By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 10, 2017
Candidate Donald Trump vowed to take a fresh approach to Islamic extremism. He ditched the politically correct language of the Obama administration by declaring that we were mired in an ideological conflict with radical Islam, which he likened to the totalitarian ideologies America had defeated in the 20th century.
Mr. Trump also promised, as part of his immigration policy, to put in place an extreme vetting system that screens for Islamic radicalism. He vowed to work with genuine Muslim reformers and concluded with the promise that one of his first acts as president would be to establish a commission on radical Islam.
Mr. Trump has had more than six months to make good on these pledges. He hasn’t gotten very far. The administration’s first move, a hastily drafted executive order limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries backfired when it was repeatedly blocked in court. (And, the Democratic Party)
Worse, subsequent moves have tended to run counter to Mr. Trump’s campaign pledges. Aside from a new questionnaire for visa applicants, there has been no clarity regarding the promised extreme vetting of Muslim immigrants and visitors. The promise to work with and empower authentic Muslim reformers has gone nowhere. The status of the promised commission on radical Islam remains unclear.
Perhaps most discouragingly, the administration’s Middle Eastern strategy seems to involve cozying up to Saudi Arabia, for decades the principal source of funding for Islamic extremism around the world.
But I put the responsibility on Mr. Trump. With regard to radical Islam, he simply seems to have lost interest.
Is all hope of a revamped policy on radical Islam lost? Not necessarily. Prominent members of Congress, among them Sens. Ron Johnson (R.Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R. Iowa) and Reps. Ron DeSantis (R.Fla.) and Trent Franks (R. Ariz.) understand that Islamism must be confronted with ideas as well as arms.