One of the dangers of working in a coal mine is the presence of methane gas. It’s odorless and colorless, making it very hard to detect. In the old days, when miners used candles or lanterns to light their way, they could easily explode the gas. Or if the gas didn’t explode, it could replace the oxygen in an enclosed mine shaft and lead to asphyxiation. Miners were understandably concerned over either occurrence. But how do you detect an invisible, odorless gas? You could put an uncovered flame on a long pole and hold it out in front of you, but intentionally triggering an explosion in a confined underground area is not a good idea.

To combat this threat, many miners would take a cage with some common canaries in it down the mine shaft with them to act as an early warning system. The birds, smaller and with a much faster metabolism, would react to the presence of methane long before the miners did. If the canaries started to wobble on their perches or fell off, the miners would know methane was present and had enough time to clear out.

For many years, canaries served as an early warning system for miners. And today, the Jewish people serve much the same role as an early warning system for Western nations. Adolf Hitler was quite clear about his hatred of Jews in Mein Kampf, but people didn’t recognize the threat he would become to Europe. When he rose to power and started making life difficult for Jews in Germany, people again failed to see how he would come to menace Europe and the world. Had Hitler been stopped as soon as his anti-Semitic goals were known, all of Europe would have been spared much destruction and death. The Jews in Germany provided an early-warning system to show the danger of Hitler’s goals, but the nations of the world ignored the signs.

And Jews serve much the same function as an early-warning system today. There exist people who hate Jews with a passion and fervor that drives them to murder and destruction. We can sit back and pretend we have nothing to worry about because it’s all just some old land squabble in Asia. Or we could convince ourselves that we aren’t in any danger when many millions of people chant “Death to Israel” on Fridays. Besides, why should we care if people on the other side of the world want to kill Jews and are actively engaged in killing them? It’s not like their violence will spill over to other people.

Who are these people who willingly carry out death and destruction on the Jews and others? They are the followers of Islam. Does this mean that every follower of Islam is building bombs in his basement and plotting how to do the most damage in a crowded area? Of course not. But there is a common thread going through every link in the above paragraph. Hint: the perpetrators are all Muslims.

Don’t believe me? Well, you didn’t look at the above links, I guess. How about this interesting editorial coming out of Iran?

Iranian newspapers Kehyan and and Resalat have urged Muslims around the world to prepare for a ‘great war’ to destroy the State of Israel.

The newspapers published the editorials, translated from Persian by MEMRI , the Middle East translation service, to mark ‘Quds’ day on October 20, an Iranian ‘holiday’ calling for the “liberation” of Jerusalem and war against Israel.

“Hizbullah destroyed at least half of Israel in the Lebanon war… Now only half the path (to its destruction) remains,” an editorial in the conservative Keyhan newspaper declared.

“It was proven that, by means of an offensive operation that need not be equal to Israel’s moves, it is possible to neutralize the Zionist navy,” the article said triumphantly.

It continued: “Just as in one 33-day war more than 50 percent of Israel was destroyed, and the hope of its supporters for the continued life of this regime was broken, it is likely that in the next battle, the second half will also collapse.”

“On that day… Jordan will not be able to prevent the Jordanian Islamists from operating through the long Jordan-Palestine border, and the millions of Egyptian Islamists… will not let the Sinai-Israel border remain quiet, and the Syrian Golan Heights will not remain as a (mere) observer of the battle. That day is not so far off.”

By choosing to focus on Islam, I know I have lost some readers as they have gone elsewhere. Some of these are probably Muslim readers who visit infrequently from the Middle East, and some are no doubt those people who refuse to accept or even see the things I’m pointing out. But ignoring the world around us is not a recipe for success or safety.

For the rest of you who have read all the way to this point, I invite you to carefully read the next few articles as I explore more into the nature of Islam and the terrorist threat confronting us. Some of what you will read may be familiar to you, depending on the ways you gather news and follow current events and history. But I’m sure at least some of what I’ll be posting will be new to you.

For the next 5-6 days, I’ll be taking a closer look at Islam and its followers. I’m not doing this because I hate Muslims, but because we all deserve to know the truth. And if things don’t change, there is a real chance of death and destruction, both in the West and in the Middle East.

Clicking on A Look Into Islam will bring up a listing of all these posts after they are written.

Let’s play a little guessing game with the next four quotes. See if you can correctly identify who said them.

“Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it?”

“The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

“We must study this vile Jewish technique of emptying garbage pails full of the vilest slanders and defamations from hundreds and hundreds of sources at once, suddenly and as if by magic, on the clean garments of honorable men, if we are fully to appreciate the entire menace represented by these scoundrels of the press.”

“The expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land 2,000 years ago and the Nazi oppression of Jews have taught them nothing. If anything at all, it has transformed the Jews into the very monsters that they condemn so roundly in their propaganda material. They have been apt pupils of the late Dr. Goebbels.”

Confused? Well, I must confess to being a little sneaky. The first and third quotes come from Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, while the second and fourth were recent comments by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad. In his own defense, Prime Minister Mohamad confesses not to be anti-Semitic. But at the same time he laid the blame for monetary decline of the ringgit, the Malaysian currency, at the feet of George Soros as a Jew. He said, “We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that Malaysians are mostly Moslem. Indeed, the Jews are not happy to see Moslems progress.”

Why does the rhetoric of a Malaysian prime minister matter to us? After all, he will soon be stepping down after 22 years in office, so why should we concern ourselves with a political has-been? When he made the second quote above at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit on October 16th, Jewish leaders were understandably concerned and spoke out against it. But have you heard anyone from the Islamic political or religious worlds speak out against his comments? The silence is deafening.

Time and time again I have heard Islamic supporters claim that Islam is a religion of peace. For being such a peaceful bunch, have you heard a Muslim cleric or political leader speak out against any of the Muslim-led terrorism or fighting around the world? Have you seen representatives of Islam on Nightline or Crossfire, publicly and loudly denouncing the September 11th hijackers? Or the homicide bombers in Israel? Or the attack on the USS Cole? Or the Bali nightclub bombing? Or the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania? Have you heard any Muslim stand up and publicly condemn any of these actions?

So am I guilty of hating Muslims? No, I certainly do not hate them. At the same time, I can easily recognize that for decades the attacks against the United States have not been led by Nordic ski instructors, but by male Islamic fanatics. Do I blame every one of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims for these attacks? No; that would be silly. But I do blame 1.3 billion Muslims for not standing up and decrying with a loud voice the actions of their radical brothers. I must take their unified, continued silence on these issues as consent and approval. Before September 11th, I could believe that some Muslims were ignorant of the acts of their fellow religionists, but that can no longer be the case.

Is America now at war with Islam? Are we dropping bombs on each and every Muslim nation? If we are, I have certainly failed to read about it, and the world community is strangely silent. So we cannot be at war with Islam as a whole, regardless of the comments and beliefs voiced by some Muslims. But the truth is that radical Islam has most certainly declared war on the United States and our guilty partners, the Western world.

While the ruins of the twin towers were still sending up smoke, there were people who cried for blood, demanding that America show its anger by carpet-bombing Afghanistan with nukes. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. This president seems willing to target people who are threats to our nation, without gratuitously harming the innocents who surround the guilty. Some pundits immediately said that we should turn inward to discover why these radicals hate us. They opined that if only we had been more understanding, the horror of seeing hijacked airliners flown into our buildings would never have happened. But the truth is, as a nation, we are understanding and sensitive. Indeed, we are so sensitive to concerns about racism that the red warning flags of Muslim men buying one-way airplane tickets with cash were ignored. The people who ignored these signs did so because they did not want to be seen as targeting a minority. It is utter foolishness to search former vice presidents and 80-year-old women for box cutters when we know that most air attacks have been carried out by Islamic males between the ages of 17 and 40. We are not profiling them; they have profiled themselves.

Are we at war? Yes! We are fighting a new war, against people with an ideology that demands our death. Some are hiding behind the protection offered by nations, but as the Arab world has discovered, America is willing to target nations who harbor those fanatics who declare themselves our enemies. As a nation we are willing to leave people alone, but when they stand up and state their hatred for us and their willingness to kill us, then we mobilize ourselves in response. We waited until we were attacked before we did anything against the hateful words and actions of Hitler. And we waited until our cities were attacked before we mobilized against the hate and actions of radical Islamists. Just as the fight against Hitler took time, sacrifice, and a determination to win, this fight against terrorism demands the same if we are to be victorious.