Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments at a February 3 anti-Islamic State coalition conference held in Rome, Italy, had to be disturbing to attendees knowledgeable about what really drives the group.
In describing “Daesh”—a perjorative name for Islamic State—Kerry said: “Daesh is, in fact, nothing more than a mixture of killers, of kidnappers, of criminals, of thugs, of adventurers, of smugglers and thieves.”
Missing from this laundry list was the most obvious—followers of Islam.
Kerry, who undoubtedly has never read the Koran, went on to lecture how the group’s members are not Muslims but, rather, apostates of Islam:
“And they are also, above all, apostates, people who have hijacked a great religion and lie about its real meaning and lie about its purpose and deceive people in order to fight for their purposes.”
Undoubtedly, before unleashing Kerry as secretary of state, President Barack Obama made sure the two saw eye-to-eye on their Islam “pitch.” The Islam party line they continue to market—despite existence of contrary factual evidence such as an actor’s own declaration—is that Islam is a peaceful religion. As such, they preach, any Muslim acting violently in Islam’s name, by definition, cannot be Muslim.
What is ironic about Kerry’s description of Islamic State is that last year he negotiated a nuclear agreement with a group composed of “a mixture of killers, of kidnappers, of criminals, of thugs, of adventurers, of smugglers and thieves”—Iran’s mullahs.
Despite the Iranian leadership’s long established track record of terrorism and other various criminal activities—ongoing even during those negotiations—Kerry made no similar effort to label them as such.
What is intriguing—yet totally lost on Kerry—is, other than representing different sects (Sunni Islamic State and Shiite Iran), very little else distinguishes either’s perception on how Islam’s global role is to play out. The significant difference is each sees itself atop the heap left when the dust settles.
Both Islamic State and Iran’s mullahs divide the world into two parts—one where Shariah rules and, supposedly, is peaceful (“Dar al-Islam”) and one where it does not yet rule and, therefore, is in a constant state of war until Shariah is accepted (“Dar al-Harb”).
Both Islamic State and Iran’s mullahs seek to unify these two parts under a worldwide caliphate. Both tag anyone opposed to this as an apostate. Both execute apostates in record numbers—with Islamic State obviously doing this much more graphically than Iran.
It is difficult to rationalize how Kerry can refuse to recognize Islamic State members as Muslims while accepting Iran’s mullahs as such. Both are cut from the same religious cloth; both draw justification for their actions from the Koran with each accusing the other of apostasy. While sectarian differences exist, both embrace violence and criminality to achieve their ultimate goal.
Most importantly for Westerners, both Islamic State and Iran’s mullahs envision a similar fate for non-Muslims who, therefore, should understand the Koran not only drives the latter, but the former as well.
While Kerry chooses to view Islamism through his rose-colored, politically correct lenses, his boss continues to obfuscate Islam’s true meaning—as most recently demonstrated during his Baltimore mosque speech.
As one scholar of Islam points out, Obama is guilty of being partially correct and partially deceptive in defining the word “Islam” as meaning “peace.” While a derivative of the word Islam—“salam”—does mean peace, Islam itself means “submission.” The latter is much more accurate about Islam’s true intentions than the former.
Formerly the Pentagon’s leading expert on the Islamic-based doctrines motivating jihadi groups confronting America, Stephen Coughlin—in his book “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad”—endeavors to remove the political correctness veil from Islam.
He believes we are now fighting our longest war in history precisely because our leadership deceives us about the root cause of the threat we are facing. Obama and company use a smoke screen to hide the reality Islam is at war with us.
Coughlin notes our enemy is very open about his threat doctrine. He tells us, “he fights according to Islamic law in order to implement Islamic law. These are facts that cannot be contradicted. Not knowing—or refusing to know—either of these facts or their downstream consequences is malpractice.”
“There is overwhelming evidence that shariah does in fact serve as the driver of the enemy’s threat doctrine. This remains true regardless of whether the enemy’s understanding of Islam is accurate. Such evidence makes it possible to successfully lay down indicators of future activities, many of which have, in fact, already come to pass precisely as forecasted. And yet an intelligence officer, an FBI or DHS special agent, or a national security decision maker can be fired for undertaking or even reciting such analysis. This is the very type of analysis that our oaths demand of us and that our positions require. A national security professional’s duty is not to know true Islam; it is to identify and establish a functional threat doctrine, regardless of whether that doctrine accurately tracks with ‘true’ Islam or not. What matters is that we understand the enemy’s doctrines, not whether he is correct about them.
“As long as they can keep us from understanding the enemy doctrine, they can keep us from winning the war.”
It is incredulous at a time other leaders of the Muslim world, such as Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, recognize Islam is out of control and issue calls for its reform, not only do Obama and Kerry refuse to link Islam to the global threat we face today but deceive us about it as well.
It is their deception that prevents us from winning this war.
In the musical play “Man of La Mancha,” Don Quixote is left fighting windmills, believing they are dragons. Deceived by poor eyesight, Quixote never sees the reality of what he is fighting. Deceived by poor political leaders, neither do we, leaving the threat of Islam’s dragons to roam freely.
A version of this piece previously appeared on http://www.theblaze.com/