"American Jihad": Why the US Right is no better than ISIS, ISIL, Hamas or any group starting with Al-
Notice the similarities between Judge Pirro's histrionic punditry and that of Muslim cleric Sheik Muhammed Zahgmout's below. Both contain a call to arms, an admonishment to stop coddling the enemy and declaration of righteousness.
The only difference between these two rants - *ahem* - speeches are the languages in which they are respectively spoken.
Fox News' Dr. Keith Ablow went even further, going so far as to suggest an "American Jihad." More on that in a moment.
It basically comes down to this:
I swear I'm not a terrorist, but some Fox News employees might be
Really I'm not. In fact, I didn't even come up with the phrase "American Jihad." It was first used in the title of a , but more recently resurrected by Fox News' Keith Ablow, the faux new network's resident whack-job, er, psychiatrist and part of the "Fox News Medical A-Team." (<- Really?) 2003 book by Steven Emerson
The quotes from Keith Ablow are from his Fox News column "It's time for an American Jihad," published in late 2014.
The Mujahid quotes are by Abu Mu'sab Al-Suri and can be found in a translation of his book "Call to Jihad Against the Syrian Regime," available on West Point's Combating Terrorism Center website here.
We the People of the United States are good and we are right. And we need the spirit of an American jihad to properly invite, intensify and focus our intentions to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution here at home, and to seek to spread its principles abroad.
Seek to fund an international mercenary force for good and provide our veterans unparalleled health care. (I'm not buying the second part.)
We would accept the fact that an American jihad could mean boots on the ground in many places in the world where human rights are being denigrated and horrors are unfolding. Because wherever leaders and movements appear that seek to trample upon the human spirit, we have a God-given right to intervene — because we have been to the mountaintop of freedom, and we have seen the Promised Land spanning the globe.
An American jihad would turn back and topple the terrible self-loathing in our citizens set in motion by President Obama, beginning with his "apology tour” — a psychological plague.
Abu Mu'sab Al-Suri:
Let us unite against Allah’s enemies and give these enemies the succinct response to their crime and to their killing of those who bid justice among people.
The need to ponder our condition and the condition of our kinsmen and country – the condition of agony, repression, and plots surrounding us and of the hardship with which we go to bed and wake up, and which spoils our world and our religion for us.
The best Jihad is a word of truth in the face of an unjust sultan.
To those who persevere in their march on the path, unaffected by those who let them down or those who disagree with them until Allah’s will be done.
So let's take a look at the common threads here:
1). God-given, justified righteousness (Just for those who may not know: Allah, God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Heavenly Father and whatever other name you with to give it are all the same entity. Yes, they are.)
2). "Trampling of the human spirit"; people in agony, repression and hardship.
3). President Obama on one side, an "unjust sultan" on the other, in this case the then Syrian leader Bashar al-Asad.
4). A call to unite against a common enemy, up to and including military action.
Just as Pirro and Zhagmout's words in the above videos mirror each other, so do those of Ablow and al-Suri in their respective theses.
Jesus: "I came not to send peace, but a sword," yet another misinterpretation
Matthew 10:34 is possibly one of the most misunderstood passages of a grossly misunderstood book. The sword is meant to represent an instrument of division between those that accept Him and those who do not, even if it means familial rifts. It is not, as many Bible literalists would have it, an excuse to war upon those who do not accept Him. It is a metaphor - a grammatical construct and rhetorical tool designed to illustrate a point - something that a lot of people seem to have a hard time comprehending.
The entire passage (vs. 33-37):
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Think not that I am come send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Nowhere in here is a call for fratricide, matricide, patricide or any other family-centric homicide. No, it's simply a call to love Jesus more than your kin. Hence, the sword of division. (No, not like math.)
There is an inherent thread of pettiness and egocentrism involved - most likely stemming from the authors themselves or possibly bad translation - but maybe that's why the religious right identify with Jesus so much.
I'm not a scholar of the Qu'ran, but I have read it. There are passages cited by many as exhortations to violence that I believe are just as misinterpreted as these words in Matthew.
It says "fascism" but "Islamic extremism" works just as well
Maybe it's something in our brains?
The full definition of "liberal" according to Merriam-Webster:
1a: of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts <liberal education>
1b archaic: of or befitting a man of free birth
2a: marked by generosity :openhanded <a liberal giver>
2b: given or provided in a generous and openhanded way <a liberal meal>
2c: ample, full
3: obsolete: lacking moral restraint :licentious
4: not literal or strict: loose <a liberal translation>
5: broad-minded; especially: not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
6a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism
6b capitalized: of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of politicalliberalism; especially: of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives
Full definition of "conservative" according to Merriam-Webster:
2a: of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism
2b capitalized: of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism: as (1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2) :progressive conservative
3a: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions:traditional
3b: marked by moderation or caution <a conservative estimate>c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners
4: of, relating to, or practicing Conservative Judaism
So, essentially, liberals are more open to new ideas and less prone to traditional - some may say archaic - thinking. Such as fear of the different or unknown. The Mujahideen are conservative Muslims. The American right is made up of a good number of conservative Christians. Both are so scared of ideas that don't jibe with their way of thinking that violence is an acceptable solution.
It might come down to the brain. A recent study conducted at University College London determined that conservatives had a larger amygdala, the part of the brain that controls fear and anxiety. A necessary part of self-preservation, but a primitive one as well - early man had significantly larger amygdalas because death was a constant, imminent threat. This is not necessarily the case anymore. I mean, we do have ways to stave off extreme weather. They're called buildings. Weapons were invented for protection. Saber-toothed tigers aren't so big of a threat nowadays, so in fear-based thinking, we've turned our guns on each other.
Liberals were found to have a more developed anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain that aids complex thinking.
In other words, conservatives have a more reactionary "us or them" type attitude, while liberals strive to understand and define these differences and search for solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved.
It's science, people!