The events of September 11, 2009 opened America's eyes to the ruthlessness that militant Islamism can inspire. Yet eight years later our leaders and therefore our nation still struggles with the real threat that looms before us. The parsing of words in recent months of whether we are in a "War on Terror" or an "Overseas Contingency Operation" or even the Obama Administrations decision to designate 9/11 as a "Day of Service," demonstrate that our leadership is missing the point on what and who the true threat is to America.
To lay it out in no uncertain terms, Political Islam has one goal, the dominance of the Islamist version of Islam over every aspect of life. Their belief in a theocratic form of government that stifles individual liberty is at complete odds with every principle that built America.
The ideology of Islamism (aka Political Islam) is in direct conflict with the west and in reality in both a war of ideas as well as a kinetic war on many fronts. Its adherents will use every avenue available to them to achieve their goal. Hijacked airplanes, terror attacks and separatism in the version of shar'iah courts are just weapons on many fronts to both militant and lawful Islamists. Without addressing both the peaceful and violent roots of political Islam (Islamism) together, we ignore the ideological chasm between liberty based western societies like America and the deceptive theocratic global movement of political Islam. Political correctness and a healthy respect for Islam as a faith have prevented the development of a serious strategy against the theological fuel behind global militant Islamism. The threat remains very real and we have seen militant Islamist cells stopped most recently in the past few months in North Carolina and New York.
The moves to advance political Islam by American Islamist organizations stand to benefit only other Islamists- whether they condemn terrorism or not. Until we are able to engage Muslims openly who are anti-Islamist we will make no progress in a cogent strategy against Islamism in both its militant and lawful forms.
Americans should mark this eighth anniversary of 9/11 by dedicating ourselves to being vigilant on all fronts in the protection of our individual liberties and the founding principles of America. These fronts include our neighborhoods, interfaith community, government, universities, businesses, and media. In particular, it is long overdue that we openly engage Muslims who are ready to separate mosque and state as a means to defeating political Islam. American Muslims should be vigilant in our protection of our faith and the freedom that the American system gives us to practice that faith.