I like many others have since 9/11/2001 studied Islam and tried to understand what it really is, and how to define it. Is it a Geo-political system set on world dominance? Is it a religion? Is it an ideology? Is it peaceful or violent? Is it all of the above?
The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn said, “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists.” General Flynn is referring to those in the U.S. government and world leaders who refuse to use the label “radical Islam.”
But will using the label “radical Islam” actually help defeat this enemy?
I had a transformative discussion with one of our contributors Selwyn Duke. His take on Islam is unique and powerful.
I sent an email to Selwyn noting, “The statement ‘Islam is the religion of peace’ has two big lies bundled into one sentence. Lie one: Islam is not a religion it is a global ideology focused on world domination. Lie two: there is nothing peaceful about how Islam establishes its caliphate.”
Selwyn responded with:
With respect to Islam, the point people miss is not that Islam seeks to govern a person’s whole life; Christianity is meant to do that as well, in that we’re obligated to be Christians at all times and in all things.
The problem with Islam is that it is evil. And because at heart people believe “things,” it really matters not if we label Islam a religion or ideology; in other words, religious or secular.
People believe it’s significant because they’ve accepted the secular/religious dichotomy, and they seem to think that labeling it an ideology will help us combat it. Perhaps it will help us win some battles. But while I’ve heard people claim that it would allow the criminalization of Islam, this is an odd notion. Our First Amendment not only protects freedom of “religion” but also of speech. Thus, even the Nazis and communists can try and spread their beliefs.
So while re-branding Islam would allow us to remove its tax-exempt status, it wouldn’t stop its adherents from proselytizing.
We didn’t defeat the Nazis via re-branding. We accepted that Nazism was evil and took it from there. The label we need to attach to Islam is not “ideology,” but “evil.”
Just as Ronald Reagan labeled the former Soviet Union as evil, so too must the United States and the free world label Islam as evil.
That is how one defeats any and all enemies of the free world.