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January 11, 2015 3:20 pm

Presidents Confront (or Evade) Islamic Terrorism

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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French police storm the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris. Photo: JSS News

A rising wave of Islamist terrorist attacks has erupted since December – with especially murderous atrocities committed in Peshawar (132 children); Iraq (150 women in Al-Anbar); Cameroon (30); and Gombe (20). Last week’s brutal slaughter of twelve journalists and cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris was triggered by Muslim terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” and We are avenging the Prophet Mohammed“ as they sprayed bullets into their victims. That horrific assault, followed the next day by the murder of four hostages in a nearby kosher grocery store, provided an international litmus test of presidential leadership – and failure.

Even before the ghastly Paris attack Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, speaking at the thousand year-old Al-Azhar University that is revered as the intellectual home of scholarly Islam, delivered a prescient warning. Addressing an audience of imams, he called for a “religious revolution” under their leadership, in which the recent violent direction of Islam would be scrutinized. He boldly declared: “It is inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!”

Calling for “a more enlightened perspective,” he admonished his audience: “the entire world is waiting for your next move . . . because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands.” Egypt, where Jews were driven out after the birth of the State of Israel and Muslim Brotherhood leaders recently were routinely imprisoned, is hardly a paragon of multiculturalism. But al-Sisi’s presidential language may presage a more tolerant future.

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In France, when the Charlie Hebdo carnage was followed by the kosher grocery store murders as the Jewish Sabbath neared, President Francois Hollande explicitly identified and denounced the “appalling anti-Semitic act” that was also “a tragedy for the nation.” We must, he asserted, “be implacable towards racism.” He did not, however, mention “Islamic terrorism.”

While Parisians rallied in sorrow, proclaiming “Je suis Charlie” in identification with the slain journalists and cartoonists whose creativity had inspired Muslim terrorists to murder them, the Obama administration – all too predictably – dithered in denial and evasion. But it was only being consistent. Two years earlier the White House had staked out its position on Charlie Hebdo when spokesman Jay Carney stated: “We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory.” So much for freedom of the press, a message reinforced by President Obama later that year. Speaking before the United Nations, he warned: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”  About those who slaughtered Muhammad’s critics he had nothing to say.

Last week the first White House comments in response to the Paris atrocity came from spokesman Josh Earnest. Refusing to call the massacre an act of terrorism, he offered the predictable pabulum “Islam is a religion of peace” – and therefore should not be associated with the “extremists” in Paris – who just happened to be Muslims. When President Obama issued his own statement, in keeping with his inability to use the term “Islamic terrorism,” he simply referred to the attack as “terrorism.” Who committed the “terrorist attack” he declined to identify. That, to be sure, was an improvement over the administration’s classification of Major Nidal Hassan’s massacre of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood (2009) as “workplace violence” – although even his own attorney labeled it a “jihad.”

American denial does not stop at the White House. Few media outlets – whether newspapers or television news programs – dared to display the offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoons.  Perhaps it is time for Egyptian President al-Sisi to schedule a speaking tour in the United States.

Jerold S. Auerbach is a frequent contributor to The Algemeiner

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  • Lauren Goldman

    As far as Barak Hussein is concerned, terrorism done in the name of islam is a non-issue. If his favorite people are committing the atrocities, he won’t see them.

  • steven L

    The democrats and their president as a leader are nowhere to be found in the war against Islamists. Their real enemy is the US non-left and the Jews.

  • Fred

    Obama is the leader in denials and inventor of any excuse but the truth. One can see his Muslim upbringing prevents him from being truthful. Islamic fundamentalism is not on his horizon, thus he leads the world into darkness , no mater, every atrocity is committed in the name of Islam, under the flag of Islam with shout of Allah Akbar. To Obama : I hear nothing , I see nothing & I will say nothing fine upstanding President.

  • President Obama has fought against Sunnis. He organized the killing of Osama bin Laden, and he is currently fighting against ISIS. The Paris perpetrators were Sunnis, so one might expect Obama to have visited Paris as an expression of sympathy with the victims.
    President Obama has never opposed Shiites. I don’t understand why this should be, since he lived in Indonesia, a Sunni country, and had a father from Kenya, another Sunni country. Be that as it may, Obama is trying to negotiate a treaty with Iran. Even though Iran is Shiite, it sympathizes with the murderers who acted in Paris. Perhaps Obama is afraid that a visit to Paris would close negotiations with Iran about their atomic weapons.

  • Emmett

    Why does the president of France object to terrorism all of a sudden? Didn’t he just support the PLO as being a legitimate “nation”? Every competent person in the world knows that the primary & only product the PLO produces is bombs & the only service they provide is terrorism. That is the only reason why the Arab nations invented them. It’s a little late to start acting dumb. The nations want to keep rabid dogs around for pets to sick on others, but when they get bit in the ass by their own dogs, do you expect them to come clean and tell the truth? Same goes for Israel’s poor excuse of a government.

  • ilene

    I expect nothing less from an organization that chooses to honor hater and racist Donald Trump. Frankly, Algemeiner, you disgust me. Do you have Freaking CLUE what it takes for the President to travel? I know it would make you very happy for the President to be shot at, but it ain’t worth it. donald trump or our President. You have chosen – and you have chosen hate. You are an embarrassment to Jews.

    • Scotty, one to beam up. Not Ilene

      Planet Earth calling Ilene, where are you? Or better yet, where is your head?

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Obama – the great self-inflicted American wound.

  • THANK YOU

  • BARBARA SHABO

    Perhaps President Obama doesn’t want to offend the Rev. Wright or Louis Farrakhan.

  • Greater Israel belongs to the Jewish people under International Law!
    The Jewish People’s historical right to the land of Greater Israel had been recognized by the international community and upheld by the rule of public international law.
    Any view that contradicts this statement is pure distortion of the facts and history.
    Israel is not obliged to support the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan river alongside Israel and it must not concede to any such arrangement or the security and survival of Israel will be compromised.
    The Oslo Agreements (which is now null and void) were made with a view to enhance “a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” Yet, since their coming into effect the Middle East has witnessed not peace but more violence of the worst kind in recent history. As of today the Oslo agreement is null and void. The Arab Palestinians have not lived up to any of the agreement. The Arab Palestinians promote, preach and teach their children and the masses to create terror, violence and suicide bombing. Their only goal is the destruction of the Jewish State, read the Palestinian and Hamas Charter.
    The establishment of the Palestinian Authority should serve as a “guide to the bewildered” of the grave risks posed by such an Arab State, which may eventually lead to the destruction of the Jewish State. Any land for peace compromise by Israel has made the situation worse. Sadly, appeasement and concessions by Israel only aggravated the situation and increased violence. Israel must stand its ground, resist unjust world pressure and protect its citizens at all costs. Any concessions by Israel will only make the situation worse and bring about more violence and death, as the past experience has proven. The Summer of 2014 Gaza war only reaffirms the conviction that Israel must not under any circumstances concede any territory to the Arabs.
    Under public international law, Israel is entitled to diligently encourage and promote close Jewish settlement of the land of Israel, thereby realizing the principles set out by the San Remo Treaty of 1920 and the League of Nations in the original Mandate document. In 1922 in violation of the treaty, the British gave away 80% of the land allocated to the Jewish people and gave it to the Arabs to set-up a state that never existed in history. (The British wanted to protect their oil interests). After WWI, The Allied powers set up 21 Arab states and one Jewish state in the Mandate for Palestine at the San Remo Treaty of 1920. There was no allocation of the Mandate for Palestine to any other people or nation, only the Jewish people.
    In addition at that time, the Allied powers also allocated land for 21 Arab States and one Jewish State. If you questions Israel’s borders, you must question the 21 Arab States borders and Jordan. Therefore, you are not modifying any of the 21 Arab states and Jordan’s territory, you cannot modify Israel’s territory either. Only Israel via a treaty signed and executed by both parties with its neighbors can change the terms of the San Remo Treaty of 1920.
    It is also important to address the expulsion of over a million Jewish people from the Arab countries and the confiscation of assets, businesses, homes and land owned by Jewish people in the Arab countries, totaling over 120,000 sq. km. (5 times the size of Israel) valued in the trillions of dollars.
    The Jewish people resettled the million Jewish refugees from the Arab countries. It is about time the Arab countries who expelled the million Jewish people and confiscated their assets and land, must settle the Arab-Palestinian refugees once and for all without compromising Israel and bring about peace and tranquility to the region.
    Neither the U.N. nor any Country in the world has the authority to create a state or dissolve a state, (check the U.N. charter and international law.)
    A true peace will bring about an economic boom to the region of which the world has never seen before. It will raise the standard of living for all the people in the Middle East and accelerate peace and harmony.
    It will also divert the billions of dollars invested in war materials to be used to advance the economy, medical and social services and more.
    YJ Draiman

    • Jane

      Thank you for this amazing comment. It should be required reading for anyone who enters into a discussion about Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself. Why does the world continue to buy in to the Arab propaganda and refuse to believe the truth? If it is ok with you I am going to copy your comment and email it to all my adult children as well as nieces and nephews. I am going to suggest that they memorize it so that when they are confronted by hateful misinformed anti Semites and liberals who support our current president (I have trouble spelling out his name he is so evil) they will be able to shut them up. Thanks again for this. It made it easier to start my day.

      • HankinColorado

        Answer to your question…Why does the world continue to buy into Arab propaganda? Because much of the world is ignorant and they hate Jews.

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