A lie conceals the truth. And ugly but hidden truths never have a chance of being acknowledged, addressed, and ultimately ameliorated.
Because of this simple truism, one of the greatest lies of our age—that violence committed in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam—has made an intrinsically weak Islam the scourge of the modern world, with no signs of relief on the horizon.
One of the latest manifestations of this lie took place in Pakistan. On Easter Sunday, March 27, a suicide bombing took place near the children rides of a public park, where Christians were congregated and celebrating the resurrection of their Lord. At least 74 people—mostly Christian women and children—were killed and nearly 400 injured. "There was human flesh on the walls of our house," recalled a witness.
Who—or what—was responsible for this assault? "We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter," said Jamaatul Ahraar, a splinter group of the Taliban. In a media statement, the group said it had "deliberately targeted the Christian community," adding that "we had been waiting for this occasion."
The Taliban and its affiliates are not alone. Click here, here, here, here, and here for numerous examples of similarly lethal attacks on Christians celebrating Christmas or Easter by other Islamic groups and individuals around the world who also "had been waiting for this occasion." Even "the terror cell that struck in Brussels [last month, killing 34] was planning to massacre worshipers at Easter church services across Europe, including Britain, intelligence chiefs believe."
Western media portray Islamic terrorist groups as temporal, localized problems.
Still, connecting the dots and understanding what binds all Islamic terrorist groups is a big no-no for the so-called mainstream media. The problem, we will be told, is the "Taliban," which "has nothing to do with Islam." Rather, it's a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.
Meanwhile, about 5,000 miles west of Taliban territory, in Nigeria, Christians are also under attack. Indeed, according to a new report, since 2000, some 12,000 Christians have been slaughtered for their faith and 13,000 churches destroyed. Just last month, over 500 Christians were butchered.
According to the official narrative, something called "Boko Haram" is responsible. This is another group that defines itself exclusively according to Islam; another group that habitually bombs churches during Christmas and Easter; and another group that, we are told, "has nothing to do with Islam," but rather is a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.
About 5,000 miles west of Nigeria, in the U.S., Americans were told that something called "al-Qaeda" attacked and killed 3,000 of their countrymen on 9/11; defeating that finite group would cease the terror. Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed, and victory loudly proclaimed—except that an even more savage manifestation, this time called the "Islamic State" (it too "has nothing to do with Islam") came on the scene and has gone further than al-Qaeda could've ever dreamed, in great part thanks to the Obama administration.
It gets worse. The problem is not only that the media and decision-makers refuse to connect the dots and insist on treating each of the aforementioned groups as disparate, finite groups with different motivations—none of which has to do with Islam. The problem is that regular Muslims who are not called "Taliban," "Boko Haram," "al-Qaeda," "ISIS," ad infinitum commit similar acts, and much more frequently, though this is rarely ever mentioned by the MSM.
Thus, although the "Taliban" was behind the recent Easter Day massacre, it is everyday Muslims who discriminate against, persecute, enslave, rape and sometimes murder Christians every day in Pakistan (click here for a typical month); it was everyday Muslims who burned a young Christian couple alive due to unsubstantiated rumors that they had insulted Muhammad.
Those who slaughtered 500 Christians last month in Nigeria were not "Boko Haram" but rather unaffiliated (but Muslim) herdsmen. Likewise, "Northern Muslim political and religious elite are also major actors of targeted violence towards the Christian minority."
Although ISIS claimed the Brussels attack, it is everyday Muslims who ban, burn, bomb, and urinate on Christian churches, and who, as in Pakistan and other Muslim majority nations, target non-Muslim European women for rape on the basis that they are subhuman "infidels."
Terrorists aside, Muslims in general engage in frequent acts of violence and intolerance against non-Muslims.
This is the real issue. While the media may name the terrorist groups responsible for especially spectacular attacks—followed by the customary admonitions that they "have nothing to do with Islam"—few dare acknowledge that Muslims in general engage in similar acts of violence and intolerance against non-Muslims. According to a recent study, Muslims —of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, hardly just "terror groups"—are responsible for persecuting Christians in 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in.
These statistics are consistent with a recent Pew poll finding that, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS. Similarly, 81% of respondents to a recent Al Jazeera poll supported the Islamic State.
In sum, what "extremist" "terrorist" and "militant" groups (that "have nothing to do with Islam") are doing is but the tip of the iceberg of what Muslims are doing all around the world. (See "Muslim Persecution of Christians," reports which I've been compiling every month since July 2011 and witness the nonstop discrimination, persecution, and carnage committed by "everyday" Muslims against Christians. Each monthly report contains dozens of atrocities, any of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive 24/7 blanket coverage.)
Media aren't just covering up for Islam by pretending that the spectacular attacks committed by Islamic groups on non-Muslims "have nothing to do with Islam." They are covering up for Islam by failing to report the everyday persecution non-Muslims experience at the hands of everyday Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim police, and Muslim governments (including America's closest "friends and allies")—not just Muslim "terrorists."
Because of these entrenched lies, the world must continue to suffer from Islamic terror. Not only have these lies allowed countless innocents to be persecuted into oblivion in the Muslim world, but they have allowed the same persecution to enter America and Europe, most recently via mass immigration.
The fact remains: an ugly truth must first be acknowledged before it can be remedied. It may be hard to acknowledge an ugly truth—that Islam, not "radical Islam," promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims—but anything less will just continue to feed the lie, that is, continue to feed the jihad and terror.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.