We've tried "radical Islam," "extremist Islam," "fundamentalist Islam," and "sharia Islam." Inevitably, political correctness gave us "political Islam." Now, ironically, under the guise of correcting an even worse case of political correctness, comes what we might call "Bon Jovi Islam." Its proponent, Sen. Joe Lieberman, is halfway there and livin' on a prayer.
Sen. Lieberman's Wall Street Journal essay "Who's the Enemy in the War on Terror?" gets it halfway right. He is justifiably dismayed over the Obama administration's whitewashing of the Islamist part of Islamist terror. The president, he elaborates, "rightly reaffirms that America remains a nation at war," but self-defeatingly "refuses to identify our enemy." For Lieberman, the administration's preferred claim that we are at war with "violent extremism," is absurd. Our foe, in truth, is a particular, identifiable component of the Muslim world.
All exactly right . . . except that Lieberman proceeds to do the very thing he accuses Obama of doing: miniaturizing the threat. The enemy, he pronounces, is "violent Islamist extremism." He diagnoses its cause to be "a terrorist political ideology" that "exploits" what most Muslims, according to Lieberman, understand to be "the enormous difference between their faith" and this ideology's tenets.