Wittingly or not, Donald Trump has once more identified the prime issue in U.S. – Middle East relations and a key issue in both legal and illegal immigration.
In an interview with CNN Host Anderson Cooper, Trump stated frankly that he believes that Islam hates us. Below is my transcript of the initial question posed by Cooper, Trump’s response, Cooper’s clarifying question, and Trump’s added response:
COOPER: “Do you think Islam is at war with the West?”
TRUMP: “I think Islam hates us. There’s something [pause], there’s something there tha- that is a tremendous hatred there. There is a tremendous hatred there. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us.” [Trump begins another word but Cooper interrupts to ask his qualifying question based on Trump’s last sentence.]
COOPER: “In Islam itself?”
TRUMP: “You’re going to have to figure that out, okay? You’ll get another Pulitzer [Prize for Journalism], right? But you’re going to have to figure that out. But there is a tremendous hatred. And we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful, and we can’t allow people coming in to this country who have this hatred of the United States and- and- and of people who are not Muslim.”
COOPER: [After initially talking over Trump’s last sentence]: I guess the question is, is there a war between the West and radical Islam, or is there a war between the West and Islam itself?”
TRUMP [After stopping the start of his answer to Cooper’s last question before Cooper had finished asking it]: “It’s radical, but it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to- to separate because you don’t know who’s who.”
The buzzards of political correctness are once again putting us at risk and vilifying Trump for what they consider a bigoted and divisive statement. Trump’s statement comes on the heels of his proposal to temporarily ban all Muslim entry into the United States until effective vetting procedures are established.
Lost in such derision lies the fact that many, if not perhaps an overwhelming majority, of Americans get the same impression. The media itself has reported constantly since Iran took American hostages in the late 1970s the remarks of a variety of Islamic leaders and protesters pronouncing, shouting, or holding high banners that proclaim the United States is “the Great Satan”, “Death to America”, “Behead Those Who Insult Islam”.
Protesters in the Middle East have burned the flag of the United States repeatedly. News Reports have shown or revealed to Americans and Westerners cruel acts of ritual mutilation of female genitalia, the rape and or molestation of women and young children, the senseless brutalizing of al Quaeda and ISIS victims, beheadings of innocent people and children, including many Westerners, sneak attacks and bombings of school buses and stores and other public places, endlesss wars, and cruel genocides of Christians.
Buddhists aren’t committing these acts against Americans or the West. Confucians are committing these acts against them. Hindus aren’t committing these acts against them. Atheists aren’t committing these acts against them, etc.
In vilifying Trump, the media, politicians, and pundits vilify Americans: we who observe the same difficulty and think and speak frankly. They not only stifle free speech, they stifle and manipulate the natural thoughts and feelings that arise from witnessing such empirical realities. We begin to throttle the natural course of human feeling and reasoning within ourselves because we are told it’s inappropriate, wrong, and un-American. When that doesn’t work, the political correctors create “hate” laws to make sure they suppress free expression. It’s like Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
Most importantly, we lose sight of the identification of the problem, the resolution of it, and of the affirmation of our Americanness.
Americans stand for liberty. Therefore, we stand against those who oppose liberty and who would do violence to our foundational principle of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If our Founding Fathers waged war against the tyranny of the Mother Country, how much more should we, receiving the torch they have passed on to us, wage war against those who seek our personal destruction, the destruction of our faith, in whatever that may be, and the destruction of liberty?
So the specific identification that needs to be made, and to which Trump spoke in his interview, is what lies in Islam that plays a role for so many of its adherents, actively or passively, to hate Westerners, and Americans in particular, and to incite Muslims to a savage frenzy. There may be other, contributing factors to their displeasure. At the root, however, is there something essential to Islam that breeds fanatical hatred in its followers?
The unwillingness to deal with this question riles American citizens who have heard or read that The Koran is littered with core religious tenets that promote hatred and violence against Americans, Westerners, and non-Muslims generally.
I have written previously that one may perform a DuckDuckGo search of “verses of violence in The Koran” to find reliable websites that can help answer that question. I will offer just a few below for the readers’ consideration.
I own a Penguin Classics edition of The Koran, translated by N. J. Dawood, an Iraqi Jew born in Baghdad who became a translator of Arabic classics like The Koran and the Thousand and One Nights. The edition I own is from 1999, contains an introduction, a note to the general reader, a chronology of events in Muhammad’s life, the main text of 114 chapters or surahs, some of which are less than a page long and others longer, some notes, and an index.
Keeping in mind the difficulties inherent in translation and the context of what is written, the sitz-im-leben of the author/speaker and any intervening redactors, I will attempt to present some verses honestly and accurately.
I do not condemn any person who thinks differently from me; as a freeman, I reserve the right to condemn actions that threaten, harm, or destroy the lives of me and my fellow citizens, and I make no apology for that. Elected and appointed officials owe Americans a duty to protect them, to consider and promote their interests and well-being before those of any others. That’s the basis for and the purpose of the formation of our American government.
So, when Trump states “I think Islam hates us” and that “there is a tremendous hatred there”, is he correct?
This is from the chapter called “The Spoils” and begins at what is marked 8:12 through about 8:16:
God revealed his will to the angels, saying, “I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads! Strike off the very tips of their fingers!”
That was because they defied God and his apostle. He that defies God and his apostle shall be sternly punished by God. We said to them, “Taste this. The scourge of the Fire awaits the unbelievers.”
Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except for tactical reasons, or to join another band, he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home, an evil fate.
It was not you, but God, who slew them.
Let’s break this down, admitting that with more knowledge and scholarship, our understanding may change.
First, because these verses reveal God’s will, they relieve the Muslim of moral responsibility for his actions. God directs the angels, who in turn encourage the believers. God casts terror into the hearts of infidels. The believer decapitates the infidels, but it is God who slays them.
Second, the objects of wrath deserve the terror and horrible deaths they receive. They are infidels in relation to Islam, kind of like a bed-hopping wife is an infidel in relation to her husband. Infidel comes from the Latin infidelis, “in” (not) “fidelis” (faithful). Contrast that with the Marine Corps. motto, semper fidelis, shortened to “semper fi”, always faithful. In the eyes of the Muslim, those who do not believe in Islam defy God and his apostle with their infidelity. Not only must the infidel taste horrible torture and slaughter here on Earth, he can expect more in the next life, where the scourge of the Fire waits to engulf him.
Third, failure to comply with the directive to torture and slaughter itself merits damnation. The only reason a Muslim should walk away from a fight is to regroup or to gain a tactical advantage. If he walks away for any other reason, he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home.
Pretty strong stuff, eh?
So when Trump judiciously, if not grammatically, says that “Islam hates us”, he identifies a prime if murky problem for our representatives, one that is not helped or solved by the venom of the adherents of political correctness who terrorize our thought and speech and whose emotional instability propels them and the nation to rash judgment. Nor is it solved by pretending what The Koran says is not what The Koran says.
We should not avoid the problem out of fear, but we should engage in a healthy national debate. Do Muslims believe those verses are true, or do they now, in the 21st century, reject them? Are the so-called radical Muslims really radical, or do they just believe exactly what The Koran says?
Those are essential questions.
We should address the problem honestly and openly and rationally and, when needed, with emphatic and successful military force, with the eye toward affirming and securing our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Down with the buzzards of political correctness! Let’s answer the question of whether Islam fosters hate, torture, and murder. If the asnwer is affirmative, we take the appropriate actions that protect American citizens.