The Shariah Threat to America

Nine years ago, another in a decades-long assault on the U.S. and Western interests was carried out by mujahideen -- Islamic jihad warriors. September 11 didn't launch this existential threat of jihad, but it certainly exposed the underbelly of American vulnerability like no other previous attack (including the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon a decade before that).

That vulnerable underbelly is not, as some have contended, our "freedoms." There is no "tension," as many commentators suggest, between freedom and security. The idea that there is a natural tension is evidence that the pundit has adopted nihilism as the "natural" or "preferred" political order and views every act of securing the realm a diminution of a libertine anarchy.

In fact, political order based upon an equal treatment before the law as grounded in a constitution founded upon the Judeo-Christian tenet that society consists first of individuals who come together to form a People through representative government, stands not on the shoulders of libertarian nihilists, but on those who cherish the political order which gives voice to the individual -- his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

No, the underbelly of American vulnerability exposed by the jihadi existential threat is the modern idea that despises the fact of a discreet and identifiable American people. Or, or to put it in a more modern parlance, our progressive elites, who control the educational system and mainstream media, reject national existence. These progressives despise and seek to destroy any vestige of national sovereignty by embracing a transnationalism that would render national sovereignty an anachronism in the face of world governmental bodies to which we should all bow, Obama-like, such as the U.N. or the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

In a word, this underbelly of vulnerability is the inability to accept that the American people as a nation unlike any other nation is worth defending and that there are enemies allied and aligned against us precisely because of who we are. Quite simply, our enemies are at war with us because of our nation's greatness and the world's dependence on that greatness.

This underbelly expresses itself in our military, law enforcement, and political elites -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- refusing to come to terms with the existential threat we face from Islamic terrorists. It is simply incredible that nine years post-9/11, there has been no definitive study or analysis made public, even in unclassified form, which identifies the "common enemy threat doctrine" of the world's Islamic terrorists.

Yet if you read their jihad tracts and listen carefully to their pronouncements, the mujahideen from the Arabic-speaking Middle East variety -- from the Farsi-speaking Persians, the Indian-Pakistani Urdu-speakers, and the tribal Afghans and their Pashtu dialects to the Arabic speaking Africans of the Maghreb, and down to the multilingual sub-Saharan tribes -- all embrace the all-encompassing theo-political-military-legal doctrinal system of shariah as the basis for their actions. In other words, these grossly disparate cultures with no common language, history, or political grievances all come together to agree on one thing: Islamic law -- shariah -- binds them to strive with life and limb (the root word in Arabic: j-h-d) to impose a worldwide political hegemony, called the Caliphate, on the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

Under shariah, Muslim unbelievers are labeled apostates and warned to repent; if they do not, they are murdered. Non-Muslims, called infidels, are given the following choices: convert, agree to live under an apartheid-like system as a subjugated second-class resident called ahl al-dhimma, or be prepared for the violent death of jihad. 

There are two brute facts about the shariah common denominator among the world's fully committed mujahideen and the still dangerous but lesser committed jihad sympathizers -- collectively numbering in the hundreds of millions according to surveys in the Muslim world.

FACT ONE: The shariah doctrine which calls for the murder of apostates and jihad against the infidels is not some perversion of a peaceful Islamic law. 

Shariah by its own terms is a holistic doctrine and system not subject to division such that the innocuous ritual laws -- for example, those that regulate diet -- can be amputated and cauterized from the broader corpus which divides the world up into the dar al-Islam (the realm of peace) and dar al-harb (that part of the world controlled by infidels and therefore in a state of constant war with the Muslim realm as a matter of doctrine).

FACT TWO: U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, military, and political authorities have not as of yet conducted a serious study and analysis of shariah as the common enemy threat doctrine. 

That is, the authorities who have taken an oath to protect and defend our lives and our Constitution from this nation's enemies have consciously chosen not to engage the enemy by willfully failing to "Know the Enemy," the most fundamental rule of successful warfare. What drives this failing is not the lack of empirical evidence of the threat doctrine, but the politically correct fear that identifying shariah as the enemy threat doctrine will somehow make hundreds of millions of "moderate" Muslims go "radical" and join the jihad, either in body or in spirit via aid and comfort. Ergo, we live in a P.C.-fear mode, ever mindful of the threat from "radicalized" "moderate" Muslims.

All of this came to an end yesterday, September 15, 2010, with the publication of The Shariah Threat To America, published under the auspices of the Center for Security Policy, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank founded in 1988 and headed by Frank Gaffney. Mr. Gaffney was acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control, and U.S.-European defense relations, under President Reagan.

The book-length analysis of shariah as the enemy threat doctrine, subtitled An Exercise in Competitive Analysis: Report of Team 'B' II, is modeled after the 1976 document known as the "Team B Report," which was the original "exercise in competitive analysis" by CIA outsiders who challenged the then-prevailing official U.S. government intelligence estimates of the intentions and offensive capabilities of the Soviet Union and the policy known as "détente" that such estimates ostensibly justified.

Quite simply, the 2010 version of Team B's competitive analysis challenges the politically correct dogma dominating our defense, law enforcement, and intelligence establishment elites. To wit, the terrorism conducted throughout the world against the U.S. and its allies has nothing to do with Islam, and to the extent it does, it is an absolute perversion of extant and authoritative Islamic law and doctrine. As with many dogmatic positions, very little substantive analysis of the empirical evidence supports this politically correct narrative myth, which nine years after 9/11 continues to dominate and blind those in charge of our national defense from knowing who our enemies are and, even more importantly, why they have aligned against us in a global war of terror.

The key findings of the Team 'B' II Report are as follows:

  • The United States is under attack by foes who are openly animated by what is known in Islam as shariah (Islamic law).
  • Shariah is based on the Quran, hadiths (sayings of Mohammed), and agreed interpretations. It commands Muslims to carry out jihad (holy war) indefinitely until all of the dar al-harb (i.e., the House of War, where shariah is not enforced) is brought under the domination of dar al-Islam (the House of Islam -- or literally, the House of Submission, where shariah is enforced).
  • Shariah dictates that non-Muslims be given three choices: convert to Islam and conform to shariah, submit as second-class citizens (dhimmis), or be killed. Not all classes are given the second option.
  • Both Islamic terrorism and pre-violent "civilization jihad" (popularly referred to as "stealth jihad") are commanded by shariah. That is not the view of only "extremists" and "fringe" elements "hijacking the religion," but of many authorities of Islam widely recognized as mainstream and drawing upon orthodox texts, interpretations, and practices of the faith.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood is the font of modern Islamic jihad. It is dedicated to the same global supremacist objectives as those (like al-Qaeda and the Taliban) who share its adherence to shariah but who believe that violent jihad is more likely to more quickly produce the common goal of a global caliphate.
  • The Brotherhood's internal documents make clear that civilization jihad is subversion waged by stealth instead of violence only until such time as Muslims are powerful enough to progress to violent jihad for the final conquest.
  • Those who work to insinuate shariah into the United States intend to subvert and replace the Constitution (itself a violation of Article VI) because, according to shariah, freedom of religion, other civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution, and the rule of man-made law are incompatible with Islam (which means "submission").
  • The shariah-adherent enemy prioritizes "information warfare," manifested in American society as political warfare, psychological warfare, influence operations, and subversion of our foundational institutions. Our government structure fails to recognize this strategy because it is focused so exclusively on kinetic attacks. As a result, the United States remains crippled in its inability to engage this enemy effectively on his primary battlefield.
  • The Brotherhood exploits the atmosphere of intimidation created by Islamic terrorists, thus inculcating in the West a perceived need for "outreach" to the "Muslim community," which, in turn, opens up opportunities to pursue a campaign of stealthy infiltration into American and other Western societies. The combined effect of such "civilization jihad" and jihadism of the violent kind may prove to be considerably more dangerous for this country and other Western societies than violent jihad alone.
  • The Brotherhood has succeeded in penetrating our educational, legal, and political systems, as well as top levels of government, intelligence, the media, and U.S. military, virtually paralyzing our ability to respond effectively.
  • Muslim Brotherhood organizations conduct outreach to the government, law enforcement, media, religious community, and others for one reason: to subvert them in furtherance of their objective, which is implementation of Islamic Law.
  • An informed and determined counter-strategy to defend the Constitution from shariah can yet succeed -- provided it is undertaken in the prompt, timely, and comprehensive manner recommended by Team B II.

While this Team 'B' report will not, and should not, be the final word on the analysis of the enemy and its threat doctrine, it is by light-years the most rigorous and empirically true analysis conducted to date. All of us who worked on the Team 'B' II Report tirelessly over many months can only hope those in positions of authority will finally break free of the PC chains of fear and denial and engage this competitive analysis seriously. Their oath of office demands no less.

The members of Team 'B' II, of which I am honored to have been a part, include some of the best minds on national security, defense, and the law this country has to offer.  They include:

  • Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Christine Brim -- Chief Operating Officer, Center for Security Policy
  • Ambassador Henry Cooper -- former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq. -- Major (Res.) USA, former Senior Consultant, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Michael Del Rosso -- Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute and Center for Security Policy
  • Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. -- former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting), President, Center for Security Policy
  • John Guandolo -- former Special Agent, Counter-Terrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Brian Kennedy -- President, Claremont Institute
  • Clare M. Lopez -- Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy
  • Admiral James A. "Ace" Lyons -- U.S. Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet
  • Andrew C. McCarthy -- former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney (Southern District of New York); Senior Fellow, National Review Institute; Contributing Editor, National Review
  • Patrick Poole -- Consultant to the military and law enforcement on antiterrorism issues
  • Joseph E. Schmitz -- former Inspector General, Department of Defense
  • Tom Trento -- Executive Director, Florida Security Council
  • J. Michael Waller -- Annenberg Professor of International Communication, Institute of World Politics, and Vice President for Information Operations, Center for Security Policy
  • Diana West -- author and columnist
  • R. James Woolsey -- former Director of Central Intelligence
David Yerushalmi is a litigator and serves as general counsel to the Center for Security Policy. He is considered a leading expert on Islamic law and its intersection with Islamic terrorism and national security and was a member of Team 'B' II.
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