The Center for Security Policy posted an article yesterday about one aspect of the Countering Violent Extremism Summit hosted by President Obama. The Canadian Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness The Honorable Steven Blaney outlined the Canadian view on Islamic terrorism.
The article reports that view:
1. The threat is global: Unlike President Obama, whose Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS seeks to limit U.S. options to just Iraq and Syria, we must recognize the global element of the threat is vital. Jihadists from Somalia to France and from Mali to Norway are all looking to harm the U.S. and their allies wherever they can. Unless our response is equally global, it can not succeed.
2. The threat is jihad: Our enemies say they are called to wage jihad, a term which is defined by Islamic law. Reliance of the Traveller (a reputable book of Shafi’i Islamic law) establishes that, “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.” That many individuals who identify as Muslim may not subscribe to this doctrinal requirement is a positive, but nonetheless the preference of individuals does impede the significance of a doctrinal requirement that motivates a large segment of a population..
3. The threat is a movement. It is not merely ISIS which has declared war against us and must be combated. Rather our fight is with all those who subscribe to the movement’s ideology which obliges them to wage war in order to “establish the religion.” Individual groups and leaders may morph, change or evolve, but the ideological heart of the movement remains the same, and until that is addressed, we will not prove victorious. And as a movement, those responsible for spreading and indoctrinating the ideology are as important (if not more so) than the frontline jihadists who engage in fighting or acts of terror.
Our Canadian neighbors understand the threat and are ready to fight back, even as our President is still quibbling over what to call it.