Major Stephen Coughlin, employed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was recently fired under pressure from Islamists, most alarmingly the ring-leading Islamist (Hisham Islam) working in the Department of Defense. They opposed his exposé of the rôle of Islamic law (shari’ah) in jihad. Declaiming him to be an extremist and whatnot, endangering the military’s efforts to build bridges with the Muslim community.
(I learned about this from Lady Vorzheva’s blog Spanish Pundit in her post “Terrorismo islámico (III): continuación del caso Stephen Coughlin, el experto anti-terrorista despedido del Pentágono por “islamófobo”” which means “Islamic Terrorism (III): continuation of the case [of] Stephen Coughlin, the anti-terrorism expert fired by the Pentagon for “Islamophobia””. I was a little but surprised I had not heard of this before.)
Now, I understand the perspective that bridges of understanding ought to be built with the Muslim community so as to get their coöperation in counter-terrorism and the War on Terror and to perhaps be able to gather information from their loose lips, but this effort should not, under any circumstance, hinder other programs and efforts of analysis of Islamist terrorism.
Major Stephen Coughlin is an expert on the Islamic law (shari’ah) aspect of jihad, especially with regard to terrorist groups. He has brought down the wrath of the Islamists by clearly demonstrating how jihad against the West is perfectly compatible with Islamic law and how this increases support for anti-West programs and plans and entities throughout the Muslim world. Furthermore, this shows us that this endeavor–battling the West–is not a rogue element in Islam, extemist or on the fringe, but rather quite acceptable in Islam according to its laws and doctrines. This shatters the myth of terrorism being the case of Islam, the so-called religion of peace, being hijacked by extremists.
He has also written how certain groups function as front organizations for other more unsavory organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and why organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood should be taken seriously as threats to our national security.
This sort of understanding and awareness is very, very rare. And it is important because the propaganda from Muslims and Islamists causes us to greatly misunderstand terrorism, thereby producing flawed policies, flawed expectations, and flawed strategies.
It is interesting that the Islamists were unable to refute Major Coughlin: all they could do is engage in their usual hystrionics, cry “foul”, and get him fired. (And the sad thing is that it worked.)
This is simply unacceptable; and if this trend continues, with people writing about the realities within the Muslim world being shut down or made to shut up, then the future is very bleak indeed.
(Another blog that covered this before this post posted was Wolf Pangloss: “Stephen Coughlin and Jihad Terror Doctrine in the real world”.)