Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Proper Semantics About Terrorists

I listened to President Obama give an address in the aftermath of the terrorist killings in San Bernardino.  Let me see whether I followed his message.

President Obama does not want to call this terrorist act as an act of Islamic terrorists because Islam is a religion of peace so these particular terrorists cannot be Islamic terrorists, by definition, because they follow a perverted version of Islam that is not true Islam.

He is unwilling to accept that these terrorists themselves apparently thought (mistakenly, it now seems) that they were followers of Islam.

Therefore, he does not believe groups that use “Islamic” in their names, such as the ISIS and ISIL, are accurate in calling themselves Islamic.  It seems that he is the person who gets to decide who is Islamic and who is not, regardless of what they call themselves.

He ought to know, better than I, what constitutes true Islam.  Unlike me, Barack Hussein Obama’s father and his step-father were Muslim and, unlike me, Barack Hussein Obama attended an Islamic school when he lived in Indonesia.  I assume that while in the Islamic school Barack Hussein Obama was taught about the Koran and probably has read it enough to know whether the concept of jihad is contained therein.

I have not read the Koran.  I probably should so that I am not merely listening to hearsay.  It is my uneducated understanding that jihad means killing infidels per the will of Allah as taught by the Prophet Mohamed.  Infidels, I have been told, is the term for people who are not Muslim, such as myself.  It follows that I am among the targets for Islamic jihadists.  They want to kill me.  I take that personally.

It is verifiable whether jihad is promoted in the Koran.  If it is, a person reading the Koran could accept that concept and act on it in an attempt to be a follower of Islam.  The husband and wife who killed the people in San Bernardino could have decided to do what they did on their own, without having been recruited by a group that promotes jihad such as ISIS or ISIL or al Qaida.  Or not.  Either way, these folks thought of themselves as Islamic terrorists, or if you prefer, Islamic jihadists.

It seems like a question of semantics whether they are entitled to call themselves Islamic.  President Obama says they cannot do that accurately so he will not grant them that title.  You and I should not use the label Islamic in that context.  If we call them Islamic terrorists, we are doing just what they want us to do.

That got me to wondering about whether I should call Baptists what they call themselves.  Would it be wrong to do just what those Baptists want me to do, even if other Christians do not subscribe to the requirement of complete submersion for true baptism?  (If you think you are a Baptist, you might want to ask President Obama to decide whether you are entitled to call yourself a Baptist because even if you believe that you are a true Baptist, he might determine that you are part of a perverse version of the Baptist sect and tell us all to refrain from calling you a Baptist, especially if that is what you want.  We do not want to fall into that trap.)  Some might see the President’s supervision of religious labels as government interference with church matters but that only shows that such people are not as smart as our president.

While I have not read the Koran, I have read the Bible, many times.  What I got out of it is that Jesus said to love one another as He has loved us.  He was not advocating death to non-believers.  You can look it up.








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12 thoughts on “Proper Semantics About Terrorists

  1. You sound like a man who is in need of a newly invented politician’s word! Could I commend to you the new British word, or at least, widely used by British politicians and commentators, “Islamist”? It occurs in phrases such as “Islamist terrorist” and avoids insensitive phrases such as “Islamic terrorist”.

  2. I couldn’t have said it any better than you have. This country is just not going to be ‘fixed’. We are in for a heap of hurt.

  3. This piece is very well written! It’s confounding that this administration is sticking to the “talking point” that Islamic terrorists aren’t Islamic. I’ve heard them go so far as to say that groups like ISIS have nothing to do with Islam.

    I’ve read the Koran. I’m currently reading the Hadith (which will take a while) and I’ve read a lot of books that talk about Islam by both followers and those outside the ideology. It’s quite illuminating especially since I knew next to nothing about it when I began my study.

    • Does the Koran say anything about jihad? Could a person reading it conclude that Allah recommends killing infidels?

      • They certainly could come to the conclusion that it’s correct behavior to convert (by the sword), subjugate or kill them. There are a lot passages that seed that orientation. According to the tenants of Islam, Mohammad is the perfect man and is to be emulated. Much of the support for jihad comes from reading the life of Mohammad also. The support for violent jihad (also non-violent but still predatory ways of engaging in jihad) is there in black and white. Many Muslims (like many Christians) are what they are because they were born into it. They don’t read their texts or study. They are agnostic or just going through the motions…many in poorer countries can’t read at all. Many do not have it in their hearts to behave that way. Those, the fundamentalists kill as apostates. As far as they are concerned, those who aren’t devout and aren’t following the “way” properly are also guilty and deserving of death. They fight among themselves viciously. Unfortunately, they also fight the rest of humanity as well. They are determined to win the world for Allah.

        If you decide to read the Koran, I recommend you also get some side material to help you understand it. There is a concept called “abrogation” that is at play and people who read it need to keep that in mind as they go along.

      • Thanks, Lynn, for taking the time to explain that. You are quite the scholar. That is why you are Doctor Lynn

      • There’s a reason for the “Dr” before “Lynn”… She is smart! (ps Maybe I should mention something about Esq…?)

  4. Just met you and new follow here. Looking forward to more. Thanks.

  5. Nicely written, sir… but I, for one, cannot believe a true religion can propagate a message of killing. I would call that a cult… and if it is a cult, well… You’re a lawyer! 🙂

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