In remarks last week, Donald Trump once again made headlines about the threat we face from Islamic supremacism. As he succinctly put it, “Islam hates us.”
In the course of the most recent Republican debate, he refused to back away from that assertion, bringing a variety of responses from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination and harsh criticism from some Muslims, their allies on the left and media outlets.
This is a conversation that is long overdue and needs to be had as we decide not only on the next Commander-in-Chief, but whether to provide a national security mandate for our 45th President.
It would be a more illuminating conversation – and a better guide for policy – if we are clear about our terms. There is no getting around the fact that the practice of Islam as defined by the faith’s authorities (e.g., Al-Azhar University, the clerical leaders of Saudi Arabia, the mullahs of Iran, etc.) is hateful towards those like us, who believe that our government should be defined by a man-made Constitution, not by the dictates of a deity like Allah codified in a doctrine like sharia.
That said, there are Muslims who do not practice Islam in accordance with sharia. They generally don’t want to live under its brutal repression, let alone seek to impose it on others. In fact, many of them came to this country to get away from that totalitarian program in their native lands.
Unfortunately, the folks who define Islam don’t think, as we do, that such folks are “good Muslims.” They think they are apostates. And that can be treated as a capital offense under sharia.
But ignoring these non-sharia-adherent Muslims or, worse yet, lumping them in with those who do follow sharia, is not only inaccurate. It is counterproductive. The former do not necessarily hate us; the latter are obliged to do so by what they consider to be divine direction.
For this reason, we should define the problem as the hateful doctrine of sharia and the Islamic supremacists who are determined to ensure that the entire world submits to it. Sharia not only hates us. If not thwarted, the successful imposition of sharia will achieve the end to which those who hate us – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – aspire: our destruction as a free nation and people.
Our understanding of this reality is made more complicated by the lengths to which those who should know better are going to obscure it. That’s the subject of a new book my colleague Clare Lopez and I have just published entitled See No Sharia: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Lines of Defense. It chronicles how this administration and the preceding one have insisted that “Islam is a religion of peace,” that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that those engaged in such terror are hijacking and perverting the Islamic faith.
Such comments ignore sharia and its animating of jihad, including both the violent kind and the pre-violent, stealthy sort the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.” Bad as the implications of such official dissembling or willful blindness are, matters are made worse by the fact that other influencers, including the mainstream media, are also aiding and abetting the enemy.
A prime example of the sort of propagandizing being done by some in the press was aired by National Public Radio last week. During NPR’s Morning Edition, reporter Tom Gjelten fawningly and at great length profiled an initiative called “Celebrate Mercy.” Gjelten uncritically repeated incorrect claims by Dalia Mogahed, who had previously worked in the White House as an advisor to President Obama and who even the far-left Daily Kos pegged correctly as “a Muslim Brotherhood apologist.” Mogahed claimed Mohammed’s time in Medina showed him to be an exemplar of peace and tolerance and, if only Muslims model their lives on his, they will eschew radicalization.
In point of fact, the Medina period of Mohammed’s life as depicted in Islam’s revered texts is the feedstock of sharia’s doctrine of conquest, submission and jihadism. Efforts to urge conformity with it as the perfect model for the faithful Muslim is actually the agenda of so-called “radicals” and “violent extremists.” Kyle Shideler makes this point in the Federalist:
What Moghed does not say and the entire NPR article fails to address is that Islamists view Mohammed’s behavior in Medina as an example for establishing Islam as the dominant political system, at the expense of the Jews, which Islamic historiography identifies as being massacred and expelled. Moghed herself can scarcely be unaware of this, seeing as ISPU is itself a pro-Islamist think tank include numerous Muslim Brotherhood-associated thinkers.
What makes matters worse is this bottom line: Our ignoring, downplaying or misrepresenting the virulent hatred felt by sharia-adherent Muslims towards those of us in what they call the Dar al Harb, or House of War (i.e., the non-Muslim world), is seen by the jihadists not as “political correctness” or diversity sensitivity. Instead, they perceive it as evidence of the West’s submission. And, according to sharia, the appropriate response is for Islamists to redouble their efforts to make the infidel, in the words of the Koran, “feel subdued.” That means more jihad, not less.
In short, sharia hates us, its adherents are obliged to try to make us submit to their repression and, when we show signs of doing so, they will use whatever means are at hand – including more violence – to finish our destruction. We need a Commander-in-Chief who gets all that and will respond effectively.
To that end, let’s hope that Donald Trump’s latest comments about Islam will be but the beginning of a serious and informed national debate.