When I saw the above screenshot at Hot Air of a new Fox News promo, I immediately thought of Dinesh D’Souza, who in his new book The Enemy At Home says that “the cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11.” I do not believe that either the left or the right in America is responsible for causing 9/11, which I believe took place because of the expansionist and totalitarian jihad ideology and the renewed strength of some in the Islamic world to further its ends — with, to be sure, a healthy sense of grievance against the West used for recruitment purposes. But I have long stressed, and continue to believe on the basis of numerous historical precedents, that those grievances, if redressed, would not end the jihad, which would simply continue to recruit on the basis of different grievances.
In any case, I just discovered, via referrals from Powerline, that D’Souza goes farther, and blames me also for Islamic terrorism. I have his book but haven’t finished reading it yet — when I wrote this and this about interviews he conducted, I didn’t know this was in his book. But I just found this on page 278:
In order to build alliances with traditional Muslims, the right must take three critical steps. First, stop attacking Islam. Conservatives have to cease blaming Islam for the behavior of the radical Muslims. Recently the right has produced a spate of Islamophobic tracts with titles like Islam Unveiled, Sword of the Prophet, and The Myth of Islamic Tolerance. There is probably no better way to repel traditional Muslims, and push them into the radical camp, than to attack their religion and their prophet.
Two of the three books he mentions, of course, are mine: Islam Unveiled and The Myth of Islamic Tolerance. His point about them, however, can just as easily be used against him: I have many times emphasized that the jihad threatens all Americans, both leftists and rightists. There is probably no better way to repel anti-jihad leftists, and push them into the arms of the jihadists (with whom so much of the left is already allied), than to dub them “the enemy at home.” But irony aside, D’Souza’s point here is wrong in numerous ways. First and foremost, he seems to assume that the jihadists have — that’s right — “hijacked” the Religion of Peace. Dean Barnett puts this very well:
This view of things is dangerously misguided, and dangerously ignorant. The Radical Islamic world doesn’t hate us because our TV shows are too racy or our women too provocative. The Radical Islamic world hates us not for what we are but for what we aren’t. Specifically, the haters at issue loathe us because we”re not Muslims.
Here’s how the Ayatollah Khomeini put it:
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies.”
One of the things that makes “The Enemy at Home” so strange is that D”Souza never grapples with this side of Islam. Especially odd is the fact that even though D”Souza quotes Khomeini at several points, he never cites this particular speech. This is almost inexplicable; the above quote comes from a 1942 Khomeini work that is more or less the equivalent of the madman’s Gettysburg Address. It’s his signature piece. It defies belief that D”Souza delved even superficially into the Khomeini collection and these comments didn’t catch his eye.
Second, he assumes that peaceful Muslims will have a greater sense of solidarity with jihadists than with non-Muslims. That is indeed very likely true, but it makes hash of his entire thesis — that social conservatives should ally with these “traditional” Muslims. For if these peaceful Muslims really abhor jihadism, they should have no reason to object to critical presentations of the elements of Islam that foster jihadism. But if such presentations will just drive them into the arms of the jihadists, then how committed could they really have been to peace and moderation in the first place? If they think “Islamophobic tracts” (a characterization I do not accept) are more threatening to their religion than acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam, how “traditional” and moderate could they possibly be?
This is a fundamental question, and it warrants debate, not the mainstream media’s usual treatment (yes, both liberal and conservative) of assuming the correctness of one point of view without due consideration.
With full awareness of how important this question is, I will be working on a full review of his book this week. Certainly there is a personal element in this now, since he named my books, and I believe a reputedly responsible commentator such as Dinesh D’Souza should know better than to blame me (and Srdja Trifkovic) for terrorism, but the issues involved are far more important than personal affronts. I am hereby inviting and challenging Dinesh D’Souza to a debate, on the topic of “Is Critical Examination of Islam Helping Or Hurting the Defense Against the Jihad?” Or a similar topic of his choosing, in a venue of his choice, to which I will happily travel at my own expense. I also invite C-Span or anyone else to film this debate when it happens, and broadcast it far and wide. Or I will debate him on television, on radio, in print, or in all three.
I have no contact information for Dinesh D’Souza — we were scheduled to debate on a show last week but he didn’t show up. If anyone reading this knows him, please convey this invitation to him.
UPDATE: Dinesh D’Souza tells me we are scheduled to debate at CPAC. I haven’t heard anything about that from CPAC, but I look forward to it.