If there ever was any doubt that the whole world faces one of the most scurrilous and most dangerous and most elusive enemies in recent memory, the phrase "innocent Muslim blood" has to be a wake-up call even to those who have spent the last decade-plus in some intellectual, psychological and political cave somewhere deep in their own personal Zanadu. The phrase appears in the video released by the Chechyan Islamic terrorists who perpetrated their terror twice on Volgograd last month, as reported by The Associated Press in the National Post, excerpted here.
An Islamic militant group in Russia’s North Caucasus claimed responsibility Sunday for twin suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd last month and posted a video threatening to strike the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
There had been no previous claim of responsibility for the bombings, which killed 34 people and heightened security fears before next month’s Winter Games.
In the video, two Russian-speaking men warned President Vladimir Putin that “If you hold these Olympics, we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled all around the world: In Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Syria.”
They added that “for the tourists who come, there will be a present, too.”
(By Lynn Berry, The Associated Press, in National Post, January 19, 2014)
Reports from U.S. Congressional representatives attempting to merge American security initiatives with those of the Russian authorities indicate that they are personally very concerned that, in spite of the many dollars and considerable preparations made by Putin and the Russian security apparatus, both athletes and visitors from around the world will not be safe in Sochi in February.
So much angst is attached to these Olympics that they have become known as the "Gulag Olympics"...
Asked yesterday, "If I had a son or daughter competing at Sochi, what would I do?" I replied, "I would be torn by two equally sad options: to accompany that son or daughter to Russia and risk the danger together or to ask that the trip be cancelled, for security reasons." Of course, all athletes who have spent their last three or four years, or for some even more, and thousands if not millions of dollars in rigorous and disciplined training in preparation for their personal and their country's honour of achievement and recognition through sports, the last frontier to have mostly escaped ideological and political violence. (Berlin being one of the more visible exceptions in recent memory!)
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, the lone Muslim member of the U.S. Congress, was, on the same Sunday morning of the release of the terrorist video from Russia, being hosted and feted on many U.S. talk shows, almost as a trophy Muslim, demonstrating that the U.S. is not at war with Islam. Here are some notes from bio.true story, on his biography:
His election was not without controversy, however. Some critics claimed that he held the same anti-Semitic views as Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, a religious, social, and political organization often known for its radical views. This allegation was based on an article he wrote during law school and his work as an organizer for the 1995 Million Man March, which was created by Farrakhan. Ellison has denied this claim.
Before his swearing-in ceremony, Ellison announced that he would use the Koran, the Muslim holy book, instead of the traditional Bible. He found himself in the middle of a religious firestorm, receiving criticism from conservative politicians and journalists as well as many other American citizens.
Ellison's latest book, My Country 'Tis of Thee, is being released this week, and according to reports champions many of the same causes that are ascribed to centrist or left-leaning Democrats.
Nevertheless, the whole world is being challenged to adjust to a new kind of religious reality, posed primarily by representatives of Islam, that both states and incarnates a belief that politics and religion are one, that one's faith has to be part of one's political agenda, something the U.S. has fought many political battles to oppose from its origins.
At the centre of the political agenda of many Muslims is an unabashed and dangerous contempt for Jews and for the state of Israel, reaching all the way from a modest acknowledgement of the existence of the state of Israel, to public statements calling for her being 'wiped off the map of the world'. Another apparent cornerstone of Islam is the relationship between the men and women, apparently attempting to preserve and protect the notion of male dominance over females, reaching in some cases to laws that prevent women from working in public or even going into the public square without a male family member accompanying her, and to body and face coverings, presumably premised on a different kind of fear, of male "testosterone" gone amuck. Another fixture of Islam, especially among radicals, is the imposition of Sharia Law, in exclusively Islamic-governed states, as, for example, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, currently being pursued vigorously and violently by Islamic terrorists linked to and affiliated with, AlQaeda, primarily in Anbar province in western Iraq.
Whether the Islamic world can present to the rest of the world some unified face that includes peaceful relations with all people of all faiths including no faith, and can live in harmony with established nations and political ideologies that attempt to keep the church out of matters of the state, is still a very open question, the answer to which is not being fostered, encouraged or even promised by those millions of Islamic radicals who continue to inflict their poison on the rest of the world.
The fact that Russia, and especially Putin, consider Sochi to be an exclusive "Russian show" thereby resisting attempts to assist in the fight and security precautions for the Sochi Olympics brings Russian nationalism and Russian hubris into direct and open conflict with the reality that the whole world is, for the period of the Olympics, living 'in the Russian house' and needing, if only for peace of mind, the best protection the world can offer.
It is, however, becoming increasingly doubtful that the Sochi Olympic Games will not be marred, if not completely disrupted by these Chechyan thugs who want to establish an Islamic state in their part of the Caucusus. And while the world will recover from such a debacle, there will be innocent lives lost, others injured and a black mark on both Russia's and Putin's "eye" will last well beyond the current president's lifetime. Putin's claims to 'doing whatever it takes' to keep the games safe is no guarantee of the safety and security of the athletes and visitors to the games. Other countries like the United States' attempts to bolster those security initiatives, including FBI and NSA operatives inside the Iron Ring that Putin has built around the area where the games are schedules, notwithstanding, the Sochi Olympics could well also give a black eye to the Olympic movement whose ideals and history continue to shine, in spite of the rust that gathers on many other public institutions around the globe.
I guess I would have to answer my questioner from yesterday this way, after all: "I do not believe that the life of my son or daughter( as a hypothetical Olympic athlete) can or should be sacrificed on the altar of the radical Islamic cause if we can prevent that from happening, and I would respectfully submit the position that our family boycott these games, even if our nation's other athletes are prepared to compete."