No, it’s Sharia and the Assault on U.S. Missions
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
September 13, 2012
I could not more vigorously disagree with my friend Daniel Pipes, who disappointingly lays fault for yesterday's carnage at the feet of Reverend Terry Jones. In essence, Daniel - like much of the progressive, bipartisan U.S. ruling class - adopts the reasoning of Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf Qaradawi, who admonishes that women who fail to conform to fundamentalist Islam's restrictive sartorial standards have only themselves to blame when they get raped.
Let's say Terry Jones was Imam Terry Jones. It is not hard to imagine because there goes by not a day when some Islamist leader of far more consequence than Jones matter-of-factly spouts hatred of America and the West that is more provocative, and more representative of his country or region, than anything that has ever passed Jones's lips. Would it make you riot? Would it make you commit murder? Would it foment more than a yawn? And if it did stir so much as a suggestion that this typical Muslim leader should be silenced, the only public protests and pious government caterwauling would be directed at that suggestion, not at the anti-American incitements that prompted it.
The coordinated violence against American installations in the Middle East on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 was caused by one thing: Islamic supremacism. Contrary to the knowing lies government officials and opinion elites have been feeding the American people for 20 years, Islamic supremacism is not the fringe ideology of the terrorists; it is the predominant Islam of the Middle East. By margins of upwards of 2 to 1, the United States and the West are despised in countries like Egypt and Libya. As I point out in my just-released book, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, when given the chance, Egyptians elected Islamic supremacists by a 4-to-1 margin. The only surprise in the voting was not the weakness of secular democrats - that they are a non-factor, even though American politicians continue to depict them as emblematic of the Muslim Middle East, was a given. The surprise was that the Muslim Brotherhood, which has reaffirmed its goal of a global caliphate ruled by sharia, is not quite devout enough for about a quarter of Egyptians, who voted for the even more extreme "Salafist" parties.
Under sharia, as construed by Islamic supremacists (i.e., at least two-thirds of Middle East Muslims), any negative criticism of Islam or its prophet, no matter how trifling, is deemed to be blasphemy and warrants violent reprisals - including death. These Muslims - hundreds of millions of them - consider this to be a divine ordinance and thus to be imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Understand that Islam, particularly as Islamic supremacists interpret it, is not merely a religion; it is a totalitarian ideology that has some spiritual principles, which make up a small subset of the belief system. Blasphemy is not applied only to the spiritual principles - say, to the oneness of Allah, and the like. The speech prohibition applies across the board to all Islamic doctrine. You've got a problem with a woman's court testimony being worth only half of a man's? Blasphemy! You've got a problem with needing four male witnesses to prove rape? Blasphemy! You've got a problem with the death penalty for homosexuals? With stoning for adulterers? With scourging for the consumption of alcohol? Blasphemy, blasphemy, blasphemy!
That's what causes the rioting and murder. The "blasphemers" are only a pretext. What causes this is the indoctrination of Muslim populations in an evil ideology that justifies savagery over nonsense. That's the proximate cause. If you want to look at a material cause beyond the proximate cause, the place to start would be American officials like the ones Daniel cites with seeming approval: David Petraeus, Robert Gates, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and I'd add Lindsey Graham to the list. They are the officials who condemned Terry Jones's exercise of free speech - book burning - because, as Daniel gently puts it, they were "worried it would lead to Muslim violence against Americans." That is shameful. What "leads to Muslim violence" is the toxic combination of Islamic teaching that violence is the appropriate response to even minor insults and the dhimmified superpower's acquiescence in this barbarism.
At RadicalIslam.org, former CIA operations officer Clare Lopez has an excellent post this morning explaining the Obama administration's complicity in the campaign by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to impose sharia blasphemy standards on the world. (I would point you to Clare's essay even if she had not been good enough to mention something I'd written.) After laying out the Obama State Department's disgraceful statement yesterday, from its Cairo embassy, condemning American free speech and ignoring Islamist aggression ("The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims," and so on), Clare writes:
That statement came directly out of the talking points of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on its Ten-Year Programme of Action and is intended by both the OIC and the U.S. Department of State to impose legal limits on Americans' freedom of speech by criminalizing criticism of Islam. Recall that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Washington, D.C. in mid-December 2011 to discuss implementation mechanisms for "Resolution 16/18," a declaration adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in April 2011.
Resolution 16/18 calls on countries to combat "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization" based on religion without criminalizing free speech - except in cases of "incitement to imminent violence." If now the measure of "incitement to imminent violence" is a "test of consequences" that imposes prior restraint on freedom of expression because of the unpredictability of volatile Muslim populaces easily roused to murderous fury, as in Benghazi and Cairo, then Islamic law on slander will have been enforced.
This is the real meaning of these attacks, which were purposefully calculated precisely to elicit the craven press release quoted above from the U.S. State Department. This is how dhimmitude is implemented. Islamic Jihad and Gama'a al-Islamiyya demands for the release of Omar Abdul Rahman (the "Blind Sheikh"), now serving a life sentence in U.S. federal prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, also have been issued, along with a threat to burn the U.S. Cairo Embassy to the ground if these demands are not met.
We are witnessing the stepped process of the Islamization of American domestic and foreign policy unfold before our eyes and in accordance with both Sayyed Qutb's classic book "Milestones," as well as a November 2011 fatwa from Yousef al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood's senior jurist, in which he said, "Gradualism in applying the Sharia is a wise requirement to follow."
Sheikh Qaradawi is no doubt a happy man today. The plan is working to a T.
UPDATE: Further thoughts.
A number of readers commenting on my post point out that I may have misconstrued Daniel Pipes, that he may have been making points similar to mine, just in a more subtle and satirical way. Daniel is a brilliant guy, so that is entirely possible. I do not see the point of dwelling on Terry Jones, as he did, when the real problem is sharia - dwelling on Jones confuses things. And I don't see this situation as calling for an argument along the lines of "As a practical matter, we can't really regulate the grandstanding Joneses of the world, so it is more efficient to defend free speech in a bright-line." But that said, if I misunderstood Daniel, I apologize. And I acknowledge that he did make the following point, with which I fully agree, at the end of his post:
Terry Jones and his imitators have figured out how to goad Muslims to violence, embarrass Western governments, and move history. The only way to stop this freelance foreign policy is for governments to stand firmly on principle: Citizens have freedom of speech, which specifically means the right to insult and annoy. The authorities will protect this right. Muslims do not enjoy special privileges. Leave us alone.
As Jimmy Carter can attest, not to stand strong turns U.S. missions abroad into sitting ducks.
This article appears at NRO.