McCain Won't Stop Using "Islamic Terrorist"
The hundred-plus attacks by the Tamil Tigers and a couple Basque separatist bombs. That's pretty much it. All the rest of terrorism in the modern era is Islamic -- or Islamist -- terror, but that doesn't stop so-called "moderate Muslims" from trying to force a language change on all of us who see jihad for what it is:
A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the adjective "Islamic" to describe terrorists and extremist enemies of the United States.Criminals? Criminals are people who perpetrate crimes -- usually very small crimes that don't result in deaths -- for the purpose of monetary gain. Islamic terror fails to comply with that common definition.
Muneer Fareed, who heads the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told The Washington Times that his group is beginning a campaign to persuade Mr. McCain to rephrase his descriptions of the enemy.
"We've tried to contact his office, contact his spokesperson to have them rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community," Mr. Fareed said. "If it's not our intent to paint everyone with the same brush, then certainly we should think seriously about just characterizing them as criminals, because that is what they are." (Washington Times)
Conversely, when I think of "religious fanatic," I think of someone who's no earthly good because their head's in heaven. This mindset typically has no violence attached to it; rather, it has an over-abundance of religious enthusiasm. What harm it causes is typically within the family, and is psychological, not physical.
But Islam has managed to bring the two together under its jihad-tent, creating religious fanatic criminals who use the actual words of the Qu'ran to justify heinous attacks on innocents.
Besides, McCain is hardly painting everyone with the same brush. He says "Islamic terrorists," which is different from "Islamic peaceniks," "Islamic supporters of Israel's right to exist," "Islamic counter-terrorists," "Islamic people who think it's OK for the West to publish Mohammed cartoons," and other pretty much non-existent Muslims. And yes, it's also different from "Islamic folk who go to mosque and raise their kids and don't want a part of all this political mess."
To his credit, McCain is sticking to his guns:
An aide to Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who is counting on his pro-Iraq war stance to attract conservative voters, said the senator from Arizona will not drop the word.It makes more sense, much, much more sense, for us to call on Obama and Clinton to start addressing Islamic terror than it does for McCain to stop using the phrase. To listen to the Dem candidates and debates, terror just isn't an issue, which may be the way Muneer Fareed and ISNA would like it, but if they really want to make terror a non-issue, they should focus on their religion's sicknesses, not McCain's statements.
Steve Schmidt, a former Bush White House aide who is now a McCain media strategist, told The Times that the use of the word is appropriate and that the candidate will continue to define the enemy that way.
"Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda represent a perverted strain of Islam at odds with the great many peaceful Muslims who practice their great faith peacefully," Mr. Schmidt said. "But the reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is."