Earlier this week, I participated in the Center for Security Policy's Defeat Jihad Summit.
I find that the several hours of speeches and discussion have distilled into some salient recollections and comments.
1) There remains a chasm between American "messaging" and that of some of our European friends who were invited to speak, including the Netherlands' Geert Wilders, who contributed a taped message, and Lars Hedegaard, who addressed the conference via Skype from Denmark.
American participants in the main demand, even a little truculently, that we now, finally, break the bonds of "political correctness" and speak frankly about "radical Islam," "Islamism," "ideas of ISIS," etc.
Wilders, whose Party for Freedom is No. 1 in the Dutch polls, and Dispatch International editor Hedegaard both speak, and have always spoken about "Islam" -- pure and very simple.
Indeed, Wilders has encapsulated everything you need to know about Islam and the West thus: "The more Islam there is in a society, the less freedom there is."
This difference is more than semantic.
The primary mechanism of control that Islam exerts over people is Islamic slander law, Islamic blasphemy law. This is the institutional means by which Islam protects itself against criticism, even objective facts about Islam that might be construed critically. The penalty is death. Not for nothing did Yusef Qaradawi state that Islam wouldn't even exist without the death penalty for "apostasy." We have seen innumerable instances, particularly since the 1989 publication of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, where Muslims have executed, or tried to execute this death sentence even against non-Muslims, from Europe to Japan, in efforts to extend the rule of Islam.
When American lawmakers, generals and security experts omit "Islam" from their debates and war councils, focusing instead on what they have dubbed "radical Islam," "Islamism" and the like, they are succombing to this same control mechanism. They are protecting Islam. They are themselves sheltering Islam against the cold light of analysis. By extension, they are also preventing their own Western societies from devising means of defense against Islamization. They are accepting and carrying out what is probably the most important Islamic law.
There is concrete danger in this. Unless we can come to an understanding that it is the teachings of Islam -- not the teachings of some peculiar strain called "Islamism," or of an organization such as the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIS -- that directly undermine our constitutional liberties, we cannnot protect our way of life from these teachings, whose popularity grows with the increasing Islamic demographic. This is what the advanced Islamization of Europe shows us. A nominally sensible US immigration policy would immediately halt Islamic immigration to prevent a sharia-demographic from gaining more critical mass in the USA, democratically.
Then again, we don't have a national border, much less a sensible immigration policy. That means many of these questions are moot.
2) Still, it bears noting: The Left has responded to the current cycle of Islamic jihad -- a recurring blight on civilization, as Andrew Bostom's Legacy of Jihad amply documents -- by inventing a foe called "violent extremism." The Right, scoffing at this euphemism, "pinpoints" the threat of "radical Islamism."
What is the difference? Ultimately, I see none. Both terms protect Islam. Warning against the dangers of "radical Islam" implies that there exists some "normal Islam" that is completely compatible, perhaps even interchangeable, with Christianity and Judaism. Indeed, this ongoing effort to normalize Islam is equally as dangerous as the institutional efforts that long ago "normalized" Communism. This officially began when FDR "normalized" relations with the wholly abnormal Soviet regime in 1933, a morally odious event whose horrific repercussions are treated at length in American Betrayal.
Just as it required endless apologetics (lies) to maintain the fiction of "normal" Communism, so, too, does it require endless apologetics (lies) to maintain the fiction of "normal" or "moderate" Islam. According to all of Islam's authoritative texts, according to the example of Islam's prophet, this "moderate" creed does not Islamically exist.
To turn the notion around, as Lars recently reminded me, when the brave and splendid ex-Muslim Wafa Sultan was asked several years ago to distinguish between "Islam" vs. "Islamism" at a Copenhagen conference, she brought the airy theory back to earth by asking: Based on your definition of Islamism, was Mohammed a Muslim or an "Islamist"?
3) This brings me to The Best Line of the summit, which was spoken by Lars Hedegaard: "Islamism is Islam and Islam is Islamism."
4) The Spirit of '76 Award goes to retired Admiral James "Ace" Lyons who inquired of guest speaker and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich whether there was any movement in the Congress to censure Obama or initiate impeachment hearings. The consensus on this burning, patriotic question is, no, expediently speaking, there is not nor will there be such a movement. As per the entire US elite's corruption and complicity in Soviet crime outlined in American Betrayal, it seems we have arrived at the point where Obama's political judge and jury -- our elected representatives in the Congress -- is surely complicit in his crimes against the Constitution, as well as with his identity fraud on the American people.
5) The Most Profound New Thought of the summit came from brave and splendid ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish (who, bonus, I met for the first time here).
Nonie conveyed her understanding, having grown up in Egypt the privileged daughter of an Egyptian shahid (martyr), that terrorism, the threat of terrorism is a feature of Islamic life at all levels: inside the family, in the public square, and everywhere in between. I'm paraphrasing, but what came through her talk was the idea that Muslim "moderates" in Islamic society (which I am taking to mean human beings who do not have the seeds of violence within them) have come to take Islamic terrorism/violence/coercion as a given. This means that they have come to accept such terrorism/violence/coercion as normal. Her great fear is that Americans, too, are coming to accept such Islamic violence as normal -- that we, in a sense, are taking on the role of such Muslim moderates. This is, if it can be imagined, an even darker iteration of dhimmitude.
6) Speaking of ex-Muslims, I made a comment about the role of the apostate in the great ideological battles of our time. Today, it is the ex-Muslims who offer special insight into totalitarianism of the Islamic kind. Many of my American colleagues, however, still prefer to lean on guidance from Muslim "moderates" -- despite the fact, referenced above, that Islam's own sacred texts, including the example of Islam's prophet, support no such "moderation." As they wish, they may await, or even themselves lead an Islamic reformation, but this in no way protects free speech or preserves public safety in our country now -- especially when there are indicators that an alarming level of support for curbing and even criminalizing free speech about Islam exists among American Muslims -- punitive measures, again, that find support in Islam's texts.
In the 20th-century-battle against totalitarian Communism, anti-Communists did not embrace "moderate Communists." Rather, they embraced ex-Communists who understood the totalitarian teachings and practices of Communism in Moscow's gangster-quest for global dominance -- a "caliphate" a la Lenin & Marx. It was mainly the Left and Center -- the anti-anti-Communist Left and Center -- that made common cause with "moderate Communists," i.e., Social Democrats, Communist apologists, also Soviet agents among others, engendering meaningless treaties, defeats and loss. Even more pernicious, though, was the resulting "postmodern" rot across the political spectrum, which tells me, as I argue in American Betrayal, that the West lost the "struggle of ideas" in the "Cold War."
This spectral shift is interesting in and of itself. I see its patterns repeat in the past decade of military disaster in which it was US military strategy to ignore the teachings of Islam and instead lean on perceived Muslim moderates, or just bank on a hoped-for emergence of Muslim moderation, in the Islamic nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Terrible defeats ensued.
As former FBI special agent John Guandolo pointed out at the summit, we've tried this type of thing for 15 years and it doesn't work.
Nor does it make sense -- logically, doctrinally, strategically. But then neither does seizing on "radical Islamism" and other terms of art that exclude and thus protect Islam.
The Moral of this summit: You can't protect Islam and defeat jihad at the same time.