The Lesson of Jihad Jane

Islam has infected America, and curing the disease will now be much harder.

In years past, your humble correspondent traveled the airways of America and the world with some regularity.  No longer!  These days, two trips per annum is a busy year, and for good reason: where once the romance of travel and the skies held allure, now a visit to the airport is a trip through all seven layers of hell.

We all know the reason why: the world, and our air transport system in particular, is plagued with barbaric Islamic terrorists bent on immolating themselves and as many innocent victims as possible.  A rational person would expect someone to mount an effort to keep Muslims off of planes, but no.  There are few more aggravating sights than a granny from Dubuque and a toddler from Lake Woebegone getting the rubber-glove treatment, entirely at random, while stubbled Mohammed prances unmolested on through security to his next hidey-hole.

Can we actually pick potential terrorists out of a crowd, though?  Statistically speaking, there are certainly telltales, like being named Mohammed.  That's not always good enough, unfortunately - Richard Reid the shoe bomber grew up as American as anyone else.

Might as well be named Muhammad.

The recent strange affair of Jihad Jane and Jihad Jamie, two blonde middle-American babes accused of plotting mayhem with the best of them, gives hefty ammunition to those like the Washington Post who would rather divert our eyes from the one strong thread which unites each and every significant terrorist attack of the last decade:

It took the case of "Jihad Jane" to illuminate what should have been obvious by now: Anyone who claims to be able to identify a potential terrorist by appearance or nationality is delusional. There's a reason all of us have to take our shoes off at the airport...

Now, it has to be pointed out that if the story told in the indictment is true, LaRose does not seem to have been the brightest bulb in the jihadist firmament. In her Internet postings she appears to have made little or no attempt to hide her identity, aside from choosing a nom de guerre that is the equivalent of a flashing red light. But [Christmas Day undie-bomber] Abdulmutallab was hardly a diabolical mastermind, either. What the two have in common is that they both seem to have been lonely and alienated, to have been searching for meaning in their lives, and to have made terrible choices.

What they don't have in common is anything else[emphasis added]

The pacifist left is correct on the facts: it is, in fact, impossible to positively identify terrorists by appearance or nationality alone.  It's perfectly fair for them to trumpet this.

By so doing, without realizing it, they completely undermine their real objective of disallowing us to identify terrorists by that oh-so-obvious other common factor they refuse even to acknowledge.

Islam Is Not A Race

Ever since the 9-11 attacks, our leaders have bent over backwards to dissociate the religion of Islam from the heinous crimes of its adherents.  What's more, particularly in the media, fear of Islam has been made equivalent to racism as an irrational bias unworthy of civilized people.

But why, exactly, is bias against a particular race wrong?  Because race is inherent to each individual, persistent throughout their entire life, and yet is something absolutely outside of their control.  You had no control whether you were born black, white, or yellow; and, for all Michael Jackson tried hard, there is as yet no way for you to die in some other color than you have today.  The color of your skin says nothing inherent and predictable about the content of your character.

Religion - any religion - could not be more different.  The teachings of religious doctrines may say that babies are born Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, or whatever based on the beliefs of their parents, but an infant no more is a believing, practicing Mormon than Baby Albert Einstein understood the theory of relativity when he was 2.  People choose to believe in a religion, or no religion.

What's more, people are perfectly able to choose to change their religion - maybe several times throughout life.  Nobody changes their race no matter how hard they may try.

So, where race cannot say anything about "you" as a person, your religion can often say a very great deal about you.  If you are a devout Hindu, you will not eat beef no matter what, by definition - or if you do, you'll either feel pretty darn guilty or you're not really much of a Hindu, again by definition.  If you are a devout Buddhist, you will make every effort to harm no living thing down to the smallest fly and so on.

What can we say about the actions of devoutly practicing Muslims who take their Koran seriously?  Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas, gives warning:

At the end of the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God... I know this is harsh to say.


Most Muslims are ignorant about their religion. Once they understand Islam, they become terrorists. Read chapter 9, verse 9, or verse 9.5, or 9.111: the Koran is the war-manual for Islamic terrorism.  [emphasis added]

During World War II, we were fighting an enemy ideology, but more particularly one enemy nation.  There were American Nazis; there were freedom-loving Germans; but not very many of either.  Stalin's Russia was an enemy ideology too, but an allied nation fighting against Hitler and alongside us.

It is generally possible to determine an individual's national origin and tell the German citizens from the Russian citizens from the Americans, though since we have Americans from everywhere it may take a bit of investigation.  Our FBI got very good at that.

Before the war began, the Nazis tried to spread their evil philosophy all over the world including in the United States, but as soon as the war began, they mostly stopped bothering because it didn't work.  The overwhelming majority of Americans were loyal to their nation and wanted no part of the beliefs of their enemies.

Nazism was inherently an evil, racist ideology.  Is there such a thing as a kind, friendly Nazi who loves his Jewish or Slavic neighbors?  Of course not - anyone who claimed to be like this obviously doesn't understand what Nazism is.

Unfortunately, as Mr. Yousef explained, Islam is the same: there are kind, friendly, peaceable people who claim to be Muslims, but that's only because they don't understand the basics of their religion.

Once they understand Islam, they become terrorists.

During World War II, President Roosevelt declaimed on the evils of Nazism every day.  In stark contrast, today's leaders are defending the enemy's ideology.  As a result, unlike the Nazis, Islam is permitted to spread its poison freely throughout our nation and the world.

It's hard to become a German; but it's easy to convert to a religion - like Richard Reid, John Walker Lindh, Jihad Jane, Jihad Jamie.  We have yet to unhappily discover how many more lonely, misguided souls unmoored from any semblance of morality are converting to Islam even as we read this.

Typhoid Muhammad

Almost without exception, the mainstream reaction to Jihad Jane has been a sigh of relief: finally we can shut up those irritating right-wingers who want our security people to concentrate on young male Muslims and leave white grandmas alone!  Sad to say, Jihad Jane has proven this true, in a way: "American-lookingness" is no longer proof of not being a terrorist.

That's because, thanks to the aggressive pro-Islam anti-Americanism on the Left and stupidity on the Right, the mental virus of Islam has been permitted to infect Americans.  Ten years ago, if we had shut down all Muslim immigration immediately, expelled all Muslim non-citizens, and sent waves of federal agents to thoroughly infiltrate those few remaining mosques operated by American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights to ensure that crimes were not being concocted there, the cancer could have been isolated without severely affecting 99% of the rest of us.  This is what Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover did against Nazism and it worked quite well.

Unfortunately, we ignored that successful example and allowed the cancer to metastasize.

The lesson of blonde, blue-eye Jihad Jane?  It's too late now to easily and quickly expel Islam's poison from our land, so we're in for a very long and difficult war against a far-from-obvious fifth column of Muslim terror converts.

Thanks to government stupidity, we've permitted the "American Taliban" to recruit comrades right here at home and now we have to catch them one at a time.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments
this illustrates the mentality that many have regarding air travel in that a private transaction between the traveller & the airline requires government intervention in the name of security.
Where is the responsibility of the airline in providing the safety?
nowhere, apparently: a simple procedure involving armed guards for the pilots and secure cockpit doors would have prevented the '9-11' massacres. That people demand a government response to a private matter, requiring the use of TSA thugs is beyond my comprehension, but then I do not feel coercive measures are required.
The only reason a terrorist has control over our lives is because we feel weak & impotent individually
April 21, 2010 11:48 AM
"The only reason a terrorist has control over our lives is because we feel weak & impotent individually."

And the only onboard terrorists that have been stopped, have been stopped by the prompt action of individual civilians defending their own lives, with no help whatsoever from the TSA.
April 21, 2010 12:23 PM
But we can't do that! The good Muslims sell us so much oil. As the old song goes
"Saint Peter don't ya call me cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store..."
We are conflicted, and will remain so as long as our energy policy is to buy more oil from the Middle East.

Of course there is another side to that argument: Use up "their" oil and preserve our own for later. Hehe!
April 21, 2010 1:27 PM
Of course since the TSA is a Bush boondoogle, i might extrapolate.. but I won't..
perhaps a more rational idea is to stop driving SUVs, trucks 7 other 4000# vehicles thus and relying on foreign(Arabian) oil, but that's like asking an alcoholic to stop drinking: one day at a time maybe, but to consider the lifetime is impossible given the addiction many Amerikans have for seemingly effortless transportation.

April 21, 2010 9:05 PM
Freedom is more important than security. I could never support any wide scale ban on any religion. However, since I do agree that the Koran is not peace loving document that additional precautions would not be inappropriate.
April 22, 2010 2:36 PM
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