A woman once brought a kitten home from the local shelter. It was her first pet, and it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, that love came at a price. Sneezing, itchy eyes, rashes. She spent every day in misery, and any onlooker could see what the source of that misery was. She wouldn’t hear of it. She looked anywhere and everywhere for something else to blame. It was her new deodorant. It was the pollen. It was her diet. She spent the next six months experimenting with virtually everything in her life while all her friends told her the same thing: honey, darling…it’s the damn cat.
The Obama administration has a cat problem of their own. Instead of being plagued with sneezing and bloodshot eyes, though, we are plagued by beheadings and bombings. And just like that woman who wanted to blame anything but her beloved new pet, Obama and his cabinet members want to blame anything but Islam for the bloodshed.
The State Department’s Sarah Sewall expanded that blame list on Tuesday, speaking at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. There, she claimed that there were all kinds of factors that drove people to “violent extremism.”
“Current research, including interviews with former violent extremists or rehabilitated terrorists consistently reveals that there is no one, single driver of violent extremism,” she told the audience. “Rather, there are a number of common ones including boredom, intergenerational tensions, the search for greater meaning in life, perceived adventure, attempts to impress the local community, a desire for increased credibility, to belong, to gain peer acceptance, and revenge.”
Boredom. Intergenerational tensions. Search for greater meaning. Adventure. Glory. Credibility. Peer pressure.
Written in the Quran are more than 100 verses that implore the faithful to violence. And while you can find things in the Bible that match the kind of extremism found in the Muslim holy book, there is a decided difference. The verses in the Old Testament are constrained by their context and often contradicted by the Christian savior, Jesus Christ. There has been no such peaceful revolution in Islam. The original words – the original call to war – stands today. And while there are plenty of peaceful Muslims who denounce terrorism, they are in violation of their own scripture:
Not equal are those believers who sit and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons.
In other words, you can be any kind of Muslim you like, but the Quran makes clear which kind is favored. President Obama claims that ISIS and other terrorist groups do not represent the true nature of Islam. But it can easily be argued that the world’s “moderate” Muslim population is further away from the religion than the terrorists.
A paper no less liberally biased than The New York Times reported last year that “the Islamic State, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban…took credit for two-thirds of worldwide deaths related to terrorism in 2013.”
The common factor? Boredom? Intergenerational conflict?
Obama, honey, darling…it’s the damn cat.