There is a group — call them the Guirardians — that continues to believe that Americans can best defeat “terrorism” by reaching out to the “good Muslims,” the “moderate Muslims,” who must be constantly reassured of such things as that we know, we Americans know, that “Jihad,” rightly understood, is a Good Thing. And therefore, whatever it is that Bin Laden and Mughniyeh and all those others are doing, all over the world, when they say they are conducting Jihad, or living a life of Jihad, or giving their life for Jihad, they surely must misunderstand the true, the good, the beautiful meaning of “Jihad.”
Why must they “surely have misunderstood, etc.”? Well, because we know now, we can no longer deny, that “Jihad” is a central duty for all Muslims. And so, in order not to have to consider that just possibly the meaning that Muslims endow that word “Jihad” with — the “struggle” to remove all barriers to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam — is what the word really means, we play a game of Let’s Pretend.
We allow ourselves to believe that “Jihad” does not mean what, over 1350 years, it has been taken to mean. Yet see The Legacy of Jihad, see any of the books written by the Western scholars of Islam before the Great Inhibition set in. Or see any of the books written right up until now, and distributed all over the world, by Muslim scholars and jurisconsults, those written only with fellow Muslims in mind, and not Westerners who might, as for Mr. Khan, come up with generous infusions of cash for his entrepreneurial activity, so sly and so dangerous and, for the American taxpayers who are funding the thing, so futile and enraging.
Khan should be asked a few questions about how he defines “Jihad,” and on the basis of what textual authority. He should be asked what good comes of “dialogue” that is not true but false dialogue, of the kind that too many have discovered, since 2001, to be the standard. That is, the “dialogue” in which these Interfaith Healing Sessions become ones where none of the non-Muslims are willing, or indeed able, to ask questions about the texts (Qur’an, Hadith, Sira). Nor can they ask about the tenets that naturally arise from those texts. Nor can they ask about the division in Islam, central to the worldview of Believers, between Believer and Infidel (and all talk about “three great abrahamic faiths” is so much diversion, distraction, and blague). Finally, they cannot ask about the state of permanent war (though not always open warfare) that must exist, so Muslims are taught, so many believe, between the Believer and Infidel. The “dialogue” always consists of Muslims presenting a quite distorted presentation — usually one that never mentions the contents of the Hadith, nor the figure of Muhammad. And certainly there is never any mention of the Banu Qurayza, Abu Afak, Asma bint Marwan, the Khaybar Oasis, little Aisha, the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya and its lasting signficiance. The non-Muslims engaged in the “dialogue,” knowing nothing or next to nothing, are led around by the nose.
And that’s what, so far, every single attempt at a “dialogue” has led to. Why should the expensively-funded, taxpayer-funded, sums now be thrown at smiling Mr. Khan (the Smyler With the Knyf Under the Cloke), the one who couldn’t bear even to appear on a panel with someone who was a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and even — horribile dictu! — had served in “the West Bank”?
When Mr. Khan, plausible smiling Mr. Khan, writes first that he has his doubts, this is how he puts it:
“Laura, I have to speak at the Pentagon tomorrow. My workshop is from 12-4. I hope to catch the 5 pm Acela from DC and will be back in town by 7 pm. I will come directly, but may be late. I am also not sure how I feel about being on the same panel with an Israeli soldier who was stationed in West Bank. Some people see IDF as an occupying force in the West Bank. I am not sure that I will be comfortable occupying the same space with him. It is not fair to spring this surprise on me at the last moment.”
Ah, first a little mention of the “workshop” at the Pentagon. The Acela train and getting home. And now, smuggle in the real point: “I am also not sure how I feel about being on the same panel with an “Israeli soldier” [sic] who “was stationed on the West Bank.” Of course he is sure. He is completely sure. He will not do it — not if he can get away with refusing to do it, and apparently he was not told that he should appear on that panel, or else. But of course he wasn’t told that, was he? Everything was done to accommodate him. What if Asaf Romirowsky had refused to appear on the panel, saying that “I am not sure how I feel being on the same panel with a transparent apologist for Islam who is slyly pushing, deep inside the Pentagon, an Islamic agenda.” What would have happened, do you think, to Asaf Romirowsky? But apparently being a Muslim, a Great Hope, a “reforming” and “dialoging” hope, means you can get away with all kinds of behavior that would be unacceptable, and promptly punished, were it by others.
And not only was Mr. Khan not informed that he was on the panel, and that was that, but he was subsequently rewarded, rewarded with a nearly half-million dollar grant that, I can safely say, will do not one single thing to make Americans safer, or more comprehending of the meaning and menace of Jihad. Perhaps the only good that will come out of this is that the smilers, the plausible seekers after government-and-grant money — Every Muslim With A Degree His Own All-Expenses-Paid “Dialoguer” — will stop being funded.
What can be done? Congress can look into this grant. Congressmen — just like the late, very much missed William Proxmire (there were giants in the earth in those days, in the Democratic Party, but who, at the time, knew?), with his roll-call of the most idiotic things being funded — can make it go hard with the Pentagon for this kind of waste, a waste that is, in fact, exemplary in the original sense. It offers an example of the confusion, the timidity, rigidity, stupidity of those trying, so slowly, to arrive at some understanding of Islam, but the true understanding of which will elude them for a long time, because they will do everything they possibly can to avoid finding out the truth, because that truth is so difficult to accept, so unpalatable in its implications.
There is a race on. The race is between those who know, or those who are capable of finding out, about Islam, and those whose task it is to throw sand in our faces in every possible way, to distract, to offer taqiyya-and-tu-quoque, and even, in some cases, in so doing, to pick our Pentagon’s pockets.
At least let someone in Congress stop the picking of the pockets. At least we shouldn’t have to pay to continue to be fooled. At the very least, that.