Srdja Trifkovic zeroes in on media misunderstanding and dhimmitude in this Chronicles piece (thanks to Jim):
On September 19 the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune published an article entitled Struggle for the Soul of Islam: A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America. This 5,000-word feature sought to reveal the existence, methods and ultimate goals of the American offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, “the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group.” The Tribune story is important for revealing the magnitude of the threat America faces no less than for revealing the underlying misunderstanding of that threat by the American elite class in general and the media in particular.
The Brotherhood’s slogan, ever since it was founded in Egypt in 1928, has been unambiguous: “Allah is our goal; the Messenger [Muhammad] is our model; the Koran is our constitution; jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our aspiration.” It has had a major impact on Islam in America by establishing mosques, Islamic schools, summer youth camps and Muslim organizations. Since 1993 it has operated under the name of Muslim American Society (MAS), a “charitable, religious, social, cultural and educational not-for-profit organization” with 10,000 members in 53 chapters nationwide.
The article claims that “because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims.” While separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of American democracy, the article says, “the international Brotherhood preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic.”
Other facts of the case concerning the Brotherhood, as revealed by the Tribune, can be summarized in seven key points:
1. Its long-term goal is the establishment of a world-wide Islamic state.
2. It does not seek “the overthrow of the U.S. government” but wants to convert the nation to Islam so that one day Americans will choose to be governed by Islamic law.
3. It endeavors to “save” the younger generations of Muslims in the United States from “melting into the American lifestyle.”
4. Its ideologues believe “the Koran justified violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments.”
5. Its current leaders praise Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers, call for the destruction of Israel and assert that the U.S. has no proof that Al Qaeda was to blame for 9-11.
6. Its leaders scout mosques, Islamic classes and Muslim organizations for those “with orthodox religious beliefs consistent with Brotherhood views.”
7. Its proselytizing in the U.S. is backed financially by the Saudi Arabian government, “which shares the Brotherhood’s fundamentalist goals.”
The problem with the Tribune story is not faulty research but flawed editorial paradigm. “Muslims [are] divided on Brotherhood,” the sub-headline asserts, and the story itself suggests that the group’s goals are “controversial” and that its “hard-line views” have “alienated many moderate Muslims.” The claim that the Brotherhood is in tension or even conflict with the Islamic “mainstream” is a figment of the liberal mind, however. In reality the tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood, its methods and its goals””as enumerated by the Tribune””are in full accordance with standard Islamic teaching and practice. Such editorial slant reflects a structural problem: the refusal of the American opinion-forming elite to accept that Islam as such poses a threat, and not some allegedly aberrant variety of it.
The failure to come to grips with the message and implications of Islam, its sacred texts and teaching, its historical record and its contemporary political ambitions, is not limited to the media. It is endemic to the American elite class, which is prone to interpret the world by “Americanizing” reality. All religions are supposedly equally peaceful and tolerant, Islam is a religion, ergo it is also peaceful and tolerant. A blatant casuistic fallacy has become establishmentarian orthodoxy.
The most serious security implication of such mindset is manifest in the failure of the elite to examine the implications of Muslim immigration in the United States. It is evident that the existence of that multi-million-strong Muslim presence in the Western world is essential in providing the terrorists with the recruits, the infrastructure, the mobility, and the relative invisibility without which they would not be able to operate. Terrorist plots involving Muslim immigrants and their children or native-born converts are on the notable increase both in the United States and in Western Europe. That there is a correlation between the presence of a Muslim population in a country and the danger that it or some other Western country will be subjected to a terrorist attack is a demonstrable fact. Muslims are the only group, in Western Europe or North America, that harbors a substantial segment of individuals who share the key objectives with the terrorists, even if they do not all approve of all of their methods.
The Tribune asserts that the Brotherhood is in tension with the Muslim mainstream in America, but that claim is at odds with recent studies. In a survey of newly naturalized citizens, 90 percent of Muslim immigrants said that if there were a conflict between the United States and their country of origin, they would be inclined to support their country of origin. In Detroit 81 percent of Muslims “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that Shari”a should be the law of the land. This internal threat to America is increasing. Between 1987 and 1997 8 percent of all immigrants””two million””came from Muslim countries, but that proportion is rapidly increasing. While overall immigration (legal and illegal) has grown by 300 percent since 1970, growth of immigration from the Middle East has gone up 700 percent, from under 200,000 in 1970 to 1.5 million in 2000. Expected number of immigrants from the Middle East in 2010 will be 2,500,000. These figures are matched and likely to be exceeded by the number of Muslim immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh). Currently Muslims account for close to one-tenth of all naturalizations, and their birth rates exceed those of any other significant immigrant group. Even a conservative estimate of their number of three million, or one-percent of the population, has alarming security implications and the potential for disproportionate growth. A coherent long-term counter-terrorist strategy therefore must entail denying Islam the foothold inside the United States. The application of ideological and political criteria in determining the eligibility of prospective visitors or immigrants has been and remains an essential ingredient of any anti-terrorist strategy, whereby Islamic activism would be treated as eminently political rather than “religious” activity.
Read it all.