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The threat of Islamic extremism

Lets make it clear from the first line that I will be referring to Islamic extremism and not to peaceful Muslims asserting their basic human right to have freedom of religion anywhere they may live.

I want to underline are facts instead, such as the ones reported in a column by Jeffrey Kuhner last month in The Washington Times:

“The Vatican estimates that from Egypt to Iran there are just 17 million Christians left.” Why? According to Kuhner, because "Over the past several years, Christians have endured bombings, murders, assassinations, torture, imprisonment and expulsions." In other words because "religious cleansing is taking place everywhere" in the Islamic world.

Even in Iraq, under the watchful eyes of the allied troops, Kuhner estimates that “Nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed.” But this is happening as well in other «friendly» Muslim countries: "In Egypt, Coptic Christians routinely are murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping - especially during religious holy days such as Christmas and Easter.  In the birthplace of Christ, Bethlehem, Christians have largely been forced out.  In Nazareth, they are a tiny remnant.  In Saudi Arabia, Muslim converts to Christianity are executed.  Churches and synagogues are prohibited.  In Turkey, Islamists have butchered priests and nuns.  In Lebanon, Christians have dwindled to a marginalized minority, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations." As a matter of fact, Hezbollah extremists recently toppled Lebanon’s government.  Now, for all practical purposes, Hezbollah is in control of Lebanon. (Read "Protests in Lebanon over Hezbollah's coup" and "Hezbollah on the US Southern Border?"

Other reports have come across my desk in recent weeks about increased Islamic terror activity in Sweden.  But terrorist threats are on the rise everywhere.  Crime perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims throughout Europe is accelerating.  Counterterrorism forces in Great Britain are tracking some 30,000 potential Islamic terrorist suspects in that country alone.  Jews are fleeing Europe in response to increased persecution.  All of this is occurring against the backdrop of decades of appeasement and accommodation extended by European governments to militant Muslims.

Furthermore, thousands of Hindus have fled Pakistan’s Sind province due to increased persecution by Muslims.  After Pakistani’s Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated because he opposed Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, over 500 Muslim clerics defended the actions of the murderer.  However, while the church bombing in Egypt received some worldwide press, none of these developments have received much worldwide attention.

On the other hand, Islamic extremists give a lot of attention to their perceived "enemies".  When Pope Benedict XVI urged Pakistan to repeal the anti-blasphemy laws, the leader of the nation’s most powerful Islamic party declared: “The Pope’s statement is an insult to Muslims across the world.”

Throughout history Islamic jihad has ebbed and flowed, but it has never ended. Today we are witnessing an emboldened and empowered worldwide jihad the likes of which has not been seen since the VII & VIII centuries or since the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

Organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), insist that terror and violence around the world, perpetrated by Muslims, has nothing to do with any doctrines of Islam.  They might be moderate in their views and count themselves among the many Muslims all over the World willing to live in peaceful coexistence and religious freedom.  We must respect them.  But the fact is that since 9/11/2001 over 17,000 incidents of Islamic terror have been documented worldwide and they have all been based on Islamic doctrines.  CAIR’s contentions would be naive if these facts weren’t so tragic.

Over the past two years we have seen more US terrorists arrested than in the previous eight years since 9/11.  Yet the Obama administration can’t even bring itself to use terms like “jihad” and “radical Islam” in its assessment of this worldwide threat.  Democracies are trying to keep a politically correct low profile while even moderate Muslims refrain to condemn their murderous Islamic brothers.  On the contrary, too many try to justify them.

Peaceful coexistence is only possible when both sides are willing to turn their swords into plowshares.  It does not work when only one side tries to appease the other.