“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”-Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
Sun Tzu is credited with writing those words 2,500 years ago, but they could have been written as a warning to President Obama as he refuses to acknowledge who we are fighting against, Islamist extremists. He refuses to even understand how our enemy defined themselves.
Tawfik Hamid, onetime protégé of Ayman Zawahiri, writes the following:
The real way to strengthen moderate Muslims in their fight against the radicals is to spotlight radical teachings and flush out those who believe in them. ….This is especially true in war: define your enemy correctly, and you will rally legitimate allies to your side. Blur what a battle is about and, stuck in the muddle, you are bound to lose…. Calling angina a “common cold” does not change its nature. It only prevents us from taking the necessary steps in treating it, which will only lead to further sickness, and possibly death. Playing word games with jihadists is not only meaningless, but plays right into the hands of the radical Muslim terrorists-who, to be defeated, must first be called by their true name….
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…. Islamism is not terrorism. To be sure, Islamism includes terrorism in its arsenal. Still, there is major disagreement among Islamists about when violence should be used and how effective it is. In any event, we must fight the tendency to meld these concepts. Terrorism is a tactic that divides Muslims. Islamism is a belief system that unites tens of millions of Muslims. Abdurrahman Wahid, the former president of Indonesia, estimates what he calls the “radicalized” portion of the umma at about 15 percent. I think he’s low-balling it, but even if he’s right, that would be about 200 million people.
So what is Islamism? It is the belief that Islam is not merely a religious creed but a comprehensive guide to human existence, conformity to which is obligatory, that governs all matters political, social, cultural, and religious, from cradle to grave (and, of course, beyond). The neologism “Islamist” was minted over three-quarters of a century ago by Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. To this day, the credo of the Brotherhood is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” The Brotherhood claims, preposterously, to have renounced terrorism. It maintains, more credibly, that it is the Muslim Nation, as in a mass movement representing what Muslims, broadly, believe.
The Brotherhood’s Islam is called Salafism. Developed in the 19th century, Salafism calls for a return to the unalloyed Islam of the 7th-century founders. It is to be “unalloyed” in the sense that it should be stripped of modernizing influences — particularly Western influences. This is to be achieved by implementing sharia, the divine law designed to govern all aspects of life.
Implementing sharia is the aim of jihad. Because our government does not want to be seen as Islamophobic, we are discouraged from noting the palpable nexus between Islamic scripture and Islamist terror. Thus we’re conditioned to think of jihad, a creature of Islamic scripture, as a form of madness — as if terrorists blew up buildings for no better reason than to blow up buildings. But jihad is a central tenet of Islam. It is the obligation to struggle in the path of Allah — to impose God’s law everywhere on earth. Jihad can be savage, but it is not irrational.
Jihad is correctly understood as a military duty, but it need not be violent. That does not mean, as Islam’s Western apologists claim, that jihad is some wishy-washy internal struggle to become a better person. To the contrary, just as war is politics by other means, violent force is one of several jihadist tactics by which the Muslim Nation seeks to install sharia. If non-Muslims are willing to accommodate sharia in their political, legal, and financial systems, combat is not required. Surrenders are happily accepted.
…. In 2004, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the “nonviolent” Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to fight the Americans in Iraq. He was zealously supported by the faculty at al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most authoritative voice of Islamic jurisprudence in the Arab world. A few months later, Alberto Fernandez, then the State Department’s top spokesman in the region, gushed that Qaradawi was an “intelligent and thoughtful voice from the region . . . an important figure that deserves our attention.” It was an idiotic thing to say, but it was said in recognition of the grim reality that Qaradawi is not a fringe figure. His influence is vast. Understand this: It is not just terrorists but millions of Muslims who believe Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan should be killed even if they believe they are risking their lives so that Muslims can have a better life.
Why should Islamism matter to us? Because, besides being the ideology that catalyzes jihadist terrorism and threatens our freedoms in sundry other ways, Islamism rejects the premises of Western democracy. Islamists believe that sharia is the perfect, non-negotiable blueprint for law and life, prescribed by Allah Himself. Therefore, Islamists reject the notion of free people at liberty to govern themselves, to legislate in contradiction to God’s law. They reject freedom of conscience: Islam must be the state religion, and apostasy from Islam is a capital crime. They deny the principle of equality under the law between men and women, and between Muslims and non-Muslims. They abjure any semblance of Western sexual liberty: gay sex, adultery, and fornication are brutally punished. They countenance slavery. They encourage polygamy. I could go on, but you get the idea.
America, including President Bush and even more-so President Obama are framing the question of “who is our enemy?” all wrong, because when you frame it correctly the answer is more scary first though, because, to paraphrase Sally Field, “They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us:
Most of our uninformed national conversation about Islam since 9/11 has been about the degree of Muslim support for terrorism. If you’re going to embark on a quest to remake the Middle East, that’s the wrong question. We should be asking: What is the degree of Muslim support for Islamism? The answer to that question is: immense.
Islamism is the official creed of Saudi Arabia, which, as noted above, is risibly portrayed as a U.S. ally against terrorism. The Saudis have lavishly supported and collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s, enabling the Brothers to spread Islamism globally, including in America and Europe. Islamism, moreover, is the dominant ideology in the Arab world and in much of Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. It is strengthening in northern and eastern Africa. Despite decades of suppression, it is resurgent in Turkey. Even in Indonesia, where Islamism is not preponderant, it is a growing force.
The fact that Islamists disagree with their terrorist factions on tactics obscures the reality that they heartily agree with the terrorists’ contempt for the West. Most of the places that are sources of Islamist terror do not want Western democracy. They want sharia.
This includes places like Afghanistan, were we are trying to create a democracy, but one ruled by Sharia Law. Democracy and Sharia are mutually exclusive:
We can’t change that about them, and it cheapens us when we try. The State Department’s new “democratic” constitutions for Afghanistan and Iraq are a disgrace: establishing Islam as the state religion and elevating sharia as fundamental law. That is not exporting our values; it is appeasing Islamism. It is putting on display our lack of will to fight for our principles, which only emboldens our enemies… It’s not safe for non-Muslims, period. We’re not building a democratic culture.
The Same can be said of non-Muslims in Iraq and the Palestinian Territories. This is why we need to win in Afganistan, and why we need to encourage Israel to root out terrorist interests in the Palestinian Territories before there are any discussion regarding a Palestinian State.
True Democracy need not be our primary objective. Especially when/where the Islamists are using democracy against itself, as in the case of the United States and CAIR or Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian Territories and their Islamist ringleader Iran. Protecting the west from attack should be our primary objective.
We can’t stop Muslim countries from being Islamist. That is their choice. It should be no concern of ours who rules them as long as they do not threaten American interests. When they inevitably do threaten us, or allow their territories to be launch pads for terrorists, we should smash them. But the price of defending our nation cannot be spending years — at a cost of precious lives and hundreds of billions of dollars — in a vain attempt to give people who despise us a way of life they don’t want.
Meanwhile, we must accept that Islamism is our enemy and has targeted our constitutional system for destruction by slow strangulation via sharia. Instead of worrying about democracy in Afghanistan, we need to worry about democracy in America. The surge we need is at home: to roll back Islamism’s infiltration of our schools, our financial system, our law, and our government. In addition to not being universal, the “values of the human spirit” are not immortal. If we don’t defend them in the West, they will die.
This Post only uses a piece of McCarthy’s Article, I recommend you read the entire thing by clicking here.