America's Peril: Islamic Extremists' War Strategy Gaining Ground

After Japan’s devastating surprise attack against the US at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, concerns arose over the ability of a seriously wounded American Navy to defend our country against a future attack, let alone challenge Tokyo’s control of the Pacific. Over the following three and a half years, those concerns proved unwarranted as we became very effective at taking the fight to the Japanese, who—in launching their military strategy—never again achieved the tactical surprise they did at Pearl Harbor. While the resolve and courage of our fighting forces was a factor, so too was the fact we had—unbeknownst to the Japanese—broken their naval code. Accordingly, almost every move the Japanese made on their tactical chessboard was eventually checked by an Allied counter-move, leading to one Japanese defeat after another. Meanwhile, in the European theater, the Allies achieved a similar intelligence windfall (known as “Ultra”) after breaking Germany’s code. It prompted Winston Churchill at the war’s end to comment, “It was thanks to Ultra we won….”
Clearly, when an enemy secretly lays out its strategic plans as to how it intends to defeat us, and we learn of the tactics it will use before they can be employed, it provides us with an enormous opportunity to deny that enemy success by countering its strategy. In the Islamist war against the US, this has happened with the discovery seven years ago of a hidden document on how America’s Constitution will be replaced by shariah law. Interestingly, the document in question was written well before 9/11. Perhaps because the strategy appeared so outlandish, we have not embraced the intentions of Islamists with the same concern we did for those of our enemies during World War II. By failing to do so, we have allowed the Islamist strategy to gain traction, with the first signs of its success already visible.
In 2004, Ismail Elbarasse—a Muslim Brotherhood leader living in Annandale, Virginia—came under suspicion by the FBI when he and his wife were observed filming the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. While tourists often film the bridge for its scenic beauty, the focus of Elbarasse’s film seemed to be less on that and more on weaknesses in its engineering structure. A subsequent raid of his home uncovered a secret sub-basement containing a treasure trove of documents in Arabic, representing the archives of the US branch of the fundamentalist and militant organization Muslim Brotherhood. Translation of the documents clearly indicated a conspiracy was underway to take control of America, using the introduction of sharia law as the vehicle for doing so.
The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, today is the world’s most influential Islamist movement. Its slogan “Islam is the solution” is not meant to apply to just the Arab world as it seeks to have Prophet Muhammed’s sayings and influence obtain a global reach. Their ultimate goal is that all non-believers convert to Islam—or face the consequences of a global Islamic society that is intolerant of them.
There is debate over whether or not the Brotherhood embraces violence to achieve its goals. While it allegedly has renounced violence, according to teachings of the Prophet Muhammed believers can lie to or otherwise deceive non-believers about their intentions when necessary to further the cause of Islam. While giving the appearance of renouncing violence, the Brotherhood has given birth to many splinter groups that do embrace violence. Arguably, this was done with its tacit blessing.    
This debate has created some confusion—although it should not at the US national security level—as evidenced by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s recent claim the Brotherhood is “largely secular.” While Clapper’s Congressional testimony about the Brotherhood last month chose to downplay the organization’s religious underpinnings, even the CIA’s website describes it as a “religious-based” party.
In September 2010, a non-partisan panel of national security experts issued a report entitled “Sharia: The Threat to America.” It quoted a 1987 document found hidden in Elbarasse’s basement containing the Brotherhood’s strategic plan by Brotherhood member and senior Hamas leader Mohammed Akram. Clearly stated in this document was the Brotherhood’s mission: 
“The process of settlement is a ‘civilization-jihadist process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan (brothers of an Islamic religious militia) 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 the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” 
The report stated the Islamist strategy
“for destroying the United States is to get us, specifically our leadership, to do the bidding of the MB for them. The Muslim Brotherhood intends to conduct Civilization Jihad by co-opting our leadership into believing a counterfactual understanding of Islam and the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, thereby coercing these leaders to enforce the MB narrative on their subordinates.”   
The report urged the White House to make clear what the document states—radical Muslims are using Islamic law to subvert the US. But, six months after the report was issued, the Obama Administration has yet to do so out of a ridiculous concern that mentioning an Islamic link will offend moderates. 
According to the non-partisan report, the Islamist document calls for the Islamist’s strategy plan to be slowly implemented in phases that enable shariah to “creep” into US culture. To work, it requires Muslims gain influence in various ways including:  expanding Muslims’ physical presence here via high birth rates, immigration and refusing to assimilate; keeping locals “in the dark” over human right infringement by ensuring they do not study shariah doctrine and its impact; controlling the language Muslims use to describe us (non-Muslims) as the enemy lest it raise our concern; forcing compliance with shariah at local levels; employing the offensive use of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits to silence critics of Islam; claiming Muslim victimization; subverting the US education system through the introduction of dominant US Middle East studies programs; demanding the right to practice shariah in segregated Muslim enclaves and demanding its recognition in non-Muslim spheres; and (ultimately) demanding that shariah replace Western law.
Every single one of these tactics has been employed to date by members of the Muslim community promoting the Brotherhood’s agenda. In 2002, two US universities accepted $20 million dollar donations from a Saudi prince in exchange for a commitment to establish programs in Islamic studies.   Last year, a New Jersey criminal court judge applied shariah law to find a Muslim husband not guilty of having raped his Muslim wife as Islamic law demands a wife submit to her husband’s sexual desires. In Minneapolis, home to a large community of unassimilated Somali immigrants, Muslim taxi drivers refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol and other Muslim communities are seeking the application to them of shariah. And today, as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) seeks to hold hearings on Islamic extremism and how it radicalizes Muslims, he is being targeted by Muslim groups opposed to such hearings.
Earlier this month, British Imam Anjem Choudary, who has praised the 9/11 terrorists, was interviewed concerning his desire to come to the US to work for the implementation of shariah law here. With such implementation already partially successful in the UK (for civil cases), Choudary seeks to do the same in the US. He is the same person who, in 2006, condemned the Pope to death for simply quoting a Byzantine emperor’s negative observation about Prophet Muhammad. One need not imagine the harsh reality and absence of humanity Choudary envisions for a shariah- compliant US—one need only look at what happened last week in Egypt—a country where the Muslim Brotherhood is very well organized.
In the village of Soul, just 30 kilometers from Cairo, a Christian Copt church was attacked and burned by a mob of 4000 Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar.” It was triggered due to a relationship entered into by a Copt man and Muslim woman. The Copt’s house was torched to punish the man. But when the Muslim woman’s father refused to kill his daughter to restore the family’s honor, a cousin murdered the reluctant father. To avenge the father’s death, the woman’s brother then killed the cousin. Meanwhile, Muslims vow to conduct morning prayers at the site of the razed church. Under shariah law, insanity runs rampant.
Choudary claimed in an interview that the imposition of shariah is necessary to rid the US of corruption. But the hypocrisy of such a claim is evidenced by implementation of shariah in its severest form in a country—Iran—where religious leaders have become among world’s wealthiest through unparalleled corruption. 
Playing into the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is the push to build the Ground Zero Mosque. Just like the Soviet sympathizers living in the West during the Cold war who naively worked to further communist goals, a new generation of “useful idiots” have evolved, naively working to further the Brotherhood’s goals.
The Ground Zero Mosque effort is dubbed the “Cordoba Initiative” by its Muslim sponsors who suggest they seek to bring back the atmosphere of “interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.” This smacks of deception as no such harmony or prosperity existed in Islamic Spain for non-Muslims as they were forced to submit to Islam. And, in keeping with a practice followed by conquering Islamic armies a millennium ago, a battle’s victory is to be memorialized by constructing a mosque at the site where it was won. Therefore, building a Ground Zero Mosque is very symbolic and meaningful to Islamic extremists, such as the Brotherhood.  
It is interesting to further note, if one peels back the complex layers of Muslim groups and individuals pressing for construction of the Mosque (in opposition to American sentiments about the location), links to the Brotherhood are exposed. And, as Rep. King’s hearings will demonstrate, imams at such mosques play a significant role in radicalizing Muslims in the US.
During World War II, we were able to learn in advance of the enemy’s war strategy. We have gained a similar intelligence upper hand today, learning about the war strategy of Islamic extremists determined to replace our Constitution with shariah law by using our system against us. 
There is a big difference, however, between then and now. In World War II, we made use of that intelligence to defeat the Japanese and Germans; today, we ignore it, allowing the enemy’s shariah law to chip away at our Constitution. 
Sadly, we are in great peril and fail to even understand it.   
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (ret) is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam War, the US invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war.  He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields" and frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

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