Crisis Magazine is a Catholic site.
William Kilpatrick makes some points there that we agree with, among some that we do not. We quote:
Question: What does Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist organization, have in common with Western educators? Answer: Both think that Western education is sinful. Fortunately, Western educators will not burn down your church or school with you inside as Boko Haram does to those who persist in their Western ways. Unfortunately, the type of education provided by Western educators will leave you totally unprepared for the likes of Boko Haram.
Roughly translated, “Boko Haram” means “Western education is sinful”. So there’s little doubt about where it stands. But in what way can it be said that Western educators believe the same thing? I don’t know if any educators have actually declared that Western education is sinful, but it’s not unfair to say that contemporary educational theory in the West is built upon a rejection of traditional Western education. Beginning with Rousseau’s Emile (1762), Western intellectuals began to challenge the Judeo-Christian view of the child and along with it traditional ideas about how children should be educated.
He describes what he thinks of as Christian education approvingly:
According to the earlier conception, one which still endures in some corners of our society, the child is born in original sin and, therefore, a good part of his education should be devoted to helping him overcome his natural tendencies to laziness, selfishness and pleasure-seeking. The goal of such education was the transmission of hard-learned cultural lessons through the study of history, literature, scripture and science.
All good subjects (though about scripture, see our last paragraph).
Two comments. One: “original sin” was disobedience followed by lust – not laziness, selfishness and (oh, dear!) pleasure-seeking. Two: For a thousand years, most children in Christendom were taught Christianity but not literacy. Once Christianity descended darkly over Europe, replacing the Roman Empire with the Catholic Church, most children received no education at all except the Christian myth along with the fear of Hell.
But what the writer says next is right on:
According to the Romantic tradition which began with Rousseau and which by the late 1960s had become the dominant philosophy in American education, the child is born in a state of original innocence with trustworthy impulses that should be followed, not denied. Romantic thinkers believed in nature with an almost religious fervor; in their view, man had fallen not from a state of grace but from the state of nature. Sin was a product of civilization, and if there were such a thing as evil, it lay in placing unnatural constraints on the child’s natural spontaneity and wisdom.
The Romantic emphasis on the child’s inner wisdom led to a corresponding de-emphasis on the acquisition of factual knowledge. Learning was thought to be a natural process and the child could therefore be trusted to learn what he needed to know by following his natural instincts. Consequently, book-learning came to be looked upon by Romantic poets and philosophers as an unnatural imposition on the child’s natural development. Take Wordsworth’s poem, The Tables Turned:
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The third stanza extends the anti-book argument a bit further:
Books! ‘tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
In short, why bother with books [boko haram? - ed]) when you can find all you need to know in the book of nature? That is the [we would say "one of the"] basic principle[s] of Romanticism. For a very long time, most educators ignored this highly unrealistic approach to education. Wordsworth, Emerson, Whitman and other Romantics were taught in schools, but they were celebrated for the beauty of their poetry and prose, not for their anti-bookish prescriptions. Eventually, however, these ideas about natural learning came to exert a powerful influence on the imagination of educators — particularly those of the American variety. By the 1930’s, under the name “progressive education”, the Romantic theory had spread to teacher’s colleges throughout the U.S. By the late 1960’s, it was the dominant philosophy in American classrooms.
The triumph of natural schooling theories did result in significant change — for the worse. SAT scores began a long decline and the U.S. students soon ranked near the bottom of developed countries on international assessment tests. The progressive movement did, however, produce a number of catchy slogans such as “holistic learning”, “child-centered schooling”, “at their own pace”, “self-esteem”, and “critical thinking skills”. Those were the terms of approbation. On the other hand, teachers were warned to avoid “memorization”, “rote-learning”, “mere facts”, “textbook-learning”, and “culturally biased curriculums”.
The progressives failed to realize, however, that you can’t think critically unless you have something to think about. But, having been deprived of “mere facts”, students have very little material with which to “construct knowledge” (another popular piece of educational jargon). How, for example, can students think critically about World War II if they’ve never heard of Roosevelt, Churchill or Stalin or if they have no idea where Germany, Japan, Poland and France are located?
What, you may ask, does this have to do with Boko Haram? Just this. Boko Haram is one of the more violent manifestations of the global resurgence of Islam in our times. Although it is marginally more brutal than other jihadist groups, it is not untypical. There are dozens of such groups all over the world that seek by force to restore Islam to its former dominance. The problem is, today’s anti-knowledge curriculums do not prepare students to think critically about what is happening in the Islamic world and what it means for the rest of us.
The disparagement of “mere facts” ensures that today’s graduates will know very little about the history of Islam. And the Romantic elevation of non-Western traditions means that they will know even less about the bloody nature of that history. Although American students will hear a great deal about Western imperialism, they are not likely to realize that Islam was one of the great imperial powers of all time. At one time, the Islamic Empire stretched from Spain, across North Africa, and all the way to India. The Empire was created by conquest, but high school and college texts tend to avoid that word in favor of euphemisms such as “the spread of Islam” or the “expansion of Islam.” And how was this expansion accomplished? According to one widely used high school history text, “The persecuted people often welcomed the [Muslim] invaders and chose to accept Islam. They were attracted by the appeal of the message of Islam which offered equality and hope in this world.” …
– A lie constantly repeated by Muslim propagandists.
Indeed, many accounts of Islamic history in American textbooks look like they could have been written by the Saudi Ministry for Propaganda and Whitewash. Many world history textbooks, for instance, take great pains to inform readers that jihad has little to do with holy war but rather is best understood as “overcoming immorality,” “a personal inner struggle to achieve spiritual peace”, or a “striving … to achieve personal betterment”. Moreover, in line with the Western habit of romanticizing non-Western cultures, textbooks present a highly romanticized (some would say, largely fictitious) portrait of Islam’s “Golden Age” in Spain and Baghdad. According to one widely-used college text, “The Muslims created [in Baghdad and Cordoba] a brilliant urban culture” where libraries abounded and where “judges, merchants, and government officials, rather than warriors, were regarded as the ideal citizens”. Meanwhile, over in the Christian Carolingian Empire, “Both gluttony and drunkenness were vices shared by many people…. Everyone in Carolingian society, including abbots and monks, drank heavily and often to excess.” …
It is necessary to remember that Christians burnt piles of volumes from the great library of Alexandria centuries before the Muslims came and destroyed it utterly. (It was ravaged by Christians in 391 CE, and completely destroyed by Muslims in 642 CE.)
There is nothing romantic about Boko Haram, and the facts concerning it don’t fit into the rose-colored narrative that is fed to our students about gentle Islamic expansion, interior spiritual struggles, and a library on every corner. … Absent knowledge of Islam’s 1400-year history of jihad, the Boko Haram campaign to exterminate Nigerian Christians must seem like an aberration — something completely unrepresentative of the true Islam. And so will the attacks on Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Kenya, and elsewhere. They will be perceived as discrete, disconnected events that have “nothing to do with Islam” because American citizens are largely unfamiliar with the historical pattern that would help to make sense of these supposedly senseless actions.
What does that pattern look like? Islam scholar Raymond Ibrahim provides this brief description of the European experience with Islam:
Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are (to give them their modern names in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.
It seems well past time to wake up from the romantic dream and reacquaint ourselves with that once-familiar, now forgotten pattern.
We agree of course with his abhorrence of Islam, and with his objections to Romanticism.
We see Romanticism as the (admittedly godless but nevertheless mystical) religion that replaced Christianity when the Enlightenment broke the power of the Churches and brought Christianity into open question.
We see it as the enemy of Reason, scorning proper education, and science, technological innovation, the nation state, free trade, the free market, capitalism, individual freedom, the productive middle-class, prosperity, rule of law, civilization. Also skepticism. And humor.
At present Romanticism is hammering the Western world with two dogmas that are in an improbable alliance, that of Leftism and that of Islam.
Some Catholics, it seems, can share this understanding with us to an extent, though they would no doubt want the Church to rule again, and the irrationalities of Christianity to replace those of Socialism and Mohammedanism.
We agree with William Kilpatrick that our Western culture should be handed down. That means teaching facts, as he says – and critical examination of all opinion.
We want education to be secular.
The Jewish and Christian scriptures should be taught as literature, and religion in history classes, because they have had a huge effect on our culture. But (as our frequent commenter Frank has urged inspirationally) they should be taught only by atheists.
President Obama is considering supporting the Syrian rebels with “lethal aid”. We think that, far from this being a “reversal of policy”, he has been intending to do so ever since the rebellion started. And not only intending to do it, but actually doing it, by surreptitiously transferring arms to them from Libya – and that that is the secret, or part of the secret, the Benghazi cover-up is all about.
The rebels in Syria are not democrats. They are an alliance of jihadi groups intending to impose sharia law on Syria. Obama and his minions will help them into power.
The killing of Osama bin Laden, the drone attacks on al-Qaeda leaders, the detaining of jihadis in Gitmo, the apparent approval by the administration of Muslim terrorist trials inside the US, are all so much wool pulled over the eyes of the American public.
But we can no more fail to see that Obama wants to assist Islam with its jihad – its war of global conquest – than we can fail to see the sun. He must deeply believe it would be good for America to become an Islam-dominated nation. (And good for the world to be ruled by a caliphate.) He is aiding the Muslim Brotherhood overtly in its power grab in Egypt, preventing any effective action against Iran becoming a nuclear power, hugely increasing the granting of visas and green cards to Muslim immigrants into the US, and he has made the United States government itself an instrument of jihad, allowing the penetration of government departments, including the secret services, by personnel connected with militant Islamic organizations, and – worst of all – by weakening and destroying the capacity of the United States to counter the jihad.
Here is Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, describing how this radically transformative action has been accomplished.
Seventeen months ago, on September 30, 2011, we posted an article on how Islam was winning its jihad against the non-Islamic world.
Here’s part of it:
Islam’s terrorist tactic is proving hugely powerful and has gained victories that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It has cowed all the governments of western Europe, and innumerable authorities at all levels in the US. Islam is advancing day by day. Its terrorism is not practiced continually in all target countries, but the threat of it, and the memories of what has been done and could be done again at any moment, are always there. Because authorities are afraid, Islam creeps on.
Day by day, in Western countries into which Muslims migrate in ever-growing numbers, Islam gains its concessions, its privileges: here a mosque; there a partition of a public swimming pool for Muslim women; here a prayer room in a government building; there the removal from a public library of famous children’s books with pictures of pigs in them; here (in Britain for instance) the allowing of sharia courts and the upholding of their rulings by the state; there entitlements tamely paid to multiple Muslim wives by a welfare state with laws against polygamy; and here and here and here the establishment of faculties of Islamic studies, or even whole colleges, with immense grants of money from the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. Chunks of history, such as the Holocaust, are omitted from school courses because they might offend Muslim students – let truth be damned. Defense contracting companies in the US fall under the ownership of Muslims, who divert a part of the profits – and what defense secrets? – to the Muslim Brotherhood. In places of hot battle, Iraq is plagued with terrorist attacks day after day; and in Afghanistan the Taliban is undefeated and undefeatable, and ready to re-assume its despotic rule when the coalition soldiers have departed. In Libya an al-Qaeda leader has seized a position of power. And all the while, the mullahs of Iran are preparing to attack the West with nuclear weapons.
True, there have not been any more planes flown into buildings in America, but smaller plots of destruction and mass murder are constantly being laid. True, some of them are foiled, but some are attempted (such as an underwear bomb in a plane over Detroit) and some carried out (such as the massacre at Fort Hood), and the motive behind all of them remains: jihad, the holy war of Islam, perpetually waged one way and another for the conquest of the world by successive generations of Muslims, and coming closer to success now than ever before in history.
Not a word needs to be changed.
John Brennan, picked by President Obama to head the CIA, has his Senate confirmation hearing today.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes at PJ Media:
A country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.
Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine … All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.
Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.
The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.
Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage. …
Sabotage is the [Muslim] Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.
None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.
Two such organizations are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). They were among a slew of Islamist groups who wrote to Brennan in October 2011 to demand a purge of information about Islamist ideology that was being used to train U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agents. Much of that information was developed in federal investigations that have led to the convictions of violent jihadists. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has slavishly complied …
The training materials the Islamist groups insisted be removed include documentation of the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is driven by an ideology rooted in Islamic scripture. …
Maybe the State Department and the White House press office have the luxury of trading in convenient fictions in order to reduce international tensions. Not intelligence agencies. The point of intelligence – a bedrock of national security – is to see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.
Here is how it is: Islamic supremacism, the sharia-based ideology of Islamists, is an interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is entirely mainstream among the world’s Muslims. That is why Islamists are winning elections in the Middle East even as they are found aligning with violent jihadists. Islamic supremacism is, in fact, widely promoted by the Brotherhood, and by such tentacles of its American network as CAIR and ISNA, when they are not otherwise deceptively disavowing its existence.
This Islamist ideology is incorrigibly anti-Western and anti-Semitic. It is deeply hostile to principles of equality and individual liberty (free speech, freedom of conscience, privacy, economic freedom, etc.) that undergird our Constitution, the American conception of civil rights, and the West’s conception of human rights. Understand Islamist ideology and you will readily understand the ferocity of Islamic resistance to American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East – not merely jihadist resistance but broad Islamic resistance.
Yet, in a propaganda campaign reminiscent of those waged by the Nazis and the Soviets, Islamists and their fellow travelers (Brennan-types who might be thought of as “anti-anti-Islamists”) purport to be champions of human rights. When it suits them, they even feign reverence for individual liberties (particularly when it comes to the rights of Muslim in America … but don’t you dare ask them how non-Muslims fare in, say, Saudi Arabia).
The counter to such a propaganda campaign is a job for intelligence agencies. The point of having a sprawling intelligence community on which American taxpayers annually lavish $55 billion – far more than the vast majority of countries spend on national defense – is precisely to see through the deceptions of those who mean us harm, to perceive the threats against us for what they are. That the competent performance of this essential function may be fraught with political complications is supposed to be a challenge for our politicians, not our intelligence agents. The latter’s mission of unearthing hidden and often excruciating truths is hard enough.
Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”
Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.
But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. … It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” …
In Brennan’s world, there is … no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”
And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. …
Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence”.
Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. … Its objective … is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.
Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East.
This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban …
There is no place … for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for. …
If intelligence is to be politicized so that we let our guard down, then the United States would be better off with no CIA than with a CIA headed by John Brennan.
Andrew McCarthy believes, however, that feeble Republicans will let him be appointed.
Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: Senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the Defense Department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.
Such Republicans are also in the business of sabotage. They sabotage Republican principles. They sabotage liberty, of which the USA was meant to be the political embodiment. Thus they sabotage America.
How can all that Andrew McCarthy accurately reports about John Brennan be reconciled with the fact that the policy of going after Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders with drones* is his brainchild?
Come to that, how does President Obama reconcile his generally pro-Islam policies with his endorsement of the drones tactic?
Leaving aside for the moment the rights and wrongs of using drones to target American traitors fighting with the Islamic enemy, the present question is: what makes Barack Obama and John Brennan, both of whom do all they can in every other way to encourage and assist America’s Islamic enemies, so persistently pursue and kill jihadis – and anyone who happens to be with them – with drones?
We are all for eliminating as many of the enemy as possible by all available means. But Brennan and Obama are not. So the question needs an answer.
Theories that answer it are welcome.
So are opinions on the targeting with drones of American traitors abroad.
*There are known US drone bases in Afghanistan, Turkey, Djibouti, the Seychelles, Qatar, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Obama has opened the gates of the West to the Islamic army of conquest.
By deliberately weakening the United States as the protector of the West, and encouraging Islamic dreams of world conquest with his insistent denial that there is no such thing as the ongoing jihad, he has provided an opportunity that Islam is now openly seizing.
Until now, the jihad has been conducted against the West in two ways: violently by al-Qaida and its affiliates and imitators, and stealthily by the Muslim Brotherhood centered in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia.
Stealth jihad has been carried on through the establishment of mosques, schools, university departments, Muslim “cultural” and professional associations, and organizations that ingratiate themselves with Western governments by claiming representative status. All this will go on, but the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), which has deeply penetrated the West, has recently – this last September – declared its intention of changing its tactics and turning to violence. (The timing of the change may have something to do with the approaching death of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the homeland of the Brotherhood, where it was founded in 1928. Mubarak has consistently opposed and suppressed the organization. His successor might not be as strong, or necessarily be as antagonistic towards it.)
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood made his dramatic declaration in Arabic. This means it was not made as a piece of empty rhetoric to scare the West. It was made in all seriousness to rouse Muslims to go to war.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed [in Arabic] anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida ideology book. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition force in Egypt and Jordan as well as the most powerful group, both politically and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America this is pretty serious stuff.
Those are the words of Barry Rubin, who first broke the news of this important development, using the MEMRI translation of the speech – from which we quote:
The change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.
Notice that jihad here is not interpreted as so often happens by liars, apologists, and the merely ignorant in the West as spiritual striving. The clear meaning is one of armed struggle.
He considers the speech to be a ”game-changer”:
This is one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.
This explicit formulation of a revolutionary program makes it a game-changer. It should be read by every Western decisionmaker and have a direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s lives in every Western country. …
Rubin asks, does its endorsement of al-Qaida style anti-American jihad “mean the Egyptian, Jordanian, and all the camouflaged Muslim Brotherhood fronts in Europe and North America are going to launch terrorism as one of their affiliates, Hamas, has long done?” His answer is no.
But it does mean that something awaited for decades has happened: the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action. At least, its hundreds of thousands of followers are being given that signal. Some of them will engage in terrorist violence as individuals or forming splinter groups; others will redouble their efforts to seize control of their countries and turn them into safe areas for terrorists and instruments for war on the West.
In other words, we may expect a proliferation of Talibans in Islamic countries.
And we believe that within America and Europe, it will mean more terrorism. It is not necessary for every Muslim or “all the camouflaged fronts” to obey the Brotherhood’s call in order for there to be decades of terrorist attacks, which is to say decades of continual killing and maiming, random targeting, and paralyzing intimidation, because more than enough enthusiasts will answer the call. As Rubin says:
Badi’s claims do not mean all Muslims must agree, much less actively take up arms. They can have a different interpretation, simply disregard the arguments, and be too intimidated or materialistic or opportunistic to agree or to act. Yet hundreds of thousands will do so and millions will cheer them on. …
[They] sense weakness on the part of the West, especially the U.S. leaders …
In an article at Ynetnews, Moshe Dann explains how the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully infiltrated the West and how powerful its influence has become:
Through a network of educational, social, professional and cultural organizations – which, in the West, do not reveal their Muslim Brotherhood connection – they exert political influence and promote a mix of religious and political ideologies associated with the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam. Supported by Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and wealthy Muslims, they espouse a global strategy for Islamic hegemony.
He mentions some of the most powerful Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in America, including –
The Muslim Student Association (MSA,) the largest Muslim campus organization, with more than 250 chapters, was initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood. …
Brotherhood organizations, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which grew out of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a front group fundraising for Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations, are not outgrowths of popular, or communal expressions … but are self-appointed representatives …
With over 30 branches in North America, CAIR presents itself as the “largest Muslim civil rights organization …” A few years ago, CAIR was included in a list of unindicted co-conspirators alleged by prosecutors to have participated in a conspiracy to illegally funnel money to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. [Why have they not been indicted? - JB] …
At least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities … CAIR has a key role in the “Wahhabi lobby” …
The Muslim American Society (MAS) … actively recruits voters, which gives it political clout. Lacking any other leadership available, MAS presents itself as the representative of the Muslim community, although many Muslims disagree and are most are not affiliated. …
With all of this information, one would think that US government officials would be concerned about the activities of Brotherhood-supported organizations. Instead, they are feted by the White House, and supported by the State Department, CIA, and even the FBI …
Will the White House, the State department, the CIA, the FBI, and the American “progressive” left as a whole ignore the Brotherhood’s calling up of its hordes to join the terrorist war against the non-Muslim world?
Almost certainly. But they’ll not be able to ignore what ensues. Unless Muhammad Badi’s order is disobeyed, which is unlikely to happen, Americans must brace themselves for an intensified terrorist war about to be waged against them in their own land.
And they must replace Obama with a president who will defend America.
The term “Islamist” is an invention by non-Muslims who want to differentiate between what they insist is the ”the vast majority of peace-loving law-abiding Muslims” from the “radicals”, or “extremists”, or “Islamofascists” for whom they think “Islamist” is a politer word. Islamists are, in the eyes of the well-meaning tolerant non-Muslims who coined the term, a minority with whom the vast majority of “moderate” Muslims do not agree and of whom they do not approve. Even though few of them actually express disapproval, the well-meaning, respectful, tolerant non-Muslims assume it to be strongly felt, and wish the wider public would believe and appreciate this.
For convenience, let’s call the well-meaning, respectful, tolerant non-Muslims who advance this view the Defense. The Defense hopes to persuade non-Muslim public opinion that the law and values of Islam are compatible with the laws and values of what is generally called the West.
The question then arises, what do “moderate” Muslims believe that is different from what the Islamists believe? For both moderates and Islamists the Koran is the holy word of Allah. The holy word of Allah cannot be changed. So what does the Defense say to that? It is, the Defense argues, a matter of interpretation. (For a thoughtful and wide-ranging discussion of this idea in connection with the Ground Zero mosque dispute, see an article by Ron Radosh at PajamasMedia. We usually find much to agree with in his writing, but in this article we find much to criticize. Rather than do so, because we think a point-by-point exegesis would be boring for us and our readers, we’ve chosen to make our own statement on the issue.)
What interpretation can be put on commandments to beat wives (sura 4.32), amputate limbs (eg sura 5.38), treat women unequally (eg sura 4.11), kill apostates (eg 4.89) – to take just a few instances of Allah’s writ? They are laid down in the Koran, from which Sharia derives. It is hard to read them and think of an interpretation that cancels, contradicts, or even merely softens their meaning. Even by the most liberal definitions imaginable by the most elastic of legal minds – one that could find, for instance, gradations of meaning in the word “is” – the words of the commandments cannot be made to mean their opposites. But some have tried to make them less apodictic, and the Defense depends on the possibility.
The Defense maintains that if the Koran is interpreted as meaning in many essential instances something different from what it says, it can be made compatible with American Constitutional Law. But wouldn’t that require deeply radical change, even complete reversal? And if such a radical change were to be made (by whom?), how, or to what extent, would it still be Sharia? Wouldn’t such a profound alteration mean, in effect, the obliteration of Islam? And if so, how likely is it that it will be accepted by (at least a large enough part of) Islam?
One point often made by the Defense that needs to be answered: The Bible also orders cruel punishments, including, for instance, stoning adulterers. True, but there is no country on earth that declares Biblical law to be its constitution, or makes the commandments of Jehovah, or God the Father, or Jesus Christ, the law of the land, even though some laws agree with some of the ten commandments. Israel decidedly rejected the idea of basing its state laws on Jewish religious law (though for political expediency governments have made some concessions to the religious political parties, causing more nuisance than oppression – such as that marriage must be by religious rite).
But every state in which Islam is the religion of the majority – even including Iraq when it was ruled by the ostensibly secular socialist Ba’athists – has Sharia as the basis of its law. Turkey was an exception that is now changing under an Islamist government to conform with the rest.
Islam wants the world to be Muslim. It declares that every Muslim must help achieve its goal. It prescribes violence as the chief if not exclusive means. Clearly by this alone Islam has set itself up as the enemy of all non-Muslims. In pursuit of its supreme goal and in obedience to the word of Allah, millions of Muslims, including the 19 who perpetrated the crimes of 9/11 in the name of Islam, have dedicated themselves to waging war on the rest of the world, and more will do so in the years to come.
They need to be stopped; by peaceful means if possible, by force whenever necessary. If “reinterpretation” of Islam’s holy writ is a way that can work peacefully, it should be pursued. But can it be done? Our answer is – almost certainly not.
Obama and his National Security appointees, Janet Napolitano and John Brennan, deny that Islam is waging jihad on America and the whole of the non-Muslim world. But – block their ears and sing out “la-la-la” as they might – they cannot alter the truth that the jihad is being waged, or fail to hear authoritative voices saying that it is. Obama may want to deny it because he has deep sympathy with Islam, and because he‘s a Left radical by upbringing, training, and conviction. Islam and the Left are allies against the Western ideal of individual freedom. They resemble each other in that they’re both collectivist ideologies. This means they can strive together to destroy freedom, but the one is egalitarian, the other non-egalitarian; the one fosters diversity, the other demands uniformity; the one preaches tolerance, the other is harshly intolerant. Eventually, if they were to win their war against freedom, they would surely turn on each other with intense hatred and fury. If Obama experienced such a conflict within himself, it’s hard to imagine how he’d resolve it.
The alliance between Islam and the Left is the theme of a new book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, by Andrew McCarthy, the former Assistant United States Attorney who successfully prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. He writes about it at PowerLine. Here’s part of what he says:
What is surprising, and dismaying, is that the book’s message should come as news to anyone, as if there were [any] real question about whether such a grand jihad exists. Though our opinion elites and their media allies remain desperate to suppress the story, the proof of an Islamist conspiracy to destroy the West is stark and undeniable, and the instances of Islamists being aided and abetted by Leftists are too numerous for serious people to deny the alliance – not merger but alliance – between the two.
As demonstrated at the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing trials in Texas, internal Muslim Brotherhood memoranda are unabashed in describing Islamists as engaged in a “civilizational” war against the West. In America, the Brothers attest that theirs is a “grand jihad” to destroy the United States - mainly from within, mainly by “sabotage.”
We don’t like the terms “civilizational war” and “Islamists”. The first because we think the war is not between two civilizations but between their barbarism and our civilization; and the second for reasons that McCarthy himself is well aware of:
I use the term Islamist advisedly. In the book’s second chapter, I’ve tried to take on the excruciating question of whether the existential challenge we face is Islam itself. …
The problem is that those who say Islam is the problem have the better case. I was first struck by this sad fact during our terrorism trial in 1995, when I had to get ready to cross-examine the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman. … I thought that if what we were saying as a government were true – if these terrorists were lying about Islam and perverting its doctrine in order to justify mass-murder attacks – then surely I should be able to locate three or four places where the Blind Sheikh had misstated the Koran and the other species of Muslim scripture. I searched high and low, but there were none. …
The point is that where the Blind Sheikh cited scripture, he did it quite accurately. … He is a renowned doctor of Islamic jurisprudence graduated from al-Azhar University in Egypt – the seat of Sunni learning and one of the oldest and most respected academic institutions in the world. His construction of Islam, however frightening, was literal and cogent.
Islam is not a religion of peace and Islamic doctrine is not moderate. …
It is supremacist, totalitarian, and violent… drawn faithfully and logically from scripture – which is why it is endorsed by so many influential clerics and shariah authorities who have spent their lives in Islamic study. …
The thrust of my book is that we need to come to terms with this in order to defend ourselves. There is a vibrant debate in the Muslim world about terrorism. We need to understand, though, that it is a debate about methodology. Islamist terrorists and other Islamists are in harmony about the endgame: they would like to see shariah installed and the West Islamicized. That a person is not willing to mass-murder non-Muslims in order to accelerate that process does not make him a moderate. …
Since the book was published last week, I’ve been asked questions like: “So, are you saying that President Obama wants to implement sharia?” and ” Isn’t it true that if Islamists came to power, the Left would have a lot to fear?” Again, the alliance between Islamists and Leftists … is an alliance, not a merger. Leftists and Islamists have worked together numerous times in history … That they work together is not a hypothesis on my part; this partnership exists, period. And why it exists is simply explained, if we are willing to look at the facts.
While they differ on a number of significant issues, Islamists and Leftists are in harmony on many parts of the big picture. Islamism and today’s Leftism (which, as I note in the book, David Horowitz aptly calls “neocommunism”) are both authoritarian ideologies: they favor a muscular central government, virulently reject capitalism, and are totalitarian in the sense that they want to dictate all aspects human life. They both see the individual as existing to serve the greater community (the state or the umma). Saliently, they have a common enemy: Western culture, American constitutional republicanism, and their foundation, individual liberty.
When I argue that Islamists and Leftists are working together to sabotage America, this is what I am talking about. Historically, when Islamists and Leftists collaborate against a common enemy (e.g., the Shah in Iran, the monarchy in Egypt), these marriages of convenience break apart when the common enemy has been eliminated. We are a long way from that point in America – and, hopefully, we never reach it. We must expect, though, that Islamists and Leftists will continue their alliance as long as the Western way of life remains an obstacle to their respective utopias.
In addition to terrorist war against non-Muslim countries, Islam also pursues a campaign of infiltration, gradually Islamizing the institutions.
We call this “soft jihad” or “stealth jihad“, because although the method is different the aim is the same: conquest, and the imposition of sharia law.
An example of how “stealth jihad” is carried out step by step, comes from Sound Vision Islamic Products and Information, via Atlas Shrugs: detailed instructions for Muslim parents on how to introduce Islamic practices into whatever public school their child attends in America.
This is a shortened version. Read the whole disturbing thing here.
ISLAM: HOW TO GET RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM: A SIX-STEP GUIDE
… Whatever Islamic obligation you want accommodated at your child’s school, it must be done in a methodical, clear and proper manner.
Shabbir Mansuri is founding director of the Council on Islamic Education in Fountain Valley, California.
He provides tips and advice on how to get religious accommodation for your child.
Step #1: know the laws about religious freedom
Knowing what laws and regulations govern the issue of religious accommodation is crucial before attempting to reach the right authorities…
In the United States, one of the strongest arguments in favor of seeking religious accommodation for your child is former President Bill Clinton’s 1995 statement of principles addressing the extent to which religious expression and activity are permitted in public school. This was given to every school district in the US. …
Step #2: get the support of a teacher …
Set up a meeting with the principal of the school along with one of [the] teachers at the school who will be very supportive, requesting that [the] son or daughter should be either permitted to [for example] go out to perform Juma prayer at a local Masjid and/or be allowed to perform Juma prayer along with other Muslim students on the school campus …
If the principal refuses to grant the accommodation, step three will be necessary.
Step #3: leave a paper trail …
If you find the meeting is not going anywhere then leave a paper trail, meaning, write letters. …
This process … [should not create an impression of] us versus them, but simply the notion of my exercising my constitutional rights in the most respected [respectful] way, with compassionate manners …
Mansuri even suggests inviting the teacher and principal over for dinner as a gesture of goodwill.
Step #4: writing to the supportive teacher
“My first letter would be to my kid’s favorite teacher to ask the person’s advice,” advises Mansuri. “The letter will be to request to meet with teacher, and it will indicate I want to discuss with you my child’s religious needs and I would like to share with you what our president has instructed the teachers and schools to accommodate them.” … teacher)
Following the meeting, a thank you letter to the teacher should be sent. It will also indicate you would like to set up [a] second meeting with the school’s principal, and ask the teacher if s/he would be kind enough to go with you to discuss the topics the two of you talked about in your first meeting …
Step #5: meeting a second time with the principal
Before attending this second meeting with the principal and teacher, “I would also arm myself with the district’s education code along with the state educational code as it relates to the topics that I’m going to discuss,” says Mansuri. …
“While meeting with the teacher and/or principal, I’m not trying to win an argument by telling them how much I know but rather giving them a very clear understanding that while I understand my rights as a parent, I’m simply there to help them accommodate my child’s needs that they are supposed to do anyway,” explains Mansuri.
“Make it a win-win situation, not an us versus them situation, and that in itself is the message of Islam.“ …
Step #6: if necessary, repeat these steps with the school district’s superintendent …
Since the president’s instructions were issued to districts, it is possible superintendents may be more familiar with them. This should mean your son or daughter will get religious accommodation with no further problems.
The Obama administration has cut the money New York gets for defending the city against terrorist attacks.
Obama refuses to admit that Islam is waging war against America, so it’s unlikely that the recent attempt by a Muslim terrorist to explode a massive car bomb in Times Square will get the lost funds restored.
But the jihad will not only continue, it will intensify.
On the meaning of “jihad”, here’s an extract from an article by Cliff May in the National Review Online:
Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born academic — he holds the His Highness Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford (no kidding) — last week told the Washington Post that jihad “has nothing to do with holy war. . . . Where you are trying to resist bad temptations and reform yourself with good aspirations that you have, this is a jihad of the self.”
What makes this lie so brazen — though the Post did not think to question it — is that Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Banna himself stated clearly that the Qur’an and other Islamic doctrines “summon people . . . to jihad, to warfare, to the armed forces, and all means of land and sea fighting.”
In addition: The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas. Among Hamas’s founders was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, who also was Osama bin Laden’s mentor. As Andy McCarthy relates in Willful Blindness, Azzam “galvanized Muslims worldwide with his call to jihad — traditional, unreservedly violent jihad.” In a speech in Oklahoma City in 1988, Azzam instructed fellow Muslims: “The jihad, the fighting, is obligatory on you whenever you can perform it. And just as when you are in America you must fast . . . so, too, must you wage jihad. The word jihad means fighting only, fighting with the sword.”
And fighting with car bombs, and plastic explosives in one’s underwear, and FN Five-seven semi-automatic pistols and .357 magnums (used to slaughter American soldiers at Fort Hood), and hijacked passenger planes, and maybe, before long, with nuclear weapons as well.
None of this should be surprising. What is: the obstinate naïveté, the determined ignorance, the continuing willful blindness of so many of our political and media leaders in the face of the 21st century’s most daunting challenge and most deadly threat.
Or could it possibly be that some of “our political and media leaders”, including the President, are in sympathy with the aims of the jihad?
We think it’s not only possible but probable.
But of course it’s unthinkable that they – or he – could be in sympathy with the method of terrorism that is being used to attain those aims.