On “Islamophobia” And The Port Deal

It has been often said that the war on terror is a different kind of war. Indeed it is because our enemies are not just the terrorists and the rogue states that back them, but to a lesser extent, the radical Islamists who identify with the terrorists. Although we’re not bombing people for supporting Sharia, hoping for an Israeli genocide and thinking Osama Bin Laden is a wonderful fellow, we are locked in a war of ideas with these people because they’re a spawning ground and support system for our terrorist enemies.

Because of the nature of our opponents, because they’re a subset of a particular religious group in every country on earth, including our own, telling friend from foe can be particularly difficult. There’s no magical wand that allows us to differentiate between Muhammad the moderate Muslim who loves freedom and respects people from other religions — and Muhammad the terrorist sympathizer who dreams of blowing himself up on a school bus full of kids.

Since we have difficulty separating the terrorists and their backers from “moderate” Muslims, many Americans have become very squeamish about having Muslims in sensitive positions that may allow them to compromise our security. It’s not that they’re afraid of all Muslims (at least, we should hope not), it’s that there’s no way for them to tell the 10, 15, 25% of Muslims who are sympathetic to the terrorists from other Muslims who don’t feel the same way.

This is what has caused the massive backlash against the port deal. Americans hear the words, “ports,” and, “Muslims,” in the same sentence, and they become concerned about that 10, 15, 25% of Muslims getting a job at the ports that would allow them to slip a sleeper cell or a dirty bomb into our country.

However, worrying about such things is not politically correct. In order to be fair to all the Muslims who aren’t Jihadis or terrorist sympathizers, Americans are supposed to pretend that security wise, it makes no difference whatsoever whether we’re talking about a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu or a Buddhist. This is a polite fiction that most Americans are generally content to go along with — except in situations of the utmost importance — like for example, when they believe port security is involved.

Because Americans have not been willing to keep pretending that all Muslims can be trusted to favor America over the terrorists, they’re being accused of, “Islamophobia.” Quite frankly, I don’t like the term, ” Islamophobia,” because it falsely implies that any fear of Islam is absurd or irrational. As numerous people who have been murdered by Islamic terrorists could tell you — had they not been blown up, decapitated, or stabbed in the name of Allah — Islam can be extremely dangerous.

Of course, some people deny this. They’ll tell you that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and that jihad is just a spiritual struggle and…no one’s buying that. The truth is that there are a lot of Muslims out there who believe that in order to be a good Muslim, they need to murder infidels or support those who do. Fearing the damage these people can cause and being concerned about being unable to identify them is rational, not some sort of phobia.

Which brings us back to the American people’s reaction to the port deal. George Bush has repeated the phrase, “Islam is a religion of peace,” over and over, ad nauseum — and understandably so. Most Muslims do see Islam as a religion of peace and don’t consider themselves to be our enemies. So, it makes sense that the President would want to assure them that the United States is not hostile to them — and we’re not.

However, one of the unfortunate side affects of Bush’s frequent, “religion of peace,” proclamations is that Americans have started to wonder if he also understands that Islam can be a religion of murder and mayhem or worse yet, they’re wondering if he knows that, but would deliberately jeopardize our security out of political correctness.

Those worries are needless. The port takeover would be of stevedoring duties, not security. Whether a firm from the UAE, China, or Britain is fulfilling those duties doesn’t affect our safety a whit. But still, despite being told that, many people remain unconvinced that they’re getting the whole story about the port deal because we as a society prefer to toss around terms like, “Islamophobia,” — rather than openly and honestly confront the fact that tens of millions of Muslims world wide, perhaps more — are willing participants in what they seem to believe is an oppressive and violent death cult.

So, Islam is peace? For most Muslims, yes. But, for a small, yet very significant percentage of the 1.5 billion Muslims out there, Islam could just as accurately be said to be about murder, rape, and suicide bombings. The fact that our very justified fear of the latter group may inconvenience the former in some ways is a shame and certainly not fair, but in these days and times, when a handful of terrorists can fly a plane into a building and kill thousands, it’s unfortunately the reality all of us have to live with.

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