I’ve spent a good chunk of the month of July on vacation. Through the miracle of modern technology, I was able to queue up several comments for the time I would be away. Other than a short period of time around President Bush’s address, I was far away from any Internet connection. Being way up in the hills can do that to you.

While up in the hills, I was disturbed to hear on a staticky radio that there had been an attack in London. My wife stayed in the car, listening to the updates, while the rest of us got reports from her over the Talkabout radios. This was not the action of “insurgents,” “bombers,” or “misguided criminals.” Let’s call it what it was — the act of terrorists. Recognizing that they are no match for our military forces, al-Qaeda and other terrorists are resorting to the actions of cowards — deliberately targeting innocent men, women, and children.

I have a problem with targeting unarmed people, and especially with targeting women and children. It is in my nature to want to protect these people from harm. It is clear to me that the terrorists and the homicide bombers in Israel have lost their basic human compassion for the weak and innocent. Judging them by their actions, they are animals, as my Dad put it when he heard the news from London.

I wrote a while ago about the way Islam is publicly portrayed as a “Religion of Peace,” but I just don’t believe it. I won’t go as far as to say that all Muslims are murdering fanatics, but the majority of peaceful Muslims have remained silent about the actions of their violent co-religionists. This is why we have not heard about demonstrations of thousands of Muslims in Britain rallying their support for the victims of the subway bombings and protesting the hijacking of their religion by some fanatics.

To make the Muslim silence more relevant to us Americans, imagine some Baptist preachers getting TV face-time to announce the praiseworthiness of fellow Baptists who strap explosives to their bodies and explode themselves in non-Baptist areas, killing the strangers around them. The killing of non-Baptist men, women, and children is a moral act, claim these preachers, and the Baptists doing this go right to heaven. Now imagine that instead of indignant responses from other Baptists, denouncing these preachers or the Baptist terrorists exploding themselves in public places, there is only silence. What are non-Baptists supposed to believe about the official position of all Baptists when the only voices they hear are the ones who praise the killings? This is exactly what we are hearing from preachers of Islam.

I explained how Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs is a hated man by Muslims and the Left because he dares to quote the words of Muslims accurately. He recently posted an exchange in England about the bombings that explains why the terrorists feel justified in indiscriminately slaughtering innocents.

Host: Mr. Hani, make no mistake. The same assembly ruled that Jihad in Iraq is allowed against soldiers. Even Sheik Osama [sic] Al-Maqdissi, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s mentor… OK. Abu Hani, OK… He asked Al-Zarqawi not to kill civilians and to attack only the Americans… I mean, only soldiers…

Al-Siba’i: The term “civilians” does not exist in Islamic religious law. Dr. Karmi is sitting here, and I am sitting here, and I’m familiar with religious law. There is no such term as “civilians” in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al-Harb or not.

Hani Sibai, director of London’s Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies and self-professed Islamic scholar, has publicly stated that everyone is either a part of the Dar al-Islam, the “house of Islam” as a Muslim in a Muslim state, or part of the Dar Al-Harb, the “house of war.” A six-month-old baby, its nursing mother, and the wheelchair-bound grandmother standing nearby are all legitimate targets in the Dar Al-Harb. Convert or die. This is Sibai’s real message. Are you comfortable with either option? I am not.

There is a poignant scene near the end of the recent Merchant of Venice movie. Al Pacino, as Shylock, stands outside the synagogue where he once worshiped. He longs to go in, but the Duke’s court has declared that he must convert to Christianity as a part of his punishment, or forfeit his life. To save himself, Shylock is forced to abandon his Judaism. Without saying a single word, Pacino shows the cost of this abandonment in Shylock.

I haven’t been directly issued the challenge of “convert or die,” but my faith is too important to me to give up. I consider it to be something worth fighting for. And I am not asking for Muslims to give up their faith, either, but mainstream Islam needs to police its own fringe elements or America and the rest of the concerned world will be forced to clean out the fanatics for them. Since 9/11, we have been doing exactly that.

Our fight is not with all of Islam. Our fight is with that part of Islam that glorifies the indiscriminate slaying of innocent men, women, and children. I believe that there are many good and faithful Muslims who want to live peacefully with their non-Muslim neighbors, but there are also some fanatic Muslims who are doing the Devil’s work, not God’s. About two centuries before Mohammed came out of the desert, a prophet explained how to judge the good from the evil in people:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. — Moroni 7:16-17

Blowing yourself up in a crowded subway or slamming a full plane into a building is not the action of someone who serves God.

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