Currently the major uproar exists over President Obama’s refusal to refer to ISIS as a Muslim organization. I support his continued denial that ISIS is Islamic.
I do not say that on the basis of logic, since any rational analysis would conclude that ISIS is Muslim.
First, they call themselves Islamic. It’s even in their name. That in itself does not make them Muslim. Anyone can call themselves anything, but that does not mean that they are what they call themselves. However, we have good reason to believe that ISIS calls itself Muslim in good faith. They manifest a genuine commitment to Islam. They seek to be faithful to their religion in their own way, whether their attempts are valid or invalid. They are fighting for Islam. The rationale for fighting is rooted in their desire to advance Islam. There can be little doubt that they are some of the most passionate, committed Muslims in the world. Therefore, we have every reason to believe that their designation of themselves as Muslim is sincere and genuine.
Their behavior in large measure is compatible with the history of Islam. This religion is noted for taking territory not by winning people’s hearts, but by removing their heads. Though some movements of Islam may not have reflected the extent of cruelty displayed by ISIS, militancy has as comprised a core component of Islam. The reasoning of those arguing that this factor prevents them from being Muslim is diametrically opposed to reality. Their militancy places them on the side of historical Islam.
The fact that they are Muslim is also supported by the Quran. Though different scholars advanced differing positions on the meaning of jihad and so forth, it is difficult to deny that passages of the Quran support the general behaviors of ISIS, even if not all of the forms of their cruelty.
Those arguing that ISIS could not be religious because such behavior could not be done in the name of religion intentionally or unintentionally have their heads buried deep in the sand. From the beginning of history all kinds of atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. We find people offering their babies to be slaughtered as a part of Canaanite religion. The burning of widows by Hindus reflects an aspect of their religion. Human sacrifices have been offered in the name of religion in many if not most parts of the world. Therefore, to claim that ISIS could not be religious in nature because of its cruelties represents an obvious ignoring of history and reality.
If it is so obvious that ISIS is an expression of Islam, why do I advocate for Obama continuing to deny this evident reality? For several reasons.
First, he is the product of a worldview that determines reality by feelings. Our Congress also operates out of the same philosophy. For example, with a slight modification they operate on the basis of the old hippie cliché, “If it feels good spend it.” For Obama, who gives every indication of culturally being a Muslim, identifying ISIS with Islam does not feel good. Playing golf does. Therefore, I would encourage him not to link ISIS with Islam, but instead to play golf.
Second, President Obama has misrepresented the truth to the American people so often for so long, starting to tell the truth now could be disorienting to our nation. Denying that ISIS is Islamic helps American citizens to feel at home—sort of like advocating global warming during one of the worst winters ever.
A third reason why I am all for President Obama continuing to insist that ISIS is not Muslim is that doing so is helping people to catch on that he is Muslim. The more he continues to try to put a good face on Islam by separating it from ISIS, the more apparent becomes his propensity to support Islam at all costs. This is prompting more Americans all the time to connect the dots: that his father was Muslim, that his stepfather was Muslim, that he was raised during formative years in a Muslim country, that he possesses Muslim instincts such as animus toward Israel, that he has shown favoritism to Muslims at almost every turn, etc.
If he keeps it up long enough, maybe a majority of Americans will wake up to the fact that we have a Muslim in the White House, that all religions are not created equal, and that we need to replace him with a Christian as soon as possible.