Tony Blankley

Of course Islamophobia is a repulsive mentality -- suggestive of old-fashioned hate of others. But, as Denmark's leading Islamic scholar, Jacob Skovgaard-Petersen, explained in 2004, there is a different and growing phobia, which he named "Islamistphobia." This is not an atavistic hatred of another man's skin or faith or last name, but is instead the fear of the ideas and conduct of radical Muslims.

How far the radical ideology has reached is, of course, not accurately knowable. But the phenomenon cannot in reason and security be ignored. Consider the analysis of professor Maleiha Malik of King's College London, a jurist who specializes in U.K. and E.U anti-discrimination law -- and who is of self-described "Muslim allegiance."

She observed at an Oxford University Symposium in 2004: "There are legitimate security concerns, which have to be acknowledged in any reasonable debate on the post-September 11 situation. It has to be recognized that the state, the United States, and the European Union member states will have to undertake heavier policing of the Muslim community similar to the heavier policing of the Irish community during the period of attacks by the IRA in the U.K." ("The West's Last Chance," pages 90-91, Regnery Press, 2005, Washington, D.C.)

That common-sense observation by a leading British Muslim anti-discrimination scholar is at the crux of the public concern.  But for those of us who are not Muslim to talk about this sensitive matter is to expose ourselves to false and sometimes malicious charges by people who are either too stupid to comprehend current reality or too cowed by the politically correctness police to speak their minds.

And, for those who place a premium on commerce over security, consider this: If a terrible device is brought into this country through a port -- any port -- port traffic will inevitably be closed down for a while, just as air traffic was closed down after Sept. 11. The magnitude of that economic contraction would dwarf the post-Sept. 11 contraction.

It is in the highest interest of free international trade -- as well as national security-- that the ports be made as secure as possible. And to that end, the ownership of port management firms is only a small part of the reforms and improvements that are so vitally needed.

Now that port security is finally being publicly debated, it is time to consider drastic improvements across the board.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate