While many analysts still refuse to see the commonalities among radical Islamic terrorist groups, the horrific image of the beheading of American journalist James Foley should serve as a wake-up call. The radical ideologies of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, ISIS, and al-Qaeda should be seen together as one common threat. It’s time for the enlightened world to wake up to the danger and understand that it’s all the same madness, the same barbarism.
Further, Middle East terrorist groups and Iran (the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism) have a lot more in common than is generally understood.
First, they share a fundamental intolerance of the other: Baha’i, Christians, Jews, and Yazidis, not to mention gays and lesbians and countless others.
Secondly, there is the shared goal of imposing Sharia law on society. For Islamic fundamentalists, the idea of separation of church and state is not only wrong, it is evil.
Third, there is the idea of waging Jihad to spread ideas. Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran said, “We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry `There is no God but God` resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle.”
Finally, Islamic fundamentalists have repeatedly shown a willingness to cooperate in the pursuit of larger goals, such as striking at the U.S. and Israel. Look at Iran’s support for the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. For two decades, Iran has supplied weapons, funding, and training to Palestinian terrorists. This is not the only example of cooperation between Iran and terrorists (even if they happen to be Sunni).
In the 1990s, Iran and Hezbollah provided training for al-Qaeda operatives that led to th 1998 twin bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people.
In 2011 U.S. District Court Judge John Bates issued a 45-page decision in which he wrote, “… the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs.”
Our inability to see the commonality of evil amongst all Islamic fundamentalists endangers us all.
Are the suicide truck bombings of American embassies or Iranian rockets that target Israeli civilians any less barbaric than the beheading of an American journalist?
Since its founding in 2008, our advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has been making the case that Iran’s support for terrorists and abuse of the human rights of its own citizens is both barbaric and unacceptable. Recently, we have documented this in our new VERITAS Project. The enormity of human suffering caused by the brutal Iranian regime is shocking.
And now with the shocking footage of the beheading of the American journalist, we ask this question: If ISIS was a country, would it be acceptable to do business with it?
The CEO’s of hundreds of multinational companies doing business in Iran should be asking themselves a very similar question. We who buy the products of these companies, and invest in them, should also be asking questions.
In his recent his recent op-ed, Israeli Cabinet Minister Yair Lapid wrote, “…good people always refuse to recognize the totality of evil until it’s too late.”
We must wake up and recognize “the totality of evil” – we must understand that when it comes to Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, ISIS, and al-Qaeda, it’s all the same madness- the same barbarism. And we must act.