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OPINION

Islamic Terrorism Is Not a Narrative

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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In the aftermath of this past weekend’s Islamic terrorist attacks, White House press secretary Josh Earnest commented, “We are in a narrative battle. ISIL want to project the West as being at war with Islam. It's a mythology. And we're debunking that myth. . . . We can't play into this narrative that somehow the United States is fighting Islam.”

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In response, conservative journalist Ben Shapiro wrote, “The people in New York weren’t hit by flying pieces of narrative.”

Indeed, Islamic terrorism is not a narrative, and the victims of Islamic terrorism worldwide, now numbering in the millions, have not been beheaded or tortured or raped or blown to pieces or burned alive or imprisoned or exiled by “flying pieces of narrative.”

No, these men, women, and children are the victims of violent people acting on a violent ideology that is a central part of their violent faith, namely, radical Islam. And so, while heads are literally rolling in the Middle East and other parts of the world, Washington elites are sticking their heads in the sand, saying that, “We are in a narrative battle.”

And what, exactly, is that “narrative”?

It is that we are not in a war with Islam, and therefore, if we acknowledge that these terrorists are Muslims or connect them in any way with the word “Islam,” we “play into this narrative that somehow the United States is fighting Islam.”

As Hillary Clinton tweeted out last November, “Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Consequently, rather than seeking to understand the mindset of radical Islam and most effectively combat Islamic terrorists, our president and his colleagues categorically deny any connection between Islam and terror to the point that, in 2011, “ the White House ordered a cleansing of training materials that Islamic groups deemed offensive.”

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So, not only is Islamic terrorism not a narrative, but when it comes to the narrative spoken of by Josh Earnest, namely, that radical Islam is not related to Islam, the terrorists have won here too, with the White House scrubbing the all-important references to Islam from our law enforcement books.

In other words, when it comes to the battle the White House does want to fight, it is on the wrong side of the issue, falsely claiming that Muslim terrorists want America to be at war with Islam in general. Hardly. The fact is, these radical Muslims themselves are at war with other expressions of Islam worldwide.

Instead, these terrorists win the battle when we are convinced that they are not Muslims at all, thereby causing us to fight with one hand tied behind our back and one eye closed (at the least).

Note also that there is a false narrative put forth by the White House and Hillary Clinton, namely, that no Muslims are terrorists, as if the moment a lifelong, devoted Muslim commits an act of terror for the cause of Allah, he or she is now disqualified from being a Muslim.

Based on what Islamic tenet or text?

To the contrary, while a Christian could never behead an unbeliever and say, “Hey, I’m just following Jesus’ example,” a Muslim could commit this same act and say, “Hey, I’m just following Muhammad’s example.”

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As for Hillary’s statement that, “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” does she mean the Muslims in Iran who hang gays, or the Muslims in Saudi Arabia who behead adulterers, or the Muslims in Pakistan who go on a bloody rampage over charges that a Koran has been defiled, or the Muslims in Afghanistan who prevent women from going to school, or the Muslims in those countries that enforce the death penalty for conversion?

Had she said, “Many Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people,” most of us would have agreed without hesitation. Had she even said, “The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists,” most of us would have agreed with that too.

But her blanket statement, like those of the president and others in the past, is demonstrably false, both ideologically and historically, and it thereby emboldens the terrorists to be more brazen still, since they can more easily fly right under our all too patchy radar.

This brings us back to the reality that the battle with Islamic terrorism is not a battle of narratives, and I can assure you that a Yazidi family in Iraq mourning over the gang rape of their young daughter or a Christian family in Syria mourning over the decapitation of all their males is not wondering about the “narrative,” and thinking, “I sure hope America doesn’t blame all Muslims for this.”

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Instead, they are wondering why the West is so slow to recognize the very real threat of radical Islam, and they would be shocked to know that, rather than declare war on Islamic terrorists, the president of the most powerful nation in the world is doing damage control for Islam.

What a narrative.

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