Since my good friend Andy McCarthy has just come out with such an important book I decided to devote this week's column to it.
At some future date, when what Andrew C. McCarthy calls "the freedom culture" is again secure (we hope), the jihad-opposition will see itself divided into two camps in histories written about our current time: those who ineffectually supported efforts to stop "terrorism," and other supposedly generic outbreaks of violence in such lands as Iraq and Afghanistan; and those, far fewer in number (at least in that difficult decade following 9/11), who recognized terrorism as but one aspect of the civilizational assault emanating from expansionist Islam.
If the freedom culture wins, it will be because the latter group grew in influence. And if the latter group grows in influence, it will be due to such books as McCarthy's excellent, ground-breaking new work, "The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America."
Islam and the Left? Since this notion will raise some eyebrows, I asked Andy himself to elaborate on this and some other related questions.
Q: Why are Islam and the Left, as you demonstrate in "The Grand Jihad," not such strange bedfellows?
A: "For all their disagreements on matters like women's rights, gay rights and abortion, Islam and the Left are in harmony on big-picture matters: They are authoritarian, totalitarian in the sense of wanting to control all aspects of human existence, virulently anti-capitalist, and regard the individual as existing merely to serve the collective. Consequently, they have the same obstacle in common: our freedom culture - i.e., Western liberalism, U.S. constitutional republicanism, and their foundation, individual liberty. Historically, Islam and the Left ally when there is a common enemy. But I'd stress that what I am talking about here is an alliance, not a merger. I am not claiming, as someone ridiculously suggested to me the day the book came out, that Barack Obama wants to impose Sharia."
That appropriately noted, the book does highlight the closely interweaving principles of Islam and the Left, the ummah (Islamic community) and ACORN, both of which "bore from within," in Saul Alinsky's phrase, to hollow out what we might think of as "the Unum" -- as in E Pluribus Unum. Linking these points, having documented President Obama's career as a community organizer, his embrace of ACORN, his radical associations, Andrew writes in "The Grand Jihad":
"The common denominator (throughout Obama's career) is a purpose to break down the Unum at its foundations, what he (Obama) called the `grass roots.' For America he plans an atom bomb. Or to be more precise, an atoms bomb: countless communities in cities and towns across the land, organized along Saul Alinsky's brand of Marxism, into socialist enclaves. It fits hand and glove with Yusuf Qaradawi's voluntary (Islamic) apartheid, the enclave strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Each atom smothers the individual freedom and enterprise that have defined the American character, replacing it with welfare states that prize dysfunction and reward the rabble-rousers."
But we ignore the assault through "willful blindness," to borrow the title of Andrew McCarthy's first book about his role as a federal prosecutor in convicting the "blind sheik" and his accomplices for bombing the World Trade Center in 1993. Instead, he observes in the book, our policy-makers obsess over "one tactic, terrorism" while ignoring terrorism's goal: Islamization through the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). I asked him to explain.
He replied: "From the beginning of my involvement in counterterrorism in the early nineties, I've been struck by the government's portrayal of terrorists as beasts who kill for no better reason than to kill - as if the fact that they are brutal means that they are insane. Government does this as part of its narrative that terrorists couldn't possibly be accurately representing a well-grounded interpretation of Islam, and therefore must be `perverting' or `hijacking' Islam, or must be traitors against the `true Islam.'
"There is a logic to terrorism. It is jihad, the purpose of which is to implement, spread, defend or vindicate Sharia, the Muslim legal code. Sharia is deemed in Islamist ideology to be the necessary precondition to Islamicizing a society. Once you realize that, you quickly realize that the same Sharia-driven campaign can be waged, and is being waged, by non-violent means, and that the violent and non-violent methods are inextricably linked."
Read "The Grand Jihad" and so realize. And quickly!