A week ago, the FBI officially announced that it has cut ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The self-styled civil-rights organization is characteristically squawking, but the FBI's move was patently overdue — so much so that we ought to be asking: Why on earth did the FBI have ties with CAIR in the first place?
While we should applaud the government for finally doing the right thing, we also must seize this moment to consider why this action was necessary, and what it says about the threat we are up against.
That threat is not, essentially, about terrorism. Given the life-and-death stakes involved, it is understandable that government is preoccupied by terrorism (or what Obama's homeland-security secretary, Janet Napolitano, absurdly calls "man-caused disasters"). But jihadist terror is merely the means to a specific end: the installation of sharia, the Islamic legal code, which Muslim fundamentalists regard as the necessary precondition for the achievement of Islam's universalist ambitions.
Sharia should be of grave concern to us because it is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and to our way of life. It rejects several core American propositions: that liberty cannot co-exist with an established state religion, that free people have a right to govern themselves irrespective of any religious code's dictates, that there should be freedom of conscience (sharia holds that apostasy from Islam is not merely a crime but a capital offense), sexual liberty (homosexuality is also a death-penalty offense), and equal protection under the law (sharia privileges Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women). Sharia, furthermore, is the rationale commonly trotted out by militants to justify the use of force (whether we call it "terrorism" or employ such sophistries as "resistance" or "man-caused disasters") for resolving policy disputes — under the rationale that policies that do not privilege Islam constitute an attack on Islam and therefore justify jihadist violence.