Even before President Barack Obama assumed office, the liberal media embarked upon a massive effort to attribute the phenomena of suicide bombings to anything other than Islam. Now that Obama has begun to place his mark on the conflict formerly known as the “War on Terror” and the activities of those formerly known as “Jihadists,” these efforts have only gotten farther off of the mark.
Not only has Obama displayed tremendous courage in fighting his “War on Words,” he and his media manipulator extraordinaire, David Axelrod, have unleashed the full weaponry of the mellow timbre to handle the conflicts we face with enemies we used to identify in part by their connection to Islam. By ceasing reference to “terror,” by eliminating thirteen hundred years of history in accepting the absurd notion that, to true Muslims, “Jihad” is a simple peaceable struggle against internal appetites and lusts much like that which Christians undertake during Lent, and by introducing pleasantly toned conversational style to engage and dialogue away all global conflict, Obama has certainly brought about one kind of “change”—if we change our grammar and tone we can eliminate all squabbles the West has had with the Muslim world. Camelot visits the Middle East.
Further, Obama has sought to deploy his troops of amiable words in Cairo and elsewhere in the Muslim world. He armed his new under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Judith A. McHale, with familiar calls for “building bridges” between America and the Muslim world. Unfortunately, Pakistani journalist Ansar Abbasi responded, “You should know we hate all Americans… From the bottom of our souls, we hate you.” No worry. Obama sent in his reinforcements in the form of a congenial Ramadan Message to Muslims worldwide.
In addition, the media has followed suit by virtually banning most relevant references to Islam and Muslims. It recently refused to label French Muslim protesters as “Muslim.” It only reluctantly, if ever, conflates “Muslim” with any intention to terrorize. And mostly, it is allergic to ever mentioning Islam other than to honor it.
The recent uptick in suicide bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere has renewed media inquiry into why young Muslims would forfeit their lives in furtherance of their “political/religious” aims. This is most problematic when we see, across all forms of media, the inability to mention any causal relation between Islam and suicide bombing. The overwhelming inclination of the liberal media is to treat foreign Muslims as if they were no different from non-Muslims except that growing up in difficult circumstances has forced them into violence.
Hence, the Palestinians are merely victims of Israeli “occupation” (one word Obama and Axelrod neglected to ban), poor economic conditions which destroy all hopes for a bright future, a culture with restrictive norms prohibiting sexual gratification, and military aggression that can only breed hatred. The same applies to other radical Muslims around the world.
Yet, oddly enough, in this great exercise of claiming victimhood, never are Muslims alleged to be victims of Islam. This is as if the people of Guyana make the case that they drank their Kool-Aid because it was hot out, they could not afford more expensive refreshments, they had been forced out of cruel America and thus had limited hopes for a future in a different culture and so forth. That Reverend Jim Jones and his philosophy were excluded would be laughable. And yet, much of the Western world seems to have colluded in leaving out Islam from the list of causes of much of the world’s conflicts.
Without arguing here the details of Islam, there is one aspect of it that seems to have evaded all discussion whatsoever. It is a notion that has been explored in a recent novel by Mark Gabriel, Ph.D., Coffee with the Prophet. Gabriel, a former Muslim and lecturer at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, describes much of the struggle he went through in ridding himself of what he now considers the horrors of Islam he was forced to ingest growing up Muslim in Egypt.
Gabriel articulates a weltanschauung that is imparted to Muslims who engage their religion seriously. Essentially, Islam leaves many lacking a critical internal sense of certainty, comfort, and stability; a vulnerable mental state which some will desperately seek to remedy.
In Judaism and Christianity, the other Abrahamic religions to which Islam is rooted and tethered, there are mechanisms for the adherent to reach some degree of internal stability and mental comfort. For Christians, even if one commits the worst of sins, there is still a path through acceptance of Jesus Christ and His forgiveness, to find one’s way to eternity in Heaven. For Jews, there are mechanisms, in part centered around the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, coupled with specific required actions depending upon the sin, to earn back the Almighty’s graces. And even in the grand non-Abrahamic faiths, including Hinduism and Buddhism, the architectures of the belief systems provide roads to reach internal peace.
Such is not the case with Islam. Islam, essentially, has paradoxical provisions. On the one hand, a Muslim’s fate is sealed before birth and not revealed to him. On the other hand, there are acts which are believed to induce or reduce favor with Allah and can count as evidence on Judgment Day. Consequently, a genuinely engaged Muslim can never be sure where he stands in eternity and is given both the duty to try to influence the outcome while being told (as his destiny is already written) he is impotent to change it. “Change the unchangeable” is a double-bind command that is extremely difficult to mentally navigate.
Islam, however, does afford a solution. There is one (and only one) guaranteed way to ensure a road to Paradise: to die in Jihad as a martyr. (Oops! Did that just say “Jihad?” How does one die in the peaceful internal struggle against one’s own lusts and appetites?)
The Koran and Islamic literature are clear that Jihad entails a contract with Allah whereby, if the Muslim fights for Allah’s cause and dies, Allah will reward him. While most of the Koranic references to "Jihad” are military in nature, Allah’s cause can be fought in other, non-violent ways as well, including Jihad by converting others, or “Civilizational Jihad” or, as Robert Spencer has coined, “Stealth Jihad,” the seemingly innocuous infiltration into Western civilization to destroy it from the inside.
Violent Jihad, however, offers a more direct path to death. While suicide is generally considered forbidden in Islam, dying in Jihad is exalted. He who dies while carrying out Jihad automatically bypasses the grave and Judgment Day and earns an immediate pass to the eternal pleasures of Paradise, all the while avoiding the eternally unbearable torment of Hell. And the Koran is, arguably, unparalleled in its description of the endless horrors one will encounter if and when one winds up in Hell.
And it is this certainty and relief from internal agony and psychological pain that so often serves to inspire the prospective suicide bomber and render him or her particularly vulnerable to persuasion from others. Gabriel spells out the power that the fear of eternal Hell in Islam has over the minds of seriously engaged Muslims. It is not difficult to see, especially in young males, how the inability both to garner some real sense of one’s own value (either to themselves, others, or, by projection, to Allah) and to learn how to forgive oneself and others can lead to deeply implanted uncertainty that essentially can turn this world into Hell itself.
Many (particularly adolescents) face times of intense internal despair. How one is equipped to confront these times greatly determines the kind of adult who ultimately evolves and emerges. Religion, for many, is often a major stabilizing force. Islam, however, rather than offering tools to manage such anguish, dramatically promotes internal anxiety by keeping unobtainable any true degree of comfort that one has ultimately pleased Allah enough to avoid Islamic Hell.
The next time the media suggests that the pool of dark eyed virgins is the lure, or the “occupation” or poor economy or Western foreign policies are the drivers of suicide bombing, notice the absence of any reference to Islam itself. More specifically, until the media is able write about how Islamic Hell can cause so much internal distress, fear, and psychological imbalance, all other claims to “victimhood” are excuses rather than explanations. While these other factors can help set the stage, without a clear understanding of the power of Islamic Hell, true understanding and effective remedies will never emerge.
Unfortunately, with Obama and Axelrod’s “War on Words,” we are focused down the wrong path. And “Hell” was a bad word long before Obama appeared on the scene. Consequently, we likely will be left with Islamic Hell on earth until we are prepared to open our eyes and confront what is really being installed in the minds of Muslim youth.