Islamophobia Fears Hamper War Against ISIS

After their release of a series of videos depicting graphic murders of prisoners by ISIS terrorists, you might have thought there was nothing the Islamist group could do to further horrify the world. But last week’s graphic report in the New York Times describing the system of sexual slavery the so-called caliphate has set up in Iraq and Syria and which is sanctioned by their view of Islam makes clear the depths of barbarism into which this group has sunk. If that wasn’t chilling enough, last week we also learned that Kayla Mueller, the American aid worker who was held as a hostage by ISIS, was not only tortured but repeatedly raped by the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Yet the response of some in the liberal media to this is to question whether such reports make us think ill of Islam or Muslims. While this is surely the view of only a minority, it does seem to reflect the persistent strain of thinking that sees the supposed spread of Islamophobia as greater than the threat of terrorism. But whether such thoughts are expressed by cable news personalities or demonstrated by the statements of the U.S. government, the refusal to think clearly about the nature of Islamic terrorism is at the heart of our failure to confront this danger.