The long-awaited assassination of Osama bin Laden in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan is a welcome defeat for al Qaeda – and a victory for all those Americans, in uniform and out, who have worked for so many years to bring justice to the jihadist responsible for untold deaths, here and abroad. Heartfelt congratulations go to President Obama and all those involved in this achievement.
The importance of this success will be diminished, however, if the United States fails to use the occasion now to refocus its efforts. Since bin Laden and his followers first lashed out at our country, the temptation to make his capture or liquidation an exclusive preoccupation proved irresistible.
Unfortunately, what Mr. Obama in announcing bin Laden’s death called “our war on al Qaeda” has obscured the full magnitude of the challenge we face. That challenge involves millions of others around the world who adhere to the same politico-military-legal program as the late bin Laden, a doctrine they call “shariah.” This is the time to begin addressing in all its complexity and difficulty the need to counter that larger threat.
To that end, the United States must broaden the lens to recognize as every bit as dangerous as al Qaeda and other violent jihadists a threat that may be even more insidious: the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk, jihadists who pursue through more stealthy, “pre
-violent” techniques the same goals – shariah’s application worldwide and the reestablishment of a Caliphate to govern in accordance with it. (For more on the Brotherhood and its animating doctrine, see Shariah: The Threat to America
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Muslims who do not adhere to shariah and do not seek to impose it on others, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are our natural allies in this fight. They have as much at stake as do the rest of us. Empowering them to help us win that fight must be a top priority. To do this, we must deal with them directly, not engage in doomed “outreach” to them through Muslim Brotherhood front groups who actually are their enemies, as well as ours.
Specifically, with bin Laden’s demise, it is time to designate the Brotherhood and its myriad front organizations, both abroad and in the United States, as terrorist-support organizations. That step will usher in the next and critical phase of the War for the Free World: rolling back the rising tide of shariah and establishing unmistakably that neither the Osama bin Ladens nor their aspirations will survive our relentless determination to protect our country and Constitution against jihadists of any stripe.