Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dangerous Wannabes

Quite the mugshot, isn't it? This guy's name is Christopher Cornell, or as he prefers, "Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah." Nabbed by the authorities for allegedly planning a jihadist terror attack at the U.S. Capitol.

I look at him, and I don't know whether to be infuriated, amused, or pitying. It certainly is NOT amusing because this sad piece of humanity could well have killed large numbers of innocent people. The severe justice/law and order side of me has ideas on how to deal with him, but I cannot let that side of me run rampant. Of course, he didn't succeed in the attempt, so unless the law changes he would only be eligible for a stretch in the jug (prison for those who don't watch film noir).

The dominant side of me—Lord willing— of course stems from Christian theology—the hope that I would see this young man delivered out of his heart of hate and rage, and born again to new life, peace, and forgiveness through faith in Christ. That is certainly possible. But with this important proviso— that very real hope does NOT blind me to the fact that authorities are duty-bound per Romans 13 to bear the sword and restrain those who would commit evil in our midst. Gentle reasoning seldom works with demonic, ideological fanatics intent on commiting mass murder.

What the mugshot of Cornell demonstrates is that we have to broaden our mental image of the Islamic radical jihadist terrorist. Jihadists in this day and age come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and nationalities. It's the false religion and ideology, not racial or ethnic makeup. And these folks are in our midst. How many God only knows.

Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor Intelligence) published an article on the dilemma faced by U.S. authorities. They summed things up like this:

While the threat posed by grassroots jihadism exists in both the United States and Europe, the way it presents itself is different because of differences in the Muslim communities. Muslims in the United States tend to be more integrated into mainstream society than those in Europe. Some of Europe's large, insulated Muslim communities are somewhat akin to the inner city neighborhoods of some U.S. cities. These areas tend to see higher crime rates, and their residents tend to be marginalized and un- or underemployed. Such places are not only breeding grounds for crime, but they also provide a good environment for jihadist recruiters to operate in, as do the prisons where criminals from such areas frequently end up. European jihadists often network with trusted community members they have known for years, and law enforcement struggles to infiltrate such communities and networks.

The article goes on to say that U.S. jihadists are much more likely to be the lone wolf type because of certain dynamics. No matter what type they are—part of a network or lone wolves—it's still deeply troubling. And the problem will not go away any time soon.

America's Founding Fathers never saw this kind of thing coming. When they wrote our Supreme Law—the Constitution—with its Bill of Rights including freedom of religion, they never imagined that people would take advantage of "freedom of religion" to murder people for the cause of advancing their particular warped "theology." (As an aside, I think it has less to do with their "religion" and more to do with the mere base human lust for power, conquest and domination)

Interestingly, the great British leader Winston Churchill recognized the dangers of the Islamic radical 100 years ago. We simply didn't see it coming here. We took the Statue of Liberty poem to heart . . . "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." And we let people come here en masse, not realizing that more than a few would come here for the sole purpose of upending our way of life. We also didn't fathom the notion that disaffected young losers here would buy into the warped, twisted ideology and join up with our nation's enemies. Also, prior to 1914, immigration was based on those looking for work and a better life. Today, thanks to Barack Obama and the like-minded, they come here for welfare benefits first, and then who knows what their ultimate desire is?

What's the answer? A gut reaction would be to amend the Constitution, ban radical Islam, and begin mass deportations. But we know that's not really a workable solution. It's going to be a long process, but we have to fight this both on ideological and theological grounds, along with a vigorous enforcement mechanism to make the cost of perpetrating such acts unbearably high. If we have the political will to do it.

This political will is going to be hard to gin up in the face of an unrelenting far left media drumbeat that always seems to want to give aid and comfort to America's enemies while pouring mockery and a healthy guilt trip on anyone who dares to demand concrete action. "You have to empathize and understand where they're coming from, and their legitimate grievances etc." ! I almost got nauseated typing out that line, which I've heard in many different ways through the years from leftist politicians and academics. Jimmy Carter often parroted that thinking.

Absolutely not. There is NO excuse for terrorism and mass murder. Ever. I'm not interested in sympathizing with them or understanding them, or giving a flip about their endless list of grievances. There's a right way and a wrong way to deal with problems, injustices, and grievances, and terrorism isn't it. Of course, the ones out there beheading people and blathering their spew on the Internet don't think what they're doing is terrorism at all. They think they're being reasonable and just. Is right and wrong dependent on one's own interpretation of it?

Sounds like a wonderful subject for a college or high school-level situational ethics class, doesn't it? And with that rather provocative question, I hit at perhaps that very thing just MIGHT lie at the root of why so many in our society can no longer call evil by its right name. This inability has only gotten worse over time, and has been very much by design among the academic far left. "There is no absolute truth. Truth is whatever you want it to be, or however your particular culture defines it. No one has the right to judge. Our culture is not superior to any other." Balderdash. Pure, unadulterated balderdash. But it's balderdash that many have swallowed by the gallon. I really pity the young children in school. This thinking is being poured into their brains and the little sponges are soaking it up unless their parents are keeping an eagle eye out.

Really, this might even be a bigger battle than the one we're facing against the jihadists. Until the country can find a way to dismiss far-left guilt trips, endless navel-gazing, and rationalizing, you're not going to make any headway at all in the battle against terrorists. In the eyes of many on the far-left, traditional values and biblical Christianity are far worse crimes. I'm making a generalization, but it's certainly not a hasty one.

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