Education, love, and understanding will stop terrorism, leftists say. So just how many books and teachers and schools will it take until terrorism is defeated?
After the bombing of ISIS cave systems in Afghanistan two weeks ago, in which the US military used its largest and most powerful non-nuclear bomb and killed about 100 ISIS forces (with no reported civilian casualties), some on the political left took to Twitter in condemnation of the bombing. A recurring theme was ISIS fighters need love, understanding, and education, and they’ll stop becoming terrorists. One of the most prolific opponents of the bombing is filmmaker Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm). His premise – that education, love, and understanding will stop terrorism – flies in the face of reality. In fact, no real reform will ever take root in Islam until the radical terroristic elements are eliminated.
Education will not fix the ignorance that prompted the shooting of teenager Malala Yousafzai (who dared to be a girl and go to school), and education will not stop ISIS. In fact, several high-profile ISIS fighters – including Mohammed Emwazi (“Jihadi John”) were highly educated; in Emwazi’s case, he was educated at Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in St. John’s Wood, north London, and the University of Westminster. Mohammed Atta, mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks was an architectural engineer. In fact, a study showed that terrorists were more likely to be better educated and wealthier than their countrymen. In Europe, refugees who are given haven from their war-torn homelands, and other terrorists with Islamic/ISIS ties, are responsible for at least 8 major attacks since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January of 2015. This includes the November 13, 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert hall; reports from an inquiry in 2016 claimed that the French government hid details of gruesome victim torture by the ISIS terrorists as well as the Nice, France terror attack that killed 84 Bastille Day revelers and bombings in Brussels, Belgium.
These are just the big stories – bloody, violent, and heart-wrenching to read – but there are smaller stories that point to a problem far, far deeper than a lack of education. In Detroit, MI, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was arrested and charged for performing female genital mutilations on girls as young as six at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan. Some of the girls were brought from other states for the procedure, including girls from Minnesota who were told they were going for a “girls day” before undergoing a procedure that’s illegal in the United States and considered a violation of human rights on an international level. This is the first such indictment in the United States; the practice of female genital mutilation is common in certain religions, including Islam, and cultures. 200 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to some form of the procedure. According to the Times of India, the number of girls in the US at risk for female genital mutilation has quadrupled in the last 20 years, and the CDC estimates over half a million women and girls are at risk in the US.
After Nagarwala’s arrest, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida, were also arrested and indicted in what ABC News describes as “an alleged scheme to perform genital mutilation on two girls from Minnesota.” The procedures were allegedly performed in Attar’s clinic.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement that “The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse.”
Female genital mutilation involves removing all or part of the clitoris, the labia, and reducing the size of the vaginal opening to diminish a girl’s sexual pleasure and reduce female sexuality. It puts girls at risk of infections, if done in unsanitary conditions, and increases complications from childbirth later in life. It is an unnecessary and barbaric procedure.
Nagarwala did not perform the procedures at Detroit’s Henry Ford facilities, but is alleged to have done them at a separate clinic owned by Attar, and she received no payment for performing the procedures. Nagarwala was placed on administrative leave by the hospital. If convicted, Nargawala faces up to five years in prison based on a 1996 law passed by Congress, but the procedure is not a crime in 26 states, including Michigan. How many more girls have been subject to this torture in the United States?
In an interview with a Detroit-area medical professional, news of female genital mutilations being performed in Michigan shocked the medical staff, many of whom didn’t know what the procedure actually entailed. The news made the front pages of both The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press. When asked if he thought the news would bring changes, he said that training and awareness of female genital mutilation may take place, but expressed some doubts.
How would more education, love, and understanding have helped Nagarwala or Attar? What were they lacking in terms of learning, or wealth, or freedoms that drove them to forever ruin the lives of multiple young girls? What would have stopped “Jihadi John”? Would a stint at Oxford or Yale have dissuaded him from engaging in terrorism? What stops droves of university students in Pakistan from beating a classmate to death over blasphemy, something that happened in Pakistan this month?
I want some leftists like Fox to explain that. Tell me how many books (that Islamists burn), how many teachers (that Islamists behead), how many schools (that Islamists blow up) will fix these inherent problems? Some leftists – especially in America – who live in enclaves free from the threat of terrorism can easily pontificate that bombs are bad and books are good. Until they roll up their sleeves and do the work that has gotten reporters and aid workers killed, they’ll never understand. And they don’t want to. They want to spout morally superior nonsense into the social media void, and go back to sipping their organic, free-trade soy lattes.
It is this moral superiority that drives some on the left to constantly say we cannot criticize – even factually – Islam. Doing so is backward, intolerant, and “Islamophobic.” Canada recently tabled a blasphemy law (M-103) that critics called draconian, and said the anti-free speech measure didn’t clearly define the offense of “Islamophobia.” Some feminists (who are oddly silent on the issue of female genital mutilation) have adopted the hijab as a symbol of “resistance” to Donald Trump, and have referred to Islam as the most “feminist” religion on several occasions. The deplorable behavior of some refugees in Europe is dismissed as “that’s how ‘those people’ behave”, and that acts of terrorism are the “new norm” on the continent. Europeans are being told to alter their way of life to accommodate refugees, rather than expecting refugees to assimilate into the societies that give them shelter, safety, and opportunity. Some on the left will say: “Don’t call Islam violent…they might get mad!”, and fail to see the irony in that statement.
How do you educate people when you cannot tell them that certain behaviors – like sexual assaulting skirt-wearing women on public transport – is wrong? How can you educate people when criticizing their behavior is considered a social crime, if not an actual one? How can you change a culture that thinks mutilating little girls’ genitals is acceptable, when some feminists adopt an equally oppressive symbol of that culture as a political, feminist statement? How do you educate doctors and engineers who feel compelled to carry out barbaric acts of varying degrees because their religion dictates it?
The problems in Islam – and changing the ideologies that drive female genital mutilation, sexual assault, the oppression of women, and other behaviors – are not easily addressed. They will require hard truths and hard discussions. They require saying and doing things that aren’t politically correct, and they require brave reformers who will stand up and change Islam from within. But you cannot reason with terrorists, like the ISIS operatives killed last week. Until you remove them from the equation – one MOAB at a time – reforming the rest of Islam will be an impossibility.