The Beheading of Steven Sotloff Shows Why it’s Useless to Make Islamic Appeals to Terrorists
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.
It’s understandable that Steven Sotloff’s mother would want to do everything possible, but the idea that you can somehow “game” the Jihad by using their language and ideas is wrong.
The media leaped on how brilliant her appeal was because she used Islamic ideas. But ISIS is the ultimate Islamic idea. What she did was as “effective” as when Islamic terrorists tell us that they’re just like George Washington.
It’s important to understand that this is more than just a culture gap. It’s a gap of interests.
Mohammed and ISIS share a vision for the world and it doesn’t include us. Until we recognize that, things will only keep getting uglier.
Cherry picking Islamic quotes, as politicians like to do when they’re declaring Islam a religion of peace, is laughably futile. Not only do they routinely misuse them in laughable ways, much as when Muslims insist that Freedom of Religion should lead to a ban on Mohammed cartoons, but they miss the larger point that Islam is a mechanism for constructing a theocracy. That is what comes first. Everything else is subsidiary.
The distinctions between ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood or your friendly CAIR rep next door involve how to get to that endgame of a theocracy. Everything else is just tactics and details.
You’re not going to talk the other side out of their theocracy. You might convince them that their long term interests are better served by letting a hostage go. That’s what Qatar did with Al Nusra. But you don’t do it by appealing to any Islamic ideals, but to the sole Islamic ideal of a theocratic outcome.
The only reasons why Jihadists will do anything short of killing someone is expediency to get to that endgame.
ISIS believes that it’s already so near to the endgame that expediency is unnecessary. That it cannot be stopped. Which also means that ISIS cannot be reasoned with in the usual conventional ways.
That doesn’t mean that ISIS is extreme. It’s just closer to the ideal that every Islamic group aims for.
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