Category Archives: TERRORISM

Why remembering Pearl Harbor remains important today

On December 7, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service delivered a devastating blow to the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.

This was a preemptive surprise attack by the Japanese, with the hope that they could decimate the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Japanese believed that the United States was the greatest potential threat to their planned expansion of power in the Pacific region.

The early morning attack would launch in two waves from a half-dozen Japanese air craft carriers. Some 350 aircraft fighters and bombers would sink four American battleships and damage four more, sink eight other vessels, destroy 188 aircraft, and damage 159 more.

Over 2,400 Americans were killed with more than 1,100 injured. Japanese losses of life and equipment were minimal in comparison.

In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered one of the most famous and impassioned speeches in U.S. history to a joint session of the U.S. Congress the following day. It began as follows:

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. 

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.”

To that point, the United States had been able to stay out of active involvement in World War II. Meanwhile, the Japanese had become involved in an “Axis” powers agreement with Germany under Adolf Hitler and Italy under Benito Mussolini. Their aim was nothing less than global domination.

Roosevelt’s speech called on the Congress to declare war against Japan, which it did within the hour. Germany and Italy would then declare war on the United States. Thus began U.S. involvement in World War II, the deadliest war in human history.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese Marshall Admiral of the Navy and leader of their combined fleet during the war, did not believe that Japan could win a lengthy war with America. 

Following the attack, Yamamoto is alleged to have written in his diary “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

American had been trying to stay out of World War II to that point. Formally declaring neutrality in the opening years of conflict, the U.S. gradually began to provide aid to Great Britain and others, and imposed economic sanctions on Japan.

The Japanese attack did indeed awaken America from its slumber. It forced us to realize that we could no longer ignore the expansionist aims of Hitler, Mussolini, and Japanese Emperor Hirohito. 

We were now forced to either allow these ideologies to overrun Europe and Asia, eventually becoming a major threat to our own security, or go to war to try and defeat them.

In the end, American military might and civilian industry proved the difference in winning the war. However, it would not be the last time that our nation was attacked on our own shores, or threatened by an ideology bent on world domination.

Flash forward nearly 60 years to September 11, 2001. Most Americans reading this require no reminder of what happened on that equally beautiful morning. Another sneak attack from the skies, this time from radical extremists bent on spreading the dominance of an Islamic worldwide caliphate.

That extremist ideology did not begin on 9/11, and it has not gone away today. The Islamists continue to spread their hope for a renewed global caliphate ruling under Sharia law in both aggressive and passive ways. 


Attacks and bombings by ISIL, ISIS, the Taliban, al Qaeda and others gain headlines in Europe and elsewhere. But the ultimate growth of the caliphate is also furthered by overrunning traditional populations of western nations through waves of unfettered immigration, followed by non-assimilation with that traditional culture. 

So-called “No-Go Zones” have formed in nations around the world. In recent years, they have begun to form right here in the United States of America. These areas have been largely closed off to legitimate authorities, and are being governed by principles of Sharia law rather than the U.S. Constitution. Ultimately, the goal is to build more of these zones, and to grow and expand them.



The lessons of Pearl Harbor need to be remembered by Americans today, because there remain very real parallels. The ultimate goals of the Axis powers in World War II are similar to those of the radical Islamists today. 

The lesson of history is that you must be smart enough to recognize a threat when one emerges, and you must be prepared to face down that threat. To repeat an old but always relevant phrase, if we fail to remember the lessons of history we are destined to repeat them.

Islamism Series: American Jihad in the second decade after 9/11

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On July 23, 2008 here at my website, I introduced the “Islamism Series”, which was inspired by a class called ‘Radical Islam’ that I was teaching to police officers at that time as a Sergeant in the Training Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Over the next year and a half, I wrote 20 pieces in the series. The aim was to educate folks on the history of radical Islam, to comment on current Islamic terrorist attacks, and to keep Americans alert to the continuing threat.

As with other series that are resuming with the re-launch of this website, the “Islamism Series” returns as well. As with the others, it will continue into the future with periodic articles which will continue those original goals of education and commentary on what I believe to be that continuing threat.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten, or you haven’t put the pieces together for yourself. With so much going on these days in the nation and world, who could blame you? But the fact is that radical Islamic attacks right here in America are continuing.

Since the historically devastating attacks of September 11, 2001 there have been at least 14 successful attacks by adherents to the tenets of radical Islam right here in the United States. There have been further countless planned attacks which have been thwarted by law enforcement.

Some would have you believe that this is a brand new phenomenon. Perhaps actual terror groups such as ISIS are just beginning to formally sanction attacks. However, individuals inspired by groups like ISIS have been committing terror attacks for some time.

Of the successful post-9/11 attacks, 13 have occurred since 2009. Nine have happened in just the last four and a half years. If anything, the pace seems to be picking up. This is a problem that is going to get worse, possibly much worse, before it ever gets better.

So in renewing this series, let’s start by reviewing what has happened since the last piece was published in February 2010. Something to catch us up. A reminder that we need to continue to be vigilant.

That last piece in the “Islamism Series” came out in February 2010, just months after a pair of attacks on the United States military here in our homeland. 

In June of 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (born Carlos Bledsoe) committed a drive-by shooting outside of a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas. In the shooting, U.S. Army Private William Long was killed and another soldier was wounded.

Five months later, U.S Army Major Nidal Hasan, an army psychiatrist, committed the largest mass shooting on a United States military base in our nation’s history. Hasan killed 13 and wounded some three dozen others. 



Since publication of that last piece in the series to this point, more blood has been shed on American soil by Islamic radicals. The first actually came on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

On September 11, 2011 in Waltham, Massachusetts, three men had their throats slashed and were nearly decapitated by Ibragim Todashev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Both of these men had Chechen family backgrounds, and had come under the influence of radical Islam.

If the name of that second killer in Waltham sounds familiar to you, that’s because it should. A year and a half later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed the Boston Marathon bombing. The brothers killed three, caused 16 others to lose limbs, and injured hundreds more.



In September of 2014, Alton Nolen was suspended from his job at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, just outside of Oklahoma City. Nolen went home, got a knife, and made his way to the company’s main offices. There he attacked one female employee, slashing her throat and completely beheading her. He then slashed another female employee as well. 

As he attempted to behead that second woman, Nolen’s attack was stopped when he was shot by the company C.O.O., who also happened to be a reserve sheriff deputy. An FBI investigation revealed that he had become radicalized, and used “Jah’Keem Yisrael” as his name on Facebook.

The following year, in July 2015, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez committed a pair of drive-by shootings at U.S. military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He killed four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor in the attack, injuring a police officer and a military recruiter.

 



Just four months later, Faisal Mohammad stabbed four people on the campus of the University of California at Merced. 

One month later, things turned deadly in California. A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, entered a Christmas party in a banquet room at the Inland Regional Center with assault rifles. The party was being attended by dozens of employees with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. The couple killed fourteen and injured two dozen. They fled and were killed hours later after a shootout with police that injured a pair of officers. It was the deadliest Islamic terror attack since 9/11.

If you thought that 2015 was bad, you hadn’t seen anything yet. The next year opened with a February 2016 attack by Mohamed Barry at the Nazareth Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. There he slashed four patrons with a machete. He fled, and was later shot dead by police following a car chase. It would be the first of two radical Islamic attacks in the city last year.

Four months later, in June 2016, came the Orlando, Florida shooting at Pulse, a gay night club. Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured another 58. This remains the largest radical Islamist shooting attack in U.S. history, and is second only to this year’s attack in Las Vegas as far as mass shooting casualties.



Five months later, in November 2016, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Ohio State University was the scene of the second attack in Columbus, Ohio during 2016. The Department received a phone call regarding a fluorine leak, and so students were evacuated. 

As students and faculty congregated outside, Abdul Razak Ali Artan deliberately drove his car into the group. He then exited the vehicle with a butcher knife, and stabbed multiple people. He was shot and killed minutes later by responding police after injuring a dozen people.

An eerily quiet 2017 was ended on Halloween. That afternoon in Manhattan, Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov drove a rented truck onto the Hudson River Bike Path. He mowed down a number of bicyclists and runners over approximately one mile before crashing into a school bus. After fleeing the vehicle, Saipov was shot and arrested by police. Eight died and a dozen more were injured in the ISIL-inspired attack.



83 people dead. Hundreds injured, many left permanently disabled. All killed and wounded by individuals inspired by radical Islam and its jihadist ideology. All in the little more than seven and a half years since the last ‘Islamism Series’ piece was published.

Don’t let anyone try to tell you that this is not a legitimate ongoing threat to America. Inspired terrorists are out there right now, considering soft targets of all types. From sporting venues to movie theaters to concert halls, citizens need to be alert. 

There has been some version of a “See Something, Say Something” program happening in almost every community in our country over the last decade or so. More than that, Americans need to be prepared to respond, to act, if they find themselves and their family and friends facing a mortal threat.

As we move forward, I will continue to provide valuable information on radical Islam within this ‘Islamism Series’, and will cover major stories that inevitably occur involving these continuing jihadist attacks.

9/11: Are we expected to forgive?

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One of the most basic foundations for any person of faith is the notion put forth by 18th century English poet Alexander Pope in that “to err is human, to forgive divine“, and that we should love even our enemies. But how far does that go?

Are the families and friends of those killed in the Islamofascist terror attacks against America on September 11th, 2011 expected to forgive the terrorists who carried out the attacks and those who helped plan it, including people like the now-deceased Osama bin Laden?
Are the families of Holocaust victims to be expected to forgive their Nazi captors and murderers, including Adolf Hitler? The families of Sharon Tate, the Labiancas, and their other victims expected to forgive Charles Manson and his followers? The families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman expected to forgive O.J.?
Would the widow of murdered Philly cop Danny Faulkner, Maureen, and his fellow Philadelphia police officers be expected to forgive Mumia Abu-Jamal? Would all of the jPhilly police officers’ families who had their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, parents, friends and co-workers taken from them in recent years, even over the department’s history, be expected to forgive those who murdered or were otherwise responsible for the deaths?
There is an easy answer to what is basically one question: should we be expected to forgive people for the very worst things that they could possibly due to us and our loved ones. That answer is an unequivocal, resounding, empowering “Yes“.
In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew (18:21-22), Peter approaches Jesus and asks him “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?” Peter is asking Christ what are the limits, how much can some one wrong us before it is okay not to forgive. Jesus’ answer: “Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven!”
Jesus has just told Peter that there is no limit to forgiveness. A great number and variety of crimes against us, “seven” crimes against us, is not enough for unforgiveness, we need to be prepared to forgive at least as many as “seventy-seven“, some unimaginable number, of crimes against us.
In the Bible’s book of Sirach, 27:30 into 28:1-7 reads as follows:
“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. The vengeful will suffer the LORD’S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail. Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins? If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins? Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin! Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; of the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.”
Jesus Christ taught: “You have heard that it has been said that you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies: do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that persecute you.”
Remember who we are when considering this question that, for many humans, seems so difficult on it’s face in those worst situations. Remember that we are Christians, called to be like Christ, called to learn from his Word and his example lived. We are called to be more, to be better. We are called to love.
Now, does this mean that we are to be pushovers, stepping stones? Hardly. Remember, we are called to “forgive” and to “love”, but we are never told to forget. On this, the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 on our nation, we are specifically reminding one another not to “Never Forgive!” but instead to “Never Forget”, and this is entirely appropriate.
Grieve your losses and bury your dead. Question your enemies and protect your families, homes, property, neighborhoods, and nations. But you will never, ever heal from any wrong or hurt, any lie or misdeed, any rape or murder or genocide, from any hate unless or until you forgive.
That means to fully forgive in your heart, all the way through. Pray, reflect, read the New Testament, seek spiritual guidance. Do whatever you need to do in order that you can find a way to truly forgive those who have wronged you and yours. Then do the smart thing, never forget. Do not leave yourself or yours: family, community, nation, open to such a crime or hurt again.
To err and lie and mislead is human, unfortunately. To commit crime, rape, murder, genocide is a monsterly abomination inspired by Satan himself. But to forgive, even in the face of those worst atrocities, is divine. It is from God, is taught by Jesus Christ, and is what is expected of His followers in all circumstances. God bless you.

Islamism Series: The Unholy Trinity

Though they have existed since the earliest moments of the very first terrorist groups in man’s history, the links between today’s ‘modern’ terror groups, particularly the Islamofascists that have declared open war on the United States and all of western civilization, and criminal activity is escalating at an alarming rate.

For years now we have been warned that links were forming between Islamofascist groups such as al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Tamil Tigers, and others with South American drug cartels. What would make such seemingly disparate groups get together in the first place?

The Islamofascists would, on the face of things, seem to be against everything that the drug cartels support. The Islamists want society run completely by Sharia Law, the Islamic religious authority and rules, and both the use of illicit drugs and the violence that accompanies their trafficking would be against that law.

From their side one would think that the last thing that the drug cartels would want would be some radical religious group that is vehemently against their business interests and that would eradicate them if possible coming to worldwide power, or even to expand their influence in any region that the cartels service.

However, the motivations of these two groups are such that they are finding in one another an ally, at least temporarily and in the short term, against an even bigger, stronger, more organized, more powerful foe. Specifically that would be the United States of America.

Drug cartels know that the dismantling of U.S. power and influence in the Americas would leave them freer to peddle their narcotics in North America and all around the world. The Islamofascists know that an America overwhelmed by the depravity of drug addiction and it’s accompanying ills would grow ever weaker and easier to overthrow.

We always need to remember that the Islamofascist view is a long view. They are in no hurry to overthrow America and our influence. They understand that we are big and powerful and technologically advanced. They believe that simply by slowly undermining our society that we will eventually become overwhelmed by our own weaknesses and collapse internally.

Just a few weeks ago, Ambassador David Johnson, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, delivered a speech titled “The Escalating Ties Between Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups and Criminal Activity” to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

As a key feature of his speech, Ambassador Johnson pointed out what he referred to as ‘The Unholy Trinity’ of corruption, crime, and terrorism. This ‘unholy trinity’ is united for ideological and economic reasons. The criminal groups want money, they care only about their bottom line.

The violence of one group, the financial wherewithal of another, and the political access of others has opened the door to the increasingly real possibility of the introduction of weapons of mass destruction. The use of some biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear weapon against the United States is now really only a matter of time and location.

While it is unlikely moving into the future that we will be able to stop every single terrorist attempt on our people, and while none of us want to live in such an authoritarian society as would be necessary to absolutely minimize that threat, there are things we can due to keep our society free, open, and strong.

In his speech, Ambassador Johnson called for continuing and increasing the strategies of ‘smart power’ and international cooperation. That ‘smart power’ would include continuing to raise awareness around the world on counter-narcotics and counter-crime issues through increased and intensified diplomacy.

International cooperation will be essential in lessening the world’s vulnerabilities to these threats. Both with law enforcement and as the Ambassador stated by “building up governance capacity, supporting committed reformers, and strengthening the ability of citizens to monitor public functions and hold leaders accountable for providing safety, effective public services, and efficient use of public resources.”

The bottom line is that the United States of America needs to continue to do what it has always done since our founding. That would be to stand up for freedom and democracy both here at home and around the world. The freer a people is, the less susceptible they are to radical influences, and the more secure they and the entire world become.

Corrupt governments in other nations must know that we will not deal with them, and we need to strongly support those who would challenge that corruption from within. Criminal groups must be pursued aggressively with every means at our disposal, both here at home as well as at their foreign sources where that is the case. Finally, terrorist groups and the nations that harbor them must be defeated both militarily and ideologically.

This truly is a war. These efforts will not be easy, and they are not for the weak or the faint-hearted. They require strong men and women implementing the measures needed and they require a strong national will.

More than anything else, they require that we as Americans ourselves return to our moral and spiritual roots as a nation. Only from that solid footing set for us by our Founding Fathers can we fight off the continuing threats of Islamofascism and it’s supportive unholy trinity.

NOTE: this is the continuation of the ‘Islamism Series’, all entries of which can be viewed by clicking on the tag

Islamism Series: What Are We Prepared to Do?

In the 1987 film ‘The Untouchables’, Kevin Costner plays famed lawman Elliot Ness, who is tasked to lead a fight against the violent empire of infamous crime boss Al Capone in Chicago during the Prohibition era.

In the beginning, Ness tries some of the usual law enforcement tactics of the day, but appears to be going nowhere in his efforts to defeat Capone.

Finally his right-hand man in the film, street cop ‘Jim Malone’ as played in an Oscar-winning performance by Sean Connery, turns to Ness and asks him a blunt question:

“What are you prepared to do?”

This is always the single most important question that needs to be asked, understood, and answered before committing to fight any war at any level.

Whether at the level of law enforcement fighting criminal groups to keep the public safe on the home front, or at the level of national armed forces fighting enemies from abroad with the same goal, this simple question cannot be avoided.

Decades ago a war was declared against the United States by the forces of radical Islam around the world. It was declared with public statements, and those statements were backed up with physical attacks against American troops, citizens, and interests abroad and eventually with attacks against the American homeland.

For years the answer to that question of “What are you prepared to do?” seemed to be a tit-for-tat response. They blew up something of ours, we lobbed a missile at something of theirs.

The international community cried if we killed civilians in our attacks, but shed no tears for American Marines and other service persons and civilians killed in attacks against our embassies or troops.

Nothing much changed until finally the radical Islamists were able to pull off a large-scale attack right here on our own shores with the physically, financially, and emotionally devastating attacks of September 11th, 2001 against Washington and New York.

Less than one year into his first term in office, President George W. Bush was faced with the question for the first time: “What are you prepared to do?”And for the first time, an American leader did not pull a knee-jerk response by lobbing a missile.

For perhaps the very first time, an American leader and his team actually sat down and took a good, long, hard look at the reality of the situation.

The United States was not the victim of some random attack by 20 guys who hijacked some planes. America was attacked by an entity which viewed us as a sworn enemy and wanted nothing less than either our destruction or our capitulation to their worldview. Join up with Islam completely or die, that was and is the message from this enemy.

This was not the usual, traditional type of enemy, and fighting them would require an entirely new mindset and commitment level. In days now long gone by we could identify an enemy as a nation-state or group thereof, and largely pinpoint this enemy and defeat them on a geographical battlefield.

The enemy that we now faced was more of a network of ideological radicals scattered in both large and small groups all over the globe, including some in our own country, that was in some cases well-funded and trained. In some cases this network was being expressly, implicitly, or tacitly supported by a nation-state.

Faced with destruction, devastation, and death on his home front on his watch, President Bush answered the question fully when on September 15th, 2001 he said the following:

 “This act will not stand. We will find who did it. We will smoke them out of their holes; we will get them running; and we will bring them to justice. We will not only deal with those who dare attack America, we will deal with those who harbor them, and feed them, and house them. Make no mistake about it. Underneath our tears is the strong determination of America to win this war. And we will win it.”

In this statement, Bush correctly recognized that the problem was not only with the people who actually pulled off the attacks of 9/11, but fully extended to those who supported and nurtured these people both physically and ideologically.

Bush also here became the first American leader to publicly acknowledge that we were at war, and further, he promised that we would win that war. But he also went further, recognizing that this war would be long:

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined, I’m not going to be distracted, I will keep my focus…It is time for us to win the first war of the 21st century decisively, so that our children and our grandchildren can live peacefully into the 21st century.”

The problem was clear, a war was declared on us, attacks were taking place against us, and Americans were dying. The problem was recognized with an acknowledgement that we were indeed at war. The question of what we were prepared to do about it seemed to be answered appropriately: we would fight wherever necessary for as long as necessary to win decisively to ensure lasting peace.

While we dealt them blows on their home bases in Afghanistan and began to establish a democratic foothold in the Middle East both there and in Iraq, the Islamists continued the war with attacks on the trains of Madrid, Spain on March 11th, 2004 and on school children in Beslan, Russia on September 1st, 2004 and on the buses and subways in London, England on July 7th, 2005 among others.

Unfortunately a problem began to develop. As we finally took the fight to the radical Islamists, some Americans, particularly Democratic Party politicians who were out of political power and their media lackeys, all too quickly forgot the pain and destruction of 9/11 and the many other Islamic attacks on America and our allies. They began to use the continuing war and the inevitable American service person deaths as a political football.

During the final 2,682 days of his two terms stretching over more than 7 years following those 9/11 attacks, the policies and strategies of President Bush and his team kept the United States safe from any further successful attacks by a determined enemy who was demonstrating all around the rest of the world that it was still very capable of delivering death and destruction.

The current American administration wants desperately to end our involvement in this war. It was elected largely by painting President Bush as a hateful war-monger and won with a promise to take that very action, in fact. However, on actually taking office and being faced with the reality of the situation themselves, Barack Obama and his people seem surprised to find that is it not America that is the problem after all.

This past week saw a reminder from al Qaeda and the radical Islamists that this war is far from over. They again attempted to use airliners to deliver devastating attacks against the United States on American soil. In fact, they continue to seek nuclear, bio-chemical, radiological and other weapons of mass destruction in what will likely one day be a successful large-scale attack on the United States.

The radical Islamists do not care what American political party is in power. They do not care what the skin color or sex or age is of the American president at any given time. They care only about one thing, that America openly convert to Islam and accept Sharia Law as the ruling cultural influence and legal authority. Anything less will result in the continuation of the war from their end.

That is the real important thing that we need to remember, that a war is not over just because we pull many or even all of our troops out of any country. Vietnam did not end when we Americans fled with our tails between our legs. Instead, the victorious North Vietnamese slaughtered an estimated 4.5 million South Vietnamese who our brave military persons had been protecting. But hey, a bunch of hippies and newscasters felt better, so it was okay.

Unless we become even more determined to fight this war against radical Islam with stronger conventional forces and tactics backed by more determined diplomatic energy and support to the region in finances and infra-structure development over what will likely be decades of commitment, we will lose. And the ramifications of our failure now will be even greater than our failure to win in Vietnam.

It likely won’t happen suddenly or overnight, and maybe not even over one generation. But Islam and its accompanying discrimination, intimidation, and hatred will eventually win out. Either that, or some totalitarian regime of Communism led by Russia or China will become the dominant power. The failure this time of the world’s beacon of freedom, the United States of America, will be a devastating blow to freedom everywhere.

So as every bomb explodes, as every school is attacked, as every head is lopped off, as more Americans are threatened and killed, as our leadership continues to talk tough after an attack while plotting our retreat the question begins to shout out to the American public. Do you want to become Islamic, or die? If the answer is neither, then you are again faced with that one simple question: what are you prepared to do?

NOTE: This continues the ongoing ‘Islamism Series’, each entry of which can be viewed by clicking on to that tag below