This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: The Fight of Our Lives

Politically Correct

I have a Muslim acquaintance who attends my gym. She is like the other ladies, and we chat about life and whatever topics are tossed around. She and her husband own a gas station, and they have a three-year-old boy she takes care of at home. She doesn't come in during the month of Ramadan, since (as she says when she returns) she's fasting all day and the exercise might be too much.

There are Muslims all around my neighborhood. A nearby mosque causes traffic jams along a one-lane artery every Friday, and police come out to direct traffic. Every day on the streets I see the ladies with hijabs (headscarves) going about their business. The men are not always as identifiable as Muslims, although a full beard can be a hint, and wearing the taqiyah (rounded hat) or long robes is a giveaway. The clothing for both men and women is always conservative and often full. They are America, what I like to think of as one part of the melting pot of nationalities living their lives in peace in the USA.

I have no quarrel with Muslims. Live and let live, I like to think. I wish no one ill.

And yet...

I also remember playing flute for a soldier's memorial after he had been killed in the Pentagon on 9/11. The church was packed so that overflow seating had to be set up in the narthex. Watching from my corner of the stage the grieving family and friends was heartbreaking, and the eulogies went on for 2 hours. In 2002 Daniel Pearl was beheaded on film by Muslims. Pearl's statement before the event made very clear that he was Jewish. Later, Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed was convicted for Pearl's murder. Since then, there have been many Muslim attacks and near-attacks on civilians and soldiers in Israel, the USA, and other areas.

So, it was with interest and a little trepidation that I read Bennett's and Leibsohn's book, THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES.

This book documents in a calm and extensive manner the goals and achievements of Radical Islam to destroy the Jews and Western civilization while broadly imposing Sharia law in many nations. Those who are not Muslim, according to the radicals, are infidels and worthy of death. The authors of this book make it clear that their quarrel is with "Radical Islam" and not Muslims in general.

"Radical" simply refers to a hard-line adherence to original teachings of Islamic dominance without respecting other circumstances. "Moderates" consider the social milieu. For example, most Muslims in USA respect the USA's religious tolerance, and live happily and productively without insisting that everyone become a Muslim or die. The authors express the wish that moderate Muslims would more loudly denounce the destructive actions of the small, Radical, arm.

Most interestingly documented is the pacific and conciliatory response that America and the West has chronically taken in modern times in response to attacks by Radical Islam. This has been especially obvious after 9/11 when Radical Muslims came clearly into the focus of the American eye. The Islamic threat, the authors say, is the "Fight of our Lives," and we are not identifying and dealing with the problem. For example, the authors open with the story of Major Nidal Hasan, responsible for killing 13 and wounding 29 in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009. While at Walter Reed in 2007 Hasan gave a presentation that publicly suggested Radical Islamic tendencies. These tendencies continued when he was transferred to Fort Hood; for example, he emailed back and forth with Anwar Al-Alwaki, an American Muslim cleric implicated in several terrorist attacks (and recently killed in Yemen by a Predator drone). Yet despite numerous red flags Hasan was allowed to continue his military career unabated, until he took a gun to the Soldier Readiness Center.

The book continues with many examples of American propitiation to Radical demands and attacks, then discusses the roots of Radical Islam contrasted with the roots of Christianity. The authors finally call for a strong defense of Western culture. If the West is not strong, they say, the Radical Islamists will sense weakness and will continue to actively strive to defeat the West. Americans do not understand the roots and ideas of their own history and the unique idea of founding a country based on the natural rights of the person. By not valuing our hard-won freedoms we may not be able to adequately defend against a harsh theocracy.

I found the book well-documented, without hysterical tendencies or hate-filled rhetoric. The authors make it clear that we (non-Muslims and moderate Muslims) have to be honest in acknowledging the threat of Radical Islam to our culture of tolerance and rights for all, and we need to maintain an imposing presence so that the Radicals hesitate to fight. If they do fight us, we must win. I found this book provocative and frankly disturbing. Yes, it convinced me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network book review (BookSneeze) bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment