In a recent commentary, the Dr. Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, referred to the process by which opinion in democratic nations turns against Islam as “education by murder.”
Dr. Pipes was sanguine regarding the American response to the Boston Marathon attack. He did not foresee any increase in security measures or a greater preparedness for what he called “sudden jihad syndrome” violence. Even so, he said “High profile terrorism in the West—9/11, Bali, Madrid, Beslan, London—moves opinion more than anything else.”
A new report about the Islamist terrorist threat, “Al Qaeda in the United States”, issued by the Henry Jackson Society, a British-based think tank, noted that, of the 171 al Qaeda related or inspired acts of terrorism from 1997 to 2011, 54% were by American citizens, some naturalized, but more than a third (36%) were born in the U.S., concluding that this statistic dispels the myth that the terrorist threat is primarily external.”
I keep wondering how long it will be before Americans will begin to take seriously the threat that Islam represents. The list of attacks is a long one such as the 1982 attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut and the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks after Reagan sent them there as peacekeepers. The first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993. In October 2000, the USS Cole was attacked. On September 11, 2001, the second attack killed 3,000 Americans. When George W. Bush came into office, he told his national security advisor, Condoleeza Rice, that he was “tired of swatting flies.”
President Obama’s approach to Islam was initially one of outreach and accommodation. The fact that his father was a Muslim and that he had spent his youth in Indonesia as the adopted son of a Muslim no doubt influenced this and many believe he remains a Muslim despite his denials.
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