Frontpage Interview's guest today is Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a columnist for National Review. His book Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008), has recently been released in paperback with a new preface. Check out a description from Encounter Books. His newly released book, which has just become a New York Times bestseller, is The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.
FP: Andrew C. McCarthy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Tell us about your new book and what inspired you to write it.
McCarthy: Jamie, as always, it's a pleasure to be here.
My first book, Willful Blindness, which you kindly allude to in introducing me, was really focused on the terrorist aspect of the Islamist threat. Although I did argue that terrorism was the direct result of Islamist ideology, based undeniably on an accurate and mainstream construction of Islamic doctrine, my main purpose was to explain why prosecution in the criminal justice system, standing alone, was an inadequate response to a profound national-security challenge.
The Grand Jihad is an effort to dig deeper into what that national security challenge is, and in particular, to stress that terrorism is only a small subset of it. Islamists consider themselves to be in a "civilizational jihad" — their words, not mine — against the West. They use terrorism to great effect, but the battle proceeds on every conceivable front in our society: the media, the academy, and our politics, law and culture. And their aim is nothing less than the "destruction of the West" — as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual guide (and probably the most influential Sunni cleric in the world), puts it, "to conquer America" and "conquer Europe."