The butcher of the off-duty British soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby, defended his carving up of a living human being by claiming that he was engaging in “an eye for an eye” because the British army is killing Muslims in Afghanistan.
Normally there is no reason to respond to the justifications offered by terrorists and other murderers of the innocent. But in this case it is important to do so because much of the Muslim world finds this argument persuasive and because much of the world’s Left offers it as explanation.
This is true even though a large majority of Muslims do not support terror and even though leftists do not support it. Nevertheless, Muslims and leftists across the globe all too often believe — and professors teach our children this at college — that America, the U.K., and other countries are targeted by Muslims because we kill Muslims.
The argument is morally perverse and a lie.
First, the U.K. and others are in Afghanistan in order to defend Muslims. The British and other Westerners are risking their lives — and dying — in that country on behalf of Muslims.
Here’s a question for Muslims and leftists who buy this argument about the West’s killing Muslims in Afghanistan: Whom are we fighting in Afghanistan?
I thought the British and Americans were fighting the Taliban, the people who throw acid in the faces of Muslim girls for attending school, the people who murder nurses for inoculating Muslim children against disease. To equate fighting the Taliban with fighting Muslims is to contradict the contention that many Muslims and virtually the entire Left have been insisting on for years — that the Taliban represent a tiny group of extremists in the Muslim world, and that they have so completely perverted Islam that they cannot even be called Muslims.
Well, you can’t have it both ways. If killing the Taliban is the same as “killing Muslims,” then you can’t argue that the Taliban don’t represent Islam or Muslims.
So, on the issue of the West’s fighting in Afghanistan, Muslims and the Left need to decide: Is killing the Taliban a service or a disservice to Muslims? This is the first and last question both groups need to answer. Everything else is commentary.
Second, if any group in this saga should be entitled to extract an eye for an eye, wouldn’t it be Christians? It is Christians who are being murdered, and whose communities are being decimated, in the Muslim world. Christians have lived in the Middle East, in places such as Iraq and Egypt, since long before Mohammed was born. It is Christians in Nigeria who are routinely slaughtered by Muslims. And it is Christians in Pakistan who are burned alive in their churches.
And what about the 52 British citizens blown up in 2005 by Muslim terrorists in the U.K. on 7/7? How is it that not one Brit decided to take an eye for an eye against any Muslim?
In the real world — as opposed to the fantasy world of the Organization of Islamic States and your local university — it is Christians who are being killed by Muslims, not Muslims who are being killed by Christians.
And there’s a third lie to this claim of Muslims as victims of the West: Nearly every one of the tens of thousands of Muslims killed in the last few years has been killed by other Muslims, in Syria and Iraq in particular.
There is something of great significance to be learned from this. In the Muslim world today, it is hatred of the West — not love of (or even concern for) fellow Muslims — that animates Muslim atrocities and terror against the West. Just as it is Arab hatred of Israel rather than Arab love of fellow Arabs that animates the Arab world.
Every Muslim and every Western leftist who perpetrates the lie that Islamists commit acts of terror because the West kills Muslims is aiding and abetting that terror.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.