Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

ISIS, Hamas and Boko Haram: Believe their intentions

By Newt Gingrich
updated 1:44 PM EDT, Sat August 9, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Newt Gingrich says ISIS, Hamas and Boko Haram want to impose Islam by force on the world
  • Boko Haram threatened its captured girls with death if they didn't convert to Islam, he says
  • ISIS wants the same thing for the Yazidi girls they are capturing, he says
  • Gingrich: Americans are not "war weary," but even if we were, it would not matter

Editor's note: Newt Gingrich is a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays, and author of a new book, "Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- Grim, unyielding and violent reality is beginning to confront the American political establishment with facts from which it cannot hide.

For 35 years, since Iranians seized the American Embassy on November 4, 1979, and kept the Americans in it as hostages, the United States has been at war with radical Islamists. They knew it. We hid from it.

Year after year since then, radical Islamists have grown more militant, more sophisticated and more numerous.

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

Now, in an arc of terror from Boko Haram in Nigeria through Hamas in Gaza to ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, there is a clear wave of vicious religious warfare being waged against civilization by fanatics who openly promise and engage in genocidal killing.

To understand why I link ISIS, Hamas and Boko Haram, consider the language of their own statements.

Why not take them at their word?

ISIS has made its murderous intentions painfully clear. It has proven in town after town that it will force people to convert to Islam or it will kill them in numbers that are now being called genocidal.

As President Obama said in his speech Thursday night, "Many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out."

ISIS military capacity raises concern
Former Mossad chief on cease-fire
Iraq's Yazidis hiding from ISIS in mountains

The group has also made clear that it views its mission as a worldwide war. "I say to America that the Islamic caliphate has been established," a spokesman for the group said Thursday. He warned that the group will attack America and "will raise the flag of Allah in the White House."

"Don't be cowards and attack us with drones," he said. "Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere."

Its actions give us no choice but to acknowledge that ISIS means what it says.

Many people seem to be confused or deluded into believing that Hamas does not have similarly genocidal intentions. Its charter is a useful starting point.

"Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors," it says.

What does "eliminate" mean, you might ask? More from the charter:

"...[T]he Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"

As Americans and Europeans beg for cease-fires, it is useful to see Hamas' attitude toward such arrangements. From "Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences":

"[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion...the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad. ...

"There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad," it concludes. "The initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game."

Of course, the Charter of Hamas was written in 1988, so maybe they have mellowed?

During this current struggle, while Westerners were begging the Israelis to be reasonable, an imam amplified Hamas' position in a public, televised sermon.

"Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries."

Obviously the organization exists for the same genocidal mission as ISIS.

Boko Haram has its own contribution to this hateful movement. A spokesman for Boko Haram recently told a Nigerian newspaper that "the Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state."

Boko Haram threatened its captured Christian girls with death or being sold into slavery if they didn't convert to Islam.

ISIS is saying the same thing to the Yazidi girls they are capturing.

The civilized world faces an existential challenge to its very right to exist. This violent, genocidal ideology holds more territory today than at any time in modern history.

From Nigeria to Iraq, the challenge is being organized by sincere, serious fanatics motivated by religion and willing, indeed eager, to die for their cause.

Western elites are terrified of confronting this reality. For years they have refused to take these people at their word, and millions of Iraqis, Syrians, Nigerians, Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis, among many others, are paying the price.

President Obama's speech Thursday night was a pathetic, shallow, sophistic excuse for a serious conversation with the American people.

Americans are not "war weary."

But even if we were, it would not matter. The alternative is the victory of genocidal murdering religious fanatics over enormous territory that they pledge to use to attack the United States.

A president's job is to explain this.

President Lincoln carried America through an extraordinarily painful civil war by telling the truth, admitting mistakes and reminding Americans what was at stake.

The elites in both political parties have refused to confront how serious, brutal and determined our enemies are.

The State Department is the second most dysfunctional federal department after the Veterans Administration because its culture and structure force it to mislead and misinform every president.

Thirteen years after 9/11, at a cost of thousands of lives, tens of thousands of wounded, and trillions of dollars, the United States is weaker and our enemies are stronger.

This is not an Obama problem.

This is an American problem.

We need a new honest conversation on how we as a free people are going to defeat the forces of evil who stalk the planet.

Read CNNOpinion's new Flipboard magazine

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook.com/CNNOpinion.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:47 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Julian Zelizer says Jimmy Carter's message about the need to restore trust in public officials is a vital one, decades after the now 90-year-old he first voiced it
updated 5:56 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Ford Vox says mistakes and missed opportunities along the line to a diagnosis of Ebola in a Liberian man have put Dallas residents at risk of fatal infection
updated 6:21 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Pepper Schwartz says California is trying, but its law requiring step-by-step consent is just not the way hot and heavy sex proceeds on college campuses
updated 10:17 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Mike Downey says long-suffering fans, waiting for good playoff news since 1985, finally get something to cheer about
updated 5:39 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Steve Israel saysJohn Boehner's Congress and the tea party will be remembered for shutting down government one year ago
updated 2:56 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Yep. You read the headline right, says Peter Bergen, writing on the new government that stresses national unity
updated 7:12 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators are but the latest freedom group to be abandoned by the Obama administration, says Mike Gonzalez
updated 12:53 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Jeff Yang calls Ello a wakeup call to Facebook and Twitter, and a sign of hope for fast-rising upstarts Pinterest and Snapchat.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Paul Waldman says the Secret Service should examine its procedures to make sure there are no threats to the White House--but without losing the openness so valuable to democracy
updated 10:55 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Jesse Williams says the videotape and 911 call that resulted in police gunning down John Crawford at a Walmart reveals the fatal injustice of racial assumptions
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mel Robbins says officials should drop the P.C. pose: The beheading in Oklahoma was not workplace violence. Plenty of evidence shows Alton Nolen was an admirer of ISIS.
updated 3:11 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, William Piekos says..
updated 3:11 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, writes William Piekos.
updated 10:13 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits America, Madeleine Albright says a world roiled by conflict needs these two great democracies to commit to moving their partnership forward
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
John Sutter: Lake Providence, Louisiana, is the parish seat of the "most unequal place in America." And until somewhat recently, the poor side of town was invisible on Google Street View.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Julian Zelizer says in the run up to the 2016 election the party faces divisions on its approach to the U.S.'s place in the world
updated 10:19 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says Common Core supporters can't devise a new set of standards and then fail to effectively sell it.
updated 9:29 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Earlier this month, Kenyans commemorated the heinous attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
updated 2:59 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
David Wheeler says Colorado students are right to protest curriculum changes that downplays civil disobedience.
updated 9:58 PM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Sally Kohn says when people click on hacked celebrity photos or ISIS videos, they are encouraging the bad guys.
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Loren Bunche says she walked by a homeless man every day and felt bad about it -- until one day she paused to get to know him
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
ISIS grabs headlines on social media, but hateful speech is no match for moderate voices, says Nadia Oweidat.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
A new report counts jihadists fighting globally. The verdict? The threat isn't that big, says Peter Bergen.
updated 5:37 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Ebola could become the biggest humanitarian disaster in a generation, writes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
updated 12:58 PM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
ISIS has shocked the world. But will releasing videos of executions backfire? Four experts give their take.
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Eric Holder kicked off his stormy tenure as attorney general with a challenge to the public that set tone for six turbulent years as top law-enforcement officer.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
LZ Granderson says Obama was elected as a war-ending change agent, not a leader who would leave behind for his successor new engagement in Iraq and Syria. Is he as disappointed as the rest of us?
updated 5:10 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Gayle Lemmon says the question now is how to translate all the high-profile feminizing into real gains for women
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT