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No Mention of Islam in U.S. Advisory on Terror Threats.

Thu, February 28, 2013

Travel warnings are regularly issued by the United States Department of State to alert travelers to any long-term protracted conditions that may make a country unstable or dangerous. These warnings, also referred to as "worldwide cautions," advise U.S. citizens about potential terror threats, especially kidnappings, targeted against them by any number of terrorist groups.

However, the term conspicuously missing from these advisories are the words "Muslim" or "Islam" when describing potential terror threats. This is despite the fact that nearly all the terrorist groups mentioned in the alerts are in fact extremists influenced by radical Islamists or Al-Qaeda. Another point that the alerts fail to note is that religion and ideology are the driving forces behind these anti-Western extremist groups. That is what makes them all the more dangerous.

In its 2006 report, the National Security Strategy (NSS) said "the struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century." In the latest updated version in 2010, the word "Islam" is nearly non-existent and is mentioned only twice, where it was written that the "U.S. was not fighting a war against Islam," and "that neither Islam nor any other religion condones the slaughter of innocents."

In the era of political correctness the directive from the Obama administration to the State Department has been to deemphasize the fact that these organizations are jihadists or radical Islamists who are driven by a particular interpretation of their faith. In fact, the State Department has continually refused to designate these organizations as "foreign terrorist organizations" and instead refers to them as "al-Qaeda and its affiliates."   

The worldwide cautions also fail to mention that in some countries, such as Iraq and Nigeria, the terror organizations mainly target Christians and their churches. A typical example is the terror group Boko Haram operating in Nigeria. Its declared intent is to cleanse northern Nigeria of Christians.

In their response to the latest NSS report experts from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue that the administration was not helping in the fight against Islamist terrorism by not recognizing the religious motivation behind it. They claim that it has become clear that America is at war with a larger enemy, the extremist ideology that fuels and supports Islamist violence.

Experts at the Institute say that the United States is unfortunately not well enough equipped to fight on this ideological battleground, and U.S. efforts to confront the ideology worldwide have not kept pace with the more successful military targeting of high-level Al-Qaeda leaders.

In their report, the experts at the Institute also said that the government must declare that it is not Islam that they consider the danger, but rather the perverted version of the religion perpetuated by the radical extremists. Everybody must realize that all the individuals involved in the recently exposed plots against the United States were infused with those radical teachings.

The Washington Institute strategic report also argues that "To successfully defeat Islamist terrorism at its most fundamental source, rather than avoid any mention of the religious motivation behind the terrorism of al-Qaeda and other similar organizations, the Obama administration should sharpen the distinction between the religion of Islam and the political ideology of radical Islamism."