Recently I attended a talk by Andrew C. McCarthy of the National Review Institute. Mr. McCarthy is a former Federal prosecutor and the author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.
He drew two conclusions from his sojourn in the world of radical Islam. First, there is a large, well-financed network of supposed Islamic moderates who seek to overthrow the United States Constitution and replace it with the traditional Muslim legal system known as Sharia. Second, President Obama and other American liberals are willing partners in this nefarious enterprise.
Many of Mr. McCarthy’s accusations are based on writings of radical Muslims themselves. As a person of Jewish origin, I’m sensitive to blood libels, to false accusations against a Semitic minority. I know all too well the harm done to the Jews when the Russian government fabricated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. For that reason, I took the trouble to double check some of the key sources listed in the book’s extensive endnotes (there are 60 pages of them). Whenever I did so, the sources checked out. I also searched online for accusations that these sources were forgeries; I didn’t find any. I rather wish they were forgeries, because what they say is bloodcurdling.
“[T]he terrorist threat,” Mr. McCarthy writes, “pales beside a lurking reality: the massive fundamentalist pool is churning out legions of activists who wish to end our way of life and who believe that there are plenty of avenues besides mass-murder for pursuing that goal.” Often, these activists are labeled “moderate” because of their (qualified) opposition to terrorism. However, as Mr. McCarthy said in his talk, “If you want to replace the Constitution with Sharia, but you’re not willing to blow up a building to do that, well, we’re grateful that you don’t want to blow up a building, but you’re not a moderate.” He uses the term “Islamist” to describe these activists, in order to distinguish them from the millions of genuine moderates such as Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser who seek to reconcile their Muslim heritage with the American values of freedom and capitalism.
There really are Islamists out there; The Grand Jihad documents this extensively. I’ll confine myself to three examples:
- Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is to the Muslim Brotherhood what Mikhail Suslov was to the Soviet Union: Ideologue-in-Chief without Portfolio. He’s a “moderate” who opposes violent Jihad. Except against Israelis. And American military targets. And also any civilians who help said military targets. This moderation earned him praise from the U.S. State Department. According to Alberto Fernandez from the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, al-Qaradawi is an “intelligent and thoughtful voice”. At a 1995 Muslim Arab Youth Association conference, the intelligent and thoughtful voice said, “[W]e will conquer America, not through the sword but through dawa [missionary work]”. This threat was not uttered in Gaza or Beirut or any of the other centers of radicalism in the Middle East. It was uttered in Toledo Ohio. Sheikh Qaradawi then went on to cite scriptural authority for killing Jews.
Al-Qaradawi promotes the “enclave” strategy, the establishment of independent Sharia communities in Western cities; Zeyno Baran’s paper, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s
U.S. Network” calls it “voluntary apartheid”. McCarthy writes, “That this is a Trojan horse cannot be seriously doubted. Qaradawi is candid: ‘Were we to convince Western leaders and decision-makers of our right to live according to our faith – ideologically, legislatively, and ethically – without imposing our views or inflicting harm on them, we would have traversed an immense barrier in our quest for an Islamic state.’” Already there are Muslim neighborhoods in Australia and Sweden where the police no longer go. The situation is less dire in the United States. Mr. McCarthy said in his talk that American law enforcement is more determined than its Australian and Swedish counterparts to maintain sovereignty over its jurisdiction. But even though the police aren’t afraid to enter them, enclaves nevertheless exist. I wrote about the tragedy of the Somali enclave in Minneapolis (and also about Dr. Jasser) in an earlier blog entry.
For more about al-Qaradawi, see his Investigative Project on Terrorism profile.
- In 2008 the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of providing funding to the terrorist organization Hamas. Among the evidence at the trial was a document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum of the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America”. This blueprint for the infiltration of the U.S. was written in 1991 by Mohamed Akram. According to McCarthy, Akram was “an intimate associate of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi” and the Muslim Brotherhood’s “top leader in America”. One passage in the Memorandum provided McCarthy with the title of his book: “The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” McCarthy comments: “It is not every day that, even as the game is being played, the opposition’s playbook falls into your hands.”
- According to its American website, the objective of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) is to bring “Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in Dar al-Islam and in an Islamic society such that all of life's affairs in society are administered according to the Shari'ah rules… It also strives to bring [Islam] back to her previous might and glory such that she wrests the reins of initiative away from other states and nations, and returns to her rightful place as the first state in the world, as she was in the past, when she governs the world according to the laws of Islam.” In this video from a 2009 Party conference in Oak Lawn, Illinois, an unidentified “imam” says that if the U.S. joined the Muslim world, the Constitution would be “gone”. If you think he’s speaking purely hypothetically about the Islamic States of America, see the part of the previous quotation about governing the world.
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Which brings me to Mr. McCarthy’s second point. I’ll address the relationship between the American left and radical Islam later this week.