Hugh Fizgerald at Jihad Watch takes exception to the new State Department and Homeland Security memos that caution employees against using Islamic references whenever condemning terrorist attacks:
"The State Department has issued a memo to all its employees cautioning them against using Islamic references whenever condemning terrorist attacks. The Department of Homeland Security has also advised its employees to avoid those same mistakes." -- from the article above
Note that Jamie Tarabay does not report; he editorializes. He tells listeners to NPR that DHS has advised its employees "to avoid those same mistakes." Those "mistakes." What "mistakes"? Oh, the "mistakes" of "using Islamic refernces whenever condemning terrorist attacks.
Jamie Tarabay had no need to endorse, slyly, this policy. He had only to report on it. That was his job. That was his proper function. He could have reported, accurately, that
"The State Department has issued a memo to all its employees cautioning them against using Islamic references whenever condemning terrorist attacks. The Department of Homeland Security has also advised its employees to do the same."
That's one point.
There is another. Jamie Tarabay might have given some air time -- might conceivably have acknowledged the existence of -- critics of this policy. These critics are not foaming-at-the-mouth "islamophobes" but include perfectly sane people, and among those people are all of the defectors from Islam, the charming, highly intelligent, perfectly articulate apostates such as Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq. Why not ask them what they think of the policy of "taking the Islam" out of Islamic terrorism?
Why not interview -- why not recognize the very existence of the work -- of Bat Ye'or, and her studies of non-Muslims under Muslim rule? Why not mention, even mention, the work, and the threats under which that work must be done, by Magdi Allam a former Muslim who is one of the most important journalists in Italy? Why not describe the changing mood in the countries of Western Europe, where alone among all immigrant groups, Muslims have presented a problem that is apparently unsusceptible of solution, and have behaved in aggressive ways, attempting to change the institutions, legal and political and social, of the Infidel lands into which they have been admitted. Why not point out, further, that the same problem is experienced by Infidels in small countries as in large, and in countries that have made a state religion out of easygoing tolerance, such as Denmark and The Netherlands, perhaps even more than in the case of countries historically less given to such behavior, such as Spain and Germany.
And why not point out that since 9/11/2001, American government officials have failed to educate, to instruct, the public in the nature of the threat that comes from the texts and tenets of Islam. Even before these insidious State Department and Department of Homeland Security directives, the President set the tone when he fell all over himself praising Islam as a religioin of peace and tolerance and so on, when he knew nothing about Islam, was listening to an adviser -- an Ohio professor who also knew nothing about Islam -- and presumed to tell the public what he, what that professor, what Prince Bandar, what the Arab League, what the rulers of Saudi Arabia, what CAIR, all wanted that American public to hear.
The news, the daily Jihad news, the stuff you find covered in deliberately desultory fashion, and then only reported, laconically, without any sense being made of it, or any attempt to connect the dots, nonetheless does come through. And it comes through not only on the evening news and the increasingly irrelevant newspapers, but on the Internet. And those who have decided, slowly, to inform themselves about Islam, because the reality based on that daily Jihad News From All Over became too overwhelming, and replaced the Potemkin village of Islam that the Administration had hastily jerrybuilt, and had to constantly plug leaks in the various roofs, and fix the plumbing, and go back for rewiring, with something that made sense, that both explained the data -- the accumulating news, from southern Thailand to southern Sudan, from Madrid and Amsterdam and London and Beslan, from here and there and everywhere -- and also had predictive value.
The worst thing, and the main thing, about the policy of deliberately misinforming the American public -- so as not "to offend" Muslims -- is that a decision has been made to keep misinforming the public, to keep them in the dark, to not give them the information they need, or even hint at it, but to actively work to suppress their ability to make sense of men and events, an ability they will need if they are to properly judge the rightness of a policy or a response. How can one make a judgment about continued aid to Pakistan, or about what inteligently would constitute "victory" in Iraq, or about what are the main threats to the West, and what are the main instruments of Jihad, if Jihad is not to be discussed, much less to be correctly defined, as Muslims have always understood that word, and if the instruments of Jihad other than terrorism -- the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest -- are simply ignored.
It's worse than the blind leading the blind. It's the wilfully blind, who don't dare to let certain things be known because they have no idea what to do if those things become known, lack the imagination to figure out what policies might work to weaken the Camp of Islam (that is, weaken it not only militarily, but also in its morale, in the unity of the Umma, such as it is, in its appeal both to Infidel targets of Da'wa and to Muslims themselves). The exploitation of pre-existing fissures, sectarian and ethnic and economic, within the Umma, appears to be simply beyond the ken, beyond the imaginings, of our bushes and rices and all the rest of them, in the party in power and in the party that wants to replace them in power.
And no one dares to say, or even think along the lines of spreading the understanding among Infidels, or at least of doing nothing to prevent the spread of such understanding, that the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Muslim peoples and polities is a result, not of anything Infidels have done, but of Islam itself.
That statement is true, and it can be developed. It has been developed, for others to run with if they choose, at this website many times.
But the Administraton wishes to keep the people it has a duty to instruct and protect from learning, from learning the very things they most need to know, if they are to choose leaders and support polices that make sense, and oppose those that do not -- and be able to explain, intelligently, what is wrong with those policies.
Instead, the Administration has chosen, over the people of the United States, assorted Muslims pashas and beglerbegs, and the potentates of the O.I.C. and the Arab League. It has proleptically put in place a policy that insures continued confusion among civilians, and continued demoralization of the military, for the soldiers know -- those who have been to Iraq and to Afghanistan -- not everything, but a good deal, about how Muslims behave and think, and one source of low morale is the gap between what the soldiers realize, and what they are told, or what they are prevented from learning.
This is a nightmare.
And NPR, and Jamie Tarabay, have done nothing to relieve the nightmare, nothing to fulfill their reporting function properly, and nothing to encourage intelligent debate that would soon enough, if the right guests were invited on, make clear who was making sense, who had a grasp of matters at hand, and who did not.
No, Hugh doesn't take stupidity lightly. These people walk and work in a fog of ignorance, or perhaps denial. It's amazing and frightening.