February 6, 2008

The Unidentified Enemy

Counterterrorism Blog: Jihadists, Islamists, and "Extremists" - what's in a name? Jeffrey Imms questions the wisdom behind the reluctance to identify the main source of threat to U.S. security — political Islam. Both in the recent annual threat assessment from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the President's State of the Union address, this reluctance is evident. Instead of "Islamic terrorism" or "Jihad", the preference is to use vague terms such as extremists or criminals.

I have written earlier on the official policy in the United Kingdom against the use of the word Muslim, Jihad, Islamist, etc. while referring to terrorist incidents, even when there was overwhelming evidence pointing to the involvement of Muslims. India, a country that is faced with Islamic terrorism as much as the U.S. or the U.K., if not more, is also under the spell of this insane political correctness. Its political leadership is bone-headed in its refusal to associate terrorism with Islam. In his address to a conference of the State Chief Ministers on internal security, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn't shy of identifying the recent jail break in Chattisgarh, and the sporadic violence in the so called "Red Corridor", with Left-Wing extremism. He was coy, however, when he spoke on Islamic terrorism:

While Left Wing Extremism may be restricted in its scope to some regions, the larger problem of terrorism affects merely all States equally... In the current year, we have had high profile terror attacks in Hyderabad, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Terrorists are able to use a wide range of materials and are able to organize coordinated strikes. They are able to network across States and even international boundaries. Intelligence agencies warn of further intensification of violent activities by terrorist groups. While the actual perpetrators of terrorist violence may belong to a few known organizations, we need to guard against their attempts to recruit local sympathisers and local support. [emphasis mine]

Not once did Prime Minister Singh utter the word Islam or Muslim during his entire speech, even though an overwhelming majority of the civilian loss of life during the year was at the hands of the Islamic terrorists! India, to date, has not solved a single high-profile act of terrorism that was mentioned in the Prime Minister's speech. Writing in the Indian Express, columnist Shekhar Gupta opines:

Ask the police forces in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Hyderabad, the counter-terror veterans in the intelligence agencies and even the army, and the answer will stare you in the face. After the attacks they faced in the first flush of the Mumbai rail attacks for ‘targeting’ Muslims and the hurry in which they were forced to call off the searches and interrogations have put the fear of God in the minds of security men... This is reverse-communalisation of the fight against terror and the responsibility for this lies not so much with the security machinery, or the Union home ministry which controls it, as it does with this peculiar minority-ist politics the Congress has fallen prey to.

How does one "guard against their attempts to recruit local sympathisers and local support", if neither the recruiters, nor their potential local sympathizers can be identified, thereby narrowing the pool? A law-abiding, but poor Muslim taxi driver, is approached by a terrorist with, "I'll offer you ten times your monthly wages for this one trip to carry the explosives to the city market. As a Muslim, it's your duty to help us in our fight against the infidels. Don't worry, though, our leader will make sure that there will be no police search or interrogation of Muslims. He has every local political leader in his pocket. If you refuse, however, there'll be hell to pay." What do you think the the poor fellow's most likely response will be? I am afraid, this story is not entirely hypothetical or fictional.

Mr. Imms concludes:

When the United States begins treating the Jihadist threat like the United Kingdom does, we can be certain that we are losing the ideological war against the enemy. After all, we can't even state their name.

Add to that list, India, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, ...

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