One is tempted to say something about the world being turned upside down. But in truth, it seems to be Senator Shaheen, and Ambassador Robert Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, who are turned upside down.
The Weekly Standard picked up on their exchange in a Senate hearing on Thursday. Ambassador Jackson was at pains to clarify that Boko Haram’s terrorist ways have nothing to do with Islam. Senator Shaheen concurred:
“I agree and I’m glad you made that point,” said Shaheen. “Clearly, we need to make sure Islam is not confused with some of these horrible terrorist acts that have been and continue to be perpetrated by terrorists groups.”
TWS points out that Boko Haram (which means “Western education is prohibited”) has the goal of overthrowing the government of Nigeria and instituting a sharia state. We can add, of course, that only Islam has the concept of sharia. Judaism and Christianity have always conceived of temporal state government and religious leadership as separate entities.
But “that’s not Islam” has established itself as an unquestioned piety in our pop-culture catechism. Shaheen and Jackson give it the full measure of obeisance.