June 3, 2010
The Grand JihadBy Andrew G. Bostom
During an address on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan, the Obama administration's lead counterterrorism adviser, provided a transparently bowdlerized perspective on jihad. Brennan's statements were breathtaking in their profound cognitive dissonance regarding this uniquely Islamic institution, which continues to wreak daily havoc in our era.
Despite over 15,350 jihad terror attacks by Muslims worldwide since the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism committed against the United States itself on September 11, 2001, Brennan insisted,
Closing this willfully blind circle of "reasoning," Brennan further asserted that "describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism -- that the United States is somehow at war against Islam."
Brennan's views -- a dangerous concatenation of hard-left, Islamophilic cultural relativism and the relentless, successful "Islamic dawa" efforts of generations of jihadists -- represent the apotheosis of phenomena analyzed with uncompromising lucidity in Andrew McCarthy's The Grand Jihad.
An accomplished former federal prosecutor, McCarthy convicted the infamous jihadist "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman for his role in orchestrating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning other acts of jihad terror. McCarthy recounted this prosecution in a prior book, Willful Blindness, which characterized the motivating Islamic ideology, goals, and methods of contemporary purveyors of violent jihad. He juxtaposed their openly declared jihad war campaign to the "conscious avoidance" of this threat by both America's leadership elite and its masses in a game effort "to expose this suicide ethos as it pertained to maintaining our security against the terrorist threat." In The Grand Jihad, McCarthy extends these previous observations, and focuses upon the more pervasive threat of jihad's non-violent manifestations, which he describes so appositely, as
Central to McCarthy's presentation -- and containing key extracts eponymous to the book's title -- is a document whose contents were revealed during the Texas Holy Land Foundation jihad-terrorism funding trial. This internal Muslim Brotherhood statement dated May 22, 1991 was written by an acolyte of the Brotherhood's major theoretician, lionized Qatari cleric, popular Al-Jazeera television personality, and head of the European Fatwa Council Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Entitled "An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America," the document is indeed self-explanatory.
The Grand Jihad's masterful, remarkably compendious narrative elucidates how the Muslim Brotherhood program has taken shape, concretely, in America. McCarthy offers this summary assessment:
And McCarthy amplifies this discussion by placing such developments within their global Islamic context, past and present, doctrinal and historical. He boldly introduces the reader to all of the following, without apologetics: how Islam's understanding of freedom (hurriyya in Arabic) as "perfect slavery to Allah" is antithetical to uniquely Western notions of individual liberty; the doubly totalitarian nature of Islamic jihadism and its accompanying goal of the universal imposition of Islamic Law (Shari'a) on all of humanity; and, finally, contemporary polling data from a rigorously conducted survey indicating that fully two-thirds of a representative sample of the entire global Muslim community (i.e., Muslims from Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia) favor the "strict application" of the Shari'a and the (re-)creation of a transnational Islamic superstate, or Caliphate.
McCarthy's informed, forthright contemporary presentation recalls the intellectual and moral clarity -- and urgency -- of his legal antecedent, Antoine Fattal, expressed five decades earlier.
Nine years ago, via the wise and generous mentoring of Bat Ye'or and David Littman, I was introduced to the writings of Fattal. Perhaps best known for serving the Lebanese administration under Amin Gemayel and negotiating a May 1983 Peace Treaty with Israel the Syrians later forced the Lebanese to abrogate, Antoine Fattal (d. 1987) was an esteemed law professor. Fattal also wrote Le Statut légal des non-Musulmans en pays d'Islam, which remains one of the seminal works describing what Bat Ye'or subsequently termed "dhimmitude," the legal status of non-Muslims vanquished by jihad and living under Islamic law. Fattal's treatise contains timeless insights on the jihad and concludes with a very prescient warning about the real peril of this living, uniquely Islamic institution, sounded in 1958 -- the year Le Statut légal des non-Musulmans en pays d'Islam was published.*
Fattal's meticulous study of the foundational Islamic texts and jurisprudence crystallized these classical formulations of the jihad as an open-ended, religiously-mandated war of aggression.
After similarly detailed attention to the doctrinal and historical legacy of jihad-imposed dhimmitude, Fattal observed,
And Fattal concluded his scholarly 1958 analysis with this warning, which anticipates by fifty years McCarthy's even more pressing admonition to abandon our delusional complacency, and now.
Andrew McCarthy closes The Grand Jihad with an aptly trenchant commentary on Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey's absurd yet pathognomonic observations following Nidal Hasan's act of mass-murdering jihad terror at Fort Hood. Epitomizing how the toxic amalgam of cultural relativism and Islamophilic jihad-denial fostered by Islamic propaganda has infested even our highest military institutions, Casey whimpered during an NBC News interview, "And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." McCarthy's rejoinder notes the opposite views of Hasan's jihad martyrdom operation taken by modern violent jihadists, and their broad-based ideological, if not tactical, supporters within the entire global Muslim community, represented by the Organization of the Islamic Conference -- and Koran 3:110.
In the years just prior to his September 1982 assassination, Bashir Gemayel, the late Lebanese president whose surviving administration (under his brother Amin) Antoine Fattal served, implored Lebanon's indigenous non-Muslims not to accept their dhimmitude (see pp. 43,150,219,236,238,290,298,411) while repeatedly urging Western governments to defend the core values of Western civilization (see pp.12,15-16) against encroaching jihadism. Andrew McCarthy's brilliant jeremiad The Grand Jihad echoes Gemayel's sentiments, updated for our era. Let us pray that his clarion call is heeded.
(*English translation of extracts from Fattal's Le Statut légal des non-Musulmans en pays d'Islam, Beirut, 1958, derive from A.E. Vacalopoulos, The Greek Nation, 1453-1669, New Brunswick, 1976, David Littman and Bat Ye'or, Protected Peoples Under Islam, Geneva, 1976 and my own The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, 2005. Additional material was kindly translated by Nidra Poller.)