More denial and obfuscation. “Our enemy is not Islam — it’s extremists: The U.S. response should be zero tolerance for political cultists who try to achieve their goals through violence, regardless of their religion,” by Judith Miller and David Samuels for the Los Angeles Times, November 11:
[…] Underlying both the left- and right-wing narratives of the shootings is the belief — or fear, on the part of many liberals — that what happened at Ft. Hood is, in fact, rooted in Islam, rather than in a perverted political ideology that is rejected by an overwhelming majority of Muslims everywhere. The threat posed to America by the jihadist cult recalls the hysteria surrounding the late 19th century mass migrations that brought thousands of anarchists, syndicalists and communists from eastern Europe to America. Preaching their secular gospel of violently overthrowing the U.S government and returning to a mythical agrarian past, the new immigrants, many of whom were Jewish, engaged in bombings, industrial violence and assassinations that killed hundreds of people, including President McKinley.
There was no shortage of voices that blamed these attacks on immigrants, particularly “the Jews,” and suggested that immigration from eastern Europe be stopped and that Jews be banned from sensitive government jobs and institutions of higher learning — efforts that were enshrined in law and unofficial practice by 1924. In retrospect, we see these responses as products of ignorance and rank prejudice.
Question for Judith Miller and David Samuels: When and where did the leaders of these “immigrants” or “Jews” ever teach their followers that they “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands”? The rest of that passage, of course, is: “…and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” That’s from “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991.
Did any of these “immigrants” or “Jews” ever teach that their belief-system wasn’t “in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,” and that their guiding manifesto “should be the highest authority in America”? CAIR co-founder and longtime Board Chairman Omar Ahmad said that about Islam and the Koran. (He denies saying it, but the original reporter stands by her story)
Did the fundamental law of any of those “immigrants” or “Jews” ever teach anything analogous to this, from a Shafi’i manual of Islamic law endorsed by the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo? It says that the leader of the Muslims “makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax,” and cites Koran 9:29 in support of this idea: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o9.8)
I could go on, but you get the idea. In Islam there is a clear and consistent strain, historical and contemporary, of supremacism and violence, and calls to conquer and subjugate those outside the fold. The “immigrants” and “Jews” who may have been scapegoated in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th century had no such teachings, and none of them were preaching such things. Thus the analogy adduced by Miller is not only wrong, but dangerously misleading and offensive: it implies that those who are sounding the alarm about the jihad in the U.S. and worldwide are simply bigots with some irrational hatred of Muslims, rather than people who simply listen to what Muslims say and take it seriously. So those who believe Miller will be more likely to dismiss talk of the jihad threat as bigotry, as an invention of “Islamophobes” — and of course they will never hear about the supremacist statements I’ve quoted above and others like them, because Miller won’t tell them.
So now we must be clear: The United States is not at war with Muslims or Islam.
Indeed not. But many Muslims believe that they, and Islam, are at war with the United States. Our refusal to engage them on that level does not mean that this fact ceases to exist.
We are at war, whether we like it or not, with Islamic heretics who argue that their own beliefs supersede traditional Islamic law, and that traitors to Islam as they define it should be killed. Our enemies are members of a violent cult that uses the language of religion to achieve political aims. Believers in such heresies have more in common with other violent political extremists — anarchists, Stalinists, Nazis, Klansmen, Weathermen bombers and terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh — than they do with mainstream Muslims.
But of course she does not elucidate just how their beliefs render them heretics, and how their understanding of Islam differs from traditional Islamic law. No one ever does. We are constantly told that they’re heretics, but explanations of exactly how they’re heretics are scarce.
Jihadists are the latest bearers of an ideological virus — the idea that one can accomplish millenarian political aims by murdering innocents — that has done terrible damage to human societies. Our response should be zero tolerance for political cultists who try to achieve their goals through violence, be they Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Tamil Tigers, animal-rights activists or self-professed followers of Thoreau. No one should hesitate to call such people what they are — terrorists.
Perhaps she means that they’re heretics because they’re murdering innocents, and Islam forbids that. And that’s all very well, but the jihadists maintain that no non-Muslim is innocent, and putatively moderate organizations like CAIR, when they condemn terrorism, have been slow to explain just who exactly they do think is innocent.
And so here again we have a typical example of deflection, falsehood, and half-truth, all served up in defense of a totalitarian, expansionist ideology that is going to keep coming at us. Judith Miller should know better, and should know who and what for which she is running interference. What is needed now is a call to the American Muslim community to acknowledge that there is a supremacist, expansionist doctrine within Islam, and a challenge to them to formulate ways to teach against it and promote American Constitutionalism among Muslims here. Instead, we get this.