David Calling

Encouraging Brutes to Do Their Worst

The murderers of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues in Benghazi were Salafis, that is to say Muslims who believe in returning to the violence and conquest of the early years of Islam. A few weeks ago they narrowly missed killing the British ambassador, but they did succeed in vandalizing the British Second World War cemetery, particularly smashing graves with a Star of David on them. These same Salafis have destroyed Libya’s ancient monuments of Sufism, or popular Islam.

Salafis won about a quarter of the vote in the recent Egyptian elections. Not long ago they almost stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo, which could have ended in a fire-fight. Now they had picked up a rumor that some American had made a video disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammad, and so they mobilized to storm the American embassy. Lives were lost when their Taliban counterparts stormed the American embassy in Kabul with the same belief that Islam demanded that they go killing in its name. In Benghazi, then, the Salafis hadn’t seen the video; they were acting on the rumor of a rumor.

Yet the best President Obama can find to say is that he strongly condemns the outrageous attack on the diplomatic facility — cliché and euphemism of that sort deaden the anger and sorrow that ought to be natural. As for Mrs. Clinton, she asked how this could have happened, and immediately answered her own question by exonerating the Libyan ruling council. Actually it happened because these ignorant barbarians think that killing Americans is a religious obligation, therefore right in itself, and wonderful to say, completely cost free. Obama’s “strong condemnation” and Clinton’s pitiful self-examination serve to confirm to them that they are proving the supremacy of Salafi Islam. This administration’s on-going policy of appeasement encourages a host of brutes to do their worst. 

David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

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