Over the weekend, President Obama repeated in connection with the 9/11 observances a now-familiar incantation: “We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam.” (From his Weekly Address on September 11th) And “…As Americans we are not – and never will be – at war with Islam. It was not a religion that attacked us that September day – it was al Qaeda, a sorry band of men which perverts religion.” (Excerpt from his address at the Pentagon also on Saturday).
These comments capture the essence of Mr. Obama’s policy towards the roots of terrorism. His administration’s understanding of the threat and its approach to contending with that danger flow directly from his conviction that they have nothing to do with Islam, except to the extent al Qaeda “perverts” or “hijacks” that religion.
But what if this characterization of the problem we continue to face nine years after 9/11 is simply and utterly wrong? What if there actually is a direct tie between what recognized, mainstream authorities of Islam call “shariah” and the jihad (or holy war) it demands of adherents, some of which is manifested as terrifying violence?
What if, in addition, jihadists engage in non-violent – and, in some ways, far more insidious – efforts to accomplish the same goal: the supremacy of shariah worldwide under a caliph?
These questions have been the focus of an intensive six-month study by a remarkable group of highly accomplished civilian and military national security professionals. Notable among its members are former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lieutenant General Harry “Ed” Soyster, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy.
Together, this group has formed a “Team B,” modeled after a similar initiative that supplied at a critical moment during the Cold War a second opinion on Soviet intentions and capabilities, a study that helped shape and underpin Ronald Reagan’s efforts to challenge the form of appeasement of our totalitarian ideological foes known at the time as “détente.” Ultimately, that Team B report helped underpin his strategy as President to take down the USSR.
Like its predecessor, today’s Team B II has provided a dramatically divergent “second opinion” from the official U.S. government (“Team A”) party line on the most important challenge of our time. Its just-released report, Shariah: The Threat to America, counters the notion that the present totalitarian ideology bent on our destruction can be safely ignored, misconstrued or appeased in the name of the contemporary counterpart to détente: “engagement.”
Starting today, Big Peace is going to feature segments of this report that demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt a troubling reality: The Obama administration and its immediate predecessors under both political parties – along with many state and local governments – have been blind, in some cases willfully so and in every case perilously so, to fundamental facts: the true nature of the enemy we confront; what actually animates him; the progress he is making towards achieving our destruction; and what we need to do to prevent his success.
This situation is dangerous in the extreme to our Constitution, freedoms, form of government and security. It must not be allowed to persist.
As a critical step toward the needed corrective, Team B II is proud to present its contribution to a long-overdue and urgently needed national debate about the true wellspring of jihadism: shariah. The findings of this study are as compelling as they are authoritative.
At a midday press conference on Capitol Hill today, members of Team B II presented their report and findings and to leading legislators with defense and foreign policy responsibilities. In the days to come, here at Big Peace and across the Nation, we hope to ensure that our elected representatives – both those currently serving and those aspiring to do so – are equipped and held accountable for the knowable facts contained in Shariah: The Threat to America, and taking the steps needed to defeat that threat and keep America shariah-free.