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Andrew C. McCarthy

Fears and Smears
Islamophobia is not an irrational fear, nor is it the fear of Islam.

‘From a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works.” Taha Jabir al-Alwani was writing about Reliance of the Traveller, the English version of Umdat al-Salik, the classic manual of sharia (“Islamic Sacred Law,” as the cover of Reliance puts it). Alwani is no lightweight in these matters. His specialty is fiqh — Islamic jurisprudence. In fact, he has been a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia and is renowned among orientalist scholars in the West as president of the Fiqh Council of North America.

More significant, he was writing in his capacity as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Headquartered in Virginia, IIIT is an Islamist think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s.

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I was reminded of Dr. Alwani when reading the latest hit job against my friends David Horowitz and Robert Spencer, authored by the Center for American Progress. Directed by Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta, CAP is a lushly financed leftist think tank that profoundly influences the Obama administration — indeed, Podesta oversaw the Obama transition after the 2008 election. CAP’s sugar daddy, George Soros, has made a cottage industry out of whitewashing Islamist ideology. This enterprise has lately produced a lengthy ad hominem rant called “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”

Islamophobia is a neologism coined by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is as practiced at the art of deception as any organization on Earth. It should come as no surprise, then, that Islamophobia is a smear, intended to discredit a phenomenon that, in truth, is neither a phobia — i.e., an irrational fear — nor concerned about Islam in general. The phenomenon, instead, is a quite rational disquiet about Islamists – fundamentalist Muslims, some of whom are violent jihadists and some stealth jihadists. They seek incrementally to implant sharia principles in the West.

Islamist organizations abound in the United States. Like IIIT, many of them are affiliated with the Brotherhood and collaborate regularly with leftist organizations such as CAP. Reciprocally, CAP, like many in the Obama administration, advocates the Brotherhood’s acceptance as a legitimate political party.

The Islamist groups purport to speak for the broader American Muslim community, but this is about as true as the claim that Occupy Wall Street speaks for 99 percent of Americans. Nevertheless, Islamist groups punch way above their weight, because they are lavishly financed, and they get red-carpet treatment from government officials — a bad habit the Obama administration has exacerbated but certainly did not originate.

As I outlined in The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, the Muslim Brotherhood is engaged in a “civilizational jihad” against America, Europe, and Israel. There is no need to take my word for it: Islamists are quite blunt about this fact when they speak among themselves. The title of my book, in fact, is drawn from the words of an internal Brotherhood communiqué seized by the FBI, a memo in which the Brothers describe their work in America as a “grand jihad” aimed at “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

It is no secret that the Brothers intend, as their leading jurisprudent, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, puts it, to “conquer America” and “conquer Europe.” Moreover, they believe this can be done mostly without violence, through a sedulous campaign of voluntary apartheid (integrating with but not assimilating into the West) and the infiltration of sharia principles into our law and our institutions. One need only open one’s eyes to see that Islamists are acting on these intentions, and one need only glance at Europe to know that their strategy can work.

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Virginia Conservative
: 10/24/11 13:21

There's just one thing I don't get and that is why the Left would want to collaborate with the Islamist jihadists. Doesn't the Left understand the goals of the jihadists?

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: 10/23/11 18:47

Appeasement doesn't work. The left continues to appease our enemies. What they miss is that when they are no longer of value to the Islamists, they, too, will be ignored or worse.

What is especially sad is that too many Muslims attribute all behavior to Allah, thus eliminating any personal accountability. This "blame" mindset does not work in a free society.

And, there appears to be no urge to assimilate in the USA. We have Somali Muslims in the Twin Cities in MN - they used to be far more open to assimilating than they are today. Something has happened inside that community and it is not good. (External Link )

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: 10/23/11 14:07

It is not Islamophobia, it is Islamiodium.

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: 10/23/11 12:24

McCarthy quote, "Islamists are fundamentalist Muslims, some are violent jihadists & some are stealth jihadists,....such oganizations abound in the U. S.."
Page 362, 9/11 Commission Report,(pub. nearly 10yrs. ago) "...the catastrophic threat is Islamist terrorism. Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say. America is the font of all evil, the 'head of the snake' and it must be converted or destroyed."
The Commission's solution to the problem. Quote, " room for bargaining....Islamist terrorists can only be destroyed or utterly isolated."
Does that make the 9/11 Commission Islamophobic?

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: 10/23/11 11:43

Islam is a misogynist religion. Period. That alone is enough for me to fear it as a woman. I like being able to read and write, drive a car, go to the store alone, talk to other men besides my husband and son, wear pretty clothes that flatter me, the fact that my daughter can marry who she chooses and get an education and etc. etc. Why on earth would I want to get along with a culture who wishes to enslave me? The Koran, which I have read for myself, says these things are required of a 'good' muslim woman. Institutionlized slavery is still what it is. Christians have made great strides in equal opportunity but still have a ways to go. Islam has never left the primitive mind set at all and not just where women are concerned.

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: 10/23/11 10:34

If fundamentalism is growing, how do we combat it?

Netanyahu's got a similar problem. So does Romney.

I'd love to see a Sister Souljah moment from any Muslim clergyman.

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: 10/23/11 23:03

How do we combat it?

Well first of all, don't allow Muslim immigration. No harm can be done here if those seeking to do harm aren't allowed entry in the first place.

Same goes for Europe.

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: 10/23/11 11:08

Netanyahu's got a similar problem. So does Romney.

Let me know when you spot a Mormon clergyman advocating the murder of non-Muslims.

Let me know when a Mormon gets caught trying to blow up a plane with a bomb tucked in his underwear.

Let me know when a Mormon gets caught trying to blow up a plane with a bomb made out of his shoes.

Let me know when a Mormon plants a car bomb in Times Square.

Please point out where the Book of Mormon instructs those who believe to kill unbelievers.

Let me know when a Mormon uses a mentally retarded person as a human bomb.

Let me know when a Mormon crashes a passenger plane into an office building.

I'll be sitting here patiently, waiting.

Until then, comparing fundamentalist Mormons to fundamentalist Muslims brands one as an unalloyed idiot.

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: 10/23/11 20:56

Bernie Gilbert - ' Netanyahu's got a similar problem.' If you were to replace, Mormon, with, Jewish, the same questions can be asked as well.

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: 10/23/11 11:24

Romney has a problem with Christian fundamentalists, not Mormons. Sorry you misunderstood that part.

I guess you didn't misunderstand the Netanyahu reference, however.

We're all on the same side here. A part -- maybe a BIG part -- of a religion is wacko and dangerously so. What do we do about it?

My solution, trivialized, is: MTV. It will take a long time, but gradually the murderous ones will be rejected by those who want MTV instead of bombs. The terrorists will be ratted out by their neighbors rather than inspired by them.

No one on this site ever talks about solutions because the hard line solution -- exterminating the bad ones -- is impossible. Your gut screams "Kill 'em all!" but no amount of sanctions, invasions or even nukes will eradicate this massive roach infestation.

These wackos tell you the truth: they don't fear death, they LOVE it.

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: 10/24/11 14:29

MTV - as a representative of Western pop culture, is in fact a threat to Islamic fundamentalism. I see it as part of the problem though - not part of the solution.

Many, many people who practice islamic fundamentalism are not violent. They're too busy making a living and otherwise unwilling to translate those beliefs into violence against unbelievers who live far far away. When their sons and daughters start to emulate pop stars they wake up to the fact that Western pop culture is a threat to their way of life and radicalize.

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: 10/24/11 02:33

I don't know of any evangelical Christian groups advocating mass murder, sorry.

Islam, in this as in many other things, is sui generis.

By the way, I practiced Medicine as a Jew in a small Alabama town bewteen 1993-2000. I know of what I speak re: evangelical Christians, as an outsider. I also graduated from Texas Christian, as well.

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: 10/23/11 13:45

Wow! Mike B. advocates replacing Allah with whiny, Leftist television programs. That way, the fundamentalist Muslims can jump from desiring a one world Caliphate, blaming the Jews and infidels for all their problems and wanting to kill pretty much everybody, TO desiring a one world order, blaming capitalism and unashamed Caucasians for all their problems and want to kill pretty much anyone who disagrees with them.

As a head start, we can send Bill Ayers over to do a power point presentation. And as an added bonus, he can bring some proselytizing literature from the American Atheist Association, with color pictures and bios of the most murderous leaders ever to set foot on the world stage. Those rational atheists responsible for more deaths than all the religious wars and persecutions combined.

That should set them salivating.

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: 10/23/11 09:37

Paraphrasing, the left and this specific administration are busily putting the fix in on behalf of a mainstream Islamic group that openly seeks and acts accordingly to overthrow our laws and society. We are irrational to oppose this because we must prove we do not hate all Muslims by supporting a totalitarian version of Islam that would rule all muslims - and "infidels" (us).

Speaking of rhyming, it's kind of like NOW supporting Clinton for all that he didn't do for women - but writ large. (Or forcing us to behave like Neville Chamberlain, as posted previously.)

There is no denying that the central tenet of the American left is that moral superiority is defined, first and foremost, by supporting something ideoligically opposed to our way of life and acting to destroy it. Now that's irrational.

There is a level of cynicism at the Soros/Obama level (noticeably above the useful loons of Zuccotti Park) that I am so far unable to describe - something about there always being a need for money and for administrators and hoping to fix the bet that they will be the ones to keep their power coupled with their biased/ closed-minded hatred of from where they came.

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: 10/23/11 09:37

There should be a special place in h-e-l-l for the mainstream media, for its laziness and/or complicity in not educating the majority of Americans about the Islamist clouds of destruction that are gathering. Of course, in their elitist soaked arrogance, Soros and his ilk naively think that they can safely contain/control/direct King Kong. Ask Fay Wray how that ended.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the generation of Americans that responded to Pearl Harbor. Too much cancer under the surface to save the patient. The real question isn't 'what to do?', but 'where to go?'.

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: 10/23/11 19:57

"Where to go?"

Here. We stand *here*.

My well-meaning left-ish friends fail to perceive that the arc of totalitarianism reaches around the bend to include both Nazis and Islamists.

At some point, my well-meaning friends will be forced by circumstances into understanding.

We stand *here*.

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: 10/23/11 07:48

We know they're out there. We know they want to kill us. But the media and the Left will have a duck if we try and do anything about it.

Using profiling to identify murderers, rapist, kidnappers, child molesters; that's fine. But to use profiling to find terrorists -- that's resorting to stereotyping.

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: 10/23/11 02:51

Let us bring some clarity to this discussion; Islam is not a religion but a 1400 years old political program consisting of yjese steps:
1) Conquest, by force of arms or terror; then
2) Conversion; if resisted then
3) Slavery; if rsisted then
4) Mass murder.
"Religion of peace"??? You must be joking; only after Step 4 has been accomplished.

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: 10/23/11 00:29

usually means a newly created word but is also defined as a meaningless word coined by a psychotic.
However, CAIR, The Brotherhood and their Progressive fellow-travellers are more Sociopathic than Psychotic.....

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George Marcom, M. D.
: 10/22/11 21:14

The nuanced contrast of "Islam" vs. Islamist is a distinction without a difference.

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: 10/22/11 21:11

Mr. McCarthy: Excellent analysis.

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: 10/22/11 19:36

It appears that one aspect of Western society that allows for the gradual take over by Islamic extremism is the loss of Christian values that gave our ancestors their culture as well as their integrity. Like it or not, if you have nothing to stand up for, nothing palpable to defend, it becomes increasingly difficult to gin up the energy to fight something that, with western apathy, seems inexorable. Just proclaiming 'freedom' as a value is not enough. A free for all, do what feels good, society usually removes freedom from children, the elderly and the vulnerable. My oldest son has been serving in the military for the last 3+ years. Tell me that those OWS drones are worth his sacrifice.

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: 10/22/11 17:33

I have mixed feelings about this article by McCarthy. He uses two labels differently from the way the majority uses them: "Islam" and "Islamists." Most who make that distinction have implied that "Islamists" do not represent a mainstream interpretation of Islam. McCarthy alters that by pointing out that "Islamists" do represent a mainstream interpretation.

It's hard to argue with McCarthy's choice to be agnostic about the "true" interpretation of Islam. That agnosticism permits him to remain in the realm of the empirical. Whatever the "truth," the fact is that "Islamism" is a mainstream interpretation.

While I understand the value of that agnosticism -- it's easier to forge a consensus around a comparatively minimalist set of claims than it is to forge agreement around a larger set -- still, the agnosticism makes me uneasy.

I believe the core documents of Islam clearly show that it is indeed "Islamist," even if some percentage of Muslims is clearly against Islamic theocracy.

Because Islam is a totalitarian movement whose global population is rapidly increasing at a time when non-Muslim populations in Europe are rapidly decreasing, and because Islam represents a greater totalitarian threat than communism ever did to Western values, McCarthy's agnosticism about the true interpretation of Islam troubles me. Somehow, the need to protect the rights of individuals who call themselves Muslim but clearly reject sharia needs to be combined with another need, namely to demand from Muslims some kind of reasonable accountability for the vital threat to our liberal democracy that their religion represents.

If Islam were a small cult, like Scientology, we could afford to be more forgiving of totalitarian political aspirations in the core of the religion. But Islam is huge, and Muslims worldwide are reproducing at a far faster rate than Western non-Muslims.

The West is valuable in large part because of the "niceties" and "delicacies" of Western insistence on protecting individuals and not painting with too broad a brush when it comes to groups. But that needs to be balanced in some way against existential threats to our existence. I have as much terror as anyone of compromising our individualist values, but if those individualist values are heading toward a cliff, don't we need to be a little less precious than we are being? Is this how we fought the Nazis and the Communists? By being infinitely precious about painting with too broad a brush. I don't think so.

I say this with hesitation, because departing in any way from protection of individual rights is certainly dangerous. But so is a global and growing totalitarian movement about which we are not doing enough.

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: 10/25/11 09:00

traeh - I would make one tiny correction to what you wrote. You said about Islam: 'If Islam were a small cult ... we could afford to be more forgiving of totalitarian political aspirations in the core of the religion.' You had it right the first time when you called Islam 'a totalitarian movement.' Islam is not a religion, though it may pretend to be one.

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: 10/22/11 17:28

And let's not forget the pifitul performance of James Clapper, the laughable Director of National Intelligence, and his defense of The Muslim Brotherhood, as "largely a secular group." This followed his pathetic performance in an interview with the breathy Diane Sawyer in which he was unaware of the arrests in a London terrorits case. Even she knew about it. But Clapper, clueless. Director of National Intelligence. What a misnomer.

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: 10/22/11 15:42

If one of the IIIT's /Muslim Brotherhood complain about this just say " I Don't CAIR!".

Seriously, Islam and Socialism share many traits; Elite/Caliphate running the show, monolithic political systems, etc.

In the West we have Secularism colluding with Sharia to form Secular-Sharia.

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: 10/22/11 15:11

I recommend that anyone who might view Mr. McCarthy as an alarmist Islamophobe who is stepping too far off the multi-culti reservation (even for NRO) read "The Unbreakable Muslim Brotherhood" by Eric Trager in the latest issue of "Foreign Affairs".
The Muslim Brotherhood is definitely not a social club, and is not just one of many voices competing for hearts and minds in the Islamic world. It is a brutally disciplined, fanatical, virtually unbreakable and uninfiltratable, and politically saavy organization that makes the Nazi party look like Rotarians. They are not about to go quietly into the dustbin of history. Over the next several years, no one should be surprised when the Arab Spring degenerates into a totalitarian winter that will make civil libertarians pine for the days of enlightened liberals like Qaddafi.

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: 10/22/11 22:11
: 10/22/11 14:43

Excellent column, Mr. McCarthy.
I may be called an Islamaphobe, but I believe the term "misislamist,' connoting a hatred of the belief system and values of Islamism is more accurate.

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: 10/22/11 12:48

Thanks Mr. McCarthy.

"Diplomacy is fine and is necessary but it sometimes demands politically correct professions of equality of faith, at the expense of right reason. Ronald Reagan saw through to this problem when he said that the Soviet Union was an evil empire and that Communism would end up on the ash heap of history. Something like that needs to be said about Muslims, to the extent that they are identifiable as agents of terrorism."
WFB 5-28-2003

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