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March 29, 2016

Is Blaming Islam the Best Strategy for Fighting Terrorism?

Can Islam fight terrorism better than bombs can? Retweet

A column by Downsize DC President, Jim Babka

I wrote an column titled “Is Islam to blame for terrorism?” following the Brussels attack. I argued that it’s unfair, untrue, and strategically unsound to blame Islam for terrorism.

The unfairness stems from the un-trueness, which is easy to demonstrate. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet (900 of which, it turns out, are officers in the New York Police Dept). If Islam was simply to blame for terrorism then, mathematically speaking, terrorist attacks would be as common as car wrecks. Fortunately, instead, they’re rare. Therefore, they make headlines.

Most of my earlier article focused on the fairness and accuracy aspects of the claim that Islam is to blame for terrorism, particularly the special pleading involved.

This article will explain why it’s strategically unwise to blame all of Islam for terrorism. It’s crucial to identify the correct enemy. In truth…

The real enemy is the narrow ideology of a sub-segment of a minority Islamic sect. I identify that ideology in a letter to Congress below, but it’s first important to understand that…

  1. Ideologies are collections of ideas. Ideas have consequences. Therefore, ideologies have consequences.
  2. Ideologies are reactionary tools that substitute for strategy. Reaction is rash, but response is analytical, so it is better to respond then it is to react.
  3. Ideologies can be strengthened by violence. It’s self-defeating to support that narrative. Instead, the ideology should be undermined by a better competing idea.

These thoughts are important for the following reason…

If you suggest that the solution to terrorism by radical Muslims is NOT military, you are accused of either…

  • Proposing “doing nothing”
  • Promoting pacifism

But neither is true.

If you get cancer because you were eating garbage, changing your diet is definitely “doing something.” Likewise, if your foreign policy has failed to stop terrorism and has instead encouraged it, the most important thing you can do is change your foreign policy.

As for the pacifism charge, the letter I sent to Congress (below) explains four constructive things our so-called “government” should do in response to this terrorism.

I sent this letter using Downsize DC’s “Bring the Troops Home” campaign. The hardwired letter for that campaigns starts with the following line…

Bring the troops home.

To which I added (and from which you can copy and paste to send a letter yourself)…

Soldiers cannot win the war on terror, because that fight should instead be a war of ideas. The main ideas we must combat come from a subset of the Wahhabi sect promoted by our ally Saudi Arabia. We need to combat this violent ideology with better, more peaceful ideas. I think there are four ways we can do this.

First, it’s crucial to understand that radical Wahhabism is an ideology as much as it is a religious sect. Ideologies are defeated when the evidence for their view is lacking. There are many well-spoken Muslims who are deeply offended by how their religion has been perverted by radical Wahhabism. And both the U.S. Government and its regime media have done a horrible job of elevating these well-spoken, pro-peace Muslims to prominent positions, where they can speak back into their faith-community.

Second, recognize that violence breeds escalation in an ever-expanding cycle. The only reason we ever obtain peace is because someone stops retaliating. Sometimes, it’s mere surrender. But when dealing with a group of people willing to sacrifice everything, including their lives, surrender won’t work. That means the military solution is only likely to feed the problem.

Ending violence isn’t easy, and politicians tend to choose the easy path. It takes tremendous courage and uncommon fortitude to speak out against “doubling-down” in our show of strength. But, if we absent ourselves from that field of battle, the evil Imams and the corrupt chieftains will no longer be able to blame us, the Great Satan, for their domestic dysfunctions. Without us to blame, they’d actually have to do something about things like poverty and crime.

Third, this does not mean justice cannot be sought. Actual acts of terrorism have a constitutional remedy: acts of marque and reprisal. This tool is the equivalent to a “wanted dead or alive” bounty, targeted very narrowly at the actual terrorists. A military solution, on the other hand, can harm innocents and cause collateral damage. We need to stop delivering “war porn” for radical Wahhabis. The military acts of western governments have been like recruitment posters for gangs like al Qaeda and ISIS.

Fourth, open avenues of trade as soon as possible. Trade is a tremendous elixir. It does more for peace than either militaries or diplomats could ever do. It even marginalizes fundamentalists. They become the guys who are opposed to the good stuff in life.

These four steps would do more to END the terrorist threat against Americans and western nations than our present military strategy. Please promote legislation to make all of these proposals happen.

Send your letter to your “representatives” using’s Educate the Powerful System. AND…

Share this message with others who are likely to be interested by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

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