Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has described the Muslim Brotherhood as “secular.” Vice President Joseph Biden recently said that the Taliban “is not our enemy.” According to John Brennan, assistant to the president on counterterrorism, terrorists who proclaim they are motivated by religion should not be described using “religious terms.” Where do ideas such as these come from? The answer, in large measure, is from advisers — so perhaps it would be instructive to examine more closely what those advisers are actually saying.
U.S. Navy Commander Youssef H. Aboul-Enein “has advised at the highest levels of the defense department and the intelligence community,” according to the jacket notes on his book, Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat, published by the Naval Institute Press. Raymond Ibrahim, a young analyst for whom I have great respect, recently gave the book a withering review. My reading is less harsh. I think that Commander Aboul-Enein, who was born in Mississippi and raised in Saudi Arabia, is grappling, seriously and sincerely, with the pathologies that have arisen from within the Muslim world, and is struggling to formulate a coherent American response. That should not suggest, however, that his efforts have been entirely successful.
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