In the legendary American TV comedy, “I Love Lucy”, Lucy’s husband Ricky frequently complained about his wife’s “hair-brained schemes”, in which she tried to accomplish her objectives in ever-so convoluted ways. Not to be outdone by the effervescent, creative Lucy, the Deputy Spokeswoman at the U.S. State Department, Marie Harf has come up with a novel approach for ending the scourge of Islamic terrorism – Give them jobs!
In a series of interviews at major media outlets, Harf reiterated her plan to defeat ISIS. In one such interview on MSNBC, she declared, “We cannot win the war on terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS, by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.”
In other words, a good food stamps program, child-support payments, college scholarships, and assistance in obtaining a mortgage will end the mass beheadings of non-Muslims.
Harf’s solution would actually be quite amusing if it wasn’t coming from a top official in the Obama administration. Furthermore, it exposes a serious lack of understanding of the Muslim mentality and the ideology from which its dangerous seeds germinate. The central precept of Jihad in Islam refers to “holy war against the unbelievers”. This deeply held belief, which comes from the core of Islam, cannot be bought out by a new car or television.
Several prime examples of top Islamic terrorists who killed Americans and whose passion for killing “infidels” doesn’t come from poverty:
Osama bin Laden – the infamous founder and leader of Al Qaeda came from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family and was known to be worth somewhere between $50-300 million.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – The failed “underwear bomber” came from one of the wealthiest families in Nigeria, where his father was chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria.
Ayman al-Zawahiri – the current leader of Al Qaeda, he is a trained eye surgeon, certainly not a product of poverty.
Mohammed Atta – the main organizer of the 9/11 attacks, Atta came from a background of privilege. His father was a lawyer, educated in both sharia and civil law. His mother came from a wealthy farming and trading family and was also educated. Atta was a graduate student in Germany when he became radicalized.
This short list, of course, doesn’t include the thousands of ISIS members that have been recruited from affluent Western countries, nor does it include the thousands of Hamas and Fatah terrorists who grew up under Israeli rule in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, enjoying a much higher standard of living than Muslims in every neighboring country.
The bottom line is that the State Department spokeswoman revealed a shocking arrogance in her statements, ignoring the real motivation for Islamic terrorism. Most Muslims who join terrorist groups do so because they believe in what they have been taught is a higher cause and ideology, as repugnant as it may be to those in the free world. True, the perverse Islamic ideology endorses beheadings, sexual abuse of women, and the acquisition of wealth through terrorism, but the root cause is not poverty.
Islamic terrorism will only be defeated when the evil ideology at its core is recognized and attacked simultaneously at all levels – military, educational, and legal. Not through hair-brained schemes hatched by misguided Washington liberals.
Reprinted with author’s permission from Arutz Sheva