Should We Be Afraid?

It’s a relentless refrain:

“It is the duty of every Muslim male to wage war against Infidels” – not just by preaching and persuading, but by any means necessary and as the world has seen, by extreme violence whenever possible. It is one of the core beliefs of Islam1 (emphasis mine).

Since Islam teaches that the entire world is to be subjected to its laws, we need to prepare ourselves to withstand the future attacks motivated from the Quran that teaches killing in subjection of the unbelievers 2 ( emphasis mine).

Sharia is explicitly opposed to religious freedom, freedom of conscience and the free exchange of ideas.  It is violent, openly bigoted toward non-Muslims, discriminatory, and unflinchingly sexist.  Large sections deal with the practice of slavery 3 (emphasis mine).

Dozens of action movies featuring Muslim terrorists, such as The Kingdom, depicting the suicide bombing of an American oil company housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars in box office sales in the United States since even before 9/11.

Golden Globe- and Emmy-award-winning TV series, 24, featuring Kiefer Sutherland as counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer, premiered less than two months after 9/11 and continued for eight seasons spanning 192 episodes.  It became the longest running espionage/counterterrorism television drama ever.

Even the most moderate of cable news outlets, incentivized by viewer ratings, provides continuous coverage and analysis of each and every violent act of the most deranged of terrorists.  In this context, “expert” commentary on the teaching of Islam is offered as an explanation.

The unsurprising effect of this universal portrayal of Muslim as demented fanatic has been to normalize radicalism – to conflate the acts of an extremist minority with the positive contributions of a vast, moderate majority that is, in actuality, equally if not more so victimized by radical terrorism.  By so doing, it is my contention that we have played directly into the hands of terrorist leaders by rendering impotent the most powerful force of Islam – its 1.5 billion strong mainstream moderates.

While the media increases their ratings by spectacularizing radical Islamic terror, I attempt to shed light on infinitely more important questions: how do the 1.5 billion moderate Muslims see their faith, and how can we join hands with them in the fight against terrorism?