Hamilton — Islamic Imperialism: A rose by any other name?
A question one sometimes hears goes like this: If there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 99 percent of them are peaceful, how come the peaceful 99 percent don’t make the violent 1 percent knock off the violence?
Good question: Why don’t the 1.6 billion Muslims convince or compel 16 million of their co-religionists to forsake violence against those who do not believe exactly as they do?
Religions can and do change. Various forms of Catholicism have stopped killing each other over which way to make the sign of the Cross. Protestants and Catholics have stopped burning heretics at the stake. Mormons have outlawed polygamy. Southern Colorado’s Penitentes have stopped crucifying one of their number on Good Fridays. Seems like Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims could find some way to divide up their lands and live in peace. Or, could it be that we are facing what a friend of mine with expertise in the Middle East calls: Islamic Imperialism?
Could it be that the peaceful Muslim 99 percent take some kind of vicarious satisfaction in watching the negative impact that the violent 1 percent are having on Judeo-Christian Western Civilization? Consider this from Professor Robert Cialdini’s classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, in which one of Dr. Cialdini’s experiments revealed how, after a home-team win, college students appear for class on Monday decked out in their college colors. But if the home team loses on Saturday, college colors are hard to find on Monday.
When Napoleon’s Empire was at its zenith, millions of Frenchmen and women basked in Napoleon’s reflected glory. At the height of the British Empire, the grimy coalminers in Newcastle might be poor; however, they still took great pride in being members of the British Empire. When Hitler kick-started Germany’s moribund post-World War I economy, most Germans were not Nazis; however, they took great pride in a Germany reawakened and reborn.
The Obama White House is reluctant to use or to allow anyone in the executive branch, which includes our military, to mention Islam in the same breath or memo or even counterterrorism training manual with Islam. It is reported — and not even the pro-Obama Snopes.com could bring itself to deny the story — that President Obama stormed out of a West Wing military briefing on Sept. 26, 2014, shouting, “Don’t you dare try to paint all of Islam with the same brush!”
Someone who spends his most formative years growing up in Muslim Indonesia is likely to think that Islam is a religion of peace, and he may be supported in that belief by Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser, who just happened to be born in Iran and who is now guiding our negotiations with Iran concerning nuclear weapons. Last week, a White House spokesman said the Taliban in Afghanistan are merely armed insurgents and not Islamic terrorists.
Here in the USA, our population of 320,000,000 is 0.6 percent Muslim. If 99 percent of them are peaceful, then we only have to worry about a small faction who could be violent. That means the vast majority need to be telling the tiny minority to cool it. But if the Obama Administration won’t connect the word Islam with terrorism, why should the peaceful Muslims even bother to try?
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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