Islam's violence problem

(John Andrews in the Denver Post, Sept. 3) Next week marks the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, when our Islamic fascist enemy attacked America. Mohammad Atta and 18 of his Muslim brothers, aided by countless unnamed conspirators, commandeered jetliners to smash the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Another strike on the White House or the Capitol was narrowly averted. The cold war for global domination by radical Islam, sustained since the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, turned to hot war on that Tuesday morning. But victory is now in doubt, less because of invincible enemies abroad than because of war weariness at home. People wonder if John Kerry was right when he argued this is not a geopolitical struggle for survival, but merely a law enforcement concern. How comforting to think so.

Except such wishful thinking could get us all killed. Our deeply ingrained religious tolerance must not blind us to the reality that one great world religion, Islam, today harbors powerful elements who have a violence problem. To us who are its targets, those fanatics’ belief that killing delights their God is quite literally intolerable – especially as their access to nuclear weapons for dealing death to millions is now just a matter of time.

My son’s son, Ian Michael, turns four this fall. I want him to grow up in a world where liberty, markets, democracy, equal justice, freedom of worship, and the rights of women are thriving and expanding. Ahmadinejad of Iran and Nasrallah of Hezbollah want him incinerated. Or if he grows up at all, they want him subjugated to sharia, Allah’s brutal theocracy. What choice have I but to regard these evil men and their death cult as mortal enemies?

I would be derelict as a citizen and grandfather if I fantasized that this ideology of world conquest can be managed back to a nuisance level like drugs – Sen. Kerry’s naïve vision in his 2004 campaign against President Bush. Other 9/11 columns may prescribe solutions for Baghdad or Beirut, airport profiling or energy independence; not this one. My 9/11 message is simply that we’re at war and we must win, nothing less.

Remember the mass murderer Atta, namesake of the prophet Mohammad. We don’t hear about some modern Jesus leading a Christian jihad, or some Moses leading a Jewish one. They don’t occur, not on the global scale of 9/11. That’s because Judaism and Christianity, imperfect as they have been and are, don’t have a violence problem – which Islam unfortunately does. This lethal virus cannot be tolerated. It must be eradicated.

Establishment of a tri-faith dialogue in Denver led by an Iraqi Shiite imam, Ibrahim Kazerooni, suggested an effort at eradication might be starting. But the so-called “Abrahamic Initiative” at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral is all doubletalk so far.

“The bloodshed must stop,” Kazerooni writes on the cathedral website. “The logic of war, destruction and human suffering must be reversed, because such logic is not consistent with the will of God, who is understood by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike to be compassionate and merciful. If we believe what our scriptures teach, there is no other choice.”

These bland generalities are belied by the imam’s strident anti-Israel activities and his coziness with radical Iranian clerics, as documented by local blogger Joshua Sharf. Moral equivalence between aggressor and defender, a Kazerooni specialty, cynically favors the aggressor. Thus are today’s Islamofascists excused like yesterday’s Soviets, with useful idiots in the West again paying the tab.

The patriarch Abraham, as we meet him in Genesis, took direct divine title to the Holy Land; peaceably settled territorial disputes with his nephew Lot; and most importantly, recognized that God does not command ritual human bloodshed. With these basics, Jews and Christians agree – whereas Muslims, as we know, balk. Invitations for Imam Kazerooni to explain the disagreement on my radio show have been rebuffed.

Not until Islam faces its violence problem and cleans house, achieving internal reform through external pressure, can the war that flared on September 11 come to an end. For America to opt out of the conflict unilaterally before then would be suicidal. Keep faith, patriots. The long struggle must continue.