“Lone wolf” is up there too, but “homegrown terrorism” is surely among the most ill-conceived and thus self-defeating terms in national security.
In reporting that the French government believes it has identified three gunmen who carried out the terrorist attack that killed a dozen people in Paris today, the New York Times theorizes:
Officials said late Wednesday that the suspects had been identified and that two were brothers. They were identified as Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18. French news reports said the brothers had been born in Paris, raising the prospect that homegrown Muslim extremists were responsible.
There is no “homegrown” Islamic terrorism in the West. Being born in a Western country, or being resident in one at the time of “radicalization,” does not mean one’s terrorism is “homegrown.” What grows a terrorist in Paris – or New York, London, Madrid, Hamburg, etc. – is not his environs; it is Islamic supremacist ideology. That ideology is not Western; indeed, it is virulently hostile to the West. That it has been injected here does not make it of here.
What’s more, by its own terms, the doctrine is preternaturally concerned with whether the territory one finds himself in is a Muslim or non-Muslim land – the difference controls what a Muslim’s obligations are under Islamic law. In fact, adherents are instructed by leading sharia scholars (like the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi) and Islamist demagogues (like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan) to participate in a strategy known as voluntary apartheid. That is, they are urged to settle in Muslim communities and, when a critical mass is reached, to begin pressuring the host government to give them de facto autonomy to govern themselves in accordance with sharia rather than the civil law. They are exhorted to resist assimilation in the West, and are abetted in this resistance by mosques and Islamic community centers. Indeed, Erdogan has brayed that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in a non-Muslim host country is “a crime against humanity.”
The objective of Islamic supremacism in the West is precisely to create an alien cultural fortress, infiltrated in but isolated from the host country, disdainful of Western culture. The radicalism this breeds is not “homegrown”; it is injected into the host country for the precise purpose of destroying the things about the host country that make it home.
Referring to this ideology as “homegrown” is an insidious manifestation of willful blindness. It suggests that it must be something about the Western host country that “radicalizes” Muslims – something, anything, other than Islam. It undergirds the fiction that the resulting radicals are “violent extremists” who, if not out and out nihilists or lunatics, must be motivated by oppressive Western policies and historical Western sins – not by an aggressive ideology of conquest that commands them to make war on non-Muslims.
That is, the notion of “homegrown terrorism” obscures the fact that terrorism against the West is inspired by a supremacist interpretation of Islam, the principles of which are mainstream in the Middle East and well known – albeit unspoken of – in the West. It enables the self-defeating pretension that those principles are seamlessly compatible with the Western culture that Islamic supremacists seek to vanquish.
Jihadist terror is not homegrown in the West. It is grown by purveyors of a hostile, alien ideology whose precise purpose is to destroy our home.