Being Stupid in the Endless War on Terrorism

ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's appeal of a court decision in favour of a woman wearing a niqab at a citizenshiip ceremony implies niqabi women are incapable of independent judgment.

The West is at war with Muslim terrorists, not Muslims, let alone Islam. That has been the mantra of the states waging war on terrorism. But much of the Muslim world doesn’t buy that, believing instead that the war on terrorism is part of a broader war to control oil and geo-political interests.

A related assertion is that terrorism by some Muslims does not mean that all or even most Muslims are terrorists. But a growing number of Europeans and North Americans don’t buy that. Equating terrorism with Islam, they are suspicious of Muslims, including fellow-citizens, whom they hound and whose faith they denigrate on a scale not seen since past shameful episodes of bigotry against Jews, Japanese, blacks and others.

But our leaders must stick to their mantras, as part of the propaganda to rationalize wars and unholy alliances with autocratic Muslim client states.

Barack Obama may, in fact, believe what he says in separating faith from terrorism. But his Western allies, Prime Minister Stephen Harper included, let it slip once in a while that they have doubts about what they are parroting.

On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said in a speech on security: “I’ve often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace.’ I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.”

He is skeptical of fellow Western leaders as well as Muslims. The latter don’t assert the ostensibly peaceful nature of Islam enough and what little they do say is insincere.