This is why the Left cannot be taken seriously on constitutional matters: they don’t even understand the basics. Via Power Line:
Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS's] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.”
It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge, for example, that the Islamic State is Islamic. Gertz cites James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. Glassman seems to rely mainly on what he hears coming out of the State Department.
For the record, here’s what the 1st Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I don’t see anything in there about “the government may not criticize the religious doctrine of an enemy organization,” do you? Perhaps our constitutional law professor-president can explain it to us.
Gertz calls this a “surrender in the war of ideas,” and he is right. It’s a pathetic bit of hand-waving to hide the fact that the administration desperately does not want to deal with the Islamic doctrine cited by ISIS as the justification for its jihad. For whatever reason –political correctness, a leftist reluctance to criticize “victims of colonialism,” a fear of upsetting allied Muslim states, or even a secular inability to deal with minds operating on a religious paradigm– the Obama administration (and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration before it) will go to any lengths to deny the truth: we are in a global conflict with an Islamic supremacist/revivalist movement that, while having many sometimes fractious elements, is united by a largely common and mainstream understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines. And until and if (1) we can get imams willing to go public with their criticism in Islamic terms of the doctrinal arguments of the jihadists, we will continue to surrender in this war of ideas and the jihadists will continue to attract recruits.
(1) Which is problematic, because a) I think the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihad groups have a very good understanding of Islamic doctrine, and imams critical of them have trouble finding counter-arguments; and b) critics of the jihad who do come forward often put their lives at real risk.