Welcome to the War On Extremism (WOE), which our leaders, in their best imitations of ostriches, have settled on as an acronym that is suitably supine, attitudinally appeasing and therefore--and this is what is most important to them--non-offensive to the Islamic world.
Jeffrey Imm has a comprehensive overview of this veritable conspiracy of capitulation now underway at the highest levels of our government.
You will notice at the end of this valuable report that Imm advocates calling a spade a spade by, in essence, calling a spade a spadism: namely, calling the threat posed by the anti-liberty doctrines of Islam to be something called "Islamism." This, as I periodically maintain, takes Islam itself off the hook despite the fact that the institutions that threaten Western civ--jihad and dhimmitude--are mainstream traditions of good, ol'-fashioned Islam. Making such a distinction where this is none dangerously distracts us from a threat even greater than the proliferation of Islamic terrorism: namely, the spread of Islamic law (sharia).
At this point, however, as our government urges us to shut up about everything having to do with Islam and Islamism--not to mention jihadists, the caliphate, the umma, Islamofascism, you name it--the Islam vs. Islamism debate is practically an indulgence to be deferred to another, more robust day. Will such a day ever dawn? I fear that we, citizens of a PC, post-adult society dedicated to not giving offense, are rushing ourselves into a permanent state of self-censorship.
Here's an example: An anti-jihadist brother e-scribe of mine recently drew a line between government censorship and editorial "restraint": Government censorship, he said, was bad; editorial restraint, however, was fine by him. The subject was the Danish Motoons again, and his point was that there was nothing wrong with not running them in deference to Islam so long as the government wasn't censoring them outright. He pointed to recent public slurs against the pope as being gratuitously ugly and presumably subject to similar "editorial restraint" so as not to offend Catholics. Is that a fair point? Certainly, it's one that is commonly made when public outrage is stirred up, for example, over various couplings of excrement and Christian symbols and called "art." Here, from my book (p. 100), is my response, which rests of the politically incorrect recognition that Islam, because it aggressively combines political ideology with religion, is unlike other religions that remain separate from matters of state.
But there is a difference between arguing against the public display of various Excrement Icons of Christianity (or anything else, sacred or profane) as a matter of public abasement and upholding the right to caricature or critique religion, Islam and Mohammed included, as a matter of press freedom.
While lumped together for purposes of public discourse, the two examples—Excrement Icons and Cartoon Mohammeds--turn on different issues and here’s why: Christianity and Islam are not interchangeable belief systems inspired by a generic divinity. One relevant distinction is the way they operate in relation to their societies. Historically, Christianity has abided by the separation of church and state; Islam has never known any separation whatsoever. As a result, the theological teachings of Islam as revealed by Mohammed, which form the basis of the Islamic law (sharia) that drives Islamic societies, necessarily belong to the political sphere in a way that Christianity does not.
This is not to say that Christianity should be, or has been off the table. Indeed, all the ink (not blood) spilled over assorted “artistic” assaults on Christ and his holy family have only enhanced their value, not to mention the reputations of their artists (using the word loosely). But the all-encompassing nature of Islam underscores a special need for open, critical examination of the Koran and Mohammed as political, and politically violent, forces that roil our times. Such examination should include analysis, commentary and editorial cartoons. But it doesn’t.
And it won't ever come under honest scrutiny if we all agree to fight the WOE.