During the 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign, President Obama announced at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, “Al-Qaeda has been ‘decimated.’” A little over a year later, after ISIS had captured Fallujah, a reporter from The New Yorker pointed out that the flag of Al-Qaeda was flying over the Iraqi city. Obama responded, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant…I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Following the Orlando terror attack in June, President Obama’s administration was criticized for a failure to use the term “radical Islam.” The President said, “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
An editorial in the New York Post explains why it is important to use the term radical Islamic terror rather than simply terror: “…using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease ‘cancer’ without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.”
Part of the problem is that Western leaders fail to acknowledge the ideology behind the terror attacks. In 2014 the United Arab Emirates issued a list of 83 Islamists groups, which it classified as “terrorist organizations.” The U.S. Secretary of State lists 60 groups designated “foreign terrorist organizations” with the majority (approximately 48) Islamist groups.
Yesterday, at least 41 people were killed and 239 injured when suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in Turkey. As of now Turkish authorities believe ISIS is behind the attack. Today is the 24th day of the 30 days of Ramadan. So far there have been 175 Islamic terror attacks with 122 people killed according to The Religion of Peace website tracks which Islamic attacks around the world. This number does not include the attacks from yesterday.
Muslims believe the rewards for fasting during Ramadan are multiplied. In addition to fasting, “according to Islamic practice, sacrifice during Ramadan can be considered more valuable than that made at other times, so a call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some,” said a report by the US State Department led Overseas Security Advisory Council. Affirming the report, in an audio message released by the Islamic State, ISIS followers are urged to commit terror attacks during the month of Ramadan.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready … to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers” (ISIS audio message).
Pray world leaders will recognize that in order to defeat Islamic terrorism, they must be willing to name and recognize the ideology behind the attacks and that God will reveal the motives behind any organization hiding their true intentions.