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Challenging the Center for American Progress to a Debate on Shariah


A few weeks ago, ThinkProgess’ blogger Matt Duss collaborated with someone named Wajahat Ali, a Huffington Post writer, to produce a white paper, “Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking.” The paper was a response to the success of the Center for Security Policy’s Team B II report, Shariah: the Threat to America.

As something ostensibly “serious,” offered as a PDF on the Soros-funded CAP’s website, the paper was the most lightweight and propagandistic treatment of the subject matter I’d ever seen. It’s the product of a blogger (Matt Duss), who’s not used to having to back up his case with facts for his readers at ThinkProgress; they already agree on all points, and merely require some talking points to continue despising conservatives with face-twitching intensity.

Proving the Center for American Progress is not at all serious as a ‘think-tank,’ “Understanding Sharia Law” is a 6-page response to a nearly 400 page book (Shariah: The Threat to America). While you can’t tell everything from the number of references or pages, in this case it’s as good an example as you’re going to get: Number of endnotes in Shariah: The Threat to America: 456, pointing, in the main, to the most authoritative, mainstream Shariah texts. Number of endnotes in Duss’ response: 18 (8 of which point to the Team B II report itself), and none of which are in any way authoritative views on what Shariah is.

That's Matt Duss of ThinkProgress, above, with the image of Hassan al-Banna wearing a fez. Banna was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

Before I responded in print on behalf of the Center for Security Policy and my colleagues, I wanted a chance to debate Duss on Shariah’s threat myself, in public. It’s important to expose the total lack of facts, the misleading and childish characterizations of their opponents’ position, and the adolescent snark. I thought a YouTube video of an extended debate would show just how vapid an understanding the “best and brightest” of the left has on the subject of Shariah and Islam.

I thought it would be priceless to confront Duss– so pitch-perfect an example of far-left opinion on national security– and, in two emails I sent him, I offered to meet him anywhere, and give proceeds to a mutually agreed-on charity. He declined, saying the paper “should stand on its own.” I even offered to debate anyone else from the Center for American Progress; perhaps someone who’s less of a lightweight on national security matters. No dice, even then.

What Soros’ assets like CAP, ThinkProgress (and, I should add, MediaMatters) do, professionally, doesn’t include serious debate on pressing matters of domestic and foreign policy. They’re propagandists operating a political warfare operation meant to push this country farther and farther leftward, into territory that would have us be tremendously vulnerable to threats. Matt Duss and his ilk spend blog post after blog post smearing my colleagues Frank Gaffney and David Yerushalmi, downplaying the danger of a global jihadist movement gaining strength, and getting link after link in a leftist whirlwind that includes MSNBC and, distressingly, today’s White House. But there’s nothing there but offensive, mocking poison and snark; they can’t– and won’t– debate Shariah or jihad without embarrassing themselves. And they know it.

I’ll have to content myself with a response to “Understanding Sharia Law.” It won’t be as much fun as taking its author on in public. But I’m here, if he reconsiders.

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