Andrew recently wrote about the growing threat of the Islamic State in the Middle East, “Obama’s America Is September 10th America.”
PJ Media, By Andrew C. McCarthy:
In-depth reporting by the Wall Street Journal’s Nicholas Casey and Adam Entous takes us inside Gaza, into the minds, indoctrination and support system of Hamas. The report is here (but behind the paper’s subscriber wall).
It will be a tough one to refute for the willful blindness crowd – i.e., the bipartisan Beltway ruling class and its cooperative mainstream media – who insist that Islam is innately a religion of peace. The report illuminates the reality that Islamic study is the basic pathway to jihadist militancy and that, for members of Hamas, the jihad against Israel is not a parochial political affair but part and parcel of a global ideological movement that is very much driven by a perception of divine directive.
To observe what Hamas members and their supporters believe, and to learn that even non-adherents of Hamas respect the organization’s tenets as an entirely legitimate construction of Islam, is to elucidate the stubborn stupidity of the claim that “true” Islam is unconnected to terrorism committed by Muslims – and that we should regard such Muslims as irrational “violent extremists” rather than jihadists.
The report introduces us first to Abu Thoraya, a Hamas jihadist killed in the recent fighting:
[He was] in some respects a typical young man in his 20s. He was unmarried, worked a clerical job and lived with his parents, whom he and his brother supported. He took long morning runs down the Gaza Strip toward Egypt. He had a pious side which drew him to Hamas. He made connections to the group at the Abu Salim Mosque, an old stone prayer hall down the street from his home.
We learn from his brother that family members “didn’t share the same views” as Abu Thoraya, but it quickly becomes clear that the narrow disagreement is about jihadist aggression. The report explains that the brother is an “Islamist.” This means (although the report does not go into it) that he is an Islamic-supremacist: a supporter of sharia government – i.e., imposition of Islam’s societal framework and legal code. That is Hamas’s goal as well. The only real difference is that the brother belongs to an Islamic supremacist faction, the Dawa movement, that does not have a military wing.
Why is it so important to understand the ideological sympathies, rather than narrow disagreements about tactics that Western leaders obsess over? Because it shows that even dissenters from Hamas respect the terrorist organization’s beliefs and goals. Despite their differences, the report explains, “the family accepted and supported Mr. Abu Thoraya’s decision to plumb the world of Hamas through Islamic study and religious training.”
And, whether we choose to see it or not, fundamentalist Islamic religion includes the call to violent jihad and the veneration of it as the highest service to Allah – the surest path to paradise. The Obama administration can try to erase this incontestable fact out of the materials used to train the intelligence, law-enforcement and military personnel charged with protecting us. It will not, however, be erased from the scripture-based materials used to educate and indoctrinate Islamic supremacists. As the report relates Abu Thoraya’s seamless transition from education to indoctrination to terror:
At some point, religious study transitioned into fighting. “You start as a fan of Hamas, then eventually, if they trust you, you join the armed movement,” said his brother.
Of course, besides the Palestinian families that may disagree with Hamas’s tactics but “accept and support” their sons’ decision to join the jihad are the families that are with Hamas all the way. Such was the family of 39-year-old Abdullah Al Masri, also killed in the recent fighting. The report recounts:
He worked as a police officer in the Hamas-run city bureaucracy and was known as the most devout of a strongly Muslim family. “We were almost brought up at the Abu Salim Mosque,” said his brother, also named Mohammed. Following Friday prayers, Mr. Al Masri would spend the afternoon lecturing children on the virtues of Islam.
He joined Hamas more than a decade ago and told his family about the decision a few years ago, his brother said. “We were absolutely OK with this. There was an Israeli occupation that he needed to fight against,” his brother said, citing the justification many Palestinians give for attacking Israel. The Israeli government considers any attacks for political purposes to be terrorism.
While the enthusiasm of Al Masri’s brother for the Islamic-supremacist cause is so common as to be unremarkable, his mother’s incitements are chilling, even though they, too, are ubiquitous in Gaza. The report describes the lead-up to the battle that led to Al Masri’s death:
Mr. Al Masri’s mother, Latifa, was with him in the living room during the daytime Ramadan fast when they heard the sound of tank shelling outside Deir Al-Balah. “Are you afraid of it?” she said her son asked. “Because I’m not. What better thing than to be a martyr during Ramadan.”
Toward the conclusion of the report, we are left with the mother’s response to her son’s death in the jihad:
“God be praised,” she said. “We knew he was part of the resistance and we knew the day would come that he would die.”
It is a global jihad. Like the Israelis, the United States and the West are up against an ideologically driven enemy that believes, based on Islamic teachings that are mainstream in the Middle East, it is under a command from Allah to conquer non-Muslims. Its jihadists are willing to die to carry out the mission – having been indoctrinated to believe that that death in the cause is better than life on earth.
We will never design an effective global strategy to defeat the threat unless and until we finally open our eyes and understand it.
- ISIS is to America as Hamas is to Israel (gatestoneinstitute.org)
Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson have jointly penned a characteristically appalling op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine assigning primary blame to Israel for the war in the Middle East. The key to ending the violence, they contend, is for the United States and the European Union to recognize the Hamas terrorist organization as a legitimate “political force.”
According to the authors, the latest outbreak of fighting was triggered neither by Hamas’s murder of three Israeli teenagers nor its firing of thousands of missiles into Israel. Rather, they proceed from the premise that Israel is the culprit, for what Carter and Robinson deceitfully describe as:
[Its] deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government’s deployment in Gaza.
This surely reflects Obama administration thinking, as well. Obama’s presidency has aptly been called the second (and now third) Carter term — a downward spiral from the shambles made of American foreign policy in the late seventies. Mrs. Robinson is the former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner for human rights, whose pro-terrorist sympathies and anti-Israel animus were ably chronicled several years back by Michael Rubin. (See “Mary Robinson, War Criminal?”) In 2001, she led the notorious Durban conference (the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Zenophobia and Related Intolerance”) that was so rabidly anti-Semitic the American delegation stormed out. Yet, eight years later under a new, hard-Left administration, there stood Robinson in the White House being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Of course, anyone who grasps the details of the “unity government” and Hamas’s strategy in agreeing to it quickly realizes it is the antithesis of “a promising move toward peace.” In fact, Hamas is simply applying the Hezbollah model to the Palestinian territories. In Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization — Iran’s forward jihadist militia and oft-time Hamas mentor — agreed to participate in a unity government while maintaining the independence of its jihadist military and intelligence apparatus. That is exactly what Hamas has done.
As this excellent analysis by Ehud Yaari of the Washington Institute relates, Hamas’s agreement to join its rival Fatah in a unity government does not relinquish control of either its 20,000-strong jihadist force, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, or its internal intelligence and security apparatus. These forces are already far stronger than the Palestinian Authority’s security forces under the control of Fatah (which Hamas routed and ejected from Gaza in 2007).
Note, moreover, the stealthy hand of Iran in the mix. Hamas has had to come crawling back to the mullahs, hat in hand. After angering Tehran (and thus losing much of its funding and weapons support) by jumping on the Sunni side of the Syrian civil war, Hamas saw its preferred patron, the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian regime, overthrown. The terrorist organization now finds itself opposed by the new anti-Brotherhood government in Cairo, and thus on the outs with that government’s backers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Isolated more than ever, Hamas is working hard to get back in Iran’s good graces. Its leaders conducted extensive meetings with top Iranian and Hezbollah officials prior to agreeing to cede governing authority over Gaza to the unity government. Carter and Robinson claim that this was a “major concession.” In truth, it was a coup, as Iran’s enthusiastic endorsement of the pact attests.
Read more at PJ Media
Important columns by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and Caroline Glick make the point that in Israel’s defensive war against Hamas, the main thing to focus on is not the missiles; it’s the tunnels. Perhaps more significantly, they demonstrate that the Obama administration, in its mulish appeasement of the Muslim Brotherhood-Sunni supremacist axis that even Islamic governments (indeed, even the Saudis) are shunning, is subverting a golden opportunity to achieve decisive victory over Hamas – the necessary precondition if there is ever to be a stable Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Judge Mukasey explains that Hamas’s strategic plan for jihad against Israel hinges on the large and sophisticated network of tunnels into Israel that the terror organization built while ruling Gaza during the years since Israel’s 2005 evacuation. While much attention has been drawn to “Iron Dome,” the Israeli air defense system that has responded to Hamas rocket-fire, the trigger for the Israeli ground offensive was more likely the challenge posed by the tunnel network. That challenge, Judge Mukasey writes, “became obvious on Saturday when eight Palestinian fighters wearing Israeli military uniforms emerged from a tunnel 300 yards inside Israel and killed two Israeli soldiers in a firefight.” He elaborates:
The tunnel network gave [Hamas] the ability to launch a coordinated attack within Israel like the 2008 Islamist rampage in Mumbai that killed 164 people. Recall that in 2011 Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, more than 200 of whom were under a life sentence for planning and perpetrating terror attacks. They were exchanged for one Israeli soldier,Gilad Shalit, who had been taken hostage in a cross-border raid by Hamas. Imagine the leverage that Hamas could have achieved by sneaking fighters through the tunnels and taking hostages throughout Israel; the terrorists intercepted Saturday night were carrying tranquilizers and handcuffs.
Caroline Glick strikes the same note in her latest column:
We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas’s logistical infrastructure. What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.
As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis. But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well. Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens. If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.
Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl.Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel. Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.
There is only one way to deal with this menace once and for all: Israel has to be allowed to win, an argument I posited yesterday, here. As Ms. Glick points out,Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood, which makes it a big piece of the global jihad. Besides being every bit as much America’s enemy as Israel’s, Hamas is now not only motivated but more lethally capable than it has ever been:
Hamas’s rapid advances in both tunnel and missile technology are deeply worrisome. At a minimum, they indicate that if it is allowed to end the current round of fighting as a coherent, relatively well-armed terrorist army, Hamas will be able to rapidly rebuild and expand its capabilities. As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is not a stand-alone terror group. It is part of a much larger web of Islamic jihadist terror groups including al-Qaida and its affiliates as well as the Shi’ite Hezbollah.
But there is a big positive in the equation. As part of the Brotherhood and the global jihad, Hamas is also more isolated than it has ever been. As those of usopposed to U.S. intervention in Syria have contended, by not interrupting our enemies while they were squaring off against each other, we’d see their relations rupture. That is exactly what has happened.
Read more at National Review
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Andrew C. McCarthy, a policy fellow at the National Review Institute, a contributing editor at National Review, and a columnist for PJ Media. He was a top federal prosecutor involved in some of the most significant cases in recent history. Decorated with the Justice Department’s highest honors, he retired from government in 2003, after helping launch the 9/11 investigation. He is one of America’s most persuasive voices on national security issues and author of the bestsellers Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. He is the author of the new book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.
FP: Andrew C. McCarthy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
McCarthy: Jamie, it’s a pleasure to speak with you again.
FP: Let’s begin with what inspired you to write this book.
McCarthy: Presidential lawlessness and derelictions of duty. I guess that, in light of my background, it’s not surprising that I’m intrigued by how our Constitution deals with modern challenges—or, more accurately, modern iterations of eternal challenges like abuse of power. President Obama’s lawlessness is unprecedented in its scope, starkness, and purpose to undermine the separation-of-powers. The Framers rightly believed the latter was the key to safeguarding liberty—preventing the accumulation of too much power, and especially the joining of executive and legislative powers, in a single set of hands. Because they so worried about the specter of executive lawlessness and overreach, they gave Congress tools to address it decisively. But there are really only two of them: the power of the purse and impeachment.
So I wrote the book to say, “Look, presidential lawlessness is a significant threat to our liberties and to our aspiration to be a Republic under the rule of law. The system gives us weapons to combat it. If we don’t use them, that is a political choice that can be made, but let’s make it with our eyes open because it has serious consequences. I means we will no longer be the same kind of country.”
FP: What exactly are “high crimes and misdemeanors” and can you give a few brief examples of how has Obama committed them?
McCarthy: Thanks for asking that because it gets to another reason I wanted to write the book. There is mass confusion about what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means, which is somewhat surprising given that the Clinton impeachment happened less than a generation ago. But it does not refer to conventional “crimes” and “misdemeanors” that I prosecuted back when I was a government lawyer. It is a term of art borrowed from British law—in fact, the impeachment trial of Warren Hastings, who was charged in Parliament with “high crimes and misdemeanors” by Edmund Burke, was underway in England while our Constitution was being written, and the Framers were very engaged in such affairs. The phrase, as Hamilton explained, refers to the “political wrongs of public men”—meaning abuses of power and breaches of the public trust reposed in high executive officials. More than penal offenses, it much more resembles concepts found in military justice, e.g., dereliction of duty, failure to honor an oath, etc. The Framers were most concerned about executive maladministration that would undermine our constitutional framework, usurping the powers of the states and the other federal branches.
I recently heard former Attorney General Mukasey give a great example of how an impeachable offense need not be a standard crime or an indictable offense. Presidents have plenary, unreviewable constitutional power to issue pardons and commutations for federal crimes and sentences. If a president suddenly decided to pardon and commute the sentences of every single convict in federal prison and every indicted defendant in a federal case, there would be no crime in that. A president clearly has the constitutional authority to issue such an order. But it would also be a massive abuse of power and he could and, one hopes, surely would be impeached and removed from office for doing it.
FP: You emphasize that making the legal case for impeachment is not enough. Kindly explain.
McCarthy: In their genius, the Framers wanted us to have a clear standard—treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors—defining what misconduct legally suffices to remove a president from power. But recognizing that removing a president would be very disruptive to our society, they wanted it to be hard to accomplish—so it would only be done in worthy cases, not as a result of partisan hackery. So while articles of impeachment (i.e., accusations of high crimes and misdemeanors) may be filed on just a simple majority of the House of Representatives, it requires a two-thirds Senate supermajority to remove the president from power. No matter how many provable impeachable offenses you have, then, a president will not be removed unless there is a broad-based popular will that he should be ousted. So the legal case for impeachment, the establishment of high crimes and misdemeanors, is not as important as the political case that the impeachable offenses truly warrant removal. Impeachment is essentially a political remedy, not a legal one.
FP: As a former prosecutor, you have gained some extra insights on this matter, the differences between a legal case and impeachment?
McCarthy: Yes, I have a chapter in the book that analyzes how different the criminal investigation and trial process is from the substantially political process of impeachment. I don’t mean “political” in a pejorative sense. I mean it in the sense that the Constitution is a division of political power—so I’m talking about the judicial process of ordinary law-enforcement cases versus the process of filing articles of impeachment in the House and conducting a Senate impeachment trial.
FP: The campaigns to impeach Nixon and Clinton involved very different ingredients than why Obama would need to be impeached, right?
McCarthy: The lawlessness in which Nixon and Clinton engaged, while certainly qualifying as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” was different not only in degree but kind from Obama’s. Clinton’s conduct was reprehensible but it did not really touch the core of his presidential duties, much less undermine the constitutional framework. Nixon’s was more severe, but it was largely based on a single transaction and was not a systematic assault on our governing framework—in fact, Nixon obeyed a court order, surrendered the tapes, and ultimately resigned from office rather than stonewalling, destroying the tapes (other than the infamous 18-minute gap), putting the country through an impeachment trial, and otherwise using his enormous power to fight to the bitter end.
FP: You demonstrate that all of this is very much connected to the “fundamental transformation” that Obama promised. Illuminate that for us please.
McCarthy: In marked contrast to Nixon and Clinton, Obama is a committed movement leftist who is using his raw power to make good on his vow to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” under circumstances where he does not have a public mandate and governing majority—most Americans, it turns out, like the country and don’t want it transformed. Of necessity, then, if he’s going to transform us, Obama has to do it outside the bounds of the law and traditional notions of presidential duty. It follows that there’s a slew of lawlessness and derelictions of duty.
Indeed, because Obama is a trained community organizer and steeped in Leftist strategies like Piven-Cloward, it follows that he presses his raw power beyond his legitimate authority as far as he thinks he can afford to go politically and that he overloads the system with crisis—so that by the time you barely wrap your brain around the details of one scandal, he’s two or three scandals down the road. There were lots of Clinton scandals, but they were mostly about his personal failings not a strategic challenge to the constitutional framework.
Read more at Front Page
Trey Gowdy, “We make law!”
Published 3/13/14 by ConservativePost
This week on Fox News (here and here), the estimable Charles Krauthammer argued in favor of President Obama’s decision to swap detainees with a terrorist organization, indulging the administration’s portrayal of a “prisoner of war” exchange though the trade involves unlawful-combatant jihadists (two of them wanted for mass-murder war crimes) and a deserter.
I respectfully disagree.
Charles’s theory is that the West routinely engages in these sorts of swaps and should do so, despite always coming out on the short end, because it is a beneficial exhibition of the higher value we place on human life. I do not for a moment doubt Dr. K’s sincerity in stressing the value of human life, but I believe he is confounding the value and the exhibition – the high-minded display of good intentions. After all, as we shall see, his argument is a loser from a humanitarian perspective.
Charles appears to find the demonstration of our veneration of life beneficial because the so-called war on terror is, in part, a war of ideas. That is, even though these typically one-sided exchanges are a tactical victory for the terrorists, our cause is advanced over the long haul because the superiority of our values attracts convincible people to our side.
It is a nice thought, of a piece with the Lawyer Left pipe dream that we advance our security by bringing terrorists into our civilian criminal-justice system and abandoning such heavy-handed practices as coercive interrogation, military commissions, and indefinite law-of-war detention. Here’s the problem: These pieties do not correlate to real-world experience. Irresolute responses to barbarism beget more barbarism.
It is delusional to believe that most people in the Muslim Middle East view the conflict through our self-absorbed lens and perceive a contest between savage and noble principles. They have their own lens, and through it they see the strong horse versus the weak horse. You don’t win a war of ideas against a culture that brays, “We love death more than you love life!” by showing them how much you love life. To think otherwise is an example of what Roger Simon wrote about this week: the elevation of moral narcissism over objective reality.
Charles Krauthammer, of course, is no pie-in-the-sky progressive. So not surprisingly, he also cites a more concrete benefit of demonstrating our reverence for human life: It breeds a knowledge that we never abandon our captured troops, which is essential to the esprit de corps of the world’s most effective fighting force.
In principle, I agree. But in the Bergdahl-Taliban situation, the principle is inapposite. Charles, it turns out, is conflating some importantly distinct concepts. To begin with, there is a huge difference between how detainees are treated (a) in the midst of hostilities and (b) in an armistice at the conclusion of hostilities.
While combat is still raging – especially combat by terrorist methods that violate civilized norms – detainees should be held until the conclusion of hostilities unless there is some strategic advantage in releasing them. There can be no strategic advantage in replenishing the Taliban with five of its most capable commanders at a time when the Taliban, along with its al-Qaeda and Haqqani confederates, is still conducting offensive jihadist operations against both our troops in harm’s way and civilians.
On that score, it would not matter if the deserter Bowe Bergdahl were, instead, a heroic Audie Murphy. Indeed, as my old boss Rudy Giuliani observed on Sean Hannity’s program this week, an honorable American prisoner of war would not want to be released if the price were freeing five terrorists who would then gravely endanger his fellow troops.
Moreover, in stressing how a detainee swap satisfies the admirable objective of retrieving our captive troops, Charles misses the other side of the humanitarian ledger. The laws of war permit detention of enemy combatants until the conclusion of hostilities not to punish the captives but to promote peace. The theory is that depleting the enemy’s resources creates an incentive on the enemy’s part to seek a truce and bring the war to a swifter end with less bloodshed.
To the contrary, releasing enemy combatants while the war is still raging fortifies the enemy, incentivizes the enemy to extend the war, and causes more carnage. If we are going to talk about our values and the veneration of human life, it makes no sense to account for the marginal humanitarian benefit of obtaining the return of our captured troops while ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe of returning enemy detainees to a hot battlefield. That is especially so if the detainees in question are terrorists, who target civilians.
This is not to say that we forget about our captured troops. Far from it. We routinely divert military resources that could be devoted to other strategic wartime objectives in order to conduct combat rescue operations. But we do not “rescue” our captured troops by negotiating with terrorist organizations and releasing their captured operatives so the enemy can sustain itself and kill more American troops.
If we were talking about a settlement to conclude hostilities, Charles would have a point. When war ends, with it ends the law-of-war justification for detaining enemy combatants without trial. At that point, even detainees who continue to pose a threat must be released unless they can be charged with war crimes or other offenses. The five Taliban commanders, however, were not exchanged in a final settlement that ends the war. They are going back to a very lethal jihad.
The absurdity here is that President Obama seems to think he can bring a war to an end, abracadabra, by saying so. In reality, the war is not close to being over from the enemy’s point of view – they are continuing to fight. Under such circumstances, Obama can end the war only by surrendering. In effect, that is what he is doing, albeit in slow motion and under the camouflage of a risible Afghan “reconciliation process.” (Translation: The Taliban retakes the country in a way that is made to look like a political settlement rather than a jihadist coup.)
Read more: Family Security Matters
When the commander-in-chief replenishes the enemy at a time when (a) the enemy is still attacking our forces and (b) the commander-in-chief has hamstrung our forces with unconscionable combat rules-of-engagement that compromise their ability to defend themselves, that is a profound dereliction of duty.
By Andrew C. McCarthy:
The Wall Street Journal had a fine editorial Monday on President Obama’s reckless decision to negotiate with the Taliban and release from Guantanamo Bay five of its most senior, most capable, most implacably anti-American jihadists for an American army sergeant who, according to accounts from his fellow soldiers, went AWOL in 2009. I addressed the swap in a Corner post over the weekend and in a column yesterday.
Faithless Execution, my book on presidential lawlessness and the Constitution’s ultimate response to it, impeachment, has just been released. I’ve thus been repeatedly asked about the president’s violation of a federal statute in carrying out the exchange and whether this rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor,” the constitutional standard for impeachable offenses that is prominently discussed in my book. This line of inquiry misses the point. There surely is an impeachable offense in this irresponsible deal, but it involves the commander-in-chief’s dereliction of duty, not his failure to comply with dubious statutory terms.
The National Defense Authorization Act states that the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring war prisoners out of Gitmo, along with an explanation of steps taken to mitigate any potential threat the release poses to the United States. The administration concedes that the president did not comply with this law in releasing the Taliban commanders. The Journal’s editors pooh-pooh the allegation of some Republican lawmakers that this makes the exchange illegal; they argue, to the contrary, that the law is an “unconstitutional” constraint on the president’s “wartime decision-making.” The editors have a point, though one that is undercut by the president himself.
Article II of the Constitution gives the president significant unilateral authority over the conduct of foreign affairs. As commander-in-chief, moreover, the president has traditionally had near plenary authority over the capture and disposition of enemy combatants in wartime. Congress has salient constitutional powers, too. As the Journalpoints out, Congress could properly have used “its comparably strong power of the purse” to deny the president funding for objectionable prisoner transfers. Instead, with the 30-day notice prescription, it purported to legislate direct limitations on the president’s prerogatives. The president’s commander-in-chief prerogatives may be frustrated by Congress’s exercise of its competing spending power, but Congress may not legislate away the president’s Article II powers—i.e., the Constitution may not be amended by a mere statute. The Journal is right on that score.
The problem in this instance, however, is two-fold. First, there is the now-familiar hypocrisy point. Throughout the Bush administration, when the president relied on his constitutional authority to override congressional restrictions on his wartime surveillance authority and control over enemy combatants, the Left, including then-Senator Obama and many of the lawyers now working in his administration, screamed bloody murder. Some even suggested that he should be impeached for violating the FISAstatute. President Obama, of course, is now doing the same thing he and his allies previously condemned. As I contend in Faithless Execution, he is doing it far more sweepingly and systematically than Bush, whose statutory violations occurred in the context of his incontestable war powers and were strongly supported by judicial precedents.
Read more at National Review
Written by: Diana West
Imagine a curious soul or two in the not-too-distant future furtively peeling back the layers and learning the cruel truth: that their forbears willingly exchanged all of their precious liberties for tyranny rather than assess and educate and protect themselves against Islamic conquest — violent, pre-violent, smooth, explosive, financial, political, kafiyya-wrapped or Armani-suited. I think they will marvel because, as they will so very tragically know first-hand, Islam is so simple: its culture of death, its oppression of women and non-Muslims, its defilement of children, its suppression of conscience, religion and speech. They will be astonished, also very angry, over the way free men and women in 20th-21st centuries saw fit, not to embark on emergency measures to ensure energy independence from Islamic oil, block Islamic immigration, and shield financial markets and academia from sharia-compliance, but rather to erect a massive and invasive security state that robbed all citizens of their liberties as they fiddled away the Islamic threat. Mustn’t offend? Mustn’t offend? That was more important than saving the blessed beauty of our lost civlization…?! Incredulously, they will learn how “public intellectuals” invented all manner of “division” within Islam, detected endless “signs” of “evolution” to come, supported disastrous “democracy” movements, diagnosed “moderation” ever-aborning, projecting all in a static of isms and ists that confounded and dumbfounded and confused. To be sure, it kept “public intellectuals” gainfully occupied, but it did nothing to stem the waves of conquest that made life in the West a sharia-compliant and, of course, post-Communist hell on earth. Obamacare Allahu Akbar.
What brought all this on? About a decade of self-imposed confusion on “radical Islam,” “extremist Islam,” or, lately, “sharia-ism” when the threat is simple Islam. The simplicity eludes us in exercises that are endlessly Baroque. That’s what I take away from Andy McCarthy’s response today at NRO to a piece by Daniel Pipes.
His column is about “Islamism,” which is the ideology I (among others) call “Islamic supremacism” — a.k.a “radical” or “extremist” Islam, or even “sharia-ism” in the recent coinage of my friend Joy Brighton . . . all of us, it should be conceded, grappling for the pitch-perfect term that (we hope) justifies sidestepping the gnawing question whether Islam itself inevitably breeds aggressive Muslim groups even if it is otherwise widely construed, or at least practiced, benignly. (Italics in the original.)
To me, this paragraph is deeply depressing. I think it’s the egg-shell-delicate emotionalism with which Andy and his peers (“all of us”) are still “grappling” with this simple, simple subject of Islam — the “pitch-perfect term,” after all. Why such angst? Why such nonsense words (“sharia-ism”)? That there are people in this world who see fit to follow the totalitarian and supremacist precepts of the Koran and the rest of the authoritative Islamic texts is not a cause for Christian or Jewish or Zoroastrian embarassment. That there are people in this world who consider Mohammed, the first jihadist who “married” a six year old, their model is not a cause for agonizing guilt among those who follow Jesus Christ, Moses, Pan or the wind.
Our era’s seemingly eternal conversation about the “ists” and “isms” that mainly Christians and Jews like to cloak Islam with continues here.
Andy makes one more comment to note:
Our interests lie, as they always have, with promoting authentic moderate Muslims — i.e., the non-Islamists we are hoping will defeat Islamists.
I disagree. To be sure, this is the basis of US policy going back before 9/11 but, hard as we “hoped,” it hasn’t worked. Islam, its influence (dhimmitude) advance unchecked. This is also the same “strategy” on which the US has disastrously gone to war. After all, what is counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN), as implemented in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a strategy to empower “authentic moderate Muslims” to defeat the rebel-insurgent-“Islamists”? That hasnt worked, either. Indeed, COIN became the mechanism by which our armies have increasingly submitted to sharia norms, as chronicled at this website.
Our interests lie, I submit, in devising every public policy possible to protect our Constitution, our country, our identity from the depredations of Islamization. Any “authentic moderate Muslim” is welcome to help.
Like everything Daniel Pipes writes, his column this week about the prospects of Islamism is interesting and admirably honest. If every public intellectual were as willing as Daniel to check his premises regularly and modify them when new facts call them into question, our discourse would be a lot more civil and edifying.
His column is about “Islamism,” which is the ideology I (among others) call “Islamic supremacism” — a.k.a “radical” or “extremist” Islam, or even “sharia-ism” in the recent coinage of my friend Joy Brighton . . . all of us, it should be conceded, grappling for the pitch-perfect term that (we hope) justifies sidestepping the gnawing question whether Islam itself inevitably breeds aggressive Muslim groups even if it is otherwise widely construed, or at least practiced, benignly.
Daniel has previously rejected the possibility that Islamism, which is innately dictatorial, could evolve into something that approximates pluralistic democracy. He now surveys recent developments and concludes it is conceivable — not likely, but conceivable — that Islamism could evolve and improve.
To me, the developments Daniel cites are just glimmers here and there along a mostly discouraging trajectory. I will make three points, more in reaction than in direct response to his observations.
1. Only our own lower expectations of what liberal democracy is make it possible to speculate that Islamism could become borderline democratic. While Daniel mines some hopeful signs that Islamism — or at least branches of it — could be progressing away from unyielding authoritarianism, the parallel phenomenon (which is not the subject of his column) is that Western democracy is regressing away from a culture of individual liberty protected by limited government. If it now seems conceivable that Islamism could democratize, it can only be owing to modern democracy’s accommodation of more centralized and intrusive government.
2. The only conclusion of Daniel’s that I have a real quarrel with is his assertion that
Islamism has significantly evolved over the past 13 years. As recently as 2001, its adherents were synonymous with criminals, terrorists, and revolutionaries.
I think this conflates Islamism with our perception of Islamism. Personally, I don’t believe Islamism has materially changed at all. Instead, beginning about 21 years ago with the bombing of the World Trade Center, there was a vigorous effort on the part of progressive policy-makers and thinkers — an effort that still persists — to convince the public that the only “radical” Muslims were violent jihadists (who were incongruously portrayed as both “extremist” Muslims and practitioners of a “false Islam”). All other Muslims, we were told, were “moderates,” no matter how immoderate their beliefs. There was very little public understanding of sharia — the Islamic societal framework and legal system — and of the fact that imposing its implementation is the rationale for both jihadist terror and the non-violent agitations of Islamist groups.
What has changed over the past 13 years is not Islamism. Thanks to the good work of people like Daniel — I have tried to do my share, too — the public has begun to learn that Islamists include not only terrorists but Islamic supremacists who seek to impose and inculcate sharia standards by such other means as lawfare, legislation, the classroom, the media, popular culture, etc. There is nothing new in this variegated approach; it is the same plan for ground-up revolution that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna laid out nearly a century ago. There is, however, more popular awareness today that not every non-terrorist Muslim activist is a “moderate.”
Daniel recalls his observation all those years ago that many Islamists “are peaceable in appearance, but they all must be considered potential killers.” He says “these words ring archaic now,” but, to me, they simply reflect the still valid insight that terrorist and non-terrorist Islamists share objectives even if their methods differ. I don’t think there has been any real evolution just because we are in a time when many Islamists, as Daniel says, “find the ballot box a more effective means to power than the gun.”
It has always been the case that some Islamists pursue the sharia agenda by barbaric means and others by political and legal processes. The only difference today lies in the nature of their opportunities. In Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Islamists got the chance to obtain by popular vote what they had previously sought by terrorism — control of the government. And what happened when the Muslim Brotherhood took over? Terrorists were sprung from captivity. Islamist Egypt seamlessly became a hospitable place for jihadists to organize against Israel and the United States. Islamists — both violent and ostensibly non-violent — put their differences aside and allied against the West.
’Twas ever thus. Daniel is surely right that “some reforms of Islam are already underway” (my italics). But that hardly means Islamism is reforming in any substantial way. Indeed, the link in Daniel’s assertion about ongoing Islamic reform takes the reader to an excellent essay he wrote for Commentary last year, which portrays the reform of Islam as what is required “if Islamism is to be defeated,” not as a phenomenon happening in Islamism itself.
Read more at National Review
Daniel Pipes has written a reply: Islamism’s Trajectory
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.
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
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
- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Evangelist (frontpagemag.com)
Kelly File: 9/11 Twin Tower Survivor Reacts To release Of Manisfesto Of Terrorist Mastermind (counterjihadreport.com)
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
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.
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
- Yossef Bodansky: ‘Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?’ (pjmedia.com)
- Rush: Syrians gassed with help from U.S.? (wnd.com)
Mounting evidence raises questions about Syrian chemical weapon attack (worldtribune.com)
Western Signal Intelligence Driving Debate Over Syria (thetower.org)
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 Khaled; 2002 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 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.
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.
With 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