Last month’s radical Islamist terror plot in the United Kingdom, dubbed the “Doctor Plot,” left many unable to fathom how physicians could have organized such barbarism. While a group of five physicians seemed to have plotted the London and Glasgow bombings, a group of 45 physicians targeted the United States. The medical profession, which is globally respected for its ethics, compassion, and selfless healing, did not temper the wanton violence and hatred in these monsters. Many have commented since, with various theories on the connection of the terrorists’ choice to practice medicine, terrorism, and militant Islamism.
As a physician, I see our sacred art of medicine being used only as a tool for Islamist domination, narcissism, and hate by these so-called physicians. In fact, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not allow his administration to refer to them as “Muslims” in the wake of the incident, but did allow them to be called physicians. This is blatant facilitative denial of their radical Islamist roots. Despite attempts by British thought police at denial, they were in fact both Muslims and doctors. But what should be clear and made clear by moderate Muslims is that they gave false oath to God, to country, and to their patients.
Across the pond, our hearts wrenched with yet another wake-up call to the cancer within my Muslim community. The only solace I could find was memory of the Marines I often took care of as a Naval medical officer on active duty. Their motto – Semper Fi, “always faithful” to God, family, country, corps – exemplifies the profound difference between Americans and the radical Islamists. Whether soldiers, doctors, parents, or citizens, as Americans we know what it is to be truly faithful to our oaths, to our morals, and our Creator. No exceptions. No justifications of the means for an ends. No corruption.
The radical Islamists exploit the minds they corrupt with a theology of hate rooted in medieval theological legal constructs. They are part of an Islamist death cult which teaches lies. The entire life of these “physicians,” from prayer to patient care, is an evil lie rooted in the worst of combinations of ignorance, insecurity, narcissism, fascism, theocracy, and religious fundamentalism.
For as militant Islamists become educated and successful within their tribe, they become their own god. Their understanding of Islam is unenlightened, pre-modern and mixed with fascist politics and conspiracy theories. This combination allows violent exclusivist ideologies like Wahhabism and the transnational goals of political Islam to take root. Their “god” complex directs them to violently sentence “unbelievers” (as kiffar) and moderate Muslims with takfir (as apostates). Their patients are dehumanized. Their work is just a meal ticket. But their soul is without compassion – totally dehumanized – like the physicians who worked for the Nazis.
Islamist radicalism clearly comes not from poverty or lack of schooling. It is from moral bankruptcy, disdain for liberty, and fear of universal religious freedom. It is rooted in an ignorance and fear of the possibility of an Islam based upon principles of universal religious freedom in combination with citizenship rooted in a primary loyalty to one’s nation and its security.
The practice of medicine, like the calling of imams (theological teachers) and many other high-achieving intellectual professions, are fodder for the poison of radical Islam, with no modern liberty narrative of a moral Islam at home with the modern secular nation state. With all the imams globally that we see spewing hate and violence, why should physicians, scientists, lawyers or any profession be any different in its susceptibility to infection by militant Islamism?
These physicians know neither the Hippocratic Oath nor the Koran. Our Koran enjoins them to never bear false witness or take a false oath (9:4). They dishonor God, their nation, their faith, and the great tradition of medicine and philosophy in Muslim history, from Maimonides to Avicenna.
Today, many so-called “Muslim” academic institutions have become tools for oppression, political Islam, and indoctrination. Al-Azhar University, for example, supposedly the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning in Cairo, has become an incubator for immorality and corruption. It has justified terrorism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny, among other evil ideologies. Medical universities would not be any different.
The current Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, M.D., was raised by one of the 20th century’s worst dictators – his father, Hafez. The medical school in Damascus awarded the dictator’s son a doctorate of medicine. Bashar then furthered his training in ophthalmology in Britain. He returned to Syria as physician-cum-dictator. He quickly took command of the ruthless Syrian military machine and continued his father’s oppression – his own Hippocratic Oath notwithstanding. What this individual learned in childhood was not going to be changed by obtaining a medical degree.
When an entire society is corrupted by a dictatorship, so too will every surviving institution within. Dr. Al-Assad, Dr. Aiman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s primary intellectual henchman, and all the doctors in the “Doctor Plot” are turned out from the same mold. They are corrupt monsters of medicine, fulfilling their theological and fascist pre-programming set in motion long before their medical training.
Since 9/11, these cancers still remain only ours, as Muslims, to treat. Just treating the symptom never cures the patient’s disease, but only masks the diagnostic signs which should direct a cure. Humanity has seen this disease before.
It is fascism. It infects every role and every oath its followers take.
Disinfection and vaccination can only be done through a three step treatment process. First, renew the centrality in Islam of the inviolable sanctity of every human life in the context of universal religious freedom and the Golden Rule. Second, extricate the political (the Islamic state) from spiritual (Islam) in the Muslim consciousness and we inoculate against the transnational aspirations which intoxicate Islamists. Third, we must empower the dissidents of the Middle East with ideas of universal liberty, and defeat the despots of the Muslim world – for their despotic regimes are laboratories for the propagation of generational corruption.
Theologically deconstruct the legitimacy of the Islamic state and the dreams of Jihadists dissolve. In the Koran, God tells Muslims that, “He created us in nations and tribes so that we may know one another.” (Koran, 49:13). It does not say, “Islamic nations.” Muslims also believe that God tells Muslims in the Koran that, “if God so willed He would have indeed had gathered them all into His guidance”. (Koran, 6:35).
There is nothing in the Koran about how to run government or the political empowerment of imams and clerics. The mixture of state and religion has been the doing of Islamists over centuries and their control of Shari’a and Muslim societies. This can be undone, but will be a generational process. However, this only touches upon the first step in a long journey of the possibility of an anti-Islamist interpretation of Islamic scripture. Such anti-Islamist but Islamic theology can be interpreted from the Koran. It just needs the right moral compass, an apolitical lens, and an appreciation of the personal piety provided by nations which allow individuals to practice their faith or no faith at all, free of any governmental coercion.
In the end, it is not about the chosen religion or profession of these doctors. It is about the infection of fascism. Radical Islamists both dehumanize and fear those who believe in universal religious freedom. The Islamists’ partners in crime – secular dictators and autocratic monarchies – also dehumanize any who deny the supremacy of the ruling nation state, whether secular or Islamist. Together, autocrats and Islamists will continue to produce the evil that the doctors in these plots did in the name of Islam and medicine. Only a post-modern, moral, liberty-minded Islam at home with American freedom and pluralism will disinfect the Islamists of political Islam and their fascism.