In the wake of yet another bloody massacre perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, media and political elites are, like clockwork, tripping over one another to remind us that Islam as a whole should not be held responsible for the carnage. And of course that's true. Even raging Islamophobes understand that not every Muslim in the world is murderous or malicious, and most reasonable people happily acknowledge that the vast majority of the planet's 1.6 billion Muslims are peaceable people who adhere to relatively moderate interpretations of Islam. Virtually nobody disputes any of that.
But the fiction that Islamist violence has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam is both intellectually insulting and dangerously naive. We've written previously about the alarming number of Muslims worldwide who at best hold profoundly illiberal views on issues such as free speech, human rights, and the imposition of Sharia Law. A recent survey of British Muslims only underscores why serious concerns about Islam in the West shouldn't merely be waved away as ignorance and xenophobia. Are those who decry the "ignorance" aware of data like this? Do they have any idea what Sharia Law entails? Have they read this report, curated and authored by a human rights advocate who renounces many of his own landmark findings on "Islamophobia" from less than a decade ago? Back Stateside, The Federalist has published a commentary by an Islamic scholar who analyzes the deadly Orlando rampage through the prism of his religion's teachings on homosexuality. Some of his conclusions:
There is a pattern in the way ISIS and its supporters execute those it alleges are homosexual: ISIS usually, although not always, has them thrown off of tall buildings. As inhumane as these executions may be, murdering homosexuals in this way does not come from a nihilistic urge for carnage. No, these are cold and calculated steps taken by murderers who believe they serve God through such acts...There is relatively good evidence that Islam prohibits homosexual acts. This can be gleaned from reading the Qur’an (Q 15:73; 7:80-82; 26:165-175; 27:55-58; 29:28-29), which talks about the punishment that God visited upon the “people of Lot,” which the Qur’an takes to be a lecherous people who participated in homosexual acts...Second, there is a hadith in “Sahih Al-Bukhari,” the most trusted collection of Sunni ahadeeth, where Muhammad curses “effeminate men.” This hadith does not go so far as to recommend that homosexuals be killed, but it does provide fodder for Islamists who want to persecute homosexuals...
Third, a prominent hadith (saying) attributed to Muhammad mandates the death penalty for partakers of homosexual acts. However, to my knowledge only one such hadith is considered reliable by Muslim scholars, and it is not found in the two Sahih collections (“Sahih Muslim” and “Sahih Al-Bukhari”), the two most trusted collections of ahadeeth...while there is a consensus amongst Muslim scholars that homosexual acts are sinful, there is no consensus about the proper punishment of such acts. Some Muslim scholars, including early ones, reject the above hadith on killing homosexuals as having a weak isnad, or chain of transmission, and therefore judge it to be unreliable.
ISIS, he says, naturally gravitates toward the most primitive and brutal Koranic analyses. He also rebuffs the dangerous feel-goodery that Islamist terrorism is somehow entirely divorced from Islam, the religion from which radicals draw their inspiration and justification. "Fair-minded commentators, therefore, do not dismiss such murderous actions as nihilistic crimes against humanity. Rather, they understand the murderers are motivated not by a nihilistic urge for violence, but by cold and calculated reasoning that runs deep in the Islamic source texts and traditions. These source texts and traditions provide the fertile breeding ground for people like Mateen," he writes And then there's this:
Although supporters of extremist Islamist groups make up a relatively small percentage of the total Muslim population, this leads to underestimating the scope of the Islamist problem. In absolute numbers, more than 60 million Muslims the world over, a population roughly equal to that of the United Kingdom, holds a favorable view towards ISIS. Millions more are unsure about whether they hold a favorable or unfavorable view towards ISIS, according to Pew research.
Here is the 2015 Pew data he's referencing:
Extrapolating these results across the combined Muslim populations within the countries polled (which excludes significant numbers of Muslims living elsewhere in the world, including in the West) leads to an estimate of more than 60 million people holding positive views of the evil terror army. That figure does not include the many millions of additional respondents who expressed ambivalence on the question, answering that they "don't know" how they feel about vicious hoards who crucify children, burn people in cages, and rape little girls to death. Even if you question Pew's methodology and insist that their numbers overstate the problem by half, that still leaves tens of millions of Muslims who hold favorable attitudes toward ISIS, the embodiment of Islam's most virulent and ruthless strain. It's healthy and accurate to affirm that mainstream Islam does not condone acts of terrorism against innocents. It's also essential to view the real threat, and understand its disturbing scope, with clear eyes. I'll leave you with this Daily Signal project tallying the dozens of successful and thwarted (publicly-known) Islamist terror plots on US soil since 9/11: