Some months ago I put up an article here called “What Do Journalists Do All Day?” The Richard-Scarry title needs to be re-invoked: What Do Our Leaders Do All Day?
It has been more than five years since the attacks of 9/11/2001. The newspapers, the radio, the television, are full of what might be called “Jihad News.” Indeed, there should be a separate part of the newspaper: International News, Domestic News, Jihad News (and a separate “Jihad News” supplement, nestled between “News of the Week in Review” and the Business section, on Sunday).
Given all this, given what happens in Russia and southern Thailand, in Bangladesh and southern Sudan, in West Africa and in North Africa, in Paris and Amsterdam and London and Moscow and Beslan and New York and Washington and Copenhagen and Paris and Malmo and Paris and Milan and Rome and Istanbul and Djerba and Alexandria and Amman and Riyadh and Beirut and Baghdad, surely it is the first duty of those who presume to instruct and to protect us to find out as much as they can about the belief-system of Islam. And to find out not from the army of Muslim and non-Muslim (Esposito, Armstrong, Michael Sells, Carl Ernst) apologists for Islam, but from those who are willing to adduce the evidence of the texts themselves, and of the Muslim understanding of those texts, and of the Muslim scholars and writers and jurisconsults. These are collected in such a sourcebook as The Legacy of Jihad. The belief-system is made plain in the books of Spencer. Aspects of that belief-system should be studied at length, as in the studies devoted specifically to the treatment of non-Muslims under Muslim rule, such as The Dhimmi and Islam and Dhimmitude by Bat Ye’or. It is the responsibility of members of Congress to do this, especially since the dismal results of policies created by the Executive Branch for Iraq rest on a double misunderstanding: a misunderstanding of Islam, and a misunderstanding of the depth and duration of the Sunni-Shi’a clash, and how that and other fissures can as pre-existing conditions, aggravated by the natural aggression and inability to compromise of those raised in societies suffused with Islam, be used or exploited to our Infidel advantage.
But you have to know something. Silvestre Reyes is no worse, and likely a good deal better, than such people as James Baker and George Bush and Jimmy Carter in his apprehension of Islam. But that is setting the bar very low. He is now in charge of a most relevant Congressional committee. He, and not only he, has a duty to learn as much as he can. He must now not only grasp that the Sunnis and Shi’a differ over this and this and this, but must also know how, over nearly the entire history of Islam, the Shi’a have been treated by the Sunnis — so that he realizes it is not simply a matter of the last few years in Iraq, but of the last 1300 years, wherever Sunnis and Shi’a have lived or fought near each other.
He needs to know what Jihad is, what the Jihad-verses of the Qur’an are, and how they are reinforced again and again by the Hadith and the Sira. He needs to know about the doctrine of naskh (abrogration), and how it affects the Believer’s understanding of the immutable and uncreated Word of God that is the Qur’an. These are not unreasonable things to ask of him, or to ask of every other member of Congress, or of those in the Executive Branch whose duty it is to deal with threats to security, or more generally to think of ways to defend this country better. (For example, people in the Departments of Energy and the Treasury should also find out about Jihad, and the instruments of Jihad, and think of ways, in their own departments, to limit the potency of those instruments.) Finally, the officers and many of the men who are asked to plan and fight wars need to understand, and not to find out only in situ, the likely reaction of Muslims to the presence even of Infidels who are only trying to help them, so as not to suffer the demoralization that comes with an awareness of just how hostile those Muslims are likely to be. For they are even hostile when, in order to get money or contracts or goodies of every kind, they feign an outward affability. Whatever morale problems there are with some returning troops, they are caused in large part by the fact that those troops were never instructed in a few home truths about how Islam divides the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel, and counsels, as a duty, permanent war between them until the former everywhere rule, and Islam dominates everywhere.
These things need to be known. They cannot be known unless Congressmen recognize that they have this duty, or are kept after and publicly shown up, until they finally begin to demonstrate that they are at ease with the subject, have managed to grasp it.
Our lives depend on their acquiring this knowledge, not superficially, and in time. A great deal of squandering of men, money, materiel, would not have taken place, had more people known much more about Islam.
They, those who are leaders or who merely take “a leadership role,” owe us this. They, of both parties. They, of no particular party.