The video at the end of this piece addresses the claims that we hear from our President and other leaders in the US that Islam does not have anything to do with terrorism in the word. According to Barack Obama, 99.9% of the Muslims in the world do not support radical Islam. But is he right? Raheel Raza, a Sunni Muslim herself, gives us the facts and figures.
Raheel Raza says she does not need Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or any celebrity, like Ben Affleck, to defend her and her religion. She says she needs to be defended from the radicals in her own religion. She needs to be defended from radical Islamists who behead people, throwh battery acid on people and murder people in the name of her God. She says these radicals seek to take over the world in the name of her religion.
A Muslim herself, Raheel Raza has dedicated her life to speaking out against the rising threat of radical Islam, which threatens to swallow up the Islam she knows. She urges that we can not treat an illness without identifying what the problem is. We cannot address the cancer of radical Islam without accurately identifying what it is.
According to Raheel Raza, the fear of being labeled a racist has caused us to take positions that leave us vulnerable. For instance, the fear of being called racist caused neighbors to keep silent when they saw suspicious activity in San Bernardino. Ignoring that fear could have saved 14 lives.
A former Dept. of Homeland Security employee in the video says that the Department had targeted the San Bernardino killer long before the killings, but they were prohibited from pursuing action to stop him because of fear of profiling. They were stopped from pursuing him, specifically, and any Islamic group, generally for fear of racism.
Raheel Raza urges that the paternalistic and naive attitudes of the West toward radical Islam is playing into the hands of the growing number of radical Islamists who seek to impose their will on the world. She urges us to throw off those naive and simplistic attitudes and warns us to be more vigilant and circumspect.
Today there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is believed to be the world’s fastest growing religion. She unpacks Islam by using concentric circles.
At the middle are the jihadists who wake up in the morning wanting to kill people and die trying (ISIS Al Qaida, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.). She estimates between 170,000 to 500,000 jihadists in the world, though she acknowledges the difficulty of knowing for sure. At the time of the video, Raza estimated ISIS numbers at about 40,000-200,000; Al-Qaeda at 80,000-100,000; IRCG (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) at 10,000-100,000, Hezbollah at 10,000-50,000; Hamas at 26,000-35,000.
Similar to what President Obama claimed, the Raza estimates the number of jihadists in the world at below 1%. Raza reminds us, however, that a handful of terrorists are all that is needed to do serious damage and change the way society operates. She said that ISIS jihadists are flowing into the west with the refugees. The mastermind of the Paris attacks boasted of trafficking freely between Europe and Syria. Some jihadists are even home grown in the west, like the San Bernardino killer.
But the jihadists are not the whole picture. Another, larger circle emanates from the center of Raza’s diagram that she called the Islamists. The Islamists are just as convinced of the virtue of martyrdom, paradise and wanting to foist their religion on the rest of humanity, but they attempt to work within the system.
The Islamists aren’t apt to blow themselves up, but they are working to change governments and are using democracy against itself to do it. They want the same things as the jihadists, but their tactics are different. They use present political and cultural systems to further their aims.
The Muslim Brotherhood which rose to power in Egypt is an example. They are a progenitor of modern Islam modeled on the ancient idea of a global caliphate and sharia law. The Muslim Brotherhood is primary political, but it has spawned Al-Qaeda, Hamas, CAIR and other radical terrorist groups. Hamas rose to power in Gaza. CAIR in the US is tied into the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates recently identified them as a terrorist group.
While these Muslims are not blowing themselves up and are not posing an immediate, physical threat to the world, they have the same beliefs as the jihadists and are working to bring about the same change to the world. The Islimists greatly exceed the Jihadists in number.
The last circle is the largest of all and is equally disturbing and insidious. These Muslims are not terrorists like ISIS and are not working to overthrow governments, but they hold beliefs and practices that we would consider deeply troubling.
Who are they?
PEW research produced the results of a study of thousands of Muslims in 39 countries. In Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan, the vast majority (79%-86%) believe that Muslims leaving the Islamic faith should be executed. Large numbers in other countries hold to the same belief: Egypt (86%); Jordan (82%); Afghanistan (79%); Palestine (66%); Malaysia (62%); Lebanon (46%); and Iraq (42%), for example.) The average of all Muslims surveyed around the world who believe Muslims should be executed for leaving their faith is 27%.
A total of about 237,000,000 people (14% of the world’s Muslim population) who these and other beliefs are radically out of step with the modern world. Some of the other beliefs include the following principles:
- Honor killings of women who have had pre-marital sex or extra-marital sex are considered justifiable by 39% of all Muslims in Muslim majority countries. This includes 345,000,000 people! (22% of the world Muslim population).
- The number of western Muslims who believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be justified is astonishing (including 42% of French Muslims; 35% of British Muslims; and 26% of American Muslims).
- Over 53% of Muslims in Muslim majority countries want sharia law implemented as the law of the land (283,000,000 people).
- Over 52% of Muslims in Muslim majority countries support whippings and cutting off the hands of thieves (281,000,000 people).
- Over 51% f Muslims in Muslim majority countries are in favor of stoning unfaithful spouses (279,000,000 people).
These numbers are important to understand because they reveal a much larger segment of the Muslim population who support what we obviously consider radical beliefs. This same population of people may not be jihadists but they are sympathetic to the jihadists. They believe virtually the same things as the jihadists, though they aren’t committed, themselves, to radical jihadism.
The more important things is this: if we abandon our discussion about these things, we turn our backs on truth and we abandon human rights in favor of political correctness.
Raheel Raza warnss that we cannot adequately address the threat of radical Islam without understanding it. She speaks with urgency when she says that we are being arrogant and paternalistic to assume that our definition of what Islam is and what Islam is not is correct.
Radical Islam defines itself. We just need to be willing to accept the truth of it. Radical Islam is an entirely religious, Islamic movement. While the majority of Muslims in the world are not radical Islamists, radical Islamists threaten to overrun the Islamic religion and force themselves on moderate Muslims and the world alike.