Earlier this week, noted Islamic scholar and director of Jihad Watch Robert Spencer spoke at a luncheon in New York City, sponsored by the Middle East Forum. The author of a number of books about Islam and Jihad, Spencer's latest is titled Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs. The book exposes the non-violent ways Islamists are using to undermine American society, and it offers alternatives for Americans to avoid being subverted from within. Stealth Jihad was the topic of Spencer's talk.
Those of us who get the bulk of our news from the Internet are probably aware of pro-Hamas rallies that have taken place across the nation over the last couple of weeks. To name just a couple: in Los Angeles, the Islamists chanted "Heil Hitler," "death to the Jews," "death to Israel" and "down, down, USA!" In Fort Lauderdale, Jews were exhorted to "go back to the ovens." As Spencer noted, "Never before in American history have we seen people openly, on American soil, and in full light of video cameras, saying that they want to see a renewal of a genocidal ambition, and they want to see a whole people exterminated."
So where was the mainstream media? Aside from a story on the Fort Lauderdale event on FOX News, they were nowhere to be seen. I understand the thrill of covering Michelle Obama's plans for redecorating the White House and the Obama children's first day at their new school, but one would think rallies that advocate genocide might garner a little interest from the free press that prides itself on bringing us all the news we need to know. As a result of their negligence, many Americans remain in the dark. "This ought to be the largest story of the last 20 years," said Spencer. So why isn't it?
Spencer reminded us that back on November 6, 2002, Osama bin Laden stated very clearly: "The first thing we are calling you to is Islam." Yet, as Spencer continued, bin Laden didn't really envision a mass conversion of Americans and Europeans, but the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) in the West. This political and religious program "encompasses every aspect of human life and human behavior" and it is a "divine responsibility" for Muslims "to work to impose this law over non-Muslim polities." By its very nature, Sharia law is antithetical to the American ideals of freedom of speech, equality for all before the law, and freedom of conscience.
While Spencer said it is unlikely that Sharia will actually succeed here in America, Americans must be aware that there are groups here working toward that goal, and they are already eroding the freedoms we enjoy and cherish. One of their most notable successes is the media's failure to report on these recent genocidal rallies and their failure to expose the agenda and threat of the Jihadists.
One of the most influential Islamic organizations in America is the Council for American and Islamic Relations (CAIR). Often called upon by the media and the government for guidance and commentary, was co-founded by Omar Ahmad. In 1998, Ahmad said before an audience of Muslims, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."
Despite the seditious nature of this statement, our elected officials and law enforcement don't seem interested in doing anything about it. As Spencer says, "it is a manifestation of how successful…the stealth Jihad mission has been. The stealth Jihad mission involves many things. It involves insinuating elements of Islamic law into government, into media, into education, into American businesses." This isn't just about accommodation and multiculturalism – it is a "comprehensive, coordinated initiative."
Is this a conspiracy theory? Not when you know the facts, says Spencer. In a 1991 internal memorandum, exposed in 2007 during the Holy Land Foundation trial, the Muslim Brotherhood's plans for America are "a kind of grand Jihad in 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 Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions." The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Muslim organization in the world. Spencer also notes that "Hamas styles itself in its charter as the Muslim Brotherhood for Palestine."
In reality, Spencer says, America faces the same threat that Israel does from Hamas. But the Muslim Brotherhood working here knows that they won't get away with lobbing rockets or other violent tactics – thanks to the sharp focus on Islamist organizations after 9/11 – so they must employ other means. They work through organizations allied with them and their cause, including the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, the Islamic Society of North America, and others – including the now-defunct group Islamic Association for Palestine, which gave rise to CAIR. According to Brotherhood spokesmen, they are "working toward this goal of sabotaging Western civilization from within."
Again, Spencer brings us back to the mainstream media's role in all of this. "They are working to intimidate the media into being afraid to discuss these issues. And they have succeeded." Why? "Bigotry and racism are the national traumas, they are the great sins of American history. And so the worst thing you can be in America is a bigot or a racist." The Islamists in America use this to their advantage, decrying every anti-terrorism initiative as hateful, discriminatory and bigoted and smacking of racial profiling, and portraying any honest discussion of these issues as such. The result is that "most Americans have no idea this is going on, and so they have no idea of what measures can and should be taken to counter it, and so it's able to proceed unhindered."
What followed was a lively question and answer period, a few of which I will cover here. Attendees learned that college campuses are one of the "chief arenas of stealth Jihad." Professors seeking employment at universities in the area of Islamic or Middle Eastern studies must belong to the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). To be in MESA, one must toe the party line that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked, and the main problem lies with America and Israel – and that is the only side students get to hear. Spencer related that when he and others go to campuses to speak about Jihad, they must go with bodyguards.
As for the laws regarding sedition, Spencer said in response to another query, if they would only be enforced "we would go a long way toward rolling back these initiatives." Unfortunately, multiculturalism has played a part in the reluctance – even fear – of cracking down upon imams who are indeed spreading seditious information.
But what about Islamic terrorists? One of Islamists' "main efforts has been to make it unacceptable for people to speak about Islam in connection with terrorism." Spencer reminded us that the State Department voluntarily imposed guidelines upon themselves, forbidding them to speak of terrorism in connection with Islam and Muslims.
Spencer made sure to reiterate that moderate Muslims exist and some of them are doing their best to shed light on the activities of radical Islamists and encourage reform from within. While we should applaud and support their efforts, we should continue to be realistic about the situation and keep our eyes open.
Afterward, I did hear one man complain to his companion that during his speech and the Q and A, Spencer didn't tell us how to confront these problems – but he does cover this in his book. Regardless, the first step is education and defining the problem. And until more than just a handful of Americans become aware of the Islamists and their stealth Jihad in America, the land of the free may well become a thing of the past.
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.