Wednesday, January 28, 2015

et ceteras

My long-winded January 22nd post was about the nature of Islam and what we should do to defend against jihad. On January 24th, Andrew McCarthy published an article that included something I did not mention, but which we should bear in mind.

In his own words: "One major misconception is that Islamists (i.e., Islamic supremacists or Muslims who want sharia implemented) demand that all non-Muslims convert to Islam... In reality, sharia explicitly invites the presence of non-Muslims provided that they submit to the authority of Islamic rule...because sharia calls on these submissive non-Muslims (dhimmis) to pay a poll tax (jizya), their continued presence (is) of economic importance in lands conquered by Islamic rulers... The point of imposing sharia -- the reason it is the necessary precondition for building an Islamic society -- is to make Islam the dominant social system, not the exclusive faith. The idea is that once sharia's systematic discrimination against non-Muslims is in place, non-Muslims will see the good sense of becoming Muslims. Over time, every one will convert 'without coercion.' The game is to set up an extortionate incentive for conversion while maintaining the smiley-face assurance that no one is being forced to convert at the point of a sword."

McCarthy's entire piece can be read here.

Who'd've thunk?
If you are alive, you've heard the refrain that "today's kids" or "the next generation" are selfish, spoiled, soft, promiscuous, predisposed to violence, addicted to ____, etc. Every version of "today's kids" and "the next generation" gets talked about the same, and what gets said is often rubbish. 

The Millennial Generation (the one comprised of people who are right now in or near the 20-to-35 age range) has received loads of criticism, including an overdose amount alleging that most of its members are infused with a entitlement mentality. However, a column published this week by Michael Barone shows there is a lot about the Millennial Generation that should make us feel optimistic about the future. The gist is that, through this point in their collective lives, millennials have generated much lower crime rates and much better personal behavior than could be said about the last few generations at the same stage in their collective lives. And, this is true despite millennials having been raised in conditions that usually produce more crime and worse personal behavior. Go here to read Barone's take.

Super Bowl XLIX will be played on Sunday and will pit the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks. Right now everyone is obsessing that balls used by the Patriots were underinflated during the first half of the AFC Championship Game.

The word "cheaters" is being used by millions of people, including journalists, when they talk about the Patriots. However, no one is mentioning the fact that over the last five seasons, the Seahawks have had more players suspended for performance enhancing drugs than every other team in the NFL. Those five seasons are the precise period during which Pete Carroll has been the Seahawks' head coach.

Likewise, millions of people are bringing up Spygate to accuse Bill Belichick of being unscrupulous, yet no one is bringing up the scandals that tainted Pete Carroll's time at USC to accuse him of being unscrupulous.

In case you've forgotten, the rules violations when Carroll was head coach at USC resulted in it being stripped of its 2004 national championship, stripped of 30 scholarships, banned from bowl games for two years, and forced to forfeit every victory from its 2005 conference championship season. The program still has not recovered from the sanctions. Like Belichick, Carroll pled ignorance; but unlike Belichick, he abandoned ship by leaving USC to take the Seahawks' job shortly before the findings and penalties were announced. 

I'm just sayin'.

American Sniper
This feels like my most important entry so I saved it for last. Yes, American Sniper is that good. I saw it on a Wednesday night and the theater was crowded. And if you will forgive me for indulging in some emotion that is very unbecoming, may I say that Michael Moore is a despicable human being with few brains, hollow balls, and, as far as I can tell, no redeeming qualities?

American Sniper does not come close to "glorifying" war. It portrays our soldiers not as simpleton choir boys, but as decent human beings struggling to cope with searing complexities most of us will never have to face. The movie does not paper over the psychological trauma that battle imposes on young men, nor does it paper over the deleterious effect that that trauma imposes on their families. And contrary to what Moore and his ilk would have you believe, it does give deference to the fact that good people can and will have disagreements about our involvement in Iraq.

Of course, Moore is far from alone in attacking American Sniper without having seen it; and sadly, he is not alone when it comes to engaging in character assassination against the late Chris Kyle. Many members of America's smug, pampered, jet-setting Left have done the same, and in many instances they have ridiculed those who choose to watch American Sniper. But Moore is the most prominent "critic" and it was he who suggested Kyle was a coward simply because he was a sniper -- a charge that is false on its face, and even more false when you consider that Kyle also engaged in ground-level, thick-of-things soldiering alongside everybody else. 

I find myself angry that Moore's slovenly, ill-willed, ungrateful self is still walking the planet while Kyle's kids are rendered fatherless. Perhaps he appreciates the freedom of speech that his betters gave their lives to preserve, but unfortunately, he has no respect for it. If he did, he would not abuse it by continuing to slander those with whom he does not agree. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Know your enemy (and your friend)

Islam's war against non-Islam in general, and the West in particular, began long before September 11, 2001.

Way back in 1786 -- just three years after the American Revolutionary War came to an end, and two years before the U.S. Constitution was ratified -- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, who was an envoy of the Karamanli Dynasty of Tripolitania. Tripolitania was one of the Islamic states on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and its capital was the ancient city of Tripoli. At the time, a 2,800-mile stretch of that shore, continuing around the northwestern horn of Africa, was known as the Berber Coast. The four states which occupied the Berber Coast (Tripolitania, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco) were known as the Barbary States.

Piracy was the terrorism of the day, and for almost 1,000 years Islamic pirates from the Berber Coast had already been plundering non-Muslim ships and murdering and enslaving their crews in the name of Allah. Their marauding dates back at least as far as 824 A.D. (or C.E., if you prefer) -- a year which predates the Crusades by more than two centuries, and stands almost 500 years closer to the birth of Christ than to the present. Those so-called Barbary Pirates already occupied Crete, Cyprus, Sicily, and parts of Italy before the year 900 rolled around.

As the centuries unfolded they expanded their terror beyond the Mediterranean, eventually raiding Ireland and Iceland. In the 1600's they made their way completely across the Atlantic, ruthlessly seizing Western ships along the route between Gibraltar and the Caribbean, and spending time at anchor in harbors of the Caribbean isles. Their most frequent targets were ships from England and Spain, and in two of their especially productive periods, England lost 466 ships to them between 1609 and 1616 and more than 160 ships between 1677 and 1680.

It is good that the phrase "Barbary Pirates" is still known, even by quite a few people who are products of our inadequate public education systems. However, very few of those people know that the Barbary Pirates were Muslims who cited their faith to justify their actions.

But back to that meeting Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. They inquired as to why his country specifically and the Barbary Pirates in general were attacking the ships of American merchants in international waters; and as Jefferson and Adams reported to the Third Continental Congress, Adja responded by saying "it was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave."

Ponder that. Adja made no mention of economic reasons, or of anything having been done to his people that might provoke a response. Instead, he went straight to the Koran and described terror not merely as a right that Islam's adherents could indulge, but as a "duty" they must indulge. Sound familiar?

Flip a couple pages forward in your history books, and you will find that the first declared war in which the United States became involved was against the Barbary Pirates and their state sponsors (there's another resemblance to the 2000's). Known as the First Barbary War, it was waged from 1801 to 1805 and won by the U.S. after a rousing victory in the Battle of Derne, which happened to be the first overseas land battle in which U.S. forces ever fought. That battle is what the Marine Corps hymn is recalling when it says "to the shores of Tripoli."

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But as you might have guessed, the Barbary Pirates did not go away just because a peace treaty was signed. Ten years later the Second Barbary War erupted, and unlike the First Barbary War, in which the Swedish Navy fought alongside ours, we had to go it alone the second time around. Sound familiar?

Of course, Islamic attacks against those who uphold Western values did not cease after the Second Barbary War, only to start back up two centuries later when Al-Qaeda hijackers flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Consider:

In 1915, two Muslims from what is now Pakistan gunned down people traveling to an annual New Year's picnic in Australia. Later that day the attackers were killed in a 90-minute gun battle with police. One of them was a 60-year-old imam known as Mullah Abdulla, and the other a 40-year-old ice cream vendor named Badsha Mahommed Gool. In anticipation of his martyrdom, Gool placed a letter in his waistband which read "I must kill you and give my life for my faith, Allahu Akbar." Sound familiar?

During the war between France and Algeria that ran from 1954 to 1962, Algerian terrorists, who considered Islam to be the main foundation of their country, carried out bombings against ordinary French policemen instead of engaging the French military.

From 1948 all the way up to this hour, everyday citizens of the tiny nation of Israel have been the target of so many Islamic terrorist attacks -- from mass shootings to suicide bombings to random missile launches -- that it's impossible to keep track of them. Yet the media tends to criticize the terrorists less than it criticizes those they target despite the things I mentioned here last July.

And of course there was the 1983 barracks bombing in Beirut, as well as the 1983 embassy bombing in Beirut ... And a bombing of the Champs Elysses on February 3, 1986, along with a thwarted attempt to bomb the Eiffel Tower that same day ... And the West Berlin discotheque bombing two months later ... And the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 ... And the first bombing of the World Trade Center, in 1993, which many seem to have forgotten because the death toll was low and the towers didn't collapse ... Then there were the simultaneous bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.

And, lest anybody think that 9/11 ushered in an era in which Islamic terrorists have been warring only with the U.S. and Israel, I hasten to mention the Madrid train bombings of 2004; London subway and bus bombings of 2005; Boko Haram's slaughtering of 8,000 Christians in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon since 2009; death threats against Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, which culminated with a Somali Muslim breaking into his house in 2010 and attempting to murder him with an axe; plus the November 2011 firebombing of the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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Which naturally brings us to this month's massacre at the very same offices of the very same Charlie Hebdo. Among the magazine's personnel who lost their lives was editor/cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, who once said "we can't live in a country without freedom of speech, I prefer to die than to live like a rat."

Those words tingle the spine now that Islamists have killed Charbonnier for lesser reasons than people kill rats. Islamists resort to guns and bombs and swords to rid the world of non-violent humans simply because those humans don't worship an Arabian who lived 1,400 years ago and claimed to be a prophet. And these Islamists do not pull their justification out of thin air -- rather, they point to what is taught in highly respected Islamic universities and untold numbers of mosques around the globe. When they kill cartoonists and call upon their followers to do the same, they do so not because they are insane, but because sharia law states that any visual depiction of Mohammed is punishable by death.

Over the last 13 years, countless hours have been spent criticizing the politically correct tick that drives so many of our politicians and opinion-shapers to call Islam a "religion of peace." I won't rehash the criticisms here, other than to say how ridiculous it looks when non-Muslims like George W. Bush and Barack Obama alike (and Donald Rumsfeld and Howard Dean alike) pretend to be experts on Islam by saying it teaches the opposite of what millions of real Muslims say it teaches.

We aren't stupid. We know you guys aren't Muslim, and therefore we think it's better to get our info about the Muslim faith from those who actually belong to it. And every time we look, internationally renowned leaders of that faith are refusing to condemn terrorism if not outright promoting it.

I know there are non-violent, peace-loving Muslims, but where is the evidence that they represent the mainstream of Islamic thought? If they do represent the mainstream, why is Islamist terrorism so prevalent and why is there so little opposition to it in the Muslim world?

In the West, there is a knee-jerk tendency to use the phrase "radical Islam" when referring to Islamic teaching that encourages jihad. Another knee-jerk tendency is to use the word "extremist" (rather than "terrorist") when referring to those who respond to such teaching by doing exactly what it tells them to do. I think it is time to turn the verbiage around by using "radical" to describe any Islamic teaching that calls for peace and tolerance; and by using "extremist" to describe those Muslims who openly practice peace and tolerance.

The word "extremist" does not equal "bad," and I find it disturbing that so many people assume it does. What matters is what you mean when you say it. I am reminded of Barry Goldwater's most famous line, which, unfortunately, rarely gets quoted in its entirety: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

I think of Martin Luther King. In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," he wrote of how he was at first disappointed to be called "extreme," for he knew he was standing "in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community... One is a force of complacency... The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence." Then he went on to explain how he "gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love... Was not Amos an extremist for justice... Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel... Was not Martin Luther an extremist... And Abraham Lincoln... And Thomas Jefferson... So the question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremist we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?"

Muslims who speak out against jihad and oppose the vicious tenets of sharia law do so at enormous peril. In the eyes of influential Islamic clerics and scholars, they are guilty of the crime of apostasy; and a majority of Islamic scholars, along with powerful Islamic governments, consider apostasy to be punishable by death. Thus, Muslims who speak out are the true extremists because they are putting their lives on the line to support something larger than themselves.

As MLK alluded, it is extremists, not moderates, who drive historical change. With that in mind, I think it is time to give peace-loving, tolerance-preaching Muslims the appellation and respect they deserve by referring to them as "extreme" and "radical." Doing that is crucial if we intend to win the War on Terror, and it requires us to declare that well-known Muslims who don't denounce violence are enemies of civilization. In other words, it requires something President Obama has spent his life refusing to do and which most American journalists are too timid to do.

*     *     *     *     *

Nonetheless, if there has ever been a time when the modern world's political and social climate was primed to identify peace-and-love Islam "extreme" and the rest of Islam a menace, it is now.

If there is any good to come from this month's Charlie Hebdo massacre, it's that it has awakened most of America's center left and most of Europe to the danger posed by the world's swelling numbers of Islamists. In the massacre's wake, 1.5 million people converged in Paris on January 11th for the Unity March. Among them were the leaders of more than 40 nations walking arm in arm, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German President Angela Merkel, and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Charlie Hebdo responded by ballsily putting another drawing of Mohammed on the cover of its very next issue.

On top of that, there are actual Muslims in prominent positions who have recently stuck their necks out by publicly rebuking their violent co-religionists. These actual Muslims include Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.

On December 28th, ten days before the Charlie Hebdo massacre, al-Sisi spoke at Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque. Built in the 970's and named after Mohammed's daughter, it ranks as the first mosque in one of the world's key Islamic cities. Also, it is the home of the second oldest continuously running university on Earth, Al-Azhar University, which is considered to be the world's foremost institution for the study of sharia law. In other words, Al-Azhar ain't no run-of-the-mill mosque, and when al-Sisi went within its walls and said the following, directly to major Islamic clerics, the media should have treated it like the revolutionary international event it was:

"Perhaps the problem lies in ideology, and this ideology is sanctified among us... I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics. We must take a long, hard look at the current situation... I am referring not to 'religion,' but to 'ideology' -- the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries... It has reached the point that this ideology is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion could kill the world's population of 7 billion so that they could live on their own?... May Allah bear witness on Judgment Day to the truth of your intentions, regarding what I say to you today. You cannot see things clearly when you are locked in this ideology. You must emerge from it and look from the outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We must revolutionize our religion."

Then al-Sisi concluded his remarks by directly addressing Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and saying: "Honorable Imam, you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition."

Nine days later, on the evening of January 6th, al-Sisi made an unannounced visit at a Coptic Christian Cathedral in Cairo for its Christmas Eve Mass (January 7th is the date on which Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas). Standing beside Coptic Pope Tawadros II and greeted by applause from the parishioners, he spoke briefly and declared: "It was necessary to come and tell you Merry Christmas, and I hope I haven't disturbed your prayers... It's important for the world to see this scene... We will love each other for real, so that people may see."

Some 2,000 miles to the northwest, the words spoken by Rotterdam's mayor following the Charlie Hebdo massacre were soon to make a stir within his nation. And they should still be making a stir, not only within its borders but well beyond them. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and Muslims, many of whom are immigrants, account for 13 percent of its population.

As you might recall, the Netherlands has had its share of problems with Islamist violence, most notably the murder of Theo van Gogh by Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri sliced van Gogh's throat, stabbed him in the chest so deep that the knife reached his spine, and attached a note to his body threatening Western nations and Jews. But that did not prevent Ahmed Aboutaleb, who was born in Morocco and is the son of an imam, from being freely elected to lead the nation's second largest city; and Aboutaleb responded to the Charlie Hebdo massacre by going on TV and passionately telling Islamists that "if you don't like this freedom, for Heaven's sake, get your suitcase and leave... Don't kill innocent journalists. And if you don't like it here because you don't like the humorists who make a little newspaper, if I dare say so, just fuck off."

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Then there is the case of Raif Badawi, a 31-year-old blogger from Saudi Arabia who is married and has three children. His blog (whose title has been translated as Saudi Free Liberals Forum and also as Free Saudi Liberals) was created to feature his own opinions as well as the opinions of others who posted on it.

Badawi was critical of Riyadh's Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, which he accused of being "a den for terrorists." Among his own thoughts that he posted are these:

"As soon as a thinker starts to reveal his ideas, you will find hundreds of fatwas that accuse him of being an infidel just because he had the courage to discuss some sacred topics. I'm really worried that Arab thinkers will migrate in search of fresh air and to escape the sword of the religious authorities."

" the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the Third World and into the First World."

"I'm not in support of the Israeli occupation of any Arab state, but at the same time I do not want to replace Israel with a religious state...whose main concern would be spreading the culture of death and ignorance among its people when we need modernization and hope. States based on religious ideology...have nothing except the fear of God and an inability to face up to life. Look at what happened after the European peoples succeeded in removing the clergy from government life and restricting them to their churches. They built up human beings and enlightenment, creativity and rebellion. States which are based on religion confine their people in the circle of faith and fear."

Opining about the 9/11 attacks and the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque, Badawi wrote that "what hurts me most as a citizen of the area which exported those the audacity of Muslims in New York that reaches the limits of insolence, not taking any regard of the thousands of victims who perished on that fateful day or their families. What increases my pain is this chauvinist arrogance which claims that innocent blood, shed by barbarian, brutal minds under the slogan 'Allahu Akbar,' means nothing compared to the act of building an Islamic mosque... Suppose we put ourselves in the place of American citizens. Would we accept that a Christian or Jew assaults us in our own house and then builds a church or synagogue in the same area of the attack?"

He continued: "...we should not hide the fact that Muslims in Saudi Arabia not only disrespect the beliefs of others, but also charge them with infidelity to the extent that they consider anyone who is not Muslim an infidel, and, within their own narrow definitions, they consider non-Hanbali Muslims as apostates. How can we be such people and build...normal relations with 6 billion humans, 4.5 billion of whom do not believe in Islam?"

About the uprising in Egypt that overthrew the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, Bawari wrote that is was "a revolution, led by studens and the marginalized, a revolution in every sense of the word...not only in the history and geography of Egypt but everywhere that is governed by the Arab mentality of dictatorship and security. It is not yet clear whether Egypt is about to change, but it is our hope that a new Egypt will emerge from the painful birth pangs its people are experiencing...after years of subservience and oppression."

In May 2012 Badawi gave his own definition of liberalism. Many of us who glean our definitions through the prism of contemporary American politics will recognize the definition as being more in line with "individualism" or "libertarianism," but that's irrelevant to his life, and here is what he wrote: "For me, liberalism simply means live and let live. This is a splendid slogan." Regarding the Islamic despots who rule his nation, he went on to state that "they have succeeded in planting hostility to liberalism in the minds of the public and turning people against it, lest the carpet be pulled out from under their feet. But their hold over people's minds and society will vanish like dust carried off in the wind."

One month later he was arrested by the Saudi government and his blog was eradicated. In court he declared that Islam is his religion, but that he believes every person is free to make up his or her own mind where religion is concerned.

Although he was not found guilty of apostasy, for which he would have received the death penalty, he was found guilty of "insulting Islam," "going beyond the realm of obedience," "ridiculing Islamic religious figures," and establishing an Internet forum that "violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought." As punishment, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes with a whip, and fined one million riyal.

The 1,000 lashes are being carried out in stages over a 20-week period which began this January 9th: Every Friday for 20 consecutive weeks, he is taken to a public square, tied to a post, and flogged 50 times with a leather whip -- all because he moved his fingers and lips in ways that the Islamic leaders of his country do not approve.

Plus, there is this: After Badawi's trial and sentencing were completed, his attorney, Waleed Abulkhair, was arrested and thrown in jail. The stated reason was that he had "set up an unlicensed organization" and "broken allegiance with the ruler" when he established an entity to monitor human rights. Ultimately, Abulkhair was deemed guilty of "undermining the regime and officials," "inciting public opinion," and "insulting the judiciary." He was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by a 15-year ban on travelling.

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These people are brave souls who are on our side, the side of civilization. So where are America's media and politicians when it comes to their stories?

Why is our State Department not likening President al-Sisi's speech at Al-Azhar to Martin Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses at All Saints' Church?

Why is it that our newspapers aren't hailing Mayor Aboutaleb as a stalwart opponent of theocracy and defender of liberty?

Why is your average U.S. citizen less likely to have even heard of Raif Badawi, than he is to believe that Michael Brown was blameless in the events that resulted in him being shot by Darren Wilson?

Why aren't our politicians publicly praising Badawi's name? He took a risk for a greater good and is now paying a savage, unjust price -- and our leaders, including our president, prefer to "act" by slinking behind closed doors and whispering ineffectively about him to the Saudis. Does transparently advocating for this wronged man, and using his situation to push world opinion and action in the direction of justice, not count as standing on that "right side of history" Obama likes to blather about?

Given the world's mood, the time is ripe to turn the tide of the War on Terror at this very moment, and we as a nation must not squander this opportunity.

With Benjamin Netanyahu in office in Tel Aviv ... With European countries finding their spines and pushing back against the Islamists in their midst ... With France (France!) having spent the last 6 or 7 years acting as one of our most dependable allies, with one of its most influential newspapers (Le Figaro) having recently declared that "a new religious war has been declared and this time on a planetary scale" -- and having then gone on to declare that "the 21st century will be a war without mercy and the immense Islamized masses of the Third World and our great metropolises could be more dangerous than the tanks of the Warsaw Pact" ... With Muslims like Badawi, al-Sisi, and Aboutaleb starting to emerge from the shadows and announce their support for a civilization of tolerance ... With all of that, we have a responsibility to seize the opportunity and strike while the iron is hot.

Barack Obama may be unwilling to say anything critical of Islam, but fortunately, he does not have a monopoly on speaking for our government. Especially since his worldview got trounced in the November elections. House Speaker John Boehner has invited Benjamin Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress on February 11th, and Netanyahu has accepted. Members of Congress should receive him warmly and use the occasion of his visit to affirm our solidarity with Israel.

The legislative and executive branches of our government are equal, and Congress is not subservient to the president. Therefore our government should do everything it can, with or without Obama, to reward President al-Sisi by strengthening our relationship with Egypt. Our government should work with al-Sisi's regime to develop strategies for combating Islamism in the Middle East. Given his overtures to Christians, perhaps al-Sisi could be persuaded to make similar overtures to Jews, and perhaps that could rekindle the positive relationship that existed between Egypt and Israel during the days of Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.

The media, both print and broadcast, should turn the case of Raif Badawi into a cause celebre by using feature stories to make his plight known and using editorials to praise his courage.

They should also use feature stories to make the stances of President al-Sisi and Mayor Aboutaleb common knowledge. They should seek out and publicize other, real, flesh-and-blood Muslims who share the views of Badawi, al-Sisi, and Aboutaleb -- rather than continuing to do what they have done since 9/11, which is to talk generically about "moderate Muslims" without offering any evidence, much less proof, that such Muslims exist.

The media's generic, evidence-free talk has resulted in most Americans questioning whether "moderate Muslims" actually exist, and that has left most Americans feeling numb and discouraged about civilization's chances of winning the War on Terror ... And if I dare say so, that generic, evidence-free talk has also resulted in most Americans privately believing (but never publicly admitting) that their consciences would accept an ultimate decision by our leaders to use nukes in the Middle East ... However, I am convinced that putting people like Badawi, al-Sisi, and Aboutaleb front and center in our public discourse would change things quickly and dramatically -- and in time, the change could prove to be decisive.

Finally, when our media and politicians talk about people like Badawi, al-Sisi, and Aboutaleb, they must do something else I mentioned earlier: They must stop describing such people as "moderates" and start referring to them as "extremists." I know of no example where the words and examples of "moderates" have inspired people to make courageous stands and take risks to advance great causes. I am certain that American citizens will have much more confidence in the authenticity of tolerant Muslims if they hear those Muslims referred to as "extreme" and their beliefs as "radical."

No matter how well-mannered the great figures of our Civil Rights Movement were (from MLK himself to Medgar Evers to James Meredith and on down the line) you will never hear them described as "moderates," because people behaving "moderately" and possessed with a "moderate" mindset could not have done what they did ... General Omar Bradley's soft tone had its place and helped win World War II, but it would not have been sufficient without the "radical" and "extreme" tone of General Patton. Conversely, Patton's approach might have been able to win the war even without Bradley ... Patrick Henry was not using "moderation" to sway the Virginia House of Burgesses when he demanded "give me liberty, or give me death!" ... And on and on. You get the picture.

Muslims who stand up against the butchering ideology of Islam's power structure are not moderate in any sense of the word. They are just as heroic as the other figures I mentioned and they deserve to be labeled as such. You might have noticed that we don't sully the memories of the other figures by posthumously calling them moderates. In the same spirit, we should not sully the principled bravery of the world's Badawis by calling them moderates.

If we trumpet and support the Badawis of the world, and back up our words with action, we will inspire more to come forward -- and that is the most important thing that must happen for the world's tide to be turned in favor of civilization.