December 28, 2010
Bill O'Reilly's Mindslaughter
By Andrew G. Bostom
It is somewhat ironic that immensely popular Fox News host Bill O'Reilly epitomizes willful blindness to Sharia, or Islamic Law, encroachment in the US. Mr. O'Reilly has been pilloried by the left for both his undeniably accurate statements that the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/2001 were committed by Muslims and, more broadly, his commonsensical recognition of the global plethora of jihad-related "Muslim problems" outside the U.S.
Nonetheless, Mr. O'Reilly is in lockstep with his media and political antagonists when it comes to glib, ignorant denial regarding the pervasive support for Sharia by mainstream Islamic religious organizations, and Muslim religious leaders, in America.
Mr. O'Reilly's uninformed statements illustrate the contemporary equivalent of what Robert Conquest, the preeminent scholar of Soviet Communist totalitarianism, appositely characterized as "mindslaughter" -- a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism and the tangible horrors its Communist votaries inflicted. Conquest, in his elucidation of Western vulnerability to totalitarian ideologies, wrote that democracy itself is "far less a matter of institutions than habits of mind" -- the latter being subject to constant "stresses and strains." He then notes the disturbingly widespread acceptance of totalitarian concepts amongst the ordinary citizens of pluralist Western societies.
Many in the West gave their full allegiance to these alien beliefs. Many others were at any rate not ill disposed towards them. And beyond that there was...a sort of secondary infection of the mental atmosphere of the West which still to some degree persists, distorting thought in countries that escaped the more wholesale disasters of our time.
But Conquest evinces no sympathy for those numerous "Western intellectuals or near intellectuals" of the 1930s through the 1950s whose willful delusions about the Soviet Union "will be incredible to later students of mental aberration." His critique of Western media highlights a tendency which has persisted and intensified over the intervening decades and through to the present. O'Reilly's personal see-no-Sharia-mindslaughter was displayed vividly when he offered to wield a hammer on behalf of the Ground Zero Mosque project. His statement revealed a basic ignorance of mosque promoter Feisal Rauf's expressed ideology, including the imam's Sharia-based conception of "peace" itself -- more accurately, a global Pax Islamica. Subsequently, O'Reilly has reiterated his brazen -- albeit clueless -- denial of aggressive Sharia promotion in the U.S. He hectored courageous victims of Sharia-promoting jihadism such as Brigitte Gabriel and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser on this specific point ("They are not getting anywhere in the U.S. ... The Muslim Brotherhood is making no inroads in the U.S.") and later repeated this empty-headed pronouncement as a putative "rebuttal" to Dr. Monica Crowley's concern about stealth jihadism:
But that [Sharia-promoting stealth jihadism] hasn't taken root here. There is no evidence of that. Western Europe is a whole different story. You'd have to prove it to me that it's happening here. And I haven't seen that. ... [Y]ou've got to show me the hard data.
As I pointed out earlier, there is nothing "nuanced" about Imam Feisal Rauf's belief in the primacy of Sharia in society -- any society -- despite its permanent advocacy of jihad and dehumanizing injunctions on non-Muslims and women. And Rauf also charts how the U.S. could evolve toward what is clearly his ultimate goal -- an Islamic State -- beginning with a parallel Sharia judiciary. However, it is Rauf's earlier 1999 "Islam: A Sacred Law: What Every Muslim Should Know About Sharia" which makes unmistakably clear both the triumphal basis for his pious Muslim desire to impose Islamic law and the far-reaching effects of this application. Pace witless, apologetic assessments by non-Muslim public intellectuals and talking heads, such as Bill O'Reilly, irrespective of their political ideology, Imam Rauf's unabashed support for a holistic application of Sharia reflects the prevailing attitudes -- and goals -- of the U.S. Muslim community. Confirmatory evidence of this widespread, dangerous American Muslim phenomenon abounds, despite being almost universally and willfully ignored -- from ominous polling data to jihad funding trial revelations and the content of more banal Muslim litigation proceedings, mosque surveillance reports, analyses of Islamic education institutions and their Muslim schoolchildren's textbooks, the issuance of obscurantist "fatwas" (Islamic legal rulings) by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, and finally, an open declaration by one of America's largest mainstream Muslims organizations, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), in its 2010 ICNA Member's Hand Book, calling for the (re)creation of a global Muslim Caliphate and the imposition of Sharia law in America. Salient details from these illustrative examples include the following:
- Data (compiled here) from an April 2001 survey performed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealing that 69% of American Muslims in America affirmed that it was "absolutely fundamental" or "very important" to have Salafi (i.e., fundamentalist Islamic) teachings at their mosques, while 67% of respondents agreed with the statement "America is an immoral, corrupt society." Another poll conducted in Detroit area mosques during 2003 found that 81% of the respondents endorsed the application of the Sharia where Muslims constitued a majority.
- An internal Muslim Brotherhood statement dated May 22, 1991, whose contents were revealed during the Texas Holy Land Foundation jihad-terrorism funding trial. 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, the document, entitled "An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America," is indeed self-explanatory:
The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.
- The Mapping Shariah Project's initial findings from one hundred mosques randomly selected across the U.S. testing the hypothesis that Sharia adherence within mosques (including, among many other factors, gender separation, clothing, male facial hair, jewelry, strictness on alignment shoulder-to-shoulder during prayer, etc.) would correlate with incitement to jihadism, revealed the following:
- 75% of the mosques are Sharia-adherent (on a scale of 1-10, they are 7 or higher).
- 25% of the mosques were very low Sharia-adherent (1-2 on the scale).
- The correlation between Sharia-adherence and the use of literature calling for violence against the infidel and apostate and jihad was 0.9 -- an almost 1:1 relationship.
- In most mosques where this violent literature was found, the imam actively encouraged the Mapping Shariah Project's researcher posing as a new attendee to study this violent material.
- A provisional inquiry by the Public Policy Alliance uncovered seventeen instances in eleven states of American judges accepting "input" from Sharia in rendering judgments, including an odious, widely publicized New Jersey ruling that upheld Sharia-sanctioned marital rape. Appellate court intervention was required to reverse this ruling in July 2010 -- Western legal norms prevailing over the Sharia -- with the presiding judge soberly concluding that the Muslim husband's "conduct in engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his [Islamic] religion permitted him to act as he did." Completely ignored at the time of these New Jersey proceedings was the fact that marital rape is not recognized as criminal -- i.e., it is sanctioned by a fatwa of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (see below)!
- Investigations of textbooks widely used in the New York city area Islamic schools, as well as the Islamic Saudi Academy of Fairfax, Virginia, which discovered the inculcation of Sharia supremacism, including sacralized disparagement and hatred of non-Muslims, especially Jews. When questioned for the March 30, 2003 NY Daily News story on New York area Islamic school textbooks, Yahiya Emerick, head of a Queens-based nonprofit curriculum development project for the Islamic Foundation of North America, defended the language in these books, denying that they were inflammatory. Emerick opined:
Islam, like any belief system, believes its program is better than others. I don't feel embarrassed to say that ... [The books] are directed to kids in a Muslim educational environment. They must learn and appreciate there are differences between what they have and what other religions teach. It's telling kids that we have our own tradition.
- The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), whose mission statement maintains the organization was "founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America...AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation's laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities," is accepted as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its recent seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, "blasphemers" (including non-Muslims guilty of this "crime"), and adulterers (by stoning to death). Furthermore, these rulings condone marital rape.
- Finally, as reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of the largest mainstream U.S. Muslim organizations, in its 2010 ICNA Member's Hand Book, openly acknowledges being the American branch of a global jihadist phenomenon referred to as the "Islamic Movement." The 2010 Hand Book observes that branches of this movement "are active in various parts of the world to achieve the same objectives. It is our obligation as Muslims to engage in the same noble cause here in North America." These efforts will culminate in the (re)creation of a transnational Islamic superstate, the Caliphate, under the Sharia.
... the united Muslim Ummah [community] in a united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari'ah.
The appropriate concluding question, in light of this mountain of disturbing evidence, might be "What is to be undone?" -- invoking ideals and motivations directly opposed to the Leninist mantra. We must promote the Sharia educational and anti-Sharia advocacy resources provided, in particular, by the Center for Security Policy under the aegis of the indefatigable Frank Gaffney.
As a tenacious fighter against both Nazi and Communist totalitarianism, historian Karl Wittfogel (d. 1988) was optimistic that "[a] new insight that is fully perceived, convincingly communicated, and daringly applied may change the face of a military and political campaign. It may change the face of a historical crisis."
Identifying and vociferously rejecting the encroachment of Islamic Sharia is the apposite "insight" for our era applying Wittfogel's paradigm.
Wittfogel concluded his great 1957 work on pre-modern Eastern totalitarianism, Oriental Despotism -- A Comparative Study of Total Power, with what remain defining questions for free Western societies confronting Islamic totalitarianism more than a half century later. Wittfogel ultimately cites Herodotus, the West's first true historian, to remind us of the most appropriate -- and courageous -- inspiration:
Ultimately, the readiness to sacrifice and the willingness to take the calculated risk of alliance against the total enemy depend upon the proper evaluation of two simple issues: slavery and freedom.
The good citizens of classical Greece drew strength from the determination of two of their countrymen, Sperthias and Bulis, to resist the lure of total power. On their way to Suza, the Spartan envoys were met by Hydarnes, a high Persian official, who offered to make them mighty in their homeland, if only they would attach themselves to the Great King, his despotic master. To the benefit of Greece-and to the benefit of all free men-Herodotus has preserved their answer. "Hydarnes," they said, "thou art a one-sided counselor. Thou has experience of half the matter; but the other half is beyond thy knowledge. A slave's life thou understandest; but, never having tasted liberty, thou canst not tell whether it be sweet or no. Ah! Hadst thou known what freedom is, thou wouldst have bidden us fight for it, not with spear only, but with the battle-axe."