The Daft Bigotry of Woke Expectations About Islam

By Timothy Furnish Published on January 26, 2021

President Biden wasted no time getting to work between the Inauguration and his afternoon nap. Heiress apparent Kamala Harris, and his handlers, gave him a number of Bad Orange Man policies to reverse. First on the hit list was the so-called “Muslim travel ban.” The one that limited immigration from 14% of the world’s Muslim-majority countries. And that included Islamic bastions such as North Korea, Myanmar and Venezuela. The one which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Like Obama, Like Biden

No doubt Bidenistas hope to bring back all the failed policies of the Obama era regarding the Islamic world. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Both Bush and Obama were in denial about the dangers of Islam. We were still digging bodies out of the World Trade Center rubble when Bush went into full dhimmi mode, praising Islam as the “religion of peace.” He repeated this falsehood for the rest of his tenure.

Yet Barack Hussein Obama surpassed Bush in servility. And dishonesty. Obama, many times, claimed that Muslim jihadists had “perverted” or “distorted” that religion. He argued often “there’s no religious rationale that justify” what ISIS and al-Qaeda and Boko Haram and the like do. He also ordered that military trainers not refer to Islam in terrorism training. His first Attorney General, and “wingman,” Eric Holder refused to even mention Islam and terrorism in the same breath.

His CIA director, John Brennan (who may very well be a Muslim himself), stated that the legion of groups killing in Allah’s name aren’t really jihadists. Because “jihad is a legitimate tenet of Islam.” Well, he was half right. Jihad is definitely too legit to quit for Muslims. This has been true since Islam’s founder Muhammad did it himself. But Brennan’s contention that there is a difference between “terrorism” and “jihad?” Simply absurd today. Seventy-six percent (54 of 71) groups on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list call themselves jihadists.

“White Terrorism” v. Islamic Jihad

The Department of Homeland Security (even under Trump) had been attempting to convince Americans that “white supremacy” is the greatest terrorist threat. The Democrats are doubling down on this myth, since Buffalo Guy and his ilk violated the halls of Congress. But it’s simply not true. I pointed this out at length on The Stream in 2019. “‘White terrorists’ have killed 1.5% as many people as Muslim terrorists over the last quarter century.” Since 1993 jihadists’ death toll stands at almost 22,000. That of “white terrorists” under 400.

One group of people agitate because they think an election was stolen. Those are light-years away from ones who wish to impose a caliphate and enforce shari`ah law. And will kill to do so. Does former Army General Stanley McChrystal actually believe that the former resemble the latter? I doubt it. But yet, he joined the Democratic chorus of the absurd.

My Own Experience with Wokeist Apologetics for Islam

Unfortunately, this refusal to examine the truth about Islam had deep roots. I can cite many personal experiences. In 2007 I interviewed for a professorship of Middle Eastern history at Kennesaw State University. But several of the committee members attacked my article “Beheading in the Name of Islam.” It was “Islamophobic.” Why? Because I wrote inconvenient truths about Islamic practices.

From 2008 to 2011 I taught classes at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Joint Special Operations University. At the former I was let go because of the aforementioned Obama edict against “insulting Islam.” Officials at the latter told me that the foreign Muslim students (especially from Pakistan) complained that I discussed Islamic terrorism too much. (I guess I should have focused on the Zealots fighting the Romans instead. Or maybe the 17th century Gunpowder Plotters, who tried to blow up Parliament.)

In 2014 and 2015 I taught graduate seminars on “Jihad, Apocalypse and Terrorism” at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. However, Muslim students complained that I dared to discuss jihad. So goodbye to that gig, as well.

For those of you wondering: yes, I am too stubborn to modify my material on Islamic doctrines and history. Why? Because what I teach happens to be true. It is based solidly on Qur’an, hadiths (sayings of Muhammad), Muslim commentators and historical examples. I don’t present what itching ears, government or otherwise, want to hear — I present the truth.

Even Books on Ottoman History Aren’t Exempt

My latest personal example revolves around my newest book. Last August I published, on Amazon (with a great deal of help from my attorney wife) The COIN of the Islamic Realm: Insurgencies & the Ottoman Empire, 1416-1916. It examines how the staunchly Sunni Ottoman Empire put down mainly Muslim rebellions via counterinsurgency (COIN). The final chapter tries to draw lessons for the U.S. and its allies in fighting similar groups today. No one has ever attempted such a study. You’d think a work of this nature would at least be worth a review by a relevant institution. So I sent the book to Joint Special Operations University. They sent the book out to a reviewer.

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This past week I was informed that while he “enjoyed” my book, they wouldn’t be able to use his review. Why not? Because my book is “too political.” Which parts might that be? No clarification. I did critique the Obama administration (as above). And I said positive things about Trump’s COIN approach. (As per this blogpost.) But this was because the latter is rooted in reality and not because my MAGA hat is too tight.

Perhaps my adducing books by Sebastian Gorka and former General Michael Flynn was too political? If so, the JSOU folks missed that I took issue with both those books. It seems it’s political to say that Islam “in its rigid, archaic form, is disproportionately responsible for worldwide terrorism and violence” (p. 1). Or that “until mainstream Islam itself adopts a more flexible and less absolutist exegetical paradigm, ISIS, AQ and their brethren will be almost impossible to completely delegitimize” (p. 5).

Islam’s history of violence is probably not what candidate Biden meant when he said “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith.” So he should be happy that the he won’t need to issue any woke directives to JSOU. They’re still following the Obama playbook.


Timothy Furnish holds a Ph.D. in Islamic, World and African history. He is a former U.S. Army Arabic linguist and, later, civilian consultant to U.S. Special Operations Command. He’s the author of books on the Middle East and Middle-earth; a history professor; and sometime media opiner (as, for example, on Fox News Channel’s War Stories: Fighting ISIS). 

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