Islamists on the March
by Adam Turner • Jan 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm
During the last two months, all around the world, the Islamists are on the march:
· In Denmark, five Islamists were arrested for hatching what Danish officials called a plan to "kill as many people as possible" in an assault on the Danish newspaper the Jyllands-Posten daily, which was targeted for its 2005 publication of a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. According to one source, this is the "seventh attack or threat against the Jyllands-Posten building or someone connected with the newspaper since 2008."
· In Sweden, an Islamist suicide bomber prematurely blew himself up in Stockholm right before Christmas. The bomber was carrying a cocktail of explosives and probably meant to wreak tremendous carnage among Swedish Christmas shoppers.
· In Pakistan, the reformist Governor of Punjab was killed by one of his own bodyguards because he spoke out against the country's blasphemy laws and was defending a Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy. This killing has proven to be popular with the Pakistani Muslim masses and Pakistani Imams. Meanwhile, a Christian woman and a Muslim Imam, among others, have been convicted under Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws.
· Also in Pakistan, in 2010, Islamists have stepped up attacks on the shrines of Sufi Muslims, killing at least 64 people so far.
· In Alexandria, Egypt, Islamists bombed a New Year's mass for Coptic Christians, solely, it seems, to punish these worshippers for their crime of not being Muslims. Further, Muslim fundamentalists have posted numerous additional threats against Copts, both in and out of the country.
· In the United Kingdom, among fears of a possible Islamist attack against the transportation system, British Transport Police cancelled leave and called in extra officers.
With the exception of the United Kingdom, none of these targets – Denmark, Sweden, Pakistan, the Copts – can be chalked up to Islamic anger over the "usual" topics, i.e., U.S. support for Israel, the U.S. Wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, or Guantanamo Bay. Instead, all seem to have become targets because the Islamists wished to punish non-Muslims, true Muslim moderates or Muslim minority sects for not bowing to Sharia law edicts that outlaw blasphemy against Islam or the free and open worship of non-Muslim faiths.
It is long past time for the West to respond to these provocations. Pope Benedict XVI has rightly called on Pakistan to repeal its blasphemy laws. Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini has proposed that the European Union should reduce or eliminate E.U. aid for countries that do not protect Christian, other non-Muslim, and non-Islamist Muslim minorities. There are other possible options for the nations of Europe: they could 1) link Turkey's attempt to join the E.U. to its reversal of its plans to implement Sharia law within Turkey; 2) cut back on or more carefully scrutinize Islamic immigration to Europe, which also allows dedicated Islamists to sneak through the borders; and/or 3) crack down on the generous European welfare benefits, which are often used by Islamists to support themselves while they plot their plots. (See specific examples here and here.)
The U.S. must step up to the plate as well. U.S. foreign aid to Egypt and Pakistan should become conditional on their government's helpful behavior regarding the war against Islamists. The U.S. government should also make it clear to the American public and the world that Islamism is behind these problems, and while the U.S. is not at war with all Muslims, it is at war with all Islamists. Other, perhaps more minor things, would help too. For example, visas from the Muslim world could be conditionally restricted based on the particular nation's track record on fighting Islamism. Also, the U.S. government could more strictly police which Muslim groups it interacts with; dalliances with Islamist leaning groups should be a huge no no. Further, as the Legal Project has also suggested, the legal code could be tweaked to target Islamists.
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