Joseph Cotto, 7/19/2016 [Archive]

Another Week, Another Islamist Terror Attack

By Joseph Cotto

While the names, locations, and -- more rarely -- choice of weapons of each new attack change, the core features never do.

This time the carnage unfolded on the French Riviera, spearheaded by a disgruntled young Tunisian named Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. Chanting "Allahu Akbar", he killed more than eighty people with a rented truck; ramming it through crowds celebrating Bastille Day on a public street.

The usual voices quickly chimed in, claiming this slaughter had nothing at all to do with Islam, just as Orlando, Brussels, San Bernardino, and Paris were completely unrelated. Sam Harris popularized a good name for this element: "regressive leftists." Such people eagerly ignore facts, even if these glare directly in the eyes, because a deeply cherished political narrative would otherwise be shattered.

To this extent, I say that regressive lefties are the opposite number of social rightists who oppose expanding welfare, yet balk at providing contraceptive or abortion services to the huddled, poor, tired, and reproduction-prone masses. Both sides preach morality, yet when the going gets tough, they get going -- in the opposite direction. Anyone who points this out is "racist" or "anti-Christian."

The point is that political regression blinds an insurmountable sum to evidence, informed opinions, and above all else, the very concept of reason. I presume that if you have read this far, you are not among the regressive minds. Good for you! Since we are all reasonable human beings, there will be no delay in presenting some uncomfortable truths.

Though I would much rather discuss the benefits of making every child a wanted one, since Islamist terror is the issue of our day, I will save family planning for another time.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 surveyed the United Kingdom's Muslim population. It is important to remember that no specific denomination was singled out, nor was there any bias regarding national origin. A large cross-section of the Islamic community was questioned.

52 percent said that homosexuality should be criminalized, while only 34 percent "would inform the police if they thought somebody they knew was getting involved with people who support terrorism in Syria". 47 percent supported a ban on gay teachers, 32 percent were unwilling "to condemn those who take part in violence against those who mock the Prophet", and almost a quarter back Sharia Law as the law of the land.

Beyond matters of public policy, what about accepting gays and lesbians for who they are? In 2008, Gallup could not find a willing soul among British Muslims. Homosexuality was castigated with no holds barred -- inferably by more than a few closet cases themselves.

Across the pond, the numbers do not instill confidence.

During June 2015, Washington-based the polling company, inc./Woman Trend conducted a countrywide survey of American Muslims. It was revealed that 51 percent want the choice of being held to Sharia Law in lieu of American jurisprudence, 25 percent justify violence toward Americans if this furthers international jihad, 38 percent fancy ISIS as truly Islamic to some extent, and exactly one quarter admit the Muslim Brotherhood stands for their personal views.

27 percent "believe the Muslim Brotherhood are legitimate leaders of the Muslim community in America".

In the event Sharia contradicts "the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights", 33 percent say Sharia "should be considered supreme". 29 percent "believe that violence against those that insult the prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, or Islamic faith is sometimes acceptable".

Going back to 2011, the Pew Research Center found that only 26 percent of American Muslims pledge allegiance to the U.S. primarily. 49 percent place their religion above national loyalty.

Pew also discovered that a fifth of Turkish and Malaysian Muslims embrace suicide bombings, 84 percent of Egypt's Muslims back capital punishment for leaving Islam, and not even half of well-educated Turkish Muslims -- supposed theological centrists -- oppose Sharia Law becoming the mandate of government.

For those who dislike the death penalty, Amnesty International states that 89 percent of our world's executions take place in but three countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. ,

Another week, another Islamist terror attack. For some people, it is just a way of life. Why is that so difficult to recognize?

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Copyright 2016 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

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