We don’t know. Or at least more and more of us are no longer sure. First there was George Bush, following 9/11, who was super careful by his choice of words not to turn the country against the Muslim religion, against Islam. Now there is Barack Obama who is also super careful not to include the Muslims and Islam within his blanket condemnation of ISIS.
Although most of us would probably agree with Presidents 43 and 44 being super careful and not targeting one of the world’s great religions, yet we have a growing suspicion that the words of the two Presidents go too far in the direction of political correctness, and that they don’t speak enough about the Islam-ISIS connection, plain enough for all of us to see.
Now it is the Donald, for the most part a braggart, a demagogue, at best a popularizer and at worst the founder of a new no nothing party who has brought our suspicion into the open by bluntly calling out Islam and Muslims, faulting them for the terror, and even going so far as to recommend that Muslims not be admitted to our country.
So where is, if not the truth, right opinion in all this? Is the Donald right? Should we listen to him? Again most of us would say no, and most of us are probably expecting candidate Trump to fall out of favor with the voting public, in particular with the Republicans who now in their voting majority may very well favor him. And that will probably happen.
For a similar position to mine on the dilemma confronting Muslims read Ross Douthat in the Times of December 13, The Islamic Dilemma.
But there is something else, something not often said, not often talked about. ISIS and Islam are in fact connected, root and branch. Muslims in their vast majority would probably prefer this not to be so. But ISIS flaunts its connection to Islam, and sees itself as the true successor to Muhammad by its efforts to reestablish the Caliphate in today’s Middle East. And throughout what often seems a “reign of terror” led by Muslim fanatics we hear little or nothing substantial from the Muslims themselves.
ISIS may even recognize its tactics of terror, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, as being no different from the Muslim sword wielders who in the 7th. and 8th. centuries of the modern era forced their religion upon all other peoples in their path to world domination.
The “something else” is this (and this is what explains the many admirers of Donald Trump), that the some two billion or so Muslims of the world are not doing enough to wipe out, root and branch, an evil, a cancer, the terrorism that ISIS has made such a huge and ugly version of what ought to have been a beautiful religion of cooperation and peace among peoples.