In a speech Tuesday, President Obama asked, in defensive tones, “That’s the key, they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists. What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? …So someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we are fighting?”
No, Mr. President, you don’t know whom you’re fighting. When you refuse to say the name, to call a thing what it is, you give it power. Just ask Lord Voldemort. Refusing to speak the name reeks of fear, denial, and distraction. When you call out someone for who he is and what he believes, you are exposing him. You’re saying, “I know you. I know where and how to find you. And I will destroy you.” It empowers us and weakens them.
Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in a gay nightclub, told us exactly who he was. He pledged allegiance to a foreign enemy who has been our adversary since before 9/11. They are radical Islamists, who are committed to violent jihad. Of course they leave off the modifier and simply call themselves Islamists or soldiers of Islam. Out of respect, maybe we should do the same. How a person identifies himself is what matters to the rest of us, and we can’t impose another identity on them against their will. So Islamist it is.
Identifying Them Is the First Step
Mateen was an Islamist who believed, like others of the same faith, that Allah’s command to kill unbelievers is their “code of ethics.” That means killing homosexuals, Christians, Jews, secularists—anyone who is not of Islam. The United States, being a powerful, hedonistic country, is at the top of the list.
Obama asks what difference does it make what we call our enemy. I’ll give you one example as reported at PJ Media. Law enforcement in Orlando failed to detect this killer because they “never guessed” a gay club would be targeted by jihad. How blind can you be, given the fact that Islamists kill thousands of gays in the Middle East every year, throwing them from buildings and beheading them (along with Christians, Jews, and Muslims)?
Putting homosexuals to death is part of Islamic commands. This is known, as the Dothraki would say. The text Abu Dawud says regarding homosexual behavior, “kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” Another text by Muhammad says “stone the upper and the lower, stone them both.”
Yet law enforcement in Orlando were ignorant of this well-known fact. The East Orlando Post reported Sunday a statement by James Copenhaver, a veteran investigator and former Orlando law enforcement officer, that gay clubs were completely off the radar.
I have been in this business for 30 years, and we all in law enforcement have talked about one of the theme parks getting hit by these terrorist killers. Never in all my years of training, and being involved in several investigative units, to include the FBI Task Force, would we have ever guessed a LGBT club be a target of an terrorist attack.
If they had actually known who the enemy is, if our counter-terrorism strategy allowed for radical Islam to be used and its adherents investigated, they would have known for a fact that homosexuals were a target. What does that mean? It means they could have been looking for signs of an Islamist who seemed to have a particular interest in gay clubs, especially one who had already been on the FBI watch-list, who had bought guns, and who had tried to get body armor!
Willful Ignorance Gets People Killed
Yet, Obama petulantly says, “What difference does it matter anyway”! This willful ignorance will continue to get us killed if we don’t change. We need to stop calling these people “violent radicals with guns” and name them by their actual name. They are Islamists. Radical Islamists, if you will, but still Islamists.
We need to understand their teaching, their belief system, their motivations, and their goals. If we don’t, we will fail to properly identify them. The name itself is not some kind of magical designation, but using it is an indication that you understand it. If you refuse to use it, that means you have failed to really and truly understand your enemy. That is certainly the case with the United States, as we point our finger in every other direction except where it should be pointed.
As I said before, one of the most important reasons we should call out our enemy by the name they give themselves—the name they live by, kill by, and die by—is that it empowers America to say, “I know you!” It sends a message to our enemy that we are on the lookout for them, and we won’t be distracted by other issues that have nothing to do with their murderous rampages. It tells them, “We have your name, and we will wipe it from the face of the earth.”