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Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Islamists

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The obviously sarcastic title of this column comes from the days of World War II. Noel Coward, then a famous playwright and popular British entertainer, wrote a song in 1943 titled, “Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans.” It was an instant hit. Prime Minister Winston Churchill liked it so much that he once had Mr. Coward sing seven encores in a row for him. He also gave the entertainer a few espionage assignments.


By then, chronic bombing by the Nazis and Winston Churchill’s persistent and ever eloquent emphasis on vigilance and victory steeled most Britons with the will to endure the worst. A slogan, Keep Calm and Carry On, was designed for posters to be used in case of an actual Nazi invasion. But it never had to be trotted out (though it emerged from mothballs decades later to become a popular and much parodied 21st century mantra). It was replaced by flesh and blood, as Churchill himself became the image of the era and his voice its soundtrack.

But Mr. Coward observed that a small, yet increasingly vocal number of people—self-styled sophisticates—challenged the militant attitude of the majority, even to the point of advocating more understanding and sympathy toward the Germans—this in 1943. And ideas were promoted that envisioned a post-war period of overweening and merciful munificence. So Coward wrote pungent and satirical lyrics to mock such naïve thinking:

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When our victory is ultimately won,
It was just those nasty Nazis
Who persuaded them to fight,
And their Beethoven and Bach
Are really far worse than their bite!

Let's be meek to them
and turn the other cheek to them,
And try to bring out their latent sense of fun.
Let's give them full air parity
and treat the rats to charity
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans,
For you can't deprive a gangster of his gun!
Though they've been a little naughty
To the Czechs and Poles and Dutch,
I don't suppose those countries
Really minded very much.

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When the age of peace and plenty has begun.
We must send them steel and oil and coal
And everything they need,
For their peaceable intentions
Can be always guaranteed!
Let's employ with them

A sort of "strength through joy" with them,
They're better than us at honest manly fun.
Let's let them feel they're swell again
And bomb us all to hell again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!


Interestingly, some took Coward’s lyrics literally and thought the song was too pro-German, causing it to be eventually banned from the BBC.

In our day, and in the aftermath of yet another compelling example of the pernicious power of Islamism, we also hear voices dismissing the idea that there is really any pervasive threat to our security and way of life. Rhetoric is twisted and tortured to “prove” that what Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did was an isolated case and not tied to any official terrorist “network.” But that rush to avoid judgment is worse than premature—it’s perilous.

The brothers may have acted alone (though this is far from certain), but they were actually far from alone at any time while planning their sordid deed. They were aided and abetted by resources made readily available by a very determined foe in the service of a deadly ideology. Regular and repeated reports about how the motives of the bombers “remain a mystery,” continue to do all of us a great disservice.

For several days now, media outlets in other countries, particularly Great Britain, have been reporting about an on-going investigation by the FBI into a “12-strong sleeper cell.” But the mainstream media here in the U.S. dismisses such reports, likely because they suggest an inconvenient narrative.


So, by all means, don’t let’s be beastly to the Islamists. Let’s accept every word in every CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) press release as divinely inspired. Let’s not jump to conclusions unless they are politically correct.

Many political leaders, beginning with President Obama, are shaking their heads in disbelief while talking about the “mystery” and “paradox” of young men who spent so much time here in America doing what they did. But the answer is quite simple. They believed in a basic code: “Islam is the solution.”

I use the term Islamist to describe what is often called radical Islam, though the Associated Press recently put my preferred nomenclature on its do not fly list. The reason some are uncomfortable with the use of Islamist is obvious. Part of the word is Islam. The idea is that every attempt should be made to disconnect violence from the religious identifier.

I understand the logic. But all such attempts are doomed to fall short because there in fact exists a very real connection between the religion itself and its violent variant. This does not mean my Muslim neighbors are all terrorists—certainly not. They are kind and decent people and I like them. Beyond that, as a Christian, I am commanded to love my neighbor.

But when it comes to the idea of Sharia, a term describing the body of Islamic sacred law, it gets very complicated, to say the least. Sharia is “the backbone of mainstream Islam” and therefore “intrinsically problematic.” The thrust is supremacy in all areas and walks of life.


And here’s the point too many Americans miss: Most devout Muslims believe in the precepts and goals of Sharia. So in practical terms it means that they believe in the replacement of existing codes of governance—in our case the U.S. Constitution itself. Not every devout Muslim believes in the violent overthrow of our government and way of life, but they all believe in the replacement of our government and way of life with Sharia. In other words, they believe in the ends—Sharia supreme—but not all believe in violent means.

So it’s not just “terrorism” that we should be concerned about—it’s the ideology itself.

Then there is the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya—the idea that deceit is a legitimate tool when dealing with infidels (that be us). Grasping the fact that our determined enemies will at times use monumental deceit to further their cause is imperative right now. Yet, too many in key positions today are willing to risk our future on better angels that simply don’t exist.

Americans need to face the fact that, as complicated as it is in a country where we believe so strongly in religious freedom and expression, Islam itself is, in many ways, our big problem.

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