Congressman Ron Paul served as the stepping stone into libertarianism for many members of the liberty movement. He outlined the dangers of the Federal Reserve, the War on Drugs, government surveillance, taxation, foreign intervention, and statism in general. Ron Paul has influenced my political philosophy tremendously as I used to be a socialist.
However, one of the things I find myself disagreeing with him on is terrorism and the role of Islam. Ron Paul is correct in his assessment that the actions of the United States government in the Middle East has had devastating effects, but he fails to address that they aren’t the sole reason for terrorism.
Many libertarians believe that Islamic terrorism only exists because of foreign intervention and what Ron Paul calls “blowback”, the effects of bombing foreign nations that result in the deaths of innocent civilians. I am not denying that the policy of the United States government has contributed to terrorism, because it definitely has. However as a former Muslim, I recognize that denying the role of religion and ideology as motivating factors for terrorism is dangerous.
An Islamist is a Muslim who seeks to impose political Islam or Sharia Law through the initiation of force and violence, i.e. aggression. Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, and Hezbollah all want to spread Islam globally and by any means necessary. Islamists have no tolerance for lifestyles that differ from their own. For example, they support female genital mutilation, throwing gays off rooftops, keeping sex slaves, stoning adulterers, killing apostates, and corporal punishment for petty crimes.
However, any criticism of these barbaric practices results in people being called “Islamophobic” or racist. You cannot be racist against an ideology, especially when there are Muslims of all races. The term Islamophobia was created to silence critics and halt any honest discussion surrounding Islam. In contrast, criticizing Christianity does not make one “Christianophobic” and criticizing Communism does not make one “Communophobic”. No ideas are above scrutiny, and Islam is no exception.
In the ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq, an article titled “Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You” highlights the six main reasons why Islamists hate the West and will continue fighting their holy war.
- We hate you because you are disbelievers.
The author of the article states “just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah (tax) – for those afforded this option – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims.”
- We hate you because you are secular and liberal.
“Your secular liberalism has led you to tolerate and even support ‘gay rights,’ to allow alcohol, drugs, fornication, gambling, and usury to become widespread, and to encourage the people to mock those who denounce these filthy sins and vices.” The author continues: “We wage war against you to stop you from spreading your disbelief and debauchery – your secularism and nationalism, your perverted liberal values, your Christianity and atheism – and all the depravity and corruption they entail.”
- We hate you because some of you are atheists.
“In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve in the existence of your Lord and Creator.”
- We hate you for your crimes against Islam.
“We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah, burn the Quran, and openly vilify the laws of the Shari’ah, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives.”
- We hate you for your crimes against Muslims.
“We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims; your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people around the world, and your puppets in the usurped lands of the Muslims oppress, torture, and wage war against anyone who calls to the truth. As such, we fight you to stop you from killing our men, women, and children, to liberate those of them whom you imprison and torture, and to take revenge for the countless Muslims who’ve suffered as a result of your deeds.”
- For invading our lands.
“We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out. As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim.”
Out of the six reasons, only two are directly related to the foreign policy of the West. The author states his reasoning for adding those two at the bottom of the list:
“What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you. No doubt, we would stop fighting you then as we would stop fighting any disbelievers who enter into a covenant with us, but we would not stop hating you.”
There is no doubt that the foreign intervention of the United States government has contributed to terrorism, but it is not the sole factor, as many libertarians and liberals would like to believe. The doctrines of Islam influence the barbaric acts of terrorism committed by Islamists around the world, and saying this should not be controversial. The battle against Islamism must be challenged ideologically by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The culture of the Western world is antithetical to that of the Islamists, and that is why they hate us.
Link to Dabiq (article begins at page 30): http://clarionproject.org/factsheets-files/islamic-state-magazine-dabiq-fifteen-breaking-the-cross.pdf