Friday, June 18, 2010

Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?


by Arnold Ahlert


Despite the willful denials of the Obama administration and progressives in general, most Americans understand we are at war with Islamic fascists determined to establish a worldwide, totalitarian, religious empire. Yet even most conservatives insist that such people are only a miniscule segment of the Muslim community. What if they're not? And if, as stated above, we are at war, why we are so hell-bent on giving so-called "moderate" Muslims the benefit of the doubt?

Perhaps for progressives, such "even-handedness" is atonement. During WWll, one of the left's most cherished icons, FDR, locked up American citizens of Japanese descent. Admittedly, this was long before the days when political correctness poisoned the minds of ordinary Americans. Unlike 9/11, people reeling from the carnage of Pearl Harbor weren't immediately reassured that the "vast majority" of Japanese were "on our side." FDR's response to that attack has been vilified--in retrospect, imposing modern-day "values" which didn't exist at the time. Did the president over-react? It's easy to say yes--now. But we know how the story ended now. If Japan had defeated the United States in WWll, what then? On the other hand, one aspect of FDR's decision is indisputable: he gave America, not its enemies, the benefit of the doubt.

If there is a crucial element missing from our reaction to 9/11, it is that same benefit of the doubt. Progressives, starting the White House and emanating outwards, are determined not to make the same "mistake" FDR did. If one opposes the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero? Bigotry. If one refuses to tip-toe around a religion which has amply demonstrated that even the slightest criticism of it can literally be deadly? Insensitive. If one believes Iran's ruling class poses an existential threat to the planet? Neo-con (read, Jew-lover).

The common thread? Islam gets the benefit of the doubt.

Such accommodation has reached incomprehensible levels. It is impossible to imagine any other president in the history of the United States giving "shut outs" during a press conference for almost three minutes--before getting around to mentioning that an Islamic terrorist killed thirteen American soldiers at Fort Hood. And in what other moment in American history would the Army's top general elevate a concern about diversity over the murder of American soldiers? To wit:

"Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse."--General George Casey

Really, General? Perhaps a visit to Walter Reed is in order. You might discover soldiers enduring grievous, life-altering wounds who are under the "mistaken" impression they were protecting America, not diversity.

In what other moment of American history could could one imagine the Attorney General of the United States bending over backwards to avoid making any references to Islamic terror with regard to the above massacre, the Christmas Eve underwear bomber or the Times Square bomber--despite the fact that all three perps had a relationship with an American terrorist cleric, Anwar al Awlaki? Eric Holder is an insult to rational thinking and honesty--and he's running the Justice Department.

Question: who can say--with absolute certainty--that so-called moderate Muslims have no relationship whatsover with their terrorist co-religionists? Answer: no one.

And therein lies the crux of the issue. In order to give America the benefit of the doubt, it becomes necessary to admit we're in the middle of a war. In order to give the overwhelming majority of Muslims the benefit of the doubt, it becomes necessary to deny that we are at war.

In other words, context is everything.

And yet it is context which is being studiously ignored. Building a mosque at Ground Zero can be one of two things: a celebration of religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution--or the establishment of beach head within the "enemy" camp. Liberals, as always, can't even imagine that the latter--at this precise moment in history--is just as likely, if not more so, than the former. Context might provide some perspective: the Ground Zero mosque's leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is a key figure in the Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization-- the single biggest donor to the Free Gaza Movement that tried to break the Israeli blockade.

Does he still get the benefit of the doubt?

In Liberal-Land he does. Liberalism is an ideology which countenances the wringing of hands over diversity before thirteen American soldiers are even in the ground. It is the ideology which reflexively goes for the "lone wolf" theory regarding the would-be bombers on Christmas Eve and in Times Square first, before it is completely discredited by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is the ideology that allows for the civilian trials of those who executed three thousand Americans on 9/11 for the primary purpose of demonstrating "superior" morality--to our mortal enemies. It is the utterly bankrupt ideology which gives the benefit of the doubt to anyone and every one over America and our national security.

If one considers FDR's prescription for national security to be an over-reaction, is it so inconceivable to consider our determination to give moderate Muslims the benefit of every doubt, an equal but opposite over-reaction? For example, it is unreasonable to limit legal immigration from Muslim countries where a majority of the population has demonstrated anti-American sentiments? It is unreasonable to give greater scrutiny to madrassas that have graduated students who turned to terror? It is unreasonable to kick radical Muslim clerics out of our prison system? Is it unreasonable to assume that the building of mosques in America, proceeding at a break-neck pace, is part of a grand strategy of cultural infiltration?

No doubt for many liberals, even thinking such "impure" thoughts is evidence of bigotry. Yet what nation has ever completely ignored a "worst case scenario" with regard to national security? I'd like to think there are more than a few "bigots" in places like the CIA, the State Department and the National Security Agency. I'd like to think there are people far smarter than me thinking "impure" thoughts about Muslims, both radical and ostensibly moderate. I'd like to think there are people for whom America gets the benefit of the doubt, each and every time.

If that makes me a bigot, then so be it. I'd rather be a living bigot than a dead "enlightened" thinker.

The liberal approach to terror is a house of cards. It is one more domestic attack removed from the ash heap of history, an attack which will completely obliterate the left's steadfast denial of reality. If hundreds of Americans are killed by yet another group of Islamic radicals, their fellow Americans will be in no mood to hear about diversity, lone wolves, civilian trials or "overseas contingency operations." There will be no mosque built at Ground Zero.

There will be no more "benefit of the doubt" given to "moderate" Islam.

Intolerant? Only if the context of a worldwide clash of cultures is surgically removed from the equation. Only if one ignores that the struggle between the West and Islam has been going on for hundreds of years. Only if we're willing to judge people by what they say, even as we ignore what they do. Only if we're willing to consider the worst case scenario to be completely and utterly impossible.

There is a big difference between intolerance and ideologically-inspired stupidity. It takes a willful determination to ignore the advances being made by Muslims in Europe, which proceed apace, even as certain neighborhoods in France and England become "no-go" zones for local police. It takes rose-colored glasses to believe that, as Muslim populations swell and European populations decline, there will be no attempt to institute fundamental changes in jurisprudence with respect to Sharia Law. Incrementalism is history in slow motion, but the current trajectory is inexorable--as long as one side is promoting its culture and the other is apologizing for it.

It's time we stopped apologizing. And if that means we become less "flexible" with respect to so-called moderate Islam, then so be it. America is far better served by reserving judgment than making false assumptions--especially when those assumptions are foisted on us by people whose ideology has always demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. Call it "neutralism" for lack of a better term. I neither assume the worst about Muslims--nor the best.

In historical terms, that puts me somewhere between FDR and Barack Obama.

Where do you fit?


Arnold Ahlert

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


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