ISIS is a Footnote: The Real Threat is Sharia and Islamic Supremacism

CJ-white-logo (1)CounterJihad, by Shireen Qudosi · @ShireenQudosi | June 29, 2016

The battle against radical Islam isn’t an ‘over there’ fight confined to the wastebin landscape of some forgotten town. It’s a ubiquitous problem that takes place on American soil in two forms. The first is through direct jihadi attacks as we most recently saw in Orlando; the second takes the form of political warfare.

Yesterday, the battle of ideas took place on the floor of a Senate hearing spearheaded by Senator Ted Cruz. The “Willful Blindness” hearing, attended by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Philip Haney, and Andrew McCarthy among others, offered testimony to better understandbarriers to combating radical Islam.

Other witnesses included soft-Islamist Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director ofMuslim Advocates, who refused to admit that jihad or radicalization had absolutelyanything to do with radical Islam. In fact, Senator Cruz’s attempt to engage Khera in dialogue yielded a minimum of 6 instances of denial within five minutes, with Khera defaulting to a regressive left narrative that the conversation is somehow empowering ISIS.

National security consultant Chris Gaubatz debunks the myth of an all-powerful and seeing ISIS:

“The global Islamic movement is made of terrorist groups and nation states; all seeking to impose sharia.”

ISIS is a footnote at best, not the bogeyman that Islamists try to threaten free speech with. The real threat is sharia and a mindset of Islamic supremacism.

Testimony was also provided by Michael German, a fellow of the Brennan Center for Justice and a former FBI Special Agent. German sees radical Islam as a problem but not in the context we would assume is logical based on the facts and common sense. In the same line of thinking as Khera, German denounces a theological association with violent acts of terror under a political doctrine.

German’s reasoning fails. He is neither expert in nor a student of Islamic theology. Had he an objective mind and trained scholar in both academic and traditional Islam, he would see that Islam has become a highly political system that forms and orchestrates national movement. The version of radical Islam adopted by terror groups is not that different than the version of Islam adopted by Islamic states – and to go further – the version of Islam that Islamists identify with. All versions ultimately hold Islam as supreme, paving the way for what is an undeniable theological supremacy. In other words, Islamic supremacy. And that understanding of Islam is adopted by billions of adherents.

In the same vein of thought as Islamists, German believes “radical Islam” is used to smear a faith group. He further argues “collective national security [is not achieved] by undermining security of others.” For German, “Ideas cannot be killed and ideologies cannot be destroyed.” He points to Nazi ideology that while defeated, was not destroyed.

However, radical Islamic ideology can be challenged and destroyed…from within. A growing movement in partnership with allies is already underway by Muslim reformers. Reformers are the new wave of Muslim scholars appearing nearly a millennia after the original Muslim free thinkers, the Mu’tazilites. The waves of movement in Islamic critical thought from the time of the Prophet, through his passing, and till today, shows that Islam is not the monolith German and Khera try to depict.

Andrew McCarthy, a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, understands Islam has seen a struggle to define itself from its earliest days. As McCarthy points out, Muslims “have not settled the question what is an authentic Islam.”

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a top North American Muslim Reformer, sees Muslim reformers “as the most essential head of spear in the battle against Islamic theocracy.” The largest collective of Muslim Reformers are presently in the United States.

“Ideas of freedom can happen in the laboratory of America,” adds Dr. Jasser. The West offers Muslim voices for humanity a level of freedom that is unmatched in any other part of the world, making Western Muslim reformers critical in this battle against radical Islam — particularly because truthful conversations on faith are painted as persecution, courtesy of the regressive left.

For McCarthy, the focus needs to shift to the supremacist interpretation of Islam that is fundamentally at odds with Western values. A clash of civilizations between Islam and the West is not a case of multiculturalism where room can be made for both. Islamic supremacism in its nature allows for only one ideology: its own.

So while German underscores that radical Islam is not a problem – that it is a misnomer – McCarthy points to history which shows us something entirely different. He summarizes that a struggle in Islam has been “ongoing for fourteen centuries supported by centuries of scholarship,” adding that “Islam is less a religion than a political radicalization with a religious veneer.”

McCarthy doesn’t see this as something the U.S. can fix, but it is something that we need to understand and not obscure – particularly because as Chris Gaubatz added, “We can kill every member of Al-Qaeda tomorrow, but it won’t end.”

Zuhdi Jasser added that America has “a sophisticated whack-a-mole system” of combatting terrorism. These are key assessment recognizing that ultimately we need to target the ideology and develop a system that moves beyond a fear of might trigger ISIS – a running theme for both Khera and German.

Khera along with German were both supported by Senator Dick Durbin who brought up a failed ongoing argument that needs to die: Westboro and the KKK are no more Christian than ISIS is Islamic. A cheap, tired trick, it shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about both Islam and Christianity.

Westboro and KKK are not acting in the footsteps of Jesus. However, ISIS is in many ways following the post-Medina violent warring behavior of its prophet, Muhammad. If we’re to see whether something is Islamic or Christian, we need to look at the verses and the leadership. Christianity did not have a violent Jesus and the teachings of Christ himself do not advocate violence. On the other hand, Islam has a violent version of Muhamad, which however justified in whatever context, is still violent and includes violent rhetoric that justified jihadi and supremacist agendas.

Germans builds on the back and forth highlighting Nazi Germany was defeated in part by criminalizing the ideology, something he feels can’t be done with Islam because the ideology can’t be scrubbed. I would argue we’ve already scrubbed so much: over 900 instances of references to jihad and Islam from official documents in what is a systematic purge of intelligence in a critical war.

Let’s go further still and get to the actual problem: the ideology. We need to do the same to political and violent doctrines in Islam, while supporting alternate voices found in reformers who are well on their way by outrightly challenging the theology or through grassroots efforts calling for modernized adaptations.

Also see:

Senate Hearing: While Feds Scrubbed References To Islam, Terrorists Escaped Notice

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A Tuesday Senate hearing Sen. Ted Cruz chaired discussed the ‘willful blindness’ of Democrats’ approach to combatting Islamist terrorism.

The Federalist, by M.G. Oprea, June 29, 2016:

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz chaired an investigative hearing to determine whether law enforcement agencies are deemphasizing radical Islam while investigating terrorism in the United States. Its purpose, according to Cruz’s website, was to “investigate how the federal government has not only refused to appropriately identify the specific threat of radical Islam, but has sought to undermine the people and information who have sought to highlight the threat.”

Provocatively titled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism,” the hearing comes just weeks after Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people in an Orlando night club and injured dozens more. In his opening remarks, Cruz said, “the consequence of the willful blindness of a policy, that is a matter of administration policy, that refuses to acknowledge the threat, means over and over again this administration has allowed the threats to go forward.”

In the weeks following the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack, Democratic leaders and media elites once again tried to blame the attacks on everything under the sun other than Islamic radicalism. White Christians, Republicans, gun laws, and anti-gay bigotry are for liberals the worst culprits.

But it’s not just the mainstream media and the far-left selling this bill of goods. Incredibly, this rhetoric has been coming from our government. President Obama made a public statement in the days after the Orlando attack doubling down on his commitment not to speak about Islam when addressing any terrorist attacks, even when they are manifestly inspired or encouraged by ISIS or other Islamist ideology.

Denying Reality Gets People Killed

Last week, the FBI released a heavily redacted transcript of Mateen’s 911 call, in which he pledged his allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The FBI had scrubbed references to ISIS and changed his use of “Allah” to “God,” as though it were a translation rather than a transcript. Most damning of all, however, was the revelation that the FBI was aware of Mateen’s presence, had interviewed him three times in the past few years, and knew he belonged to the same mosque as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American suicide bomber in Syria.

Of course, this latest foray into delusion vis-à-vis the relationship between terrorism and Salafist interpretations of Islam, or what Andrew McCarthy referred to in the hearing as “Sharia supremacism,” is preceded by a long history of the Obama administration’s systemic denial of this relationship. We saw similar reactions on the Left and in our government after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, a few weeks after which Obama held a summit on “violent extremism,” as though one can be violently extreme about nothing in particular. There were similar reactions after San Bernardino, Paris, and Brussels.

The hearing Tuesday was meant to shine a spotlight on what can only be described as a systematic and willful blindness to the reality that Islamist ideology is closely linked to terrorism and radicalization. This blindness is a natural consequence of the Obama administration’s reckless national-security policy of “countering violent extremism,” or CVE. McCarthy describes the CVE as “delusionally forbid[ing] the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting.”

Among those who testified was Philip Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, now turned whistleblower. He described ongoing retaliation while working at DHS for investigations he ran that put the dots together for international Islamist groups that also worked within the United States. Haney was ordered by his superiors to redact the use of Islamic terms in 876 documents, something for which none of the Democrats at the hearing expressed even the slightest bit of concern. He surmises that had his work been allowed to continue, DHS very well could have been alerted to the San Bernardino shooters.

As Long As We Keep Saying It, It Will Be True

In the hearing, Cruz repeatedly brought up Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, who was known to have visited radical Islamic websites and been in email contact with a radical cleric. This is important because Hassan’s terrorist attack was one of the earliest occurrences of the Obama administration’s insistence that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism, because the White House fundamentally rejects the notion that Islam inspires violence. The military officially labeled the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence,” despite what Hassan himself claims it was.

Another major point raised in Tuesday’s hearing was the scrubbing of terms like “Islam” and “jihad” in DHS training materials over the past several years. This was compared with the 9/11 Commission report, where Islam-related words showed up more than 100 times. Notably, one of the panelists, Farhana Khera, is president of Muslim Advocates, the organization that requested in writing that these training materials be “purged” of these “bigoted” terms.

Not surprisingly, Khera spent much of her time testifying in the exact kind of doublespeak that the hearing was there to discuss. She said dangerous political rhetoric regarding Islam is teaching Americans to fear and hate their Muslim neighbors, despite other panelists arguing that Islam is not a monolithic religion and that there are multiple interpretations, including violent ones, and that these, not the peaceful ones, ought to be condemned. But Khera wasn’t listening. She said she was disturbed by what the other panelists said, calling it “garbage.”

La La La, I’m Not Listening

Panelists like Chris Gaubitz, a national security consultant at Understanding the Threat Consulting Firm, pointed out that we could kill every member of ISIS and al-Qaeda, but without addressing the spread of sharia doctrine, Islamist terrorism won’t end. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, urged an honest conversation about Islamist terrorism, arguing that by refusing to talk about it we are infantilizing Muslims by supposing they are too fragile to hear a frank discussion about Islam. According to him, “to say that Islam has no problems is just as problematic as saying Islam and Muslims are the problem”

Several Democratic senators tried to make analogies to the KKK and Christianity, arguing that just like we don’t call white-supremacist groups “radical Christians” neither should we call individuals and groups who perpetrate terrorist acts in the name of Islam “radical Muslims.” Meanwhile, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, spent much of his time discussing how the focus on Islamic terrorism in the last 15 years has blinded us to the serious problems in our country with radical right-wing terrorists.

During the Senate hearing, Turkey’s Ataturk airport was attacked by suicide bombers, killing dozens, and al-Qaeda released a special edition of their English-language publication Inspire Guide urging lone-wolf attackers to target the “Anglo-Saxon community” so their acts won’t be misinterpreted as “hate crimes” but rather what they really are: religiously motivated terrorist attacks. How painfully ironic that Islamist terrorists are so flummoxed by the liberal West’s insistence on ignoring their motivations that they had to make an official statement to clarify things.

In the end, the hearing appeared an effort in futility. It seemed as though half the room lives in an alternate reality. But only one of those realities is real. And only one of them will win out in the end.

M. G. Oprea is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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Also see:

Connecting dots between two of the two biggest terror attacks on U.S. soil

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National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, June 14, 2016:

According to Fox News, Omar Mateen, the jihadist who carried out the mass-murder attack at a gay nightclub in Florida this weekend, was a student of Marcus Robertson, an Orlando-based radical Muslim who once served as a bodyguard to Omar Abdel Rahman — the notorious “Blind Sheikh” whom I prosecuted for terrorism crimes in the early to mid 1990s.

Robertson, a former U.S. marine with a serious criminal record, is now 47. That means he was in his early twenties when the Blind Sheikh lived in the New York metropolitan area. It was a commonplace in those days for the Sheikh to travel with an entourage, including bodyguards from various groups (e.g., his fellow native Egyptians, Palestinians associated with Hamas, Sudanese Muslims who lived in New Jersey, and — often in Brooklyn, where he frequented the Farooq and Taqua mosques — African-American Muslims, most of them converts to Islam).

In the spring of 1993, members of the Blind Sheikh’s cell were plotting to follow up the February 26 World Trade Center bombing with simultaneous bombings of several New York City landmarks (including the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the U.N.’s headquarters, and the FBI’s lower-Manhattan field office). The jihadists planning the landmarks attacks turned to a man named Clement Hampton-el for help obtaining detonators. In a conversation recorded by an FBI informant, Hampton-el explained that it had recently become harder for him to get detonators because his sources had recently been arrested by the FBI in Pennsylvania. He described these sources as members of a gang that robbed banks and post offices —activities ordinarily illegal under Islamic law but that, according to the Blind Sheikh, were permissible as long as a chunk of the proceeds went to support jihad. Before the FBI shut the gang down, Hampton-el said they had been able to supply “C-4s, M-16s, AKs, detonators, bulletproof vests — they had everything.”

In the recorded conversation, Hampton-el recounted being a longtime friend of the father-in-law of one of the arrested men. Because of that, he contributed money for the man’s defense. But to his great annoyance, Hampton-el learned that the arrested man had cooperated with the FBI and “talked on everybody.”

At our trial, Hampton-el testified in his own defense, implausibly claiming that he had “made up” the story about the gang. But when we cross-examined him, he admitted to being a longtime friend of a man named Suliman el-Hadi, who just happened to have a son-in-law named Marcus Robertson. In a remarkable coincidence, Robertson just happened to have been arrested by the FBI in Pennsylvania, to have pled guilty to a series of bank and post-office robberies, and to have gotten sentencing leniency because he cooperated with the government. Grudgingly, Hampton-el conceded that he just might know Marcus Robertson personally, might have had some meetings with him, and might even have seen him in the company of the Blind Sheikh at the Farooq mosque.

Small world. Well, Fox News reports that in 1991, Marcus Robertson joined with other Muslims who were former security guards in a robbery gang they dubbed “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” According to a private investigator in Florida, the group committed armed robberies of more than ten banks, private homes, and post offices; shot three police officers; and attacked one cop after he was injured by a homemade pipe bomb. It is alleged that Robertson — Ali Baba — donated more than $300,000 of the robbery proceeds to mosques he attended. Fox says prosecutors also claim Robertson has committed murders in addition to using pipe bombs, C-4, and other explosives. Nevertheless, he has never been convicted of those things and was given extraordinary leniency in the robbery case, serving just four years in prison.

Physically, Robertson is a very capable man. He served in the Marine Corps from 1986 until 1990, when he was reportedly discharged as a corporal, having been trained in marksmanship, scuba diving, counterterrorism, parachuting, surveillance tactics, communications equipment, infantry patrolling, and finance. Fox could not verify Robertson’s claims to have served in the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite counterterrorism unit.

Reportedly, his military training and involvement with both crime and terrorists convinced federal intelligence agencies that he might be a useful covert operative. This reflects a seamy side of national security, particularly in the field of foreign intelligence: The sort of people who can credibly pass for violent jihadists in order to infiltrate terror cells will often be former violent jihadists. Or, worse, they will be unreformed violent jihadists who pretend to work against the terrorists but are actually still with them. In any event, our agencies have to rely on a lot of bad people in order to learn what other bad people are plotting against us. They must constantly guard against being gamed.

In Robertson’s case, it is reported that he agreed to work for the government, gathering intelligence both overseas and in the United States. According to Fox, however, he was expelled from the covert informant program in early 2007 after attacking his CIA handler in Africa.

By 2008, he surfaced in Orlando, and became known by his Muslim name, Abu Taubah. The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported in 2012 that Robertson was the imam at the al-Ihsaan mosque (formerly, the Islamic Center of Orlando). He also ran an online Muslim education enterprise, known for years as the “Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary” (FIKS) — although the name was recently changed to the “Timbuktu Seminary.” Robertson’s seminary has apparently been a springboard for lecturing gigs at universities in the United States and overseas.

Omar Mateen, the terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, had enrolled in Robertson’s seminary. At least one other student of Robertson’s has been convicted (along with Robertson) in a case that had terrorism implications. Robertson’s lectures are said to include a staple of sharia: the condemnation of homosexuals — whom Robertson refers to as “devil worshipers.”

The government suspects — with abundant reason, it appears — that Robertson’s prominence in the mosque, the online seminary, and the teaching circuit have given him ample opportunity to radicalize young Muslim men: not only indoctrinating them in sharia-supremacist ideology but also possibly providing them with paramilitary training.

For example, Robertson is alleged to have instructed one of his Orlando students, Jonathan Paul Jimenez, to file false tax returns for the purpose of obtaining funds that would pay for travel to Mauritania for jihadist training. Perhaps I should say additional jihadist training. Prosecutors, Fox reports, produced intercepted conversations showing that Robertson had trained Jimenez “in killing, suicide bombing, and identifying and murdering United States military personnel.”

Of course, if the government’s evidence had been as compelling as the Fox report makes it sound, one would figure that Robertson and Jimenez would have been charged with terrorism crimes. But the statements outlined in the Fox report appear to involve Jimenez talking about Robertson, not Robertson himself volunteering anything incriminating. Robertson’s computers also raised alarms when agents searched them and found documents about terrorist ideology from the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center, and military reports on psy-ops and interrogation. It is not illegal, however, to possess these items, notwithstanding their obvious usefulness to a trainer of terrorists.

In any event, it appears that Jimenez was charged only with false statements and conspiring to defraud the IRS. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.

Robertson was apparently charged with some kind of minor firearms offense in 2011 and pled guilty in January 2012. Two months later, the Justice Department charged him with the Jimenez tax-fraud conspiracy, for which he was found guilty in 2013. In neither case did the government charge him with terrorism crimes. Yet prosecutors tried to slide terrorism into the mix at sentencing. They urged that, in imposing sentence on Robertson for the gun and fraud counts, U.S. district judge Gregory Presnell should factor in that he had been involved in terrorism activities, “focused on training others to commit violent acts” overseas.

This is a too-cute-by-half strategy the government sometimes attempts: Get a dangerous defendant convicted on easy-to-prove, comparatively minor charges and then push the judge to give him a maximum sentence based on a “terrorism enhancement” — i.e., an allegation of terrorist activity of which the defendant has not been convicted. The strategy is legal because prosecutors are not technically asking that the defendant be sentenced on the uncharged terrorism crime; they seek a sentence at the top of the range prescribed for the minor crimes for which the defendant has been convicted. But there is no getting around that, were it not for the “unconvicted” terrorism conduct, the defendant would get a much lower sentence.

This rubs many judges (and probably a lot of Americans) the wrong way: Most of us believe that if prosecutors want to sentence someone for terrorism, they should indict and convict him for terrorism. That was plainly the feeling of Judge Presnell, who concluded that the Justice Department’s terrorism evidence against Robertson was weak. While not doubting the Justice Department’s insistence that Robertson is a bad guy, the judge rejected the ten-year terrorism enhancement and sentenced Robinson to time served (about four years) on June 26, 2015.

Judge Presnell and the prosecutors had every reason to believe that Robertson was a bad guy. Fox reports that while in custody:

Robertson was considered so dangerous, he was kept in shackles and assigned his own guards. Whenever he was transported to court, a seven-car caravan of armed federal marshals escorted him. He was initially moved into solitary confinement after prison authorities believed he was radicalizing up to 36 of his fellow prisoners.

Now, we know that Omar Mateen enrolled in Robertson’s online seminary. Is there more to the story than that? For now, we do not know. In investigating the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, the FBI will be chasing numerous leads. Some of these leads will center on the relationship between Mateen, an apparently trained terrorist, and Robertson, a former Blind Sheikh bodyguard whom the government has long suspected of training terrorists.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Killing Homosexuals Is Not ISIS Law, It Is Muslim Law

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National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, June 12, 2016:

Various reports indicate that the death toll from the jihadist attack overnight at a popular gay club in Orlando may exceed 50 people, with more than 50 others wounded. The terrorist’s identity has been reported: He is Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen and devout Muslim from Fort Pierce, Fla., the son of immigrants from Afghanistan.

The FBI has indicated that Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police at about 5 a.m., was an Islamic extremist. Representative Peter King (R., N.Y.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, says the shooter was “trained in the use of weapons.” As we have noted here many times, military training is generally the key that separates competent terrorists from wannabes. But whether actual or would-be jihadists, these Muslims are motivated by Islamic supremacism, the belief that sharia, Islam’s ancient, totalitarian law, must be imposed on society.

Based on all this, there is abundant Washington and media speculation that the attack is “ISIS-inspired.” This is consistent with the bipartisan, government-approved inanitywe have been following for a quarter-century, what I often call the political class’s concoction of “An Islam of Their Very Own.” It goes something like this:

Islam is a religion of peace, period. End of discussion. “Violent extremist” outfits such as ISIS and al-Qaeda kill wantonly, with no real ideological motivation. ISIS and al-Qaeda are thus not Islamic, but actually anti-Islamic — and if they cite Islamic scripture to justify their atrocities, they are “hijacking” and “perverting” Islam. Because we must see these groups as “anti-Islam” rather than Islam, it is acceptable to call a mass-murder attack “terrorism” only if law-enforcement develops some plausible tie to these groups. Otherwise, if a Muslim is involved, stick with “workplace violence” and the like. Finally when an attack committed by a Muslim is too obviously terrorism to deny, call it “ISIS-inspired,” or “al-Qaeda-inspired,” or “Hamas political resistance,” etc. — but by all means do not, absolutely do not, ascribe it to Islam in any way shape or form.

This is idiocy. Will today’s event, the worst mass shooting in American history, help us see that?

We need to consider separately Islam and its sharia law.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

There are various ways to interpret Islamic scripture in order to attempt to evolve it out of violence. This, of course, does not change the fact that supremacist, fundamentalist Islam is a legitimate, mainstream, virulently anti-Western interpretation of Islam; but it does at least mean that there can be other mainstream versions of Islam that reject violence and Islam’s politico-legal system.

Sharia, on the other hand, is basically set in stone. (Or should I say “stoning”?) Even most Islamic reformers acknowledge that it badly needs reform — not that it can bereinterpreted, but that it needs to be changed. Its provisions and especially its draconian punishments were largely fixed a millennium ago.

The mandate that homosexuals be killed is not from ISIS or al-Qaeda. It is from sharia — which draws on Muslim scripture.

As I’ve observed several times, an English version of the classic sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller has been endorsed by scholars of al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning since the tenth century; by the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Muslim Brotherhood think tank that is influential in Washington; and by other influential Islamic governments and commentators. Here is its teaching on homosexuality, found in the chapter on “Enormities” — the most grave offenses:

Sec. p17.0: SODOMY AND LESBIANISM

Sec. p17.1: In more than one place in the Holy Koran, Allah recounts to us the story of Lot’s people, and how He destroyed them for their wicked practice. There is consensus among both Muslims and the followers of all other religions that sodomy is an enormity. It is even viler and uglier than adultery [AM: which is punished brutally, including by death].

Sec. p17.2: Allah Most High says: “Do you approach the males of humanity, leaving the wives Allah has created for you? But you are a people who transgress” (Koran 26:165-66).

Sec. p17.3: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

  1. “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”
  2. “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.”
  3. “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.”

As I noted many times, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi may be Sunni Islam’s most influential living sharia jurist. Here, as reported by the Middle East Forum, is Qaradawi’s teaching on homosexuality:

We must be aware that in regulating the sexual drive Islam has prohibited not only illicit sexual relations and all what leads to them, but also the sexual deviation known as homosexuality. This perverted act is a reversal of the natural order, a corruption of man’s sexuality, and a crime against the rights of females. (The same applies equally to the case of lesbianism.)

The spread of this depraved practice in a society disrupts its natural life pattern and makes those who practice it slaves to their lusts, depriving them of decent taste, decent morals, and a decent manner of living. The story of the people of Prophet Lut (Lot), peace be upon him, as narrated in the Koran should be sufficient for us. Prophet Lut’s people were addicted to this shameless depravity, abandoning natural, pure, lawful relations with women in the pursuit of this unnatural, foul, and illicit practice. That is why their Prophet Lut, peace be on him, told them, “What! Of all creatures, do you approach males and leave the spouses whom your Lord has created for you? Indeed, you are people transgressing (all limits)!” (Koran, 26: 165–166)

The strangest expression of these peoples’ perversity of nature, lack of guidance, depravity of morals, and aberration of taste was their attitude toward the guests of Prophet Lut, peace be upon him. [Here follows a digression on the story of Lot as related in the Koran. —Eds.]

Muslim jurists have held differing opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice. Should it be the same as the punishment for fornication, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.

Since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there has been no shortage of praise for Ayatollah Ali Sistani, whom the Bush administration frequently lauded as a “moderate” and a supporter of “democracy.” (We critics countered that Sistani is a fundamentalist sharia-supremacist who supported “democracy” — meaning popular vote — in a Muslim-majority society because that was the most direct, efficient way to impose sharia.) Sistani is as influential a Shiite sharia authority as there is. As I have previously recounted, when asked, “What is [Islam’s] judgment on sodomy and lesbianism?” Sistani replied: “Forbidden. Those involved in the act should be punished. In fact, sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible.”

Yup, let it sink in: “killed in the worst manner possible.”

RELATED: Islamist Terror and Collective Guilt

The inspiration for Muslims to brutalize and mass murder gay people does not come from ISIS. It is deeply rooted in Islamic law, affirmed by many of Islam’s most renowned scholars. This is why, wherever sharia is the law, homosexuals are persecuted and killed. See, for instance, this 2014 Washington Post report listing ten Muslim countries where homosexuality may be punished by death (Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Iraq — notwithstanding its new, U.S.-supported constitution).

Note, again, that Omar Mateen is the American-born son of immigrants from Afghanistan, where homosexuality may also be punished by death — notwithstanding American nation-building efforts there for the last 15 years.

As I have argued before, while a categorical ban on Muslim immigration would be bad policy, our immigration law must distinguish between Islam the religion and Islamism, the sharia-supremacist political ideology, which tends to grow strong support wherever Muslims form a critical mass. There absolutely should be severe restrictions on immigration from countries, regions, and communities (e.g., in Europe) in which sharia standards are de jure or de facto imposed.

The problem with mass immigration from sharia enclaves is not merely that trained terrorists may infiltrate the immigrant population. It is that sharia-adherent, assimilation-resistant Muslims will form sharia enclaves in the U.S., as they have throughout Europe, where young Muslims will be “radicalized” under our noses in the years to come.

Today, we have gotten another glimpse of radicalization, which is not “homegrown” but rather fueled by a foreign, anti-American, anti-liberty ideology.

Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Brussels and Willful Blindness

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National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — March 22, 2016:

Cruz Assembles an Unlikely Team of Foreign-Policy Rivals

CruzBloomberg View, by Eli Lake, March 17, 2016:

In a year when the Republican Party is breaking apart because of Donald Trump, the only man left with a chance to beat him is trying to build a big tent — by GOP standards — when it comes to foreign affairs.

On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz is set to announce his campaign’s national security advisory team, and it includes many foreign-policy insurgents and a few more establishment types. The list includes conservatives who disagree on one of the most pressing issues facing the next president: defining and confronting radical Islam.

The first name on the advisory list that stands out is Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan administration Pentagon official who has emerged as a lightning rod in the Obama era, accused by the Southern Poverty Law Center of being one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes.

When Trump proposed a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration, he quoted from a 2015 survey of American Muslims commissioned by the think tank Gaffney founded, the Center for Security Policy. It concluded that a quarter of U.S. Muslims supported violent jihad against the U.S. This led to speculation in the Washington press that Gaffney was advising Trump.

But Gaffney is a Cruz man. In an interview, he said that he met Cruz when he was running for Senate in 2012, and that he has briefed him on the FBI’s investigation into a Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity known as the Holy Land Foundation and on how Sharia law is a threat to America. “I hope that some of that went into his decision to introduce legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,” Gaffney said.

Until this year, these views were considered radioactive by the Republican establishment. George W. Bush, after Sept. 11, famously appeared at a Washington mosque and declared that Islam was a religion of peace. Senator John McCain, when he was his party’s presidential nominee in 2008, famously rebuked a talk-radio host for calling his challenger “Barack Hussein Obama,” a dog whistle to the president’s Arabic middle name. In 2012, the campaign of Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, spurned Gaffney and other conservatives who warned that Sharia was a domestic threat.

This time around it’s a little different. As Cruz makes the case that he is the last, best chance to prevent Trump from winning his party’s nomination, his foreign-policy advisers include not only Gaffney, but also three others who work for Gaffney’s think tank: former CIA officers Fred Fleitz and Clare Lopez and former Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Jim Hanson. Also on the list is Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the first World Trade Center bombing. McCarthy has been outspoken in his view that adherents at least to political Islam are seeking to impose Sharia law in the U.S.

At the same time, Cruz’s team includes former officials who reject Gaffney’s broad view that any Muslim who believes in Sharia law by definition believes in a totalitarian and violent ideology at war with America.

“We’re at war with a coalition of radical Islamists and radical secularists. It’s not all one thing, nor is Islam all one thing,” Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan administration official and a Cruz campaign adviser, told me.

Jim Talent, a former Missouri Republican senator who was a key adviser to Romney in 2008 and 2012, is signed up for the Cruz team. So is Mary Habeck, a former staffer on George W. Bush’s national security council, who is an expert on jihadi organizations and has warned against demonizing the entire religion of Islam.

Another Cruz adviser, Elliott Abrams, helped craft Bush’s policy to empower moderate Muslims in the Middle East against radicals. He told me he feels much the same way as Habeck. “It’s now 15 years since 9/11, and I think it’s obvious that Muslim citizens in the U.S. and Muslim leaders abroad have an absolutely critical role to play in fighting jihadis and other Muslim extremists,” Abrams said. “This is partly a battle within Islam that they are going to have fight and win. Alienating these potential allies is the kind of foolish policy that the Obama administration has engaged in when it comes to Arab states that are our allies.”

Victoria Coates, who has been Cruz’s main adviser on national security since he came to the Senate, told me this tension on the policy team “is by design and not an accident.” She added: “Both Frank and Elliott are people I went out of my way to set up meetings with the Senator. He has met with both of them individually for years.”

Cruz threaded this needle between Gaffney and Abrams in his response to Trump’s call in December for a temporary ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. Cruz never criticized Trump’s position directly. (Marco Rubio did.) But he also didn’t endorse the position, instead introducing a bill to halt refugees from countries with a significant al Qaeda or Islamic State presence, with exceptions for asylum seekers fleeing genocide. “When Donald Trump talked about barring all Muslims from entering into the United States, Senator Cruz of course did not endorse that opinion, in part because he knows the law,” Abrams said.

Cruz also knows politics. He has not won over the Washington mandarins who came out early for Jeb Bush, like former CIA director Michael Hayden. But after Rubio dropped out of the race on Tuesday, Cruz made an appeal to his former rival’s supporters to join his campaign.

Cruz is hoping Republican leaders in Washington will embrace his candidacy now, even though he has railed against them since he came to the Senate. Cruz also knows that long-time supporters like him precisely because he so infuriates the Republican establishment.

His new team of national security advisers, in this respect, has something for everyone.

Huma Abedin and the Tangled Clinton Web

t-huma-abedin-anthony-weiner.sized-940x350xcPJ Media, by Andrew McCarthy, Feb. 12 2016:

Almost a month ago, Fox News reported that the FBI’s investigation of possible national security violations stemming from Hillary Clinton’s private email system had expanded to include a corruption angle, centered on the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the possibility that Foundation donors received favorable government treatment during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The Fox report prompted indignant denials from Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign that there had been any broadening of the probe. Yet, the government is not required to disclose the course of its investigation publicly, much less to its subjects. And now, there are additional indications that the government is indeed scrutinizing the cozy relations the State Department enjoyed during Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure with both the Clinton Foundation and a Clinton-connected consulting firm called Teneo.

Last autumn, according to the Washington Post, the State Department’s inspector general (IG) issued subpoenas to the Clinton Foundation. The IG’s office has authority to investigate wrongdoing at the Department, including criminal wrongdoing. Its conclusions may be referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution, and may also result in other forms of disciplinary action against government officials found to have committed misconduct. The subpoenas served on the Clinton Foundation reportedly focused on two areas of inquiry: (a) Clinton Foundation projects that may have required federal government approval during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state; and (b) Clinton Foundation records pertaining to the employment of Huma Abedin.

Ms. Abedin, a longtime Clinton confidante, served as Secretary Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff at the State Department and is now vice chairwoman of Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the presidency.

For about a half-year toward the end of Abedin’s tenure at the State Department, which coincided with with Secretary Clinton’s own departure from the State Department in February 2013, Abedin was given a highly unusual and ethically dubious arrangement: She was permitted to work simultaneously for the State Department, Teneo, the Clinton Foundation, and even in a personal capacity for Mrs. Clinton – in order to manage the secretary’s transition back to the private sector (notwithstanding that Mrs. Clinton had a job waiting for her at the lavishly funded Clinton Foundation, from which she would oversee her 2016 campaign-in-waiting).

Ordered Liberty readers will recall that Ms. Abedin has been the subject of controversy. Several years ago, five House conservatives asked State’s IG to investigate how Abedin managed to receive a security clearance despite extensive family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to an al Qaeda financier whose “charity” was designated a terrorist organization by the government. At the time, senior Republicans attacked the House conservatives, despite the fact that the latter were not alleging any wrongdoing on Abedin’s part – they were merel and sensibly questioning the propriety of the government’s granting a security clearance to someone on Abedin’s background. In light of new revelations in the Clinton email scandal, which place Abedin in the center of the mishandling of classified information through Mrs. Clinton’s homebrew server system, the concerns of the House conservatives seem prescient.

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The Problem with Islam Is Aggressive Scripture, Not Aggressive ‘Traditionalism’

quran

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — January 16, 2016:

On the Corner this week, the eminent Jim Talent touted (with some reservations) an essay about “moderate Islam” by Cheryl Bernard. A Rand Institute researcher, she is also a novelist, a defender of war-ravaged cultures, and the wife of Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to post-Taliban (or is it pre-Taliban?) Afghanistan. With due respect to Dr. Bernard, who does much heroic work, I believe the essay highlights what is wrong with Western academic analysis of Islam.

The problem comes into focus in the very title of Senator Talent’s post, “Aggressive Traditionalism.” That is the attribute of Islamic societies that Dr. Bernard blames for the frustration of her high hopes for “moderate Islam.” In truth, however, the challenge Islam poses for moderation is not its tradition; it is Islamic doctrine — the scriptural support for traditional sharia and Islamic supremacist ideology.

I give Bernard credit. She is the unusual strategist who is willing to admit failure — in this instance, of the strategy of promoting “moderate Islam” as the antidote to “radical Islam.” But even this concession goes off the rails: She maintains that the strategy was somehow “basically sensible” despite being “off track in two critical ways.” The real problem, though, is not the two errors she identifies but the fatal flaw she fails to address: The happenstance that there are many moderate Muslims in the world does not imply the existence of a coherent “moderate Islam.” Try as she might, Bernard cannot surmount this doctrinal hurdle by blithely ignoring the centrality of doctrine to a belief system — without it, there is nothing to believe.

But let’s start with the two critical problems she does cite. The first is the matter of defining what a “moderate” is. Bernard concedes that she and other thinkers adopted a definition that was “too simplistic” — meaning, too broad. It made “violence and terrorism” the litmus test for “moderation.” This enabled what she labels “aggressive traditionalists” to masquerade as moderates.

Who are the “aggressive traditionalists”? Muslims who, though nonviolent themselves, “harbor attitudes of hostility and alienation” against non-Muslims. The failure to account for the challenge that “aggressive traditionalism” poses for moderation led to the second flaw Bernard admits: the undermining of “integration” — a reference to Muslim assimilation (or the lack thereof) in the West.

This is fine as far as it goes. In fact, Bernard is quite correct about the main challenge posed by hostile, alienated, integration-resistant Muslims: Even if they are personally nonviolent, the communities they create become “the breeding ground for extremism and the safe harbor for extremists.”

But “extremism” about what? This is the salient question, and it is one Bernard studiously ducks. The error is implicit from the very start of her essay (my italics):

Over the past decade, the prevailing thinking has been that radical Islam is most effectively countered by moderate Islam. The goal was to find religious leaders and scholars and community ‘influencers’ — to use the lingo of the counter-radicalization specialists — who could explain to their followers and to any misguided young people that Islam is a religion of peace, that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment, and that tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail.

Plainly, the “prevailing thinking” casually assumes “facts” not only unproven but highly dubious. Bernard takes it as a given not only that there is an easily identifiable “moderate Islam,” but also that this . . . what? . . . doctrine? . . . attitude? . . . is the most effective counter to “radical Islam.”

But what is moderate Islam? She doesn’t say. She maintains that there are countless moderate Muslims who, by her telling, embrace “Western values, modern life and integration.” In fact, she assumes there are so many such Muslims that they constitute the “mainstream” of Islam. Yet, that proposition is not necessarily true even in the West, where Muslims are a minority who might be expected to assimilate into the dominant, non-Muslim culture; and it most certainly is not true in the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East.

Even worse is Bernard’s assertion — uncritical, and without a hint that there may be a counter-case — “that Islam is a religion of peace, [and] that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment.”

As is the wont of Islam’s Western apologists, Bernard is attempting to shield from examination what most needs examining. Her reliance on the potential of “moderate Islam” to quell “radical Islam” is entirely premised on the conceit that Islam is, in fact, moderate and peaceful. Her assumption that the vast majority of Muslims can be won over (indeed, have already been won over, she seems to say) to Western values is premised on the conceit that those values are universal and, hence, locatable in the core of Islam — such that “tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail” because Islam is all for them.

Islam, however, is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of conquest that was spread by the sword. Moreover, it is not only untrue that jihad refers “mainly” to the individual’s internal struggle to live morally; it is also untrue that the Islamic ideal of the moral life is indistinguishable from the Western conception.

To be clear, this is not to say that Islam could not conceivably become peaceful. Nor is it to say that jihad could not be reinterpreted such that a decisive majority of Muslims would accept that its actual primary meaning — namely, holy war to establish Islam’s dominance — has been superseded by the quest for personal betterment. To pull that off, though, will require a huge fight. It cannot be done by inhabiting an alternative universe where it has already been done.

That fight would be over doctrine, the stark omission in Bernard’s analysis. I do not think the omission is an oversight. Note her labeling of faux moderates as “aggressive traditionalists.” Citing “tradition” implies that the backwardness and anti-Western hostility she detects, to her great dismay, is a function of cultural inhibitions. But what she never tells you, and hopes you’ll never ask, is where Islamic culture and traditions come from.

Alas, they are direct consequences of Islamic scripture and sharia, the law derived from scripture. She can’t go there. She wants Islam to be moderate, but its scriptures won’t cooperate. She must rely on tradition and culture because traditions and cultures can and do evolve. Scripture, by contrast, does not — not in Islam as taught by over a millennium’s worth of scholars and accepted by untold millions of Muslims. Mainstream Islam holds that scripture is immutable. The Koran, the center of Islamic life, is deemed the “uncreated word of Allah,” eternal. (See, e.g., Sura 6:115: “The Word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and justice: None can change His Words: For He is the one Who heareth and knoweth all.”)

Bernard must blame aggressive traditionalism because if the problem is aggressive doctrine rooted in aggressive scripture, then it’s not changing any time soon — or maybe ever. Moreover, she is not in a position to challenge doctrine and scripture without deeply offending the believers to whom she is appealing. They are taught that any departure from centuries-old scholarly consensus is blasphemy.

The story Dr. Bernard tells of Islamic intransigence in her own Northern Virginia neighborhood is instructive. A Muslim-American friend of hers is a social worker who finds jobs for Muslim immigrants. He lands openings for a group of Somali women in a hospital laundry service; but the women first tell him they must check with their imam, then they turn down the jobs because they will not be allowed to wear their hijabs. The social worker and Bernard are exasperated: Why don’t the women and their adviser grasp that because hijabs could get caught in the machinery and cause injury, there is a “pragmatic reason” for departing from the traditional Islamic norm?

Notice: Bernard never considers, or at least never acknowledges, that there is doctrinal support for every decision the Somalis make: The scriptures instruct Muslims to consult authorities knowledgeable in sharia before embarking on a questionable course of conduct; they instruct Muslim women to wear the veil (particularly in any setting where they will be exposed to men who are not their husbands or close relatives). And while pragmatism suggests to the rational Dr. Bernard and her moderate, Westernized social-worker friend an obvious exception to Islam’s usual clothing rule, mainstream Islam in the Middle East and Somalia admonishes that Western reliance on reason and pragmatism is a form of corruption, a pretext for ignoring religious duty.

Doctrine is the answer to virtually every immoderate instance of aggressive “traditionalism” Bernard complains about: the separation of men from women in the mosque, and the decidedly poorer accommodations (“often unacceptable and even insulting,” as Bernard describes them) to which women are consigned; the separation of the sexes in work and social settings; the instructions not to trust or befriend “unbelievers”; the admonitions to resist adopting Western habits and developing loyalty to Western institutions. There is scriptural support for every one of these injunctions.

From the fact that she has moderate, “modernized” Muslim friends, who do not comport themselves in such “traditional” fashion, Bernard extravagantly deduces that tradition is the problem. She never comes close to grappling with doctrine — i.e., the thing that most devout Muslims believe is what makes them Muslims. The closest she comes is the fleeting observation that her moderate social-worker friend “is a scholar [presumably of Islam] and a professor who emigrated from a conservative Muslim country.” The obvious suggestion is that if he is not troubled by the flouting of traditional Islamic mores, surely there must not be any credible scriptural objection. But if it is relevant that her friend is a scholar, is it not also relevant that there are thousands of other scholars — scholars who actually do Islamic jurisprudence rather than social work for a living — who would opine that sharia requires these traditional behaviors and that it is the social worker who is out of touch?

When Dr. Bernard’s husband, Ambassador Khalilzad, served in Kabul, he midwifed the new Afghan constitution that purported to safeguard Western notions of liberty while simultaneously installing Islam as the state religion and sharia as fundamental law. In short order, Afghanistan put former Muslims who had publicly renounced Islam on capital trial for apostasy. Dr. Khalilzad, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other Western officials and intellectuals pronounced themselves duly shocked and appalled — notwithstanding that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Islamic scripture knows that it calls for public apostates to be killed.

To great American embarrassment, the apostates had to be whisked out of the country lest the incompatibility of civil rights and sharia become even more painfully apparent. It is worth acknowledging, however, that what chased them out of Afghanistan was not aggressive traditionalism. It was Islamic doctrine, which simply is not moderate. Looked at doctrinally, the challenge for “moderate Islam” is . . . Islam.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

 

When Worlds Collide: Unassimilable Muslim Migrants Crash Europe’s Fantasy Islam

asylum-seekers in Germany

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY January 9, 2016:

What happens when the West’s fantasy Islam collides with the reality of an imported critical mass of unassimilated — and defiantly unassimilable — Muslims?

Cologne happens.

Nor is it only Cologne. That was just Ground Zero of the New Year’s Eve rape jihad in Germany. As National Review’s Ian Tuttle notes in an alarming column about the predictable — and, if I may say, predicted — surge of sexual assault in a Europe overrun by “migrants,” the jihad included similar episodes, albeit on a smaller scale, in Stuttgart, Hamburg, and even astride the Brandenburg gate in Berlin.

We are finally learning about the magnitude and harrowing details of the attack after days of Stasi-like information suppression. Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be big on German security, but she is a bulwark when it comes to fantasy Islam.

First there was no news; then, a few disturbing hints of gropings and robberies by gangs of “Middle Eastern or North African” men. Now, we know it was a mass atrocity — the only remaining question being: How massive?

Upward of a thousand men, overwhelmingly Muslim, executed a coordinated series of attacks on an obvious target of opportunity: street celebrations in the major cities of a reviled Western state, where they were certain to find throngs of young women and a police presence grossly inadequate to provide security — certainly not against a critical mass of Islamic supremacists.

RELATED: Mass Muslim Immigration Will Bring Islam’s Problems Here

The participation of Muslim migrants in the rape jihad is, of course, the fact most desperately suppressed by German officials. Mrs. Merkel earned her “Person of the Year” honors from left-leaning relic Time magazine by rolling out the red carpet for a staggering 1.1 million migrants in 2015 — infuriating the German public and spurring the migrant tsunami now washing over neighboring countries. In this information clampdown, the nightmare of the victimized women turns out to be the chancellor’s good fortune: Police on the scene were so outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the assailants that it was physically impossible for them to get near most of the women being savaged, much less make arrests. Most of the perps will never be identified.

The media are already using this to cast doubt on migrant culpability. “It was not clear,” the New York Times opaquely explains, “that any of the men involved were among those who arrived in Germany over the past year from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.” Sure. In southern Germany, after two teenage girls (ages 14 and 15) were raped, police tripped over themselves to announce that the three Syrians arrestedwere not recently arrived asylum seekers. What a relief.

RELATED: Europeans Studiously Ignore Muslim Mobs

Nearly 200 women have filed criminal complaints in Cologne, the vast majority charging all manner of sexual assault. There have been few arrests, though, and nearly none involving sex crimes.

The Muslim men used a tactic that has escaped the notice of fantasy Islam devotees but is well known to those of us who’ve followed the scant reports on the rape jihad as it has proceeded from Tahrir Square to Malmö to Rotherham: A group of men encircles the targeted woman or girl, trapping her while walling off police and other would-be rescuers. Knowing they are a protected class, the Muslim men have no fear of the cops — “You can’t do anything to me,” and “Mrs. Merkel invited me here,” are just some of the reported taunts. By the time “help” reaches one victim, the assailants have moved on to the next.

It is not very effective law enforcement . . . but at least the cops can’t be accused of “Islamophobia,” right?

Still, Europe is not Nigeria — not yet. In the regressing advanced world, nothing on the scale of the New Year’s Eve siege can happen without tweets and pictures filtering out. Try as they might, German officials have been unable to put a lid on accounts from police explaining that “the large majority” of assailants they were able to identify were “from Syria,” or observing that “there were thousands of people who could not be specifically identified but who had an immigrant background, and were most probably refugees.”

RELATED: France’s No-Go Zones: Assimilation-Resistant Muslims Are the Real Refugee Crisis

Truth being the first casualty of war, it was left to Henriette Reker, the fantasy Islam–drenched mayor of Cologne, to blame the victims for their ordeal. Such assaults could be prevented, she declaimed, if German women adopted a “code of conduct” tailored to the new, multi-culti Deutschland.

In the spirit of multiculturalism, I have such a code just off the shelf (on which rests The Grand Jihad, in which I outlined it a few years back). It goes like this:

To be absolved from guilt, the raped woman must have shown some sort of good conduct . . . Islam addresses women to maintain their modesty, so as not to open the door for evil . . . The Koran calls on Muslim women in general to preserve their dignity and modesty, just to save themselves from any harassment. So for a rape victim to be absolved from guilt, she must not be the one that opens . . . her dignity for deflowering.

These pearls of wisdom come from none other than Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s renowned sharia jurist. He proclaimed them on his popular IslamOnline website about a dozen years ago, right before he was welcomed into Britain — as a trustee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies — despite his fatwas supporting Hamas suicide attacks in Israel and terrorism against Western troops in Iraq. Though he resides in Qatar, Qaradawi currently heads the Ireland-based European Council for Fatwa and Research.

Qaradawi is the most influential Muslim intellectual behind the strategy of, as he puts it, “conquering” Europe and America by “dawa” — the aggressive proselytism of Islamic mores. The plan calls for flooding the West with Muslim migrants, directing them to resist assimilation, establishing Islamic enclaves, and pressuring the host country to concede the enclave’s right to govern itself in accordance with sharia — Islam’s societal framework and legal code.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World is Overcome with Hate

As I’ve previously explained, when Muslims are seeking conquest, Islamic scripture endorses sexual assault as a weapon to establish their dominance. “O Prophet,” Allah is said to have announced (in the Koran’s sura 33:50), “We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee.”

In the Western ministries of fantasy Islam, the pols and their note-takers will thumb their chins and wonder what could possibly have motivated the German attacks — just as they wonder what could possibly explain the European sexual-assault crisis that has, by some mysterious coincidence, coincided with mass Muslim migration.

The rest of us will know that there is a strategy: conquest. Just as in the Middle East, women and girls in the West are the spoils of jihad, the vehicle for intimidating non-Muslims into surrendering sovereignty over the streets. If they want to be safe, Sheikh Qaradawi warns, they must submit to Islam’s sartorial suffocation. If not, well, they have it coming.

By the way, since President Obama entered office, the United States has issued over 100,000 green cards per year to migrants from Muslim-majority countries. That’s just green cards — it doesn’t count the thousands of visas issued to students, tourists, and temporary workers. With the Republican-controlled Congress fully funding the effort, the government is on pace to award another 680,000 green cards to Muslim migrants — with their entitlement to lifetime residency, federal benefits, and a path to citizenship — in the next five years.

As Sheikh Qaradawi and Mayor Reker might say, I’m sure it won’t be a problem . . . as long as the women “maintain their modesty.”

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

Islam v. Free Speech: Twitter Surrenders

twitter 1National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Jan. 4, 2016:

My weekend column profiled Bosch Fawstin, the intrepid cartoonist who won last spring’s “Draw Muhammad” contest that was attacked by two ISIS-inspired jihadists in Garland, Texas. (The terrorists were killed in a shootout with police.) Fawstin compellingly argues that the best way to fight a repulsive conquest ideology such as Islamic supremacism is to expose it. That means an unstinting reliance on our constitutional right to free expression.

Apparently, Twitter has opted to join the campaign to crack down on free expression. And one is left to wonder whether the big Saudi bucks that have come its way are a factor in Twitter’s decision-making.

As I recount in the column, the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists has long been the imposition of sharia blasphemy standards on the West. This campaign is not waged exclusively or even primarily by violent jihadists. Instead, its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (a 57-government bloc of, mainly, majority-Muslim countries).

The West should be fighting these anti-Western Islamic supremacists in defense of our core principles. Instead, the Obama administration — particularly the president and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — has colluded with them. So have other left-leaning governments and institutions that are naturally hostile to free speech and open debate. One prominent result, which I discussed in the column as well as in Islam and Free Speech, is U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. This blatantly unconstitutional provision, co-sponsored by Obama, Clinton, and OIC members, calls on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam. Essentially, this is a codification of sharia, which prohibits all expression that subjects Islam to critical examination.

RELATED Just Asking About Islam and Terrorism

Twitter has announced new regulations on content communicated via its social-networking service. They are prohibitions on speech similar in effect to Resolution 16/18. As usual, this is shrewdly done under the guise of suppressing “hate” speech. In fact, the regulations cast a much wider net that potentially calls for the suppression of political and educational speech.

Twitter’s policy, called “Hate content, sensitive topics, and violence,” is here. The policy states that it applies to “Twitter Ads,” but goes on to explain that these “paid advertising products” include all “Tweets,” as well as “trends and accounts.”

The policy is then spelled out in question-and-answer form. Here is the relevant part (the italics are mine):

What’s the policy?

Twitter prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally.

ACM: Note from the get-go: We are not just talking about the incitement of violence here. Twitter is laying the groundwork to regulate discussions of any topics it deems “sensitive.”

What products or services are subject to this policy?

This policy applies, but is not limited, to:

Hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.

ACM: Note that this prohibition expressly goes beyond “hate speech” (which itself is an absurdly subjective term), additionally banning “advocacy against” people or groups based on, among other things, “religion” (as well as “other protected status” — who knows what that means?).

In essence, it is not different from Resolution 16/18’s prohibition of speech that could “incite” mere “hostility” to religion — i.e., anything that could cast Islam in a bad light, regardless of whether it is truthful. If they try to tell you this is just about banning insulting cartoons and patently derogatory statements, don’t buy it. This is about permitting only speech that conforms to the government’s official, smiley-face version of Islam.

Twitter’s list of speech categories to which its suppression policy applies continues:

Violence or threats of violence against people or animals

Glorification of self-harm or related content

Organizations or individuals associated with promoting hate, criminal, or terrorist-related content

ACM: Again, note that Twitter distinguishes “hate” from “terrorist-related content” and seeks to ban both. Remember, it is not just terrorists who engage in “terrorist-related” speech; it is also those of us who write about terrorism and what motivates terrorism. As announced, the policy makes no distinction between ISIS and, say, your humble correspondent.

Before concluding with a ban on “Offensive, vulgar, abusive or obscene content,” the policy also bans “Inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.” This prohibition continues a dangerous trend: codification of the “heckler’s veto” or the law of the jungle. To the contrary, the First Amendment emphatically rejects the notion that speech obviously not intended to incite violence (indeed, often intended to expose savagery) should be banned simply because uncivilized people might react to it with violence, threats, and other perilous, intimidating behavior.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Twitter elaborates that its suppression policy does not apply to “News and information that calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence, but does not advocate for it.” So does that exemption include commentary on “news and information”? Apparently not. In the next sentence, Twitter provides a separate exemption for “commentary” that is much more narrow: The prohibition does not apply to “commentary about products, services, companies, or brands, including potentially negative commentary.”

The patent implication is that if “commentary” “calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence,” Twitter reserves the right to ban it even if the commentary “does not advocate” hatred, violence, or other offenses to someone’s delicate sensibilities.

Is it a coincidence that Twitter is pushing the anti-speech agenda in the same direction as the OIC? Consider this: One of the prime movers in the campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy standards and other aspects of sharia law on the West is Saudi Arabia. In 2011, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — a prominent member of the Saudi royal family with a prodigious record of buying up and influencing Western media and educational institutions — ponied up $300 million to purchase Twitter stock. By the end of 2015, bin Talal had doubled his investment in Twitter: His stake now has a market value of approximately $1 billion, good enough for a 5 percent share.

The sharia justice system that bin Talal’s family enforces is currently drawing attention due to its mass executions, which include putting to death a prominent Shiite activist, drawing the wrath of rival Iran (another prominent OIC country that imposes sharia law and executes dissenters). For present purposes, though, our focus is blasphemy. The Saudis strictly enforce sharia blasphemy strictures that the OIC — wittingly aided by Obama and Clinton — would thrust on the rest of the world. It is a commonplace for Saudi blasphemy prosecutions to be based on social-media postings on Twitter, Facebook, and the like.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

By spreading his fortune around, tens of millions at a clip, Prince bin Talal attracts many admirers in the Western commentariat. He is thus depicted as the tolerant, progressive face of Saudi moderation. The image masks the ugly reality of the royal family and its sharia enforcement. For a more realistic take, and to grasp the perilous specter of Islamic-supremacist influence over Western free-speech standards, here is something worth perusing: last year’s Saudi court ruling that upheld the blasphemy conviction of human-rights activist Raif Badawi. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and a thousand lashes for writing such social-media posts as: “The combination of the sword and the Quran are more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.”

After explaining that “liberalism is parting away from religion according to the Western definition of it,” the court held that Badawi had shown

disparagement of the one who made the Quran and the Sunnah as a guiding light and a law that equates the ruler and the ruled. And based on these thoughts that spread doubt in the fundamentals of the religion and its values, [Badawi] violate[d] the five essentials which sharia came to protect, and spread sedition and conflict among the people in society.

Hence, according to Act 23 of the basic law of governance, which says: “the government protects the Islamic doctrine, applies the laws of the Sharia, and promotes virtue and prevents vice”; and according to Act 11 of the same law, “the Saudi people live based on the tenacity of its individuals to the rope of Allah, and cooperate on righteousness, piety and interdependence among each other, and never be separated” . . .

The statements he confessed to writing . . . contain overall the perverted liberal thought and a call to embrace it and to reject the way of people of goodness and righteousness. It is a call to liberation from the duties of religion and its values, and to disrespect its [tenets].

The convict’s acts are condemned and considered a crime according to sharia and according to our government [law] combatting cybercrime, which says, “any person who commits the following cybercrimes is to be sentenced to serve a maximum of 5 years in prison [and fined:]. . . . Forming whatever affects public order and religious values, and public manners and the privacy of personal life via composing, sending or publishing the compromising material on the cyber web or any other electronic device.”

Yes, what could be better for Twitter than Saudi money and all the progressive enlightenment that comes with it?

We must hasten to add that Twitter is a private service. It is not bound by the First Amendment. Unlike the government, it is permitted to suppress speech disseminated through its own system. But that system has millions of users (including me, and most National Review writers). The new Twitter policy is clearly an effort to shape the public’s understanding of what is and is not tolerable speech. The question is: Is Twitter influential enough to have that effect . . . or will its obnoxious policy prompt protests by users that induce Twitter to rethink its course?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Why ‘Draw Mohammed’? The Artist Explains

Fawstin2National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 2, 2016:

Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons.” That is what Bosch Fawstin tells me. And he knows whereof he speaks.

Fawstin is the award-winning cartoonist thrust into international notoriety in May when he won a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas — a contest that became the first terrorist target of the Islamic State on American soil.

The event was intended to be less a competition than a celebration of free-expression principles. Because those principles undergird Western civilization, they have become the prime target of Islamic supremacists. And when we talk about Islamic supremacists, we are not talking only about violent jihadists, such as the two ISIS-inspired terrorists who were killed in a firefight with police while attempting a mass murder of Fawstin and his fellow contestants.

There are also the “moderates” who specialize in exploiting the atmosphere of intimidation created by jihadist organizations: the Muslim Brotherhood’s international web of Islamic activist groups and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the 57-government bloc that claims to represent Muslim interests globally.

The methods of the “moderates” might differ from those of ISIS and al-Qaeda — and given the extensive promotion of jihadist violence by the Brotherhood and several OIC member states, we say “might” with tongue firmly in cheek. The “moderate” goal, however, is the same: the imposition of sharia, which is Islam’s societal framework and legal code. As Fawstin explains it: “Devout Muslims want their laws to be our laws. In essence, they want us to be de facto Muslims.”

RELATED: Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

In that vein, priority No. 1 has been pressuring the United States and its Western allies to stifle free expression, to supplant our free marketplace of ideas with Islam’s repressive blasphemy standards. This imperative has received a major boost from the Obama administration: from the president, who is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment, and also from his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who would like to be the next to make a mockery of that solemn oath. Colluding with the Brotherhood and the OIC, Obama and Clinton sponsored United Nations Human Rights Resolution 16-18: a blatantly unconstitutional provision that calls on all member states to ban speech that could “incite” not just violence but “hostility” to Islam.

This goes to the heart of why the Garland event has been widely misunderstood. With Obama and Clinton working with anti-American Islamists to attack free speech, it is no surprise that the administration’s slavish media are portraying Islam’s critics as wild-eyed bigots, and their “Draw Muhammad” contest as an exercise in gratuitous insult — the kind of expression that even free-speech advocates often shy from defending.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth: The Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

The narrative betrays ignorance of Islam’s blasphemy proscriptions. Insulting speech barely scratches the surface of all that is forbidden. Classical sharia prohibits all artistic expression that depicts animate life — deeming it an offensive imitation of Allah’s creative act. Far beyond insult, moreover, sharia forbids speech that subjects Islam to any objective examination that could result in negative criticism. Also forbidden are words that imply unbelief; that could be taken to rebuke Allah or Mohammed (even if gently or in jest); or that appear to deny a principle established by authoritative sharia scholarship. Islamic supremacists would apply prohibitions to non-Muslims as well as Muslims, because they believe that Allah has commanded them to impose sharia on the unwilling. And as for Muslims, speech that announces or implies apostasy is punishable by death.

This is what drives Fawstin’s work. “I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t.” In Garland, that meant not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”

The idea was to underscore the free-speech purpose of the contest. The imposition of Islamic law “includes banning much of our music, art, and literature,” Fawstin observes. “Look at how ISIS has been destroying antiquities, for example.” The way to fight back, he believes, is with open and unwavering dedication to free expression:

The way I see it, if drawing Mohammad can get you killed, then he should be drawn again and again and again and again, until drawing him loses all power. And, within reason, doing something that an enemy doesn’t want you to do is reason enough to do it, on sheer principle.

Unlike many Americans, particularly in Washington, who believe in fighting fire with accommodation, Fawstin grasps that steely resolve is the only way to face down this enemy. Perhaps it has something to do with being raised in the Bronx — as a Muslim. His Albanian family was what would today be called “moderate Muslims,” although they identified themselves simply as Muslims, Fawstin recounts. Interestingly, this echoes Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who rejects the notion of “moderate Muslims” —  he maintains that “Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”

Growing up, Fawstin increasingly sensed incongruity: His family was “moderate” in their adherence to Islam, rarely going to mosque and selectively following sharia strictures; yet the Jew-hatred and misogyny that are hallmarks of Islamic supremacism ran rampant among his “moderate” relatives. As he recalls:

I phased out of Islam in my mid teens when I began to think about morality in a serious way, when I saw the contrast between Islamic values and American values, and when I was beginning to really recognize what was good and true in the world.

For Fawstin, the 9/11 attacks were a call to arms — in the “pen is mightier than the sword” sense. He had “fallen in love with superhero comic books” during childhood and was already embarked on a career as a cartoonist. His rage over the atrocity merged with his professional passion to forge a determination to respond in a comic-book and graphic-novel form.

The semi-biographical result is The Infidel, Featuring Pigman, a comic book that is part of a graphic novel. The plot revolves around twin brothers who react to 9/11 in opposite ways: One dives deeper into his Islamic roots; the other, a Muslim apostate, creates “an ex-Muslim counter-jihad superhero comic book.” It is a story within a story: As the superhero, Pigman, battles his jihadist nemesis, the conflict between the twins escalates.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Naturally, I ask Fawstin, “Why Pigman?” The idea, he quips, is to exploit the enemy’s “pigotry.” It is a concept quite at odds with Western governments’ “outreach” style of counterterrorism. Rather than attempting to placate jihadists, Fawstin prefers to study their ideology, find out what they fear and loathe, and use it against them. He recalled from his Muslim childhood the strictures against eating pork or “coming into contact with pig, in any way,” along with the fact that being called a “pig” was considered the worse of insults. Thus he decided that pigskin leather was the perfect costume for his protagonist, who is moved to combat after witnessing the 9/11 attacks from New York’s Ground Zero.

Fawstin would not have created the cartoon series or drawn Mohammed at Garland had it not been for 9/11. Contrary to the blame-America-first storyline, it was the jihad that provoked his determined response, not the other way around. And it is the threats he’s received because of his work that inspire him to persevere.

The enemy is no match for America on the military battlefield. Nor can they compete in the battle of ideas, where their tactic is suppression precisely because their repugnant ideas cannot bear examination. As terrorists, their only power lies in paralyzing us, instilling in us a fear to defend our principles, like free speech. Obama and Clinton loudly signal a readiness to surrender those principles, theorizing that the enemy will be appeased. Bosch Fawstin defiantly lives those principles, reckoning that if we all did, the enemy would not stand a chance.

I like his plan better.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Fox News is getting the message out on jihad!

a gThese interviews are packed with important information that Americans need to hear. Kudos to Fox News for interviewing the experts!

After O’Reilly gives his opinion on Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslim Immigration, he interviews counterterrorism specialist Aaron Cohen and Center for Security Policy’s Jim Hanson. They discuss taking a temporary pause in issuing visas to people from terror supporting countries and a detailed plan to go after ISIS.

***

Megyn Kelly interviews Andrew McCarthy and Dr. Sebastian Gorka. They discuss the importance of vetting for Islamic supremacist ideology and sharia adherence. Dr. Gorka points out that the San Bernardino attack used  classic jihadi tradecraft. They also touched on the need Mosque surveillance and looking at the background of Imams.

***

And Dr. Gorka was on Fox and Friends this morning.

Terror Expert: Don’t Expect Calif. Attack to Be the Last on US Soil (foxnewsinsider.com)

Counterterrorism expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka said we should not expect the San Bernardino terror attack to be the last by jihadis on American soil.

He said that in the last 20 months, the U.S. has killed or arrested 82 ISIS suspects, and that a significant portion of them planned on staying in the country to kill Americans.

“They have decided the best way to serve the new caliph, the new emperor, would be to kill Americans here. We published that report before San Bernardino, with one conclusion: If you just look at the facts, a Paris-type attack is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

“Do not expect this to be the last attack in America by jihadis.”

Gorka also weighed in on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to ban the entry of Muslims into the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Gorka said that the plan is bad for national security, because U.S. intelligence depends heavily on the Muslim community and allies in the region, and “this is going to make them just close down.”

He also said there’s logistically no good way to vet people on the basis of religion.

“Are we going to test them on Bible verses? How many Americans are going to pass a Christian test?” Watch the interview below.

Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban Should Touch Off a Badly Needed Discussion

falls church mosqueNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — December 8, 2015:

Donald Trump’s rhetorical excesses aside, he has a way of pushing us into important debates, particularly on immigration. He has done it again with his bracing proposal to force “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

I have no idea what Mr. Trump knows about either immigration law or Islam. But it should be obvious to any objective person that Muslim immigration to the West is a vexing challenge.

Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up. Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society.

Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma.

The assumption that is central to this dilemma — the one that Trump has stumbled on and that Washington refuses to examine — is that Islam is merely a religion. If that’s true, then it is likely that religious liberty will trump constitutional and national-security concerns. How, after all, can a mere religion be a threat to a constitutional system dedicated to religious liberty?

But Islam is no mere religion.

As understood by the mainstream of Muslim-majority countries that are the source of immigration to America and the West, Islam is a comprehensive ideological system that governs all human affairs, from political, economic, and military matters to interpersonal relations and even hygiene. It is beyond dispute that Islam has religious tenets — the oneness of Allah, the belief that Mohammed is the final prophet, the obligation of ritual prayer. Yet these make up only a fraction of what is overwhelmingly a political ideology.

Our constitutional principle of religious liberty is derived from the Western concept that the spiritual realm should be separate from civic and political life. The concept flows from the New Testament injunction to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.

Crucially, the interpretation of Islam that is mainstream in most Muslim-majority countries does not accept a division between mosque and state. In fact, to invoke “mosque” as the equivalent of “church” in referring to a division between spiritual and political life is itself a misleading projection of Western principles onto Islamic society. A mosque is not merely a house of worship. It does not separate politics from religion any more than Islam as a whole does. There is a reason why many of the fiery political protests that turn riotous in the Middle East occur on Fridays — the Muslim Sabbath, on which people pour out of the mosques with ears still burning from the imam’s sermon.

The lack of separation between spiritual and civic life is not the only problem with Islam. Sharia is counter-constitutional in its most basic elements — beginning with the elementary belief that people do not have a right to govern themselves freely. Islam, instead, requires adherence to sharia and rejection of all law that contradicts it. So we start with fundamental incompatibility, before we ever get to other aspects of sharia: its systematic discrimination against non-Muslims and women; its denial of religious liberty, free speech, economic freedom, privacy rights, due process, and protection from cruel and unusual punishments; and its endorsement of violent jihad in furtherance of protecting and expanding the territory it governs.

Let’s bear in mind that permitting immigration is a discretionary national act. There is no right to immigrate to the United States, and the United States has no obligation to accept immigrants from any country, including Muslim-majority countries. We could lawfully cut off all immigration, period, if we wanted to. Plus, it has always been a basic tenet of legal immigration to promote fidelity to the Constitution and assimilation into American society — principles to which classical sharia is antithetical.

So why isn’t that the end of the matter? Why is Trump being vilified? Why isn’t he being hailed for speaking truth and refusing to bow to political correctness?

Because Islam is more complex in practice than in theory.

In our non-Muslim country, there is no point in debating what the “true” Islam says or whether Muslims are at liberty to ignore or reform classical sharia. There may not be a true Islam. Even if there is one, what non-Muslims think or say about it is of little interest to Muslims. Our job, in any event, is to preserve the Constitution and protect our national security regardless of how Islam’s internal debates are ultimately resolved — if they ever are.

With that understanding, it is simply a fact that many Muslims accept our constitutional principles and do not seek to impose sharia on our society. They have varying rationales for taking this position: Some believe sharia mandates that immigrants accept their host country’s laws; some believe sharia’s troublesome elements are confined to the historical time and place where they arose and are no longer applicable; some think sharia can evolve; some simply ignore sharia altogether but deem themselves devout Muslims because they remain Islamic spiritually and — within the strictures of American law — culturally.

For those Muslims, Islam is, in effect, merely a religion, and as such it deserves our Constitution’s protections.

For other Muslims, however, Islam is a political program with a religious veneer. It does not merit the liberty protections our law accords to religion. It undermines our Constitution and threatens our security. Its anti-assimilationist dictates create a breeding ground for violent jihad.

If we continue mindlessly treating Islam as if it were merely a religion, if we continue ignoring the salient differences between constitutional and sharia principles — thoughtlessly assuming these antithetical systems are compatible — we will never have a sensible immigration policy.

I have no idea what, if anything, Donald Trump knows about sharia. I do know that it’s a system we must account for if we are going to succeed in welcoming pro-Western Muslims who will be a boon to our society while excluding Islamic supremacists who want to destroy it.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

An Islam of Their Very Own

image-see-no-evil-triangleNational Review, by Andrew McCarthy, Dec. 4, 2015:

The day after the San Bernardino jihadist attack that left fourteen dead and even more wounded, my old boss, Rudy Giuliani, came out and said what most sane people are thinking. After hours of pained, halting, incoherent babbling by public officials from President Obama on down about whether the mass-killing by two heavily armed, obviously well-trained Muslims constituted a terrorist attack, Rudy exploded:

You can come to one clear conclusion with the information they have right now. This is an act of terror. The question was motivation. . . . The question here is not, is it an act of terror. We’re beyond that. When you got two assault weapons, two handguns, you’re in body armor, you got a home that’s booby-trapped. You’ve [ACM: meaning “they’ve”] been practicing to do this. . . . If you can’t come to a conclusion at this point that this was an act of terror, you should find something else to do for a living besides law enforcement. I mean, you’re a moron.

Hard to argue with that.

But look, if you actually speak with the police and federal agents conducting the investigation into the attack, you figure out pretty quickly that they are not morons. They are actually very good at what they do. So why is it that, upon seeing two-plus-two, they can’t call it four when Islam is involved?

I’ve been trying to explain this for many years, beginning in Willful Blindness, a memoir about prosecuting terrorists in the Clinton era, and in a stack of columns here at National Review, including one from a few years back that described how our government, under administrations of both parties and the bipartisan Beltway ruling class, has constructed “an Islam of their very own.”

Rudy is right that what they’ve done is moronic, but there is a logic to it. It goes like this.

The government denies that terrorism is caused by Islamic doctrine. This is a triumph of willful blindness and political correctness best illustrated by former British home secretary Jacqui Smith, who might as well have been speaking for our government when she branded terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” That is: the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam but becomes, by dint of its being violence, contrary to Islam. This must be so because the British government, like our government, insists Islam is a “religion of peace.”

Now, this is absurd, of course. There are various ways of interpreting Islam, and millions of Muslims manage to “contextualize” Islamic scripture’s numerous commands to conduct holy war, reasoning that these divine injunctions applied only to their historical time and place and are no longer relevant. Yet, even if you buy this line of thinking, that does not make Islam a peaceful belief system. Verses like “Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war,” are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one “contextualizes” them.

More to the point, the stubborn reality is: There will always be a large percentage of Muslims who believe these scriptures (and the many others like them) mean exactly what they say.

Our government is in denial of this. Unwilling to deal with Islam as it is, the government must make up an Islam of its very own. Regardless of the abundance of evidence to the contrary, the government holds that Islam is a religion of peace, case closed. (Such a laughable case has to be closed because it cannot withstand even slight examination).

Therefore, to the government, terrorism committed by people who happen to be Muslim is not in any way a reflection of any legitimate interpretation of Islam — even if Islamic supremacist ideology, which endorses jihadist violence, is so mainstream that tens of millions of Muslims adhere to it. Remember, here in America as in Western Europe, the violence is deemed anti-Islamic. That is what has been dictated to our law-enforcement agents by their superiors. If those were your instructions, you’d be babbling like a moron, too.

So, what are the policy implications of the government’s constructing its own fantasy Islam, the one and only principle of which is pacifism? Here are a few of the worst.

It means that Islamic doctrine can never be cited as the cause of terrorism. This leads, for example, to the preposterous government handwringingover “radicalization”: You are apparently supposed to believe young people, all of whom just happen to be Muslim, spontaneously become violent radicals — as if there were no doctrine or body of thought that was inducing the radicalization. You are only to say they have been “radicalized” — never mention by what.

Fantasy Islam also leads inexorably to the irrational decree that terrorist organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda are not Islamic. You are to conclude that they are either wanton killers or that they have “hijacked” and “perverted” Islam into something that it is not — something that cannot be dignified with the name “Islam” because Islam, after all, is a religion of peace.

The most ludicrous fallout of this line of thinking is the one Rudy rightly labels moronic: The apparent inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack. But again, if you follow the government’s official party line, you understand the reluctance of these officials: The only terrorists the government acknowledges as terrorists are formally designated terrorist groups — ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah. As we’ve seen, the government has pronounced these groups to be anti-Islamic.

Thus, if the police come upon a mass-murder attack that is clearly instigated by Islamic doctrine, they are not permitted to conclude that it is terrorism because they’ve been directed to maintain that Islam is against terrorism. Consequently, the agents believe they cannot call terrorism terrorism unless and until they uncover evidence proving that the Muslim mass-murderers have some tie to a designated “non-Islamic” terrorist group, such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation. And the fact of the matter is, such evidence will often never be uncovered because it doesn’t exist. It will frequently turn out that the Muslims who’ve committed the atrocity have been “radicalized” by Islamic doctrine, straightforwardly interpreted as Islamic supremacism by their fellow Islamists at the local mosque and Islamic center. They don’t need mediation, help, or instruction from ISIS or al Qaeda. They already share the same ideology as these groups, the goal of imposing Allah’s law (sharia). All they really need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training. That is readily available in many Muslim communities; you don’t need to go to an al-Qaeda or ISIS training camp to get it.

Notice that there is a treacherous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own content-free, obsessively peaceful Islam. Not only can terrorism never be associated with it. Anyone who is publicly associated with Islam by the government must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate the policy-making organs of counterterrorism.

The government, particularly under the control of President Obama, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization — notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand the Brotherhood as “largely secular.” Under the government’s imaginary Islam, acknowledging a group as Islamic perforce gives them a clean bill of health: They are deemed “peaceful,” “moderate,” and steadfastly opposed to terrorism.

And never you mind that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. The beautiful thing about making up an Islam of their very own is that government officials never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

And that’s why they won’t say the terrorist attack in San Bernardino is the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

***

The Controversy over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking

Syrian refugees cross to HungaryNational Review by Andrew McCarthy, Nov. 28, 2015:

The jihad waged by radical Islam rips at France from within. The two mass-murder attacks this year that finally induced President Francois Hollande to concede a state of war are only what we see.

Unbound by any First Amendment, the French government exerts pressure on the media to suppress bad news. We do not hear much about the steady thrum of insurrection in the banlieues: the thousands of torched automobiles, the violence against police and other agents of the state, the pressure in Islamic enclaves to ignore the sovereignty of the Republic and conform to the rule of sharia.

What happens in France happens in Belgium. It happens in Sweden where much of Malmo, the third largest city, is controlled by Muslim immigrant gangs — emergency medical personnel attacked routinely enough that they will not respond to calls without police protection, and the police in turn unwilling to enter without back-up. Not long ago in Britain, a soldier was killed and nearly beheaded in broad daylight by jihadistsknown to the intelligence services; dozens of sharia courts now operate throughout the country, even as Muslim activists demand more accommodations. And it was in Germany, which green-lighted Europe’s ongoing influx of Muslim migrants, that Turkey’s Islamist strongmanRecep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in their new Western countries is “a crime against humanity.”

RELATED: Obama’s Moral Hypocrisy on the Syrian-Refugee Question Is Astounding

So how many of us look across the ocean at Europe and say, “Yeah, let’s bring some of that here”?

None of us with any sense. Alas, “bring it here” is the order of the day in Washington, under the control of leftists bent on fundamentally transforming America (Muslims in America overwhelmingly support Democrats) and the progressive-lite GOP, which fears the “Islamophobia”smear nearly as much as the “racist” smear.

This, no doubt, is why what is described as the “controversy over Syrian refugees” is among the most deceitful public debates in recent memory — which, by Washington standards, is saying something.

RELATED: There Are Serious, Unbigoted Reasons to Be War of a Flood of Syrian Refugees

Under a Carter administration scheme, the Refugee Admissions Program, the United States has admitted hundreds of thousands of aliens since 1980 — and, as the Center for Immigration Studies explains, asylum petitions have surged since the mid-Nineties. If there is a refugee “crisis,” it most certainly is no fault of ours: For example, the U.S. took in two-thirds of the world’s refugees resettled in 2014, with Canada a distant second, admitting about 10 percent.

Those figures come from an invaluable briefing by Refugee Resettlement Watch, which illustrates that the Syrian component is but a fraction of what we must consider. Tens of thousands of what are called “refugees” have come to our shores from Muslim-majority countries. From Iraq alone, the number is 120,000 since 2007, notwithstanding the thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars sacrificed to make Iraq livable.

Many of the refugees are steered to our country by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Naturally, the UNHRC has a history of bashing Israel on behalf of Palestinian Islamists — indeed, it works closely with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, one of Hamas’s most notorious sympathizers. The UNHRC works in tandem with the State Department, which resettles the refugees throughout the U.S. with the assistance of lavishly compensated contractors (e.g., the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, other Christian and Jewish outfits, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) — often absent any meaningful consultation with the states in which Washington plants these assimilation-resistant imports.

Responsibility for vetting the immigrants rests with the Department of Homeland Security. As the ongoing controversy has illustrated, however, a background check is only as good as the available information about a person’s background. In refugee pipelines like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan, such information is virtually nonexistent. (But don’t worry, we can rest assured that the UNHRC is doing a fine job.)

RELATED: Media Coverage of Europe’s Migrant Crisis Ignores the Long-Term Problems it Poses

Let’s assume for fantasy’s sake, though, that the vetting is perfect — that we have comprehensive, accurate information on each refugee’s life up to the moment of admission. We would still have a calamity.

There are two reasons for this, and they are easily grasped by the mass of Americans outside the Beltway.

First, vetting only works if you vet for the right thing. Washington, in its delusional Islamophilia, vets only for ties to terrorism, which it defines as “violent extremism” in purblind denial of modern terrorism’s Islamist ideological moorings. As the deteriorating situation in Europe manifests, our actual challenge is Islamic supremacism, of which jihadist terrorism is only a subset.

For nearly a quarter-century, our bipartisan governing class has labored mightily to suppress public discussion of the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism. Consequently, many Americans are still in the dark about sharia, classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. We should long ago have recognized sharia as the bright line that separates authentic Muslim moderates, hungry for the West’s culture of reason and individual liberty, from Islamic supremacists, resistant to Western assimilation and insistent on incremental accommodation of Muslim law and mores.

RELATED: Why Does the Left Continue to Insist that Islamic Terrorism Has Nothing to Do with Islam?

The promotion of constitutional principles and civic education has always been foundational to the American immigration and naturalization process. We fatally undermine this process by narrowly vetting for terrorism rather than sharia adherence.

Yes, I can already hear the slander: “You are betraying our commitment to religious liberty.” Please. Even if there were anything colorable to this claim, we are talking about inquiring into the beliefs of aliens who want to enter our country, not citizens entitled to constitutional protections.

But the claim is not colorable in any event — it just underscores how willful blindness to our enemies’ ideology has compromised our security. Only a small fraction of Islamic supremacism involves tenets that, in the West, should be regarded as inviolable religious conviction (e.g., the oneness of Allah, the belief that Mohammed is the final prophet, the obligation to pray five times daily). No one in America has any interest in interfering with that. For Muslims adherent to classical sharia, however, the rest of their belief system has nothing to do with religion (except as a veneer). It instead involves the organization of the state, comprehensive regulation of economic and social life, rules of military engagement, and imposition of a draconian criminal code.

RELATED: The Trouble with the ‘Nation of Immigrants’ Argument

Unlike the Judeo-Christian principles that informed America’s founding, classical sharia does not abide a separation of spiritual from civic and political life. Therefore, to rationalize on religious-liberty grounds our conscious avoidance of Islamist ideology is to miss its thoroughgoing anti-constitutionalism.

Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression, property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.

Sharia is also heavily favored by Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Polling consistently tells us that upwards of two-thirds of Muslims in the countries from which we are accepting refugees believe sharia should be the governing system.

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Thus, since we are vetting for terrorism rather than sharia-adherence, and since we know a significant number of Muslims are sharia-adherent, we are missing the certainty that we are importing an ever-larger population hostile to our society and our Constitution — a population that has been encouraged by influential Islamist scholars and leaders to form Muslim enclaves throughout the West.

This leads seamlessly to the second reason why the influx of refugees is calamitous. Not only are we vetting for the wrong thing, we are ignoring the dynamics of jihadism. The question is not whether we are admitting Muslims who currently have ties to terrorist organizations; it is whether we are admitting Muslims who are apt to become violent jihadists after they settle here.

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The jihadism that most threatens Europe now, and that has been a growing problem in the United States for years, is the fifth-column variety. This is often referred to as “homegrown terrorism,” but that is a misnomer. The ideology that ignites terrorism within our borders is not native: It is imported. Furthermore, it is ubiquitously available thanks to modern communications technology

In assessing the dynamic in which ideological inspiration evolves into actual jihadist attacks, we find two necessary ingredients: (1) a mind that is hospitable to jihadism because it is already steeped in Islamic supremacism, and (2) a sharia-enclave environment that endorses jihadism and relentlessly portrays the West as corrupt and hostile.

Our current refugee policies promote both factors.

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One last point worth considering: Washington’s debate over refugee policy assumes an unmet American obligation to the world. It is as if we were not already doing and sacrificing far more than every other country combined. It is as if there were not dozens of Islamic countries, far closer than the United States to refugee hot-spots, to which it would be sensible to steer Muslim migrants.

Yet, there is nothing obligatory about any immigration policy, including asylum. There is no global right to come here. American immigration policy is supposed to serve the national interests of the United States. Right now, American immigration policy is serving the interests of immigrants at the expense of American national security and the financial security of distressed American workers.

Our nation is nearing $20 trillion in debt, still fighting in the Middle East, and facing the certain prospect of combat surges to quell the rising threat of jihadism. So why is Congress, under the firm control of Republicans, paying for immigration policies that exacerbate our peril?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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