The Barack Obama White House, including the president himself and Secretary of State John Kerry, today continued to examine the “legitimate grievances” that have caused the rise of “violent extremism.”
Addressing an international White House Conference on terrorism, the two emphasized that the world is “not at war with Islam,” as if the cruelty and violence of ISIS and other extremists are to be found in such “root causes” as lack of jobs, economic opportunity and jealousy of our prosperity.
Okay, since we’re supposed to examine root causes, let’s itemize the grievances that are motivating the extremists—the ones that Obama seems to prefers not to emphasize. Their bellyaches against us include our:
- Religious tolerance.
- Democratic self-government.
- Belief in equal rights for women.
- Use of reason, instead of human immolation, crucifixions, stonings and beheadings, as a way to settle disagreements.
- System of education for girls, not just boys.
- Secular government.
- Failure to follow the strict dictates of the Koran, as the extremists see them.
- Rejection of the sword as a system of conversion.
- Right of free expression.
- Separation of church and state.
- Repudiation of terrorism.
- Respect for human rights.
The idea that the causes of violent Islamic extremism are found in societal grievances and not in radical interpretations of an ideology is reflective of a college Introduction to Sociology 101 course. It is a view that we must redistribute income, make foreign policy concessions, conduct dialogues and, I suppose, accept our responsibility for the Crusades—even though none of us had anything to do with them.
Obama is willing to hold off until this fall so the United Nations can meet to tackle those so-called root causes. Ending the beheadings, rapes, enslavements, immolations, crucifixions and other assorted inhuman acts will just have to wait until then.