Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review (Part II) – The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America

In Part I of this review I discussed the portions of Andrew McCarthy’s The Grand Jihad concerning the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United States. The book describes efforts by the Brotherhood and its satellite organizations to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law.

Mr. McCarthy is an expert on these organizations due to his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s office; he builds a compelling and well-documented case that the Brotherhood (unlike millions of patriotic American Muslims) is up to no good.

Today I want to address his claim that American liberals are co-conspirators.

Here Mr. McCarthy leaves his area of expertise and stakes out shakier ground. He may be aware of this. In a talk he gave about the book, which I attended, he omitted discussion of the American left. While The Grand Jihad does document some ties between the Obama Administration and Brotherhood satellites, it falls short of proving its claims of the Administration’s “overt subservience” to Islam. After rehashing conspiracy theories that Obama is a secret Muslim, McCarthy concludes grandly, “There is no known evidence of his having made an adult choice to practice Islam.” An opening chapter that argues the President’s infamous bow to the King of Saudi Arabia was an intentional signal of their “shared dream” of “supplanting Western political, economic, and cultural values” is pure speculation. In addition to speculation, McCarthy relies on the identification of code words to build the prosecution’s case against Obama. The Muslim Brotherhood pursues a “bottom up” strategy. Obama said in his encounter with Joe the Plumber that he wants the economy to be “good for folks from the bottom up”. What a giveaway.

Pouncing on code words to “prove” Obama’s Muslim allegiance makes Mr. McCarthy come across as a kook, which is too bad because he’s not one. He is a professional terrorist hunter and occasional deep thinker. A chapter that compares Muslim Brotherhood theoretician (and Osama bin Laden influence) Sayyid Qutb with French romantic Jean-Jacques Rousseau is profoundly philosophical. Mr. McCarthy shows real insight in recognizing that Rousseau occupies the same place in modern liberalism that Qutb occupies in modern Jihad; they are both the intellectual fathers (or in Rousseau’s case, perhaps grandfather) of their movements. For those who suggest that fundamentalist Jihadis and secular liberals have little in common, McCarthy points out that when viewed in terms of individualism and collectivism, instead of heaven and earth, the two camps are collectivist soul mates.

Mr. McCarthy’s failure to build a case against the Obama Administration should not detract from his persuasive argument for concern about the Muslim Brotherhood’s tentacles in our society. He talks briefly about what to do about it. At no time does he dispute the rights of Muslims living in the West to express their opinions, build enclaves with like-minded people, or write arbitration by Sharia law into their private contracts. But he does seek to subject them to the disinfectant of sunlight. “Defending ourselves will require flushing out the Islamists: identifying them and imposing on them the burden of defending their totalitarian ideology against the positive case for liberty and human reason.”

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