ISIS? During the Spanish civil war, thousands of foreigners flocked to Spain to try and defend the government against Franco's army. Why is there nothing similar here? The fact is that the only Muslims engaged in combat against ISIS and the other groups are national armies fighting for their rulers, be it the Saudis, the Iraqis, the Syrians, etc.

It is my theory that Muslims remain quiet because they know that the jihadists are truly following the fundamentals of Islam. That is the problem.

It is Islam.

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