Monday, March 28, 2011

Radical Islam

The Fight of Our Lives: Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam by William J. Bennett and Seth Liebsohn talks about the bombings on 9/11 and the Fort Hood attack as examples of the way the United States has been soft and apologetic against the war on Radical Islam.

While I agree with some of the viewpoints, this book scares me, because I don't think the authors really distinguish the difference between the Muslims in general and the few radicals who are committing terrorists acts and justifying them in the name of a religion. There are lots of people of all religions who have committed terrorist acts in the name of a religion, i.e. the Ku Klux Klan.

Personally, I think that by calling this a war against a religion (or even the extremists in the religion), we are diluting what we are trying to set out to do. If a person who says he is a KKK member shoots an important person or a big group of people, we should absolutely go against that person. Also anyone who aided him/her, so maybe let's go after the gang. But if we go after that group, and all KKK groups in the state or the country, then it is going to be harder on our resources to take care of the original problem. I think we should have dealt with the original problem, and then expanded out to other problems.

And then if we go after all people in the town, state or , the U.S. or the entire world, who might have even stepped on the same sidewalk with any KKK member anywhere, then we are infringing on the rights of all those residents. Of course you have to interrogate even the ones who did not know the existence of any of the terrorists, just to be sure. Calling it a war against Radical Christianity will help you justify your cause, but somewhere along the line, it will become very easy to forget that just because they are from the same town or state or religion does not mean they are KKK members or have anything to do with that terrorist group.

I hope that we still remember the lessons we learned about the animosity against the Jews from World War II.  And the way we treated our Japanese residents after the war.

I was telling my SIL about this book, and she was surprised that I was willing to have anything to do with this book.  She thought that if I was opposed to a viewpoint, then I shouldn't be reading the book, and I certainly shouldn't be blogging about it and making others aware of the existence of the book.

One of the reasons this book bothers me, just like the other political books I have shown on this blog, is that it is such an extreme, biased point of view.  I don't think we should be fighting extremism with extremism. Some things the government did not catch before a terrorist act is due to the fact that hindsight makes them appear more serious and more clearly terrorist.  There are lots of facts in the book that I didn't know, and I am glad to know them now.  In fact, a lot of other book reviewers loved the book because of the facts they didn't know. I am wondering how many of the facts were spun out of recognition, and I know for sure that the other point of view was hidden. There were lots of important facts that I knew that weren't mentioned at all.

And speculations that were listed as clear facts. It isn't clear that the attack on Fort Hood was a terrorist attack and not by a lone gunman who had psychological problems. Wikipedia says " A year after the Fort Hood shooting, however, questions still lingered as to whether the incident was caused by mental health issues, and government agencies still had not officially linked Hasan to any radical terrorist groups." But the book uses it as a clear justification of why we can't let up on our war against Radical Islam.

But on the other hand, that is exactly why I do want to read it.  I want to know what people with varying viewpoints think, and hearing if from their own point of view is helpful.  I want to make sure that I know all sides of the story, and that the biased thinking I am hearing is offset by the biased thinking of the other side.  Yes, that leaves me more confused and not having a clear answer, but politics is never as clean as it is presented in these books.

It doesn't bother me that I am reading the book.  It bothers me that others might read the book and solely form their opinion based on it.  I say read the book, but only if you also read other viewpoints too so that eventually you can get a balanced view of what really happened.

I got this book for free from Thomas Nelson so  I could review it.

1 comment:

Allie said...

Interesting - I've not read this yet. I loved Bennet's books for kids and we used them in our homeschool.

I'm torn about Islam myself. While I recognize and celebrate that we are free in this country to worship as we please [or not!], I don't see much effort to integrate into our society. Where I live, we have the largest population of Muslims outside the Middle East...and you would not know you're in America there. The early immigrants adapted to our society, and added to its richness with their own cultures. I don't see that happening personally here. There are a LOT of radicals here, calling for Sharia law to be recognized for everyone among other things. No thanks.

I'll have to get this book, thanks for the review!