After eight years Obama still does not understand the enemy
Bryan Dean Wright:
President Obama on Tuesday delivered his final defense of the nation’s counter-terrorism strategy. He rightfully claimed progress on a number of fronts, including the death of Osama bin Laden, an end to waterboarding and the effective use of drones to kill terrorists. Just one week after the Islamic State-inspired attack in Columbus, Ohio, he also reiterated that there is no “war between the United States and Islam.” Islamic State and Al Qaeda, he said, do not speak for Muslims everywhere.The Wahhabis and the Salafist are at their core Islamic religious bigots. They want to impose their weird beliefs on all those who reject them and are willing to commit mass murders on a genocidal level to accomplish their goal. Obama also seems to think the Muslims who do not agree with the Salafists and Wahhabis are so wacky that they will join them in mass murder if you utter the term "radical Islam." Does he really think that Muslims are that deranged?
To me and many of my former colleagues at the Central Intelligence Agency, such pronouncements reflect Obama’s greatest blind spot in his fight against terrorism: he has been unwilling to acknowledge that Islamic ideology plays a role in what motivates terrorists to strike. Meanwhile, men like Imam Bujar Hysa, a jailed cleric in Albania, frame the war on terrorism quite succinctly: “Islam can coexist with other religions, but with democracy? No!”
Hysa isn’t an anomaly. He is a Salafist Muslim — a sect also called Wahhabi — who follows an ultraconservative set of beliefs propagated by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab nations. Wahhabis do not believe in a separation of church (mosque) and state. For them, government should be made up of religious clerics — and only clerics — that use the Koran to justify their decisions.
However, what causes the most alarm to national security experts is the Wahhabi objective of global conquest. Islamic State and Al Qaeda are terrorist groups built on Wahhabi ideology. They want to govern the world under sharia law, and they are more than willing to achieve their goals through force. Islamic State is known for beheading its victims or burning them alive. And as we saw in Columbus, they’re inspiring legions of supporters.
Which brings us back to Imam Hysa and his home nation Albania. The tiny Balkan country has a majority-Muslim population that — until recently — had a tradition of moderate, tolerant Islam. But the country is in the midst of Wahhabi radicalization, spread by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf donors. The result? More than 100 citizens of Albania are now confirmed to have fought for Islamic State. That’s roughly the same number as those sent from much larger nations such as Italy and Spain.
Albania is not alone. The easiest targets for Wahhabis are smaller countries and places where poverty and corruption run deep. Consider the struggling nation of Kosovo. Radical clerics and secretive associations have turned a once-tolerant Muslim society into a font of extremism.