We Americans have been puzzling over our President’s curious inability to see twenty-one ISIS terrorists cutting off the heads of twenty-one Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya and call the horrible deed what it is – an Islamist atrocity. Not, you will note, Islamic. By using the adjective Islamist, we are distinguishing this brutal and savage action from those billions who claim to be adherents of the Islamic religion.
President Obama’s administration studiously avoided calling the victims Christians. They were described merely as “Egyptian citizens,” as if he were a jaded clerk stamping their passports.
The Pope has weighed in, forthrightly saying it was obvious the poor Copts were murdered because they follow Jesus. The prime minister of Canada – the stalwart Stephen Harper – did not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He said this:
“I am outraged and saddened by the beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians in Libya by groups linked to ISIL. Coming soon after the savage burning of Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, the threat posed by ISIL could not be clearer."
This information comes to us even as this White House is meeting with Muslims who represent organizations previously identified as front groups or spinoffs of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood began in Egypt in 1928 under direction of community organizer Hassan al-Banna. The Muslim Brotherhood spans many Arab lands, including Egypt, Libya, Gaza, and Yemen. The Muslim Brotherhood emerged at the same time as the German Nazi party, but was not motivated by the same pagan ideology.
Nonetheless, the Muslim Brotherhood admired the Nazis’ ability to penetrate civil society in Germany and, of course, they loved the Nazis’ murderous anti-Semitism (Judenhass). German scholar Matthias Küntzel has written that the first person to envision burning towers collapsing in Manhattan was not Osama bin Laden, but Adolf Hitler. Hitler actually had plans for an attack by submarine-launched V-2s targeted at the city he regarded as a center of Jewish influence in the world.
This administration has gotten the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda wrong from the start. They had to climb down from a lengthy explanation of the MB’s philosophy and actions by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper in 201l in which the hapless official described the MB as “largely secular.” It is largely secular in the same sense that the Nazi Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were largely secular. They penetrated all aspects of society, but were always motivated by a powerful and ruthless ideology.
The French have a word to describe those who are not actually Communists, but who affect a sympathy toward and an affinity for ideas and cultural symbols of Communist revolutionaries. We’ve all seen the college kids wearing Che Guevara tee shirts. There were thousands of these kids and some aged radicals, too, in the 2012 “Occupy Wall Street” movement.
Scholar Joseph Salemi explains the French adjective marxisant in this 2008 essay for the Penn Review. Fellow travelers is the clumsy English phrase, but marxisant (marks-zee-ZONT) describes the tendency, the attitude.
We see the point. Not actually Marxists, but certainly not hostile to Marxism. In the same vein, we now have a U.S. administration that can fairly be labeled Islamisant. (iss-LAM-iz-zont.) It is not Islamist, certainly, or even Islamic. But this administration goes out of its way to avoid linking anything in the world of terrorism to Islamists.
The president is usually quick to describe violent extremist attacks by “random folks.” We are surprised that he did not call the murder of the twenty-one Egyptian Copts “workplace violence.” After all, weren’t they kidnapped from their place of employment?
The Obama administration infamously called the murders at Fort Hood in 2009 workplace violence. They were carried out by a jihadist who for years had been spewing violent Islamist threats, and who had been protected by Pentagon bureaucrats who were more interested in a false notion of diversity than in security of our troops.
Islamisant is a fair characterization of President Obama’s attitude from Day One. He boasted to “The New York Times” in 2006 that he could still recite the Shahada – the Muslim call to prayer. He learned it as a boy in Indonesia. That call to prayer says:
“There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Messenger.”
In no land where that Shahada is heard is there freedom for minority religions, be they Jewish, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist. Still, Barack Obama described the Shahada as “one of the most beautiful sounds on earth.” We doubt Coptic Christians in Egypt—daily threatened with violence—would agree.
Islamisant describes President Obama’s bizarre speech to Al Azhar University in 2009. He said the United States has been intimately associated with Islam since our Founding. How so? Well, as Michael Oren points out in his book, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776-Present this country was indeed concerned about that region. But that was because Muslim pirates were seizing U.S. merchant ships and holding our sailors for ransom. These sailors were sold into slavery, tortured, and sometimes horribly murdered. One scene related by Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., describes an American sailor impaled on a stake!
If that was the intimate association of the U.S. and Islam prior to the Constitution, only an Islamisant reading of our history could whitewash the truth. Similarly, President Obama boasted of a Muslim Member of Congress taking his oath of office on a copy of “the Jefferson Koran.” Thomas Jefferson did indeed own an English-language version of the Muslim holy book. But that was because he was our ambassador in France and simply could not believe what an Arab ambassador in Paris told him: namely, that the Koran justified enslaving those who did not submit to the religion of Islam.
It was only after confirming the envoy’s words himself that Thomas Jefferson began a twenty-year commitment to the use of force against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa. Their lairs were not far from where those ISIS murderers spilled the Christians’ blood into the Mediterranean Sea this week.
President Obama went before the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this month to deliver an Islamisant speech. He scolded those Christians – whom NBC’s Chuck Todd tells us he does not like – for the sins of their forebears five hundred and a thousand years ago.
He did this at the very time when Christians are being slaughtered all across the Bloody Crescent. He resisted for four years even labeling Boko Haram of Nigeria a terrorist organization. He never mentioned the hundreds of Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and forced into sex slavery. Perhaps he thought Michelle Obama’s hand-lettered sign: “Bring Back our Girls” had covered the issue sufficiently.
Only an Islamisant administration could carry on policy as this one has. And with such blinders on, we can expect nothing to come from any summits they hold on “violent extremism” that will impede the advances of ISIS or other Islamist threats.
Ken Blackwell, former Secretary of State in Ohio, is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union.
Bob Morrison is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies for the Family Research Council.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Family Research Council.