Sounding the Alarm on Silent Jihad

By Andrew E. Harrod:

“There is broad bipartisan agreement that America is at risk,” declared former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra via video at the March 6, 2014, National Security Action Summit (NSAC).  The “silent jihad” of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliated groups described by Hoekstra at National Harbor’s Westin Hotel across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, should alarm all Americans.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

In comparison to the “violent jihad” of groups like Al Qaeda, the MB “strategy is very, very different,” Hoekstra explained during the panel “The Muslim Brotherhood, the ‘Civilization Jihad’ and Its Enablers.”  MB groups “are going to use our laws, our customs…our freedom of speech, the values we profess…to become a cancer” in the United States.  MB supporters would seek “initially a tolerance of sharia law” that “begins the process of establishing of Islamism,” a process evident in certain European neighborhoods where sharia has become “de facto law.”  “Never forget the phrase:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Hoekstra added when discussing cooperation across intra-Muslim sectarian divides such as between a Sunni Al Qaeda and a Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.  “They ultimately share the same objective:  the destruction of the West.”

MB “Islamic supremacism” or Islamism “is not a fringe ideology” but is actually the “dynamic element of Islam” today, former first World Trade Center (WTC) bombing prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed in his video address.  Contrary to the “very Politically Correct interpretation of Islam” encountered among policymakers by McCarthy, Islamism is “not a hijacking of a doctrine” but rather Islam’s “most unalloyed form.”  Suffering numerous maladies, the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman prosecuted by McCarthy could only lead the 1993 WTC terrorists because “he was a master of sharia doctrine.”  Without understanding “sharia supremacism” as a “very active ideology” according to polls of Muslims worldwide, “we will never be able to protect ourselves.”

“You don’t know jack,” sharia expert Stephen Coughlin agreed on the panel, without understanding this MB “metanarrative.”  “It runs deep…the threat,” Coughlin noted concerning terms taken “verbatim” from the 7thcentury Pact of Umar recently imposed by Syrian jihadist groups upon Christians.  Yet Coughlin worried that the “enemy knows us better than us” in an America whose political and religious leaders often no longer properly understand their constitution and Judeo-Christian faith, respectively.

Subverting rule of law through “narrative control” is central to Islamist groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international grouping of 57 (including “Palestine”) mostly majority-Muslim states.  “If you do not control the narrative, no matter what position you take, you will lose.”  In particular, “he who controls the First Amendment…controls the Constitution,” Coughlin warned in discussing the OIC’s 2005 Ten-Year Strategic Action Plan with its call for “Combating Islamophobia” via censorship.  The OIC would seek to interpret the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ Article 20 ban on incitement as prohibiting speech to which recipients react violently.  This is the “battered wife syndrome” of “if you say that, I am going to have to beat you up”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

KSM’s Prison Communiqués Part II: Wartime Religion of Peace Propaganda

20120506_khalid_sheikh_mohammed (1)by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

We explained in yesterday’s Ordered Liberty post that the publication of jihad heavyweight Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s communiqués, disseminated from the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, herald the return of the pre-9/11 paradigm: jihadist terror treated as a mere law-enforcement problem, not a war. Now, we turn to the propaganda aspects of KSM’s published writings, which – so far as we know at this time – include an Islamic-supremacist manifesto (published by the Huffington Post) and a lengthy letter to a social-worker pen-pal in Britain (reported on by the Guardian).

Let’s start by observing that it would have been inconceivable during, say, World War II, for the U.S. government to permit imprisoned German or Japanese enemy combatants (of which there were thousands) to enable publication of ideological propaganda from American detention facilities. It would have been nearly as inconceivable for American lawyers to argue that alien enemy combatants had a “right” to communicate with the outside world this way, or for American news outlets to publish enemy propaganda under the guise of “news” reporting. The two latter institutions have changed for the worse, and the government (very much including the courts) is bending to accommodate, rather than resisting, the Lawyer Left and the media.

For the reasons detailed in yesterday’s post, this is an alarming development. The national imperative in wartime should be victory over our enemies. We should not be at war unless we have that commitment – it is a profound betrayal of the young men and women we put in harm’s way to enable our enemies. KSM has no constitutional rights, we owe him only humane treatment, and it is ludicrous to suggest that he has a right to get his messages out to the world while he is lawfully detained as an enemy combatant.

Yet, the Obama Defense Department told Fox News that it is capable of vetting jihadist communications to ensure that their publication poses no threat. Even assuming for argument’s sake that the government has such a duty – and it does not, there should be a blanket prohibition – the claim is laughable.

As I demonstrated in yesterday’s post, the communications of imprisoned jihadists, even those that seem ostensibly harmless, increase the prestige of the inmates in the eyes of Islamic supremacists. They can be exploited by the imprisoned jihadists’ confederates for purposes of fundraising, recruitment, and calls to violence. It is not a matter of what our genius government analysts believe they can divine in the way of jihadist commands and coded messages. It is a matter of how the jihadists on the outside can use communications from imprisoned terrorists to promote anti-Americanism and jihadism.

But even putting that aside, our government is incompetent when it comes to vetting jihadist communications. It cannot be competent because it has spent the last quarter century putting its head in the sand on the matter of Islamic supremacist ideology and the nexus between Islamic scripture and jihadist violence.

Back in 2008, I wrote a book called Willful Blindness about what even then was a longstanding dysfunction. Yet, things have gotten much worse, particularly under Obama’s watch. The government has now purged information about Islamic supremacism from instruction materials used to train our military, intelligence and law-enforcement agents – effectively giving Islamist organizations and operatives (many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and red-carpet access to the administration) a veto over what our investigators and analysts may be taught about the ideology that catalyzes the threat to our nation.

The resulting debacle is elucidated by the press reporting on KSM’s communiqués, which shows why information of this sort should never be published in wartime. The HuffPo story uncritically reports, for example, that KSM is now trying to persuade people to come to Islam peacefully and that forcing people to convert to Islam is against the Koran. The obvious agenda is to put KSM – the most evil mass-murderer ever to be in American custody – in a more sympathetic light, or at the very least to bleach away any nexus between Islamic principles and atrocities committed by Muslims in the name of Islam.

But KSM has not changed and neither have his beliefs – they remain as enduring as our conscious avoidance of his ideology.

In point of fact, Islamic law teaches that, before waging offensive jihad, Muslims must first invite non-believers to accept the truth of Islam. Doctrinally, this summons to Islam is a necessary precondition to waging violent jihad. There are numerous examples of bin Laden and Zawahiri (bin Laden’s deputy and now the leader of al Qaeda) issuing public statements calling on infidels to accept Islam. Under their interpretation of sharia, it is a box they are supposed to check before they start blowing things up and steering airplanes into skyscrapers.

The reporting makes much of KSM’s assertion that the Koran forbids forcible conversion to Islam. The narrative now making the rounds is that KSM “has renounced violence,” as Canada’s National Post puts it.

Even a cursory familiarity with Islamic supremacist ideology would put this specious claim to rest. It is true, in the most narrow of senses, that Islamic doctrine forbids forcible conversion: Muslims are not supposed to hold a gun to your head to force you to convert. But Islamic doctrine endorses violence for the purpose of promoting Islam, and conversion is not close to being the most significant way of promoting Islam.

Read more: Family Security Matters

See also:

KSM’s Prison Communiqués: Enemy Combatants Back to Being Criminal Defendants

ksmBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

I was invited to provide commentary Tuesday night on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program (“The Kelly File”) regarding the all too predictable but nevertheless appalling news that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — al Qaeda heavyweight, 9/11 mastermind, decapitator of Daniel Pearl, jihadist warring against America for the better part of two decades, and murderer of nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens — has been permitted to transmit propaganda out of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. The interview is posted on Megyn’s site here — I respond to contentions made by the first guest, defense lawyer and former JAG Charles Swift.

More needs to be said on this. Let’s first consider the insanity of permitting enemy combatants to communicate with the outside world while the war ensues — and though the administration rarely speaks or acts as if there is a war going on, and while the public pays it scant attention, we still have forces in harm’s way pursuant to a congressional authorization of combat operations; we are still killing and capturing enemy operatives pursuant to the laws of war, which is only permissible during wartime.

The rationale for shifting, post-9/11, from a law-enforcement counterterrorism paradigm to a war-footing prominently included the recognition that we had to regard as a military enemy, not as mere criminal defendants, the members of an international terrorist network that (a) had declared war against the U.S.; (b) was supported by rogue governments; (c) focused its jihad on American military, political, economic and civilian targets; and (d) was capable of projecting force on the scale of the 9/11 attacks. Contrary to popular wisdom, that remains a salient distinction.

Criminal defendant detainees in the civilian justice system are arrested only after being accused of crimes, and are presumed innocent of the charges. Thus, in the pretrial phase, they have an array of rights even if they are denied bail — and bail may only be denied based on risk-of-flight or convincing proof that they pose a danger to potential witnesses or the community at large. These pretrial rights include liberal opportunities to meet with counsel for trial-defense preparation, and to have contact with others in the outside world that approximates what accused people who are at liberty enjoy. (This changes if and when a defendant is found guilty at trial. Incarcerated convicts have significantly fewer rights and privileges than pretrial detainees.)

To the contrary, enemy combatant detainees do not have to be accused of prosecutable offenses in order to be lawfully detained, and they are generally denied contact with the outside world. The reason is straightforward. While the object of the civilian criminal justice system is to provide due process to the accused so that civil rights are protected and trial outcomes have integrity, the object of war is to defeat the enemy. Consequently, while we owe enemy combatants basic humane treatment, due process concerns are not a high priority. After all, the rationale for detaining enemy combatants has little or nothing to do with prosecution of a criminal case — indeed, there need be no criminal case, and in most instances there is not one. The purpose of detaining enemy combatants is to deplete the assets of the enemy and thus achieve victory more rapidly and with less bloodshed.

Moreover, even when enemy combatants have committed provable war crimes that qualify for trial by military commission, the priority in wartime remains victory for the nation. As long as the war ensues, due process for the war criminal is never the priority because prosecuting war crimes, even when the accused is a high-ranking enemy operative, is far less important than victory in the war. Due process rules governing discovery and testimony can result in the public revelation of our intelligence about the enemy, and in the use of the trial process by the enemy for propaganda purposes. Thus, war crimes trials rarely happen until after the war is over, and when they do happen during the war, great care must be taken to guard against unnecessary disclosures.

Of course, fundamental fairness requires permitting an accused war criminal enough access to counsel to prepare for trial. This, however, does not imply that the accused has constitutional rights. Most commentators get this point wrong. We permit an alien enemy combatant meaningful access to counsel because by accusing him of war crimes we have chosen to put him on trial. A trial would not meet the Anglo-American standards for a trial if the accused were not permitted a meaningful opportunity to mount whatever defense he may have. That is, our concern is with the integrity of the trial process, not with the purported “rights” of wartime enemies who have committed atrocities against Americans.

Obviously, then, an alien enemy combatant accused of war crimes is not entitled to the extensive contact with counsel afforded in the civilian justice system to Americans who are fully vested with Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. And even less is an alien enemy combatant entitled to other, more general contact with the outside world.

Read more at PJ Media

McCarthy: Syrian intervention should be based on national security not who used chemical weapons

 

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels (via Shoebat.com)

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels (via Shoebat.com)

Syria Argument Has Not Changed Since Spring

by Andrew McCarthy:

The debate on Syria continues to focus like a laser on exactly the wrong issue — whether Assad used chemical weapons. To be sure, as Alan Reynolds argued here yesterday, the Obama administration’s case that he did is underwhelming. More disturbing, Yossef Bodansky lays out evidence that the Assad regime’s alleged sarin attack on August 21 was a deception engineered by the mujahideen rebels who, a week earlier, were already antcipating what he describes as “an imminent escalation in the fighting due to ‘a war-changing development’ which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.” All that aside, however, the main problem remains what it has always been: Assad’s enemies are enemies of the United States, and helping them does not advance American national security.

Read more…

And over at PJ Media, McCarthy reminds us of Al Qaeda’s history in regards to chemical weapons.

Listen to Secure Freedom Radio interviews with Robert Zarate, Henry Sokolski, Andy McCarthy, and Gordon Chang on the Syrian issue

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The Ultimate “Unmentionable”?: Bernard Lewis Served with Huma Abedin & A.O. Nasseef on the IMMA Editorial Board

Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin

By Andrew Bostom:

This past week my colleagues Andrew McCarthy and Diana West strove gamely to remind (at least) conservatives of “tweet-martyred” Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood/Wahhabist connections, most notably vis a vis her longstanding (and familial) ties to the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs.

Having explored these connections in great detail last August, which McCarthy and West now deftly allude to in their excellent commentaries, a more detailed summary of my original findings merits recapitulation. Moreover, McCarthy’s apt title, “The Huma Unmentionables,” is the perfect segue to a rather striking (if disconcerting) discovery I made that may indeed be the ultimate “unmentionable” regarding the conservatives’ (especially neoconservatives’) ultimate sage on all-things-Islamic, Bernard Lewis.

Over the past 34 years, Huma Abedin’s family has been responsible for the editorial production of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA)’s academic journal, known as Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. Journal, from 1979-1995, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs [JMMA], from 1996. till now, starting with family patriarch Syed Z. Abedin’s, and Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin‘s, founding involvement since 1979, and subsequently joined by Huma’s brother Hassan Abedin (1996 to present), Huma herself (1996 to2008), and Huma’s sister, Heba (married name Khalid, or Khaled2002 to present).

Syed Abedin, in the inaugural edition of the IMMA journal, gives an effusive tribute to one of his IMMA co-founders, Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef,Chairman of the IMMA. During his concurrent tenure as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League — a combined Saudi Wahhabi, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated organization — in July, 1988, Naseef also created theRabita Trust, and became its chairman. On October 12, 2001, then President George W. Bush’s Executive Order named Rabita Trust as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, and the US Treasury Department froze its assets, while Naseef was still serving as the Trust’s chairman. Nasseef remained on the IMMA journal Editorial Board through 2003, overlapping Huma Abedin’s tenure for 7-years (i.e., 1996-2003).

The April/May 2012  issue of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs journal (JMMA) featured two essays, introduced with lavish praise by Editor Saleha Abedin, which champion, unabashedly:

  • The global hegemonic aspirations of major 20th century Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologues, such as the eminent Muslim Brotherhood theoretician, Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), and Abul Hasan Nadwi (d. 1999)
  • The more expansive application of Sharia within Muslim minority communities residing in the West, with the goal of replacing these non-Muslim governing systems, as advocated by contemporary Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologues, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Taha Jabir al-Alwani

One of these JMMA essays repeats, approvingly, Qutb’s pejorative characterization of the West as a “disastrous combination of avid materialism, and egoistic individualism.” Abul Hasan Nadwi, was a founding member of the Muslim World League, a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (now Cooperation), a member of the World Supreme Council of Mosques, and a member of the Fiqh Council of Rabita.  In a triumphal 1951 manifesto extolling Islamic supremacism, Nadwi had proclaimed  ”Behold the world of man looking with rapture at the world of Islam as its savior, and behold the world of Islam fixing its gaze on the Arab world as its secular and spiritual leader. Will the world of Islam realize the hope of the world of men? And will the Arab world realize the hope of the Muslim world?” Citing Nadwi with admiration, the same JMMA article opines, “[T]he confrontation has taken the shape of an ‘Islamic project’ in the Muslim world against Western modernity…. The war that has been declared against Western modernity now seeks a new modernity…unlike Western modernity.”

Another featured essay from the April/May 2012  issue of the JMMA is a fitting complement to  the journal’s endorsement of the global Islamic supremacist agenda. This essay endorses the so-called “innovative” application of the  “Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities,” living, for example, in the West, whose stated purpose is, “enforcement of shari’ah on the Muslim communities.” However, by the essay’s own expressed standard: “The theory of the Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities is most easily clarified by shedding light on its founders.”

The two founders of this legal doctrine, as the essay  notes, are Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar, and Taha Jabir al-Alwani of Virginia, USA. Qaradawi haspublicly advocated:

  • The re-creation of a formal transnational United Islamic State (Islamic Caliphate)
  • The jihad conquests of Europe, and the Americas
  • Universal application of the Sharia, including Islamic blasphemy law, and the hadd punishments (for example, notably, executing so-called “apostates” from Islam)

Al-Alwani, writing as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, stated, regarding a (then) new English translation of the classic Shafiite manual of Islamic jurisprudence Reliance of the Traveller,  “from a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works.” Notwithstanding al-Alwani’s glowing tribute,  Reliance of the Traveller sanctions open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic Caliphate; rejection of bedrock Western liberties-including freedom of conscience and speech-enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel (who must be segregated and undergo female genital mutilation); and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption. Moreover, Al-Alwani wished Islamized Spain had conquered America and spread Islam in our hemisphere, not Christianity. He stated,  “Perhaps some of them [Muslims from Spain] would have been the ones who discovered America, not someone else, and America could have possibly been today among the lands of the Muslims”

Al-Alwani was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami Al-Arian who pled guilty to conspiracy to aid the terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, al-Alwani published an essay online, discovered (and translated from Arabic to English) in July 2011, entitled “The Great Haughtiness”, which promoted conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred replete with Koranic references, conjoined to modern “Zionist conspiracies”

The Abedin family “academic” journal is a thinly veiled mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharia-supremacist agenda.

Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis

But now the ultimate “unmentionable” omitted by both McCarthy and West in their fine expositions. Bernard Lewis’ apologetic tendencies must have been attractive to the Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi Wahhabi front Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, and its pseudo-academic Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA). Regardless of whether Lewis was a willing dupe, or not, he served on the editorial board of the JMMA for some 14 years, from 1996 to2010, thus overlapping with Nasseef for 7-years (like Huma), and Huma herself for 12-years. This revelation should be pondered in conjunction with a very lengthy WSJ analysis-a Bernard Lewis pom-pom section if there ever was one-by Peter Waldman, circa February, 2004  (“A Historian’s Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight  Bernard Lewis’s Blueprint — Sowing Arab Democracy — Is Facing a Test in Iraq Peter Waldman /Wall Street Journal, Feb 3, 2004). The WSJ investigative essay stands as confirmation of Lewis’s profound influence in shaping the “Islamic democracy agenda,” no matter what Lewis has done to disingenuously reinvent  his role in the Iraq invasion and larger “Islamic democratization” efforts (as in this April, 2012 interview), including his support the removal of  the “cunning autocrat” Hosni Mubarak.

These critical limitations of Bernard Lewis’ judgment have implications which must be recognized by all those for whom Lewis remains an iconic source of information, and advice, especially policy advice.

 

Interview with Erick Stakelbeck on Egypt and the Brotherhood

51pr4zxza5lWith Mohamed Morsi out and Egypt’s future unclear, Erick Stakelbeck, author of the new book The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, talks to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about what the “Arab Spring” turned into and where Egypt may go from here, with a warning for the United States.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Is there anything about what’s going on in Egypt right now that surprises you?

ERICK STAKELBECK: I’m a bit surprised that it took the Egyptian military a full year to finally step in and pull the plug on Morsi’s disastrous, aggressively Islamist tenure. Beginning in August 2012, when Morsi suddenly and boldly sacked Egypt’s longtime defense minister and other top generals, and continuing through that November, when Morsi seized dictatorial powers and then rammed through a nakedly sharia-driven constitution, it was obvious that he and the Brotherhood (aided by a freshly minted, Islamist-dominated parliament) were going “all in” on their dream to transform Egypt into a draconian Islamic state. In the process, they dropped their longtime strategy of stealthy gradualism and made their nefarious intentions for Egypt abundantly clear to the world.

All the while, the Egyptian military brass largely stayed silent, even as Morsi attempted to stack its ranks — and those of Egypt’s military academy — with Islamists. Why the military waited so long to turn back the MB tide is unclear. As NRO’s Andrew McCarthy has pointed out, top general Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was handpicked by Morsi, may himself have Islamist tendencies. But Morsi’s ham-handed, polarizing, and tactless methods of going about the Islamist project in Egypt had to be red flags for al-Sisi and other possible sympathizers in the military (as was the looming possibility of famine and starvation among segments of the Egyptian populace). The final tipping point for the military was clearly the demonstrations — the largest in human history — against Morsi and the Brothers during the first week of July.

And that brings us to the greatest surprise of all: that the Muslim Brotherhood, long the world’s most politically astute, patient, and disciplined Islamist movement, overplayed its hand so badly in Egypt and revealed its true intent so early. At the end of the day, instituting sharia was more important to Morsi and his fellow Brothers than feeding the Egyptian people or making even the slightest attempt at jumpstarting the Egyptian economy. That in itself is not surprising. This is who the Brothers are, after all: committed ideological fanatics. What is surprising is that they made it so obvious, so soon.

Read more at National Review

Read excerpts of Erick Stakelbeck’s new book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, here and here.

Seems Like a Natural To Me

 

!cid_part1_08030805_08060206@earthlinkNRO, By Andrew McCarthy:

Janet Napolitano is stepping down from her cabinet post as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to take over as president of the University of California. During Secretary Napolitano’s tenure, the DHS became a haven for Islamist advisers and cleared Egyptian terrorist organization members andsupporters for visits to the White House.

While he was a student at the University of California, Mohamed Morsi joined the Muslim Brotherhood. He later became the president of Egypt, establishing a close working relationship with President Obama. During his recently abbreviated term, President Morsi released some terrorist organization members from jail and, courtesy of Secretary Napolitano, sent others to Washington for visits to the White House. Mr. Morsi is now . . . er . . . between jobs.

President Obama’s policy holds that securing our homeland requires partnering with Islamist leaders and taking their “subject matter expert” guidance on what homeland security agents should learn about Islam.

So we have a clear mission, an open slot, and a guy who needs a new gig . . .

 

The War on Terror is Over: Now What?

images (67)by Clare M. Lopez:

“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.” — President Barack Obama , National Defense University, 23 May 23, 2013

Just a few days before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in May 2013, the President of the United States declared unilateral surrender in what used to be called the Global War on Terror [GWOT] – that is, the war to defend the U.S. and the free world against the forces of Islamic jihad and Islamic Shariah Law. No, he did not actually wave a white flag from the podium, but he may as well have done: in calling for an end to the “Authorization to Use Military Force” (AUMF); declaring al-Qa’eda “on the road to defeat” (again—or maybe it is ‘still’), and expressing reservations about “keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing,” Barack Obama made it clear that he hasn’t the stomach for this fight. It is not that the war is actually over, of course, but rather that, as Andrew McCarthy put it, “he wants it to be over.”

In an odd sort of way, though, Obama’s abandonment of the field of battle to the enemy clears away a good deal of the “clutter” that has attended the so-called GWOT over the last dozen years since the 9/11 attacks. Obama even used language that may help the average American and those observers who see things rather differently from him to begin formulating a new, coherent, and comprehensive kind of national security strategy geared actually to defeating an Islamic supremacist adversary.

The president rightly noted that “[w]e need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills, a battle of ideas.” He even went so far as to reference Islamic “extremists,” and acknowledged that there remains a “pull towards extremism.” Of course, after once again accurately mentioning that a “common ideology” fuels the terrorism we face, he shied quickly away from explaining just what that “common ideology” might be and instead launched into a shopping list of surrender terms that he is betting will somehow sap the fighting spirit of Islamic jihad, perhaps, one assumes, by the sheer force of their reasonableness. Among these are the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan and fewer boots on the ground everywhere (they are claimed to be “self-defeating“); suspension of the “Authorization to Use of Military Force;” partnerships with jihadist state powers, such as Pakistan; addressing “underlying grievances,” such as poverty and sectarian hatred (no details on how to get Sunnis and Shi’as to start liking each other, though); more foreign aid (perhaps to some of the oil rich jihad nurseries such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia?); greater respect for state sovereignty (Libya, Syria and Israel presumably excepted); and, of course, closing Guantanamo Bay [GITMO]. The one that’s sure to grab jihadi attention immediately, though, is the president’s determination to “be humbler.” Unfortunately for the president’s strategy, the ideology of this particularly savage enemy tends to treat “humility” as groveling — and as an invitation to double down on aggression.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

France’s Growing Islamist Problem

franceBy Ryan Mauro:

The reaction to a recent Muslim robbery of a priest in France is a sad indication of where the country is headed. A Catholic official pointed out, “If it had been an imam or rabbi, he [the Interior Minister] would already been on the spot.” This is no surprise, as Socialist President Hollande’s pandering to the Muslim population played a large role in his election.

The incident began when four Muslims surrounded the priest and told him to hand over his cell phone. One thief knocked him unconscious. The attack may have been motivated by criminality and not jihad, but the two are part of a common trend.

There are over 750 government-designated “Sensitive Urban Zones” in France, referred to as “No-Go Zones” by Dr. Daniel Pipes. About 5 million Muslims live in these areas of France where law enforcement doesn’t exercise decisive control. When the authorities do have to step in, a violent backlash quickly arises. There are many videos of Muslim worshippers holding illegal prayers in the streets when their mosques overflow without any response from police.

On New Year’s, about 1,200 cars were set on fire and police clashed with residents in the Muslim-majority districts of Strasbourg and Mulhouse. In August, a two-day rampage was sparked when a Muslim was arrested for driving without a license around the time of a funeral. Massive riots have broken out in these no-go zones because of the hostility to reasonable law enforcement. Over half of the French prison population is Muslim, where many are radicalized.

A lack of integration is the most common factor in Islamic terrorists. These unassimilated areas are not just breeding grounds for criminals, but for extremism as well—particularly when foreign Islamist governments and organizations get involved.

The Saudi Arabia-based Muslim World League, described by Andrew McCarthy as “the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology,” is helping finance the construction of 200 new mosques. The French Council of the Muslim Faith wants to eventually doublethe 2,500 mosques in the country.

Qatar, the supposed U.S. “ally” that subsidizes the Muslim Brotherhood, is also active in France’s Muslim community. It is financing mosques and the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main branch there. It demands the government to pass a law against “Islamophobia.” The Qatari government is also investing $65 million in the suburbs where over 1 million Muslim immigrants live.

This isn’t purely an act of humanitarianism or a business investment. The Qatari constitution is based on Sharia Law. The Christians in Qatar, almost 6% of the population, are allowed to practice their faith but cannot proselytize  to Muslims. Hypocritically, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani publicly pledged in December 2011 to “spare no effort” to proselytize the Islamic teachings of Muhammad al-Wahhab, the founder of what is often called “Wahhabism.”

Read more at Front Page

Jihad experts decry White House terror training guidelines

See no jihad, hear no jihad, speak no jihad

See no jihad, hear no jihad, speak no jihad

By Neil Munro:

Experts on Islam and terrorism are decrying the Department of Homeland Security’s recently revealed anti-terrorism training guidelines, which pressure cops to ignore Islamic beliefs when investigating terror crimes.

The Boston bombings demonstrated the impact of such training, Andrew McCarthy, a former New York prosecutor, told The Daily Caller.

“The Boston Marathon was bombed by a jihadist who had been investigated by the FBI … [and was confirmed in 2011 to be] an Islamist, which would have been hard not to do since he does not appear to have made any secret of it,” said McCarthy, who persuaded a New York jury in 1995 to convict “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman for his use of Islamic teaching to spur jihad attacks, including the 1993 attack against the Twin Towers.

But before the bombing, “the FBI closed its file [on Tamerlan Tsarnaev] because it found this did not constitute ‘derogatory information,’” McCarthy said.

McCarthy and other security experts, and even members of the American Islamic community, indicate that a culture of excessive concern for the sensibilities of Muslims supremacists is preventing law enforcement agencies from pursuing jihadists.

The 2011 guidelines unveiled Thursday by The Daily Caller are part of this pattern of deferring to Islamist chauvinism. (Related: Homeland Security guidelines advise deference to pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists)

Under the federal guidelines, “agents are admonished to discount the possibility that an Islamist’s constitutionally protected abhorrence of the United States might possibly lead to violence,” McCarthy told TheDC.

Even if FBI officials had learned about Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to a part of southern Russia that is embroiled in a jihadi war, they would not have restarted their 2011 investigation, a government official told the Washington Post in April.

“The FBI investigation into the individual in question had been closed six months prior to his departure from the United States and more than a year before his return. …Since there was no derogatory information, there was no reason to suggest that additional action was warranted,” the official said in April.

On his six-month trip, starting in January 2012, Tsarnaev visited several militant Islamic leaders and mosques in Dagestan, where jihadis are fighting the Russian government, according to several U.S. and Russian media sources.

“The fiasco regarding Boston is a prime example” of how bad training degrades security, said Robert Spencer, an authority on Islamic doctrine who is heavily criticized by Islamic groups in the United States. He noted that even though FBI agents had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the FBI was unable to identify Tsarnaev in crowd photographs taken before and after the bomb strike.

After the attack, FBI officials also did not ask the main mosque in Boston for help in identifying the suspects, said Nichole Mossalam, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Boston.

“We were the ones who reached out to them … on Friday” once the picture were released, Mossalam told TheDC.

Under the federal guideline, the FBI officials had “no reason to go to the mosque since the [Tsarnaev] brothers don’t show any outward signs in the [street] photos of being Muslims,” said McCarthy.

Because of the guidelines, it would be “a ‘profiling’ scandal to show the pictures at the mosque just because it was a bombing with … no other evidence of connection to Muslims,” he said.

The guidelines, titled “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training Do’s and Don’ts,” don’t merely promote respect for free expression but actively promote extremist views by telling officials to sideline experts who “venture too deep into the weeds of [Islamic] religious doctrines and history. … [T]hese topics are not necessary in order to understand the [Muslim] community.”

The DHS also actively discourages engagement with moderate Muslims. “Don’t use trainers … who are self-professed ‘Muslim reformers’ … [or who] equate radical thought [or] religious expressions … with criminal activity,” say the training guidelines.

The guidelines also advise cops, “Don’t use a trainer or training that has received repeated external negative feedback … don’t use training that treats the American Muslim community as a problem rather than as a partner … don’t use training that relies on fear [for example, by citing convictions that show] mainstream Muslim organizations have terrorist ties.”

The training guidelines go so far as to urge federal officials to rely on a political report by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), a Los Angeles, California-based Islamic advocacy group with extensive ties to jihadists and Islamist groups, including the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

Read more at The Daily Caller

 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) read and commented on an article from The Daily Caller on the House floor. The article notes, “The Department of Homeland Security…has shown a keen interest in monitoring and warning about outspoken conservatives, takes a very different approach in monitoring political Islamists, according to a 2011 memo on protecting the free speech rights of pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists.”

 

Allen West on How to Successfully Prosecute the Boston Marathon Bomber

1366650904223.cachedFormer federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy talks to Col. Allen B. West about the challenges prosecutors will face in prosecuting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Is federal court the right forum in which to prosecute the Boston Marathon bomber? Is a military commission a more appropriate forum? Find out.

Obama and the Jihad

images (34)Front Page:

Editor’s note: Below is the video of the panel discussion “Obama and the Jihad,” featured at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2013 West Coast Retreat. The event was held February 22nd-24th at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California. A transcript of the discussion follows. Speakers: Andrew McCarthy, Robert Spencer and John Solomon

Jamie Glazov: We have a heroic truth-teller by the name of Michele Bachmann.  And one of the names that she was concerned about was Mohamed Elibiary.  An Egyptian magazine, by the way, just recently boasted that the Muslim Brotherhood is penetrating Washington.  And one of the names they mentioned was Mohamed Elibiary.

Just want to tell a very quick story about this individual, and for us to let it swirl around in our head that this is a person that today’s in the Homeland — he’s on the Advisory Council in Homeland Security.  Mohamed Elibiary in 2004 gave a speech at an evening dedicated to the Ayatollah Khomeini.  It was a tribute to the grand Islamic visionary.  This is in 2004.  This is a mass murderer — the killing fields, Ayatollah Khomeini.  Imagine one of us gives a speech at a conference praising Adolf Hitler or Stalin.

And Robert Spencer, our distinguished guest with us this evening, approached Mohamed Elibiary, if I am correct — right, Robert?

Robert Spencer: Yes.

Jamie Glazov: And he asked him — what were you doing there?  And he said — oh, I was there, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  But, you know, I was there anyway.  And we are not investigating this.

Imagine that you end up at a conference praising Adolf Hitler, and you don’t know why you’re there.  And then you’re there anyway, and your reaction is — oh, they’re praising Adolf Hitler here tonight.  Well, I’m here anyway, might as well go ahead and make the speech.  Because he did go ahead and make the speech.

This is one of the individuals in our government today.  And what I’m thinking about is — do we have a right to ask some questions?  Should there be an investigation?

Ladies and gentlemen, the future must not belong to the slanderers of the Prophet of Islam.  In Islam, “slander” is also known and interpreted to be not even slander; it could be just saying something uncomfortable.  It could be saying something that Muslims just don’t want to hear.  And my response to that is — no, Mr. President, the future must belong to the truth-tellers.

And we have three of them with us this afternoon.

Andy McCarthy: For all the awful things there are to say about the Obama Administration — and there certainly isn’t time in a panel, in a weekend, in a lifetime, to catalogue all of those — a lot of what we’re seeing today is simply Obama exploiting an atmosphere that has been created over a course of more than 20 years.

I said 20 years — Jamie mentioned the Blind Sheikh prosecution — Tuesday will be the 20th anniversary, if you can call it that, of the World Trade Center bombing.  And I thought that was pretty significant, because we just got through the testimony at the confirmation hearing of John Brennan.  And Michele catalogued a lot of Brennan’s dubious background last night.  But I think the most interesting thing I’ve come across about Brennan is his speech about jihad just a couple of years ago, and explaining his interpretation of the concept of jihad.

And the interesting thing about that is that here we are 20 years after the Trade Center bombing, 20 years of jihad in America, and we actually don’t even know what jihad is yet, even at an official level.  And I think the interesting thing — if you go back to that trial and flash forward to today, a couple of interesting things stand out.  One is the Blind Sheikh wanted his defense at the trial to be that we couldn’t hold him liable for green-lighting acts of terrorism, for issuing fatwas — or the Islamic edict, juristic edict, approving a course of conduct — any course of conduct, but in this instance, terrorist attacks.

Because in his view, he was simply performing under Sharia the customary traditional role of a jurist of his academic accomplishment, which meant that the members of the flock or the faithful would come to him, propose one course of conduct or another — you know, can I marry this person, can I blow up this building and, you know –

(Laughter)

– everything in between.  And it was the Sharia jurist’s job to say, you know, yes, that’s permissible or no, it’s not permissible.

So back in those days, we had a great — I thought, the greatest trial judge in the United States at the time, later the Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey, who, after hearing arguments about it, would not allow that defense to be presented to the jury, on the common-sense principle that we are in the United States, and we follow American law in the United States.  And it didn’t matter what Sharia said, or really — not just to single out Sharia — what any other religious code would say in terms of where religious law would collide with the civil law.  Because there’s a lot of Supreme Court law that says that, you know, basically if you allow chaos like that, you have every person being a law unto himself.  And that’s not an acceptable way to have a civil society.  So that defense got bounced out pretty easily.

The reason I think that’s interesting is — flash forward almost 20 years, in my own home state of New Jersey. And we had a woman, a Muslim woman, who was married to a Muslim man who she was trying to divorce, who was serially raping and beating her.  And she went into New Jersey state court to try to get a protective order.  And the court refused to give her the protective order under circumstances where there was no doubt that the attacks and the sexual abuse was actually going on.  But the court reasoned that he was simply following his religious principles, under which his own understanding of them was that she had no right to say no.

So think about that.  We go from 20 years ago — where a Sharia defense basically gets laughed out of court on a very straightforward, confident idea of American law that we follow our own law in the United States, we don’t — Sharia’s not the law of the land — to a situation we have now where — not just in New Jersey; that case happened to be reversed on appeal — but in almost every state in the Union, we’ve had Sharia principles creeping into our law.

And the reason I think we’ve had them creeping into our law is what a lot of our distinguished speakers have discussed throughout the course of the day, and that is cultural confidence.  We really lack it.  And we’ve lacked it for 20 years.  And the result of that is that the people who are now in charge of our government really have precedents that you could drive a truck through.  And that’s pretty much what they’re doing.

I mean, what we’ve done for 20 years is basically suppress any discussion of our enemies’ ideology.  I mean, I’ve said probably every bad thing that you can say about the idea of using the civilian courts as your main counterterrorism weapon, the idea of bringing our enemy combatants into court and awarding them all of the Bill of Rights protections.

Let me tell you the one really good thing about using civilian courts.  And it’s one that I don’t think has been replicated by any other part of our government.  And that is that juries won’t convict people unless you give them a rational explanation not only of what was done but why it was done.

So even though 20 years ago we were saying the same things that we’re saying today — you know, religion of peace, Islam has nothing to do with terrorism — back then, it wasn’t violent extremism, but the basic message of the government was we didn’t really have a national security problem so much as we had 20 knuckleheads in Jersey City who weren’t representative of Islam as a whole.  And if we could just reign them in, all would be well.  And they said that in the White House, they said it in the White House Pressroom, they said it on the steps of the courthouse, Janet Reno said it, everybody in the government said it.

The only place it didn’t get said was inside our courtroom.  Inside the courtroom — because we had to prove to the jury not only what was done in the way of terrorist attacks but why it was done — we were actually able to prove why the terrorist acts were committed.  And what we were able to show was that there was an unavoidable, undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine — and I’m not going to try to parse at this point, you know, Islamism or Islamist, or — we’ve had that discussion again and again.

What I’m talking about is what’s undeniably in Islamic doctrine — the nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims, and the mediating agent from one to the other, where people like the Blind Sheikh — who we wanted to paint as wanton killers but who, in fact, were authoritative figures in their own communities.

Go to Front Page for the rest of the transcript

Twenty Years after the WTC Bombing

20121001_WTC_attack_1993By Andrew C. McCarthy, February 26, 2013:

Today is the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing. It also marks three weeks since the attempted murder of Lars Hedegaard, the intrepid Danish champion of free speech. These events are not unrelated.

Back in 1993, there was a tireless effort to limn the WTC bombers as wanton killers. They were, we were to understand, bereft of any coherent belief system, unrepresentative of any mainstream construction of Islam. In reality, though, they were devout Muslim operatives who belonged to a jihadist cell formed in the New York area by Omar Abdel Rahman – whose notoriety as the shadowy “Blind Sheikh” obscured the basis of his profound influence over Islamists across the globe.

Sheikh Abdel Rahman is an internationally renowned Islamic jurist, having earned a doctorate in the jurisprudence of sharia – Islam’s societal framework and legal code - from Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the center of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium. Blind from early youth and plagued by several other maladies, Abdel Rahman was physically incapable of building a bomb, hijacking a jetliner, carrying out an assassination – in short, of performing any blood-soaked activity that would be useful to a terrorist organization . . . other than leading it.

It was nothing other than Abdel Rahman’s indisputable mastery of Islamic doctrine, and hence his capacity to give present-day vitality to a seventh-century summons to holy war, that vaulted him to the forefront of the jihad.

The World Trade Center bombing was Islamic supremacism’s declaration of war on the United States. It was a blunt statement by the savage shock troops of a worldwide movement that America – “the head of the snake,” as the Blind Sheikh called us – could be struck at home, right in the beating heart of economic liberty.

Despite serial atrocities, thousands of deaths, and a decade of war, we are today more willfully blind to the reason we were attacked than we were back in 1993 – back when our ignorance might have been excused by our homeland’s seeming invulnerability to the scourge of jihadist terror. Regardless of our reluctance to see it, mainstream Islam – the dynamic Islam of the Middle East, unadulterated by incentives to moderate, at least for a time, while settling in non-Muslim lands – is aggressively hegemonic. As proclaimed by another iconic supremacist, Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated.”

And to dominate for a very specific reason. Supremacists are not the irrational savages we have been so desperate for two decades to portray them as. Whether the jihad terrorizes by explosives, suffocates by the systematic subjugation of women and persecution of religious minorities in Islamic countries, or infiltrates by stealthily using liberty to undermine liberty in the West, the mission is always coherent and always the same: the imposition of sharia.

The rationale of jihadist terror is to diminish our resolve to resist the gradual erosion of freedom and the relentless demands of Islamists – especially, Islamists of the Brotherhood variety. After the Blind Sheikhs and the bin Ladens have softened up the target, it is the Brothers who beguile us. Impeccably well-mannered and wearing neatly tailored suits, they flack for Hamas and maintain, straight-faced, that free speech is not so much a right to condemn their totalitarian ideology as a responsibility to suppress examination of it.

In that ideology, the implementation of classical sharia is the necessary precondition for Islamizing a society. Sharia is the architecture for a global caliphate. This is why Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood chieftain, promised that when elected he would birth a new constitution enshrining “the sharia, then the sharia, and finally the sharia” – a promise on which he has followed through. This is the utopia of all Islamists, be they terrorists, or faux moderates who proclaim their willingness to pursue totalitarian ends by “peaceful political” means, or the Muslim masses who celebrate 9/11 and vote Brotherhood parties into power.

We did not want to acknowledge the sharia logic of the terrorists 20 years ago. We were told then that Islam had nothing to do with attacks on the West incited by Muslim jurists citing Muslim scripture.

There is no selling that fairy tale today, not after thousands of Americans have lost their lives. So the lie has become more aggressive, like Islam itself. While poseurs such as John Brennan – President Obama’s counterterrorism czar and nominee for CIA director - distort the meaning of jihad, Islamists and their fellow travelers seek not merely to suppress by intimidation but to criminalize by law the objective examination of Islamic supremacism.
Read more: Family Security Matters 

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor  Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and blogs at National Review Online’s The Corner. 

 

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Muslim Brotherhood “Machinations”, Or Vox Populi?

Egyptian Liberals (like their Egyptian-American expatriate colleague Mona Eltahawy) championing free speech

Egyptian Liberals (like their Egyptian-American expatriate colleague Mona Eltahawy) championing free speech

by Andrew Bostom

Vote Compass is an interactive electoral literacy application, originally founded by Clifton van der Linden, at the University of Toronto, and subsequently applied internationally by political scientists, including within Egypt.

Dutch Political Scientist André Krouwel, working with an academic team of Egyptian political scientists at Vote Compass Egypt, was interviewed for a story published today (12/8/12) in the Vancouver Sun (hat tip Diana West) about data on Egyptian attitudes toward the draft constitution. Despite Egypt’s ongoing political crisis, including violent clashes, precipitated by President Morsi’s assertion of executive powers to break the 6-month deadlock which had stalled Egypt’s constitutional draft and referendum process, Krouwel (ostensibly speaking for his Vote Compass Egypt team) acknowledges,

About 70 per cent of the population will vote in favor of the constitution

This overwhelming support for the draft constitution was registered despite the fact that as my colleague Andrew McCarthy re-affirms today (12/8/12), the charter effectively, “denies freedom of conscience,” and “denies freedom of expression.”

Dating back to within a few days of their publication in April, 2007, I have repeatedly highlighted data from Egypt indicating that 74% of Egyptians favored “strict” application of the Sharia in general. As recently as December 2010, Pew polling data revealed that 84% of Egyptian Muslims rejected freedom of conscience in the most ugly terms claiming apostates should be killed (i.e., that percentage would likely be well over 90% if less draconian punishments, such as imprisonment and beating till recantation were queried), 82% favor stoning adulterers to death, and 77% approved of mutilating punishments for theft. Moreover, just last week when 7 expatriate Copts and Terry Jones were condemned to death for “blasphemy” not a single high profile Egyptian  “liberal” or “non-Islamist,” or “authentic moderate reformer”—whatever moniker one wishes to use for such individuals—has forcefully and unequivocally condemned this heinous verdict in the Egyptian public square.

None of this bedrock, totalitarian, liberty-crushing mass Islamic mindset can be blamed on the behind the scenes “machinations of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)”; it is merely a reflection of Islamic beliefs and  mores the MB openly shares with the mass of Egyptians, and has shared since the undercurrent of public longings in the 1920s first lead to the MB’s flowering.

Islamologist James Heyworth-Dunne’s observations, published shortly after his death in 1949, made clear that “…should the ikhwan [Brotherhood] acquire power,” it would impose the orthodox Islamic, Sharia-based restrictions advocated by founder Hasan al-Banna (i.e., such as the compulsory veiling of women; closing “un-Islamic” newspapers and periodicals, and making impossible the purchase of English and French novels; closing bars, restaurants, and cabarets, while forbidding the sale or consumption of alcohol and scourging anyone found consuming alcoholic beverages).  However, Heyworth-Dunne added that these restrictions merely represented a “…return to their Islamic customs which, in fact prevailed only 25 years ago.”Thus Heyworth-Dunne (writing prior to1950) confirms that before 1925 (or earlier, i.e., “25 years ago”)—antedating by at least three years the advent of the MB—their “version” of Sharia and its mores represented in fact a recent, previously longstanding status quo

History and hard data—including the Vote Compass Egypt data just shared by Krouwel revealing 70% support for the increasingly Sharia-compliant Egyptian draft constitution, tell us why the “Egyptian liberals” are so afraid of a constitutional referendum despite their claims it is “unpopular”.

Now that the “Egyptian liberals” have organized into a front they should be able to defeat the proposed constitution, and force a new draft process. But the “liberals’” response seems to be violent anarchy instead—which of course likely serves the MB because the MB bureaucrats may have softened, but their ardent followers of all stripes surely haven’t become less adept at violence.

The sheer, delusive hypocrisy of the “Egyptian liberals” is epitomized by Kamel Daoud, spokesman for Hizb-el Dostour, (the Constitutional Party), led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed El-Baradei. Crowing that the opposition was “winning a new round every day,” and “I think more and more people understand why we are against what is happening,”  he nonetheless re-stated his movement’s bottom line rejection of a simple democratic referendum that would validate his contentions:

We continue to insist that there should not be a vote on the constitution.

Andrew McCarthy’s Guide for the Perplexed

by Roger Kimball for PJMedia:

Do you wonder what the hell happened in Libya?  Right after our ambassador and three other Americans were murdered by that “spontaneous” uprising in Benghazi by people who just happened to be armed with RPGs, know the layout of our safe house, and who congregated on — let’s see, oh, right, it was on September 11, what do you know! — right after that, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed surprise: after all, hadn’t we helped “liberate” the Libyans from the monster Gaddafi and made way for . . .  for what? Oh, right, for the “Arab Spring”!

I think that the administration’s response to the crisis in Libya might be the coup de grace for Obama’s reelection bid. In my view, Romney would have won anyway. I’ve been saying that for months. The president’s record on the economy is just too catastrophic to win him another term.  And this, remember, is the first time in his life that this president has had to run on his record, on what he has actually accomplished, as distinct from his “charisma.” But what happened in Libya — and, more to the point, how the administration has twisted, turned, equivocated, and lied about what happened and what its initial response to the crisis was — that is likely to put the final nail in the coffin of Obama’s reelection bid. As Mark Steyn pointed out in a devastating column:

In those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and Special Forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy – or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hell hole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop.

How do you spin that, Mr. President?

But I digress.  I brought up Libya in the first place because it presents yet another example of what  is one of the biggest foreign policy, nay, existential challenges the West faces: the challenge, that is to say, of Islam.

At the end of his book America Alone, Mark Steyn suggests that, when it comes to its encounter with Islam, the West has three choices: acquiescence, annihilation, or enlightenment. We can acquiesce and become good Muslims or dhimmis; we can engage in armed conflict with a theocratic Islam; or we can work to segregate the secular currents that buoy many Muslims from the ideological imperatives that direct so much of the Muslim population.  The only palatable alternative, it should be clear, is the last.  But in order to pursue it, we have to be clear about what it is we are dealing with.

There is a great deal of nonsense spouted about Islam, from the corridors of Western power just as much as from the opinion columns of the commentariat.  The Bush administration’s insistence, for example, that Islam was fundamentally a religion of peace was misguided  public-relations claptrap. Nor does it help, as Andrew McCarthy forcefully points out in a must-read column today, to suggest that Islam is “not a religion,” as some conservatives have done. The real issue, as Andy notes, “ is ideology, not religion.” He goes on to make a critical point:

The distinction is worth drawing because, for the most part, Islamist terror is not fueled by Muslim zealousness for Islam’s religious tenets — for instance, “the oneness of Allah.” We Westerners recognize such beliefs as belonging to the realm of religion or spirituality. To the contrary, Islamist terror is driven by the supremacism and totalitarianism of Middle Eastern Islam — i.e., by the perception of believers that they are under a divine injunction to impose all of Islam’s tenets.

We in the West are puzzled by Islam because,  having been brought up to believe in religious freedom, we are confronted by this specious syllogism:

  • We believe in religious freedom;
  • Islam is a religion;
  • Ergo, we must respect and protect that which goes under the name of Islam.

This is a version of the fundamental antimony of liberalism, which moves from a belief in tolerance to an acceptance of ideologies (like communism, say) that demand tolerance for the “point of view” that we should be destroyed and replaced by a different way of looking at the world.

Christianity at its core makes room for the secular realm (“render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”) in a way that Islam does not (everyone and everything always and everywhere is subject to the will of Allah).  That difference is critical.  It does not mean that we in the West deny the pertinence of religious and moral tenets for everyday life. As Andy puts it, “the fact that we separate church and state in the West does not mean our moral sense is without influence — indeed, profound influence — over how we conduct secular affairs. But in the West, we reject the notion that any religious belief system’s tenets should control those affairs. In the United States, we reject the establishment of a state religion — such official primacy would suffocate freedom of conscience, a bedrock of liberty.”

The operation of this fundamental moral economy works in a very different way in Islam. “By contrast,” Andy points out:

The foundation of Middle Eastern Islam is submission to Allah’s law, not individual liberty. This interpretation of Islam thus rejects a division between the secular and the spiritual. Its sharia system contemplates totalitarian control. That makes Islamist ideology (i.e., Islamic supremacism, or what is sometimes more elliptically called “political Islam”) just another totalitarian ideology, albeit one that happens to have a religious veneer.

There are thus two things to bear in mind:

  1. “Islamist ideology  . . . [is] just another totalitarian ideology.”
  2. Islam’s theological tenets “are every bit as deserving of the First Amendment’s guarantees as any other.”

The price of that guarantee, however, is assimilation:

Muslims must accept that, in America and the West, it is not Islam but our traditions — especially the separation of church and state — that set the parameters of religious liberty. This way, Islam, the religion, is protected, but Islamic supremacism, the totalitarian ideology, is not. The latter undeniably draws on Islamic scripture, but it is categorically akin to Communism or National Socialism, not to religious creeds.

It is often said that the first step towards solving a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem and having the courage to call it by its real name.  We Western liberals have a difficult time doing that.  We habitually extend to others the benefit of the doubt, the latitude of tolerance, the dispensation that assumes all are, at bottom, freedom-loving creatures with domestic concerns akin to our own.

This is dangerously naïve and wrongheaded. Exactly how wrongheaded can be summed up in a single word: sharia, i.e., Islamic law.  They — hundreds of millions of Muslims — want it, we do not.  Al-Qaeda wants to impose sharia the world over.  But it is not just al-Qaeda. “Non-violent Islamists also want to impose sharia, “ as Andy notes, “that’s why they’re Islamists.”  Moreover:

These reputedly non-violent Islamists are not a “small minority” — they may be a majority of the world’s Muslims, and they are certainly a majority of the Middle East’s Muslims. They are al-Qaeda’s ideological allies, and, truth be told, they’re not really all that non-violent: They generally disagree with al-Qaeda’s attacks on Muslims and on non-Muslim countries, but they are supportive of violence against what they take to be non-Muslim aggressors in what they consider Islamic territories. Indeed, the sharia to which they adhere requires financial support (zakat) for those fighting in Allah’s cause.

The bottom line? “Sharia is the tie that binds terrorists to all other Islamists.” We in the West will never get a handle on the problem of Islam — the problem that this deeply illiberal ideology poses for our civilization — until  we acknowledge the true dimensions of the problem we’re dealing with. Neville Chamberlain thought that Hitler was a man  he “could do business with.” He was wrong about that, with unfortunate consequences.  Had he straight off acknowledged the true nature of the threat Hitler represented, he might have saved the world, and not least the Germans, a great deal of unpleasantness.