The most significant undeclared war of our time -- a war with Islam -- began November 4, 1979, the day Iran took US citizens hostage in Tehran and held 52 of them against their will for 444 days. While 9/11 was the worst single event by far, it wasn't the beginning.
Some may suggest there is no such war. Others claim it is the West that has declared war on Islam. Neither statement is correct. The fact is that Islam has declared war. War on democracy, the West, the US, Jews, Christians and all "infidels," which includes other Muslims. We are in perilous times. The very fabric of the free world is under attack. Unless democratic nations, especially the US, acknowledge this and take steps to combat the threat, it's possible Islam will eventually engulf everyone and everything.
The most important and powerful leader in the free world is the President of the United States. He should be at the forefront of this battle. Yet President Obama has steadfastly refused to correctly identify what everyone else knows -- the United States (and the free world) is in the crosshairs of Islam. Their goal is to see the Islamic flag over the White House.
If you are one of those who don't think we are in a crisis, consider this. Prior to the takeover of the US embassy in Iran, how often did you hear these terms: "Islam," "jihad," "Islamic fundamentalist," "martyr," "Allah," "alluah Akbar," or "Sharia law?"
Today they are commonplace and exemplify the new normal the US and the world lives with.
I recall when it was possible to walk out to the gate at the airport to meet an incoming passenger. How about when there was no such thing as an airport security check? I guess I'm only showing my age….
Not all Muslims
Before going further, an important distinction should be made. Am I suggesting this war is with all Muslims? No. Not all Muslims are Fundamentalists. In fact the majority are not. Yet the terror from the minority is affecting almost everyone in one way or another.
An obvious question becomes how many fundamentalists are there?
Estimates vary widely. From as low as 3% up to as much as 50% or more, depending on your source. This is where some simple math is quite telling. Current estimates indicate there are 1.65 billion Muslims worldwide. For the sake of this article I'll use a conservative estimate of 10% being fundamentalists. That means 90% are Peaceful.
If 10% are fundamentalists, that translates to 165 million. If all of them lived in one country it would rank #8 in the world. These are numbers no one should dismiss or take lightly.
So who are the "true" Muslims, the 90% or the 10%? Sheer numbers tend to suggest the 90%. Yet is this really the case? Let's dig a bit deeper.
The non-violent Muslims will tell you Islam is a religion of peace and the fundamentalists have high jacked it. While peaceful Muslims may indeed be sincere in their commitment to non-violence, are they correct by accusing fundamentalists of high jacking Islam? This needs to be addressed soberly.
Those who commit violence in Allah's name (fundamentalists) consider themselves to be the true Muslims. In fact they will tell you the ones who accuse them of high jacking Islam are not true Muslims.
Yet both peaceful and fundamentalists look to the Quran as their holy book.
How can two different groups both claiming to be Muslim read the same holy book and see things so differently? Is one group making claims about the Quran that are false?
Before examining this closer keep one thing in mind. There are approximately 40,000 Christian denominations. Wide differences exist among them on numerous topics. Yet would it be fair for a Pentecostal to accuse a Presbyterian of not being a Christian?
There is one holy book for those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: the Bible, albeit different books are used by Christians and Jews, and some differences exist between Catholic and Protestant versions. While there is a wide range of interpretations of scripture, a Presbyterian considers himself just as much a Christian as a Pentecostal.
This same principle applies to Muslims.
Due diligence requires looking at the Quran to see if there are verses which substantiate the fundamentalist view of condoning violence.
Some Quranic examples include:Kill them (disbelievers) wherever you find them (2:191) War is ordained by Allah. All Muslims must be willing to fight whether they like it or not. (2:216) Allah turned the Sabbath breaking Jews into apes. (2:65) Believers must retaliate. (2:178) Jews and Christians are rebellious against Allah (5:59) Do not take Jews and Christians as friends (5:51)
These are but a few of numerous versesin the Quran which make it clear that violence is not only condoned, it is required against disbelievers. This includes peaceful Muslims who do not engage in violence as instructed in the Quran. Altogether there are over 160 verses in the Quran which support violence or jihad.
Plus, there is clear disdain for Jews and Christians.
What's also noteworthy is Mohammed himself supported violence. He was responsible for numerous killings, which included massacring several hundred Jews of the Qurayza tribe in Medina in 627.
Today Muslim religious leaders continue their calls for Jewish blood.
Based on the aforementioned information, I believe some conclusions can be drawn-There is a wide range of Muslims The Quran sanctions violence The Quran indicates disdain for non-Muslims Muslims are both peaceful and violent Fundamentalists are Muslims and have not high jacked Islam
With respect to whether Islam is a peaceful religion, after confirming what the Quran says, it would seem such a characterization is not only naïve, it's incorrect, possibly dangerous. Further, if a Presbyterian doesn't have the right to say a Pentecostal is not a Christian, it follows that a peaceful Muslim doesn't have the right to say a fundamentalist is not a Muslim.
If a "true believer" is one who follows everything in their holy book, and the fundamentalists are adhering to this, how should we view peaceful Muslims? While I believe they are indeed Muslims, can it be the fundamentalists are actually the true Muslims?
What's the takeaway?
The free world should open its eyes, understand there is a war going on. Ignoring it won't eliminate it. It will allow it to continue unabated. We should stop letting naïveté and political correctness govern our views or our laws. Difficult decisions will need to be made, and soon. If the status quo continues the lifestyle free people are accustomed to will soon become a thing of the past.
Years ago there was a commercial by a manufacturer of engine oil filters that suggested not to ignore the importance of changing filters when necessary. The closing words of the commercial were "pay me now… or pay me later."
Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page.