Is There No Such Thing As Radical Islam?

United States Attorney General Eric Holder seems to be of the opinion that if an ideology is violent and extremist, then it cannot even be called a form of Islam, not even a “radical” one:

“In the case of all three attempts in the last year, the terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, those individuals have had ties to radical Islam,” said Congressman Smith. “Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?”

“Because of … ?”

“Radical Islam,” repeated Smith.

“There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions,” replied Eric Holder noncommittally. “I think you have to look at each individual case.”

The congressman tried again. “Yes, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?”

“There are a variety of reasons why people … .”

“But was radical Islam one of them?”

“There are a variety of reasons why people do things,” the attorney general said again. “Some of them are potentially religious … .”

Stuff happens. Hard to say why.

“Okay,” said Smith. “But all I’m asking is if you think among those variety of reasons radical Islam might have been one of the reasons that the individuals took the steps that they did.”

“You see, you say ‘radical Islam,’” objected Holder. “I mean, I think those people who espouse a – a version of Islam that is not … .”

“Are you uncomfortable attributing any actions to radical Islam?” asked Smith. “It sounds like it.”

And so on, and so forth. At Fort Hood, Maj. Hasan jumped on a table and gunned down his comrades while screaming, “Allahu Akbar!”, which is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” and an early indicator of pre-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Times Square Bomber, we are assured by The Washington Post, CNN andNewsweek, was upset by foreclosure proceedings on his house. Mortgage-related issues. Nothing to do with months of training at a Taliban camp in Waziristan.

Mark Steyn makes a more extensive case against politically ambitious, anti-secularist Islam, and liberal denial with respect to it, here.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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