Five days ago free expression was attacked in Paris when Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said, who were trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, screamed “Allahu Akbar” (God is great!) while killing 12 people with AK-47s, most of them journalists employed by satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The terrorists were killed by French police two days later.
Muslim apologists quickly filled the airwaves, explaining that such atrocities are not compatible with Islam and that murderers such as the Kouachi brothers are outliers of the faith–bad apples.
I generally don’t agree with HBO’s Bill Maher, a strident atheist, but when he said last week about Islam, “When there are that many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard,” I have to admit he’s on to something.
Radical Muslims were of course behind the 9/11 attacks in the United States, as well as the 3/11 Mardid and 7/7 London bombings. The jihadists who have seized much of Iraq and Syria–while murdering thousands of Christians and Yazidis–have announced the founding of a new Caliphate. The Fort Hood murderer considered himself a Soldier of Allah. And while western journalists were devoting the lion’s share of its coverage to the Charlie Hebdo killings last week, another Islamist group, Boko Haram, murdered all of the residents–2,000 people–in the Nigerian village of Baga. These are the same criminals who kidnapped 200 teenage Nigeria girls who were the subject of Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign. It didn’t work–the teens are still missing.
Islam–you have a problem. Yes, there are many Muslims that I know who like most people, just want to live their lives and be left alone. But my guess is that the radicals oppose them too.
Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who did his nation and the world a huge service by ousting the Muslim Brotherhood from power, is calling for a “religious revolution” within Islam. In a New Year’s Day speech, Sisi said, “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”
If the rest of the world’s inhabitants don’t accept Islam, what Sisi said of the radicals very well may be true.