Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

An Open Letter to President Obama On Your Wrong Assumptions About Islam

Posted by jagoindia on June 14, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama
by Brigitte Gabriel
11 Jun 2009

Dear Mr. President,

You face difficult challenges in matters such as achieving peace in the
Middle East and protecting America from the threat of radical Islam and
terrorism. These are challenges that have vexed past presidents, going
as far back as our second president, John Adams. I have no doubt you
appreciate both the gravity of these challenges and the enormous
obstacles that exist to solving them.

I also have no doubt that you and your staff understood that, no matter
what you said in your speech last Thursday in Cairo, there would be
those who would take issue with you. That is always the case when
attempting to solve problems that are as deep and emotionally-laden as
these challenges are.

I am assuming it is your sincere hope that the approach you have chosen
to take, as evidenced by what I’m sure was a carefully crafted speech,
will ultimately prove successful. However, it pains me to say this sir,
but, while you said in your speech that you are a “student of history,”
it is abundantly clear that, in these matters, you do not know history
and thus, as Santayana noted, you are doomed to repeat it. In doing so
your efforts, however well-intentioned they may be, will not produce
what you profess to hope they will produce.

A wise man once said that if you start with the wrong assumptions, no
matter how logical your reasoning is, you will end up with the wrong
conclusion. With all due respect Mr. President, you are starting with
certain assumptions that are unsupported by history and an objective
study of the ideology of political Islam.

You began in your speech by asserting that “tensions” exist between the
United States and Muslims around the world, which, of course, is
correct. Unfortunately, you then proceeded, incorrectly, to lay
virtually all the blame for these tensions at the feet of America and
the West. You blamed western colonialism, the Cold War, and even
modernity and globalism.

A student of American history, who is not trying to reconstruct it to
fit a modern politically correct narrative, would state that tensions
between America and Muslims began with the unprovoked, four-decades long
assault by the Muslim Barbary pirates against American shipping in the
late 18th and early 19th centuries. I find it telling that you mentioned
the Treaty of Tripoli in your speech but ignored the circumstances that
led to it. That treaty was but one of numerous attempts by the United
States to achieve peace with the jihadists of the Barbary Coast who were
attacking our shipping and killing and enslaving our citizens and our
soldiers – and who by their own admission were doing so to fulfill the
call to jihad.

These jihadists were not acting to protest American foreign policy,
which was decidedly isolationist, and there was no state of Israel to
scapegoat. They were doing what countless Islamic jihadists have done
throughout history – acting upon the hundreds of passages in the Qur’an
and the Hadith that call upon faithful Muslims to kill, conquer or
subjugate the infidel.

A student of world history would know that, for all the acknowledged
evils of Western colonialism, these evils pale in comparison to the
nearly 14 centuries of Islamic colonialism that began in Arabia under
the leadership of Mohammed. The student of history would know that
Islamic forces eradicated all Jewish and Christian presence from Arabia
after Mohammed’s death, and then succeeded in conquering all of North
Africa, most of the Middle East, much of Asia Minor, and significant
portions of Europe and India – eventually creating an empire larger than
Rome’s was at its peak.

The number of dead and enslaved during these many centuries of Islamic
imperial conquest and colonialism have been estimated to total more than
300 million. What’s more, the wealth of many of the conquered nations
and cultures was plundered by the Islamic conquerors, and millions of
millions of non-Muslims who did survive were forced to pay onerous
taxes, such as the “jizya,” a humiliation tax to the Islamic caliphs.
Indeed, in some areas Christians and Jews were made to wear a receipt
for the jizya around their neck as a mark of their dishonor.

These facts have not been invented by Christian or Jewish historical
revisionists, but were chronicled by Muslim eyewitnesses throughout the
past 14 centuries and are available to be researched by any person
seeking an objective understanding of how Islam spread throughout the

You say in your speech that we must squarely face the tensions that
exist between America and the Muslim world. That is a laudable notion
with which I agree, but by casting Islam as the historical victim and
the West (and by implication, America) as the aggressor, you do not face
these tensions squarely, but alleviate the Muslim world from coming to
grips with the jihadist ideology embedded in its holy books and acted
upon for 1,400 years.

Even worse, you empower and embolden militant Islamists who regard your
gestures as signs of weakness and capitulation.

The issue is not that all Muslims are terrorists or radicals or
extremists. We all know that the majority of Muslims are not. We also
know that many peace-loving Muslims are victims of Islamist violence.

The issue is this: what drives hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide
to call for the death of Jews?

What drives millions of Muslims to riot, destroy property, and take
innocent lives in reaction to the Danish cartoons?

What drives tens of thousands of Muslims to demand the execution of a
British teacher whose only “crime” was allowing her students to name
their teddy bears “Mohammed”?

What drives countless Muslims worldwide to actively participate in, or
fund, or provide nurture to, terrorist organizations?

What drives Muslims in mosques in America to proclaim and distribute
materials that call for hatred of and the destruction of infidels?

What drives entire Islamic countries to prohibit the building of a
Christian church or synagogue?

To assume, as you apparently do, that what drives these actions is not
an ideology embedded in the holy books of Islam, but rather other “root
causes,” most of which you lay at the feet of America and the West, is
at best naïve and at worst dangerous.

Lastly, I must address your statement that “Islam has a proud tradition
of tolerance.” Unfortunately, the examples you gave are the exception
rather than the rule.

Historically speaking, I seriously doubt the Egyptian Copts, the
Lebanese Maronites, the Christians in Bethlehem, the Assyrians, the
Hindus, the Jews, and many others who have been persecuted by Islamic
violence and supremacism, would agree with your assertion.

For instance, Christians and Jews became “Dhimmis,” a second class group
under Islam. Dhimmis were forced to wear distinctive clothing; it was
Baghdad’s Caliph Al-Mutawakkil, in the ninth century, who designated a
yellow badge for Jews under Islam, which Hitler copied and duplicated in
Nazi Germany nearly a thousand years later.

I witnessed first-hand the “tolerance” of Islam when Islamists ravaged
my country of birth, Lebanon, in the 1970’s, leaving widespread death
and destruction in their wake. I saw how they re-paid the tolerance that
Lebanese Christians extended toward them. My experience is not an
isolated one. When you make an unfounded assertion about the “proud
tradition” of tolerance in Islam, you do a great disservice to the
hundreds of millions of non-Muslims who have been killed, maimed,
enslaved, conquered, subjugated or displaced – in the cause of Islamic

Mr. President, those of us like me who are ringing the alarm in America
about the threat of radical Islam would like nothing better than to
peacefully co-exist with the Muslim world. Most Americans would like
nothing better than to peacefully co-exist with the Muslim world. The
obstacle to achieving this does not lie with us in America and the West.
It lies with the hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide, including
many of their spiritual leaders, who take seriously the repeated calls
to jihad in the Qur’an and the Hadith. Who regard “infidels” as inferior
and worthy of conquering, subjugating and forcibly converting. Who
support “cultural jihad” as a means to subvert non-Muslim societies from
within. Who take seriously the admonitions throughout the Qur’an and the
Hadith to convert the world to Islam – by force if necessary – and bring
it under the rule of Allah.

Unless you are willing to courageously and honestly accept this, your
aspirations for worldwide comity and peace in the Middle East are doomed
to fail.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the New York Times bestselling author of They Must
Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. She
is the founder and president of ACT! for America,

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