United States Action
Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies
By Jeffrey Imm
July 2, 2008
The true challenge of Islamic supremacism to America and the free world is not about Islam, Islamism, or terrorism, but about us. It is a historic challenge to determine whether we truly have the courage of our convictions on equality and liberty and we are willing to fight for these ideals, or if we will instead accept the continuing growth of anti-freedom ideologies here and around the world.
Islamic supremacists are counting on their belief that America is no longer willing to fight for such freedoms, that it has gotten too soft to do so, and that regardless of the success or failure of individual Jihadist tactics, eventually we will tolerate a continued growth of Islamic supremacism. The crossroads in history that we stand at remains whether or not we will prove Islamic supremacists correct, or if the idea defined in our very Declaration of Independence and chiseled in a marble memorial in America's capital - that "all men are created equal" - is an idea that America will once again sacrifice to defend.
America and the West are at a critical crossroads in history in their
faltering struggle with Islamic supremacist ideologies and Jihadist
terror tactics. Increasingly, groups seek to halt any meaningful debate
and halt any challenge to the ideology behind Jihad, and they seek to
redirect such debate and action to focus only on the terrorist symptoms
of such a supremacist ideology. Such diversionary efforts are being made
by non-violent Islamic supremacist groups and activists, government
officials, academics, and media commentators. The solution to this can
be found in recognizing how Islamic supremacism (as any supremacist
ideology) is opposed to our values, and in understanding America's
historical experience in defeating other supremacist ideologies.
From a counterterrorist perspective, the Al Qaeda declarations of war against the United States in 1996 and 1998 are widely examined as a basis for a "war on terror." However, the Islamic supremacist challenges to equality and liberty have been occurring long before declarations of war by Al Qaeda or any other Islamic supremacist terrorist groups.
Three years after the defeat of the Nazi supremacists, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly advocated a Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on human rights, freedom, and equality. In addition to abstention by Communist totalitarian nations, the Islamic supremacist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia refused to support such a resolution on equality.
In 1981, the Islamic supremacist Republic of Iran effectively issued a Sharia-based declaration of war on such ideas "when its representative affirmed that the UDHR represented a secular interpretation of the Judeo-Christian tradition which could not be implemented by Muslims; if a choice had to be made between its stipulations and 'the divine law of the country,' Iran would always choose Islamic law." The Islamic supremacists leading Iran were more forthright in their position than Saudi Arabia; they stated clearly and unequivocally that equality and Sharia were clearly incompatible. In the midst of the Cold War, few truly appreciated this as the Sharia declaration of war on equality and freedom that it was.
In 2000, a year before the 9/11 attacks, the 57 nation Islamist supremacist organization, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, officially resolved to support the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam as an alternative document that says people have "freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ah" -- an exclusionary ideology only for Muslims that denies freedom of religion and many other fundamental human rights of equality.
In 2001, nearly two months before the 9/11 attacks, the European Court of Human Rights determined that "the institution of Sharia law and a theocratic regime, were incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society."
Throughout the world on a daily basis, as analysts pore over the details of violent groups and their tactics, the details of terrorist finance, and the details of battlefield theaters, the anti-democratic stories of Sharia repression are widely ignored by many as the war of ideas with Islamic supremacism is not fully understood even today.
Tacticians believe the war is between Al-Qaeda and the West, the Taliban and the West, Hezbollah and the West, between Shiite and Sunni "extremists," or between terrorists and those who advocate non-violence. But this tactical view of world war only sees snapshots of individual theaters of violent activity and propaganda. The true aspects of the war remain a clash of ideological views, not merely individual political demands or battles.
Many in the United States and United Kingdom government leadership positions definitely do not want debate on this clash of ideological views, because they rightly fear that this will lead to more, not less confrontation. The historical mistake that they make is the assumption that such confrontation is something we don't need and something we can avoid. American leaders who fear such confrontation ignore the historical lessons of how other supremacist ideologies were fought and defeated.
The root of the real war is the ideas of equality and liberty versus Sharia and an Islamic supremacist form of societal control. Little is written about this war, which has numerous fronts around the world -- violent and non-violent, with propaganda fronts, economic fronts, demographic fronts, legal fronts, educational fronts. It is really what happens in this war of ideas, not in the individual battles in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere that will be the deciding factor in our victory or defeat. But to understand this war of ideas, and understand the application of history in fighting supremacism to dealing with Islamic supremacism, we must understand the dual aspects of freedom and how they remain the greatest weapon in America's arsenal.
While Islamic supremacists view their growing population as their greatest weapon, America has its twin towers of freedom -- liberty and equality - which combined provides the greatest weapon on Earth against supremacism. Liberty and equality are the twin towers of America that can not and will not fall as long as American retains its commitment to its national values. America has proven the value of these hard-won ideological weapons against supremacist ideologies repeatedly throughout our history.
Liberty alone is not enough to fight supremacism. Liberty is only half of the equation of freedom; equality is the other completing half of freedom that provides the values to truly challenge any supremacist ideology -- the values of America that all men and women are created equal. We learned that nearly 90 years after America's creation, and we fought to rectify this with a dual commitment for equality as well as liberty.
In the larger, strategic war against Islamic supremacism, it is America's unique historical experience in the war of ideas against other supremacist organizations that our leaders must examine in finding answers and strategies in fighting Islamic supremacism today.
Of all the nations with major terrorist organizations, one particularly stands out in that it faced a problem of having 4 million members of a terrorist organization, and likely many more sympathizers of that terrorist group. I know that the United Kingdom is greatly concerned about its threat of perhaps 4 thousand terrorists, but that is nothing compared to 4 million terrorists.
The nation that addressed this problem of having 4 million members of a terrorist organization took a very different approach to the problem than we are taking today, with our tolerance for non-violent Islamic supremacist groups and a terror lexicon that recommends not using terms that might incite Muslims to join terror groups. The nation I am referencing that faced the 4 million member terrorist group, of course, is the United States of America and the terrorist group was a white supremacist terrorist group known as the Ku Klux Klan. At one point in the mid-1920s, there were up to 4 millions members of the Ku Klux Klan, and there were many more adherents to the political ideology of non-violent white supremacism. But our nation decided that it would confront the ideology of white supremacism, in any form, violent or non-violent, no matter who was offended by such confrontation. Because we stood first and foremost for defending the democratic values of America.
When we look at the issue of Jihad, of Islamic supremacist terrorism, the lesson to be learned is that America defeated the largest terrorist organization, quite possibly in the history of the world, by attacking the values of supremacism as our priority, not worrying whether such confrontation would incite more individuals to join white supremacist terrorist groups, because we needed white Americans to change. In today's world, this lesson shows us that change won't happen by ignoring the Islamic supremacist ideology that forms the basis for Islamist terrorism. That change won't happen by refusing to use confrontational terms that will cause Muslims to critically look at such ideologies. Change requires a confrontation of supremacist ideologies that are contrary to American values.
The lesson to be learned from America's wars of supremacist ideologies -- whether it is against the Nazi Aryan supremacists, the white supremacists in the United States or in other nations, or the Islamic supremacists -- is that such a war is first and foremost a "war of ideas" - one that confronts such ideologies on multiple levels to attack and undermine such supremacism.
Confrontation is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is a necessary thing. Sometimes the only way to stop a bully is to defy him and confront him.
Those with a focus on homeland security policy matters, or those who advise on counterterrorism tactics may not look at world issues this way. Their mission is prevent and stop potential attacks on America, and their directive is to find means, any means, to accomplish such tasks... even if this requires avoiding confrontation with ideologies or groups inimical to the United States' values. When such individuals suggest that in preventing growth of terrorism, (a) that the American government not use terms like "jihad," (b) that the American government deny anything linked to Islamic supremacism in terrorism, (c) that the Muslim Brotherhood be "engaged," (d) that groups such as CAIR, MPAC, ISNA be listened to and approached as a potential audience to discourage "extremism," it must be understood that their goal is to avoid confrontation. Based on their task focus, they are trying to do what they think is the correct thing to do.
Sometimes the correct thing to do in terms of tactical measures is not the right thing to do in terms of defending American values. When America is only viewed as a nation-state of citizens, it is easy to view tactical measures as the appropriate focus. But America is more than merely the geo-political nation state of the United States of America - it is an idea, it is a principle, for many it is a dream -- of equality and liberty. When Americans don't stand by the courage of their convictions, it doesn't just hurt America - it hurts the world. Every oppressed person that looks to America as a beacon of hope in a dark world is mocked when we fail to stand tall. They are mocked to look at "their America" -- as corrupt and weak as "everyone else."
Whether it is the fight against Nazi supremacism, white supremacism, Apartheid, or Islamic supremacism, it is America's fight - not because of what we are, or who we are, but because of what we believe, what ideals we believe are worth sacrifice. Just as America confronted other such ideologies of supremacism, once again we are faced with a moral and ethical challenge in how to deal with Islamic supremacism. Avoiding this ideological challenge by only debating the details of tactical issues is an approach that is not true to our values and to our identity. Such an approach may work with other nations with other values, but not with America.
Like white supremacism, Islamic supremacism is a hybrid political ideology mixing something unfamiliar to American analysts who focus on relations with nation-states, groups, organizations that can be more readily categorized. While supremacism of religion, race, etc. may be a hybrid political ideology, it is a very real political ideology, and as Americans have seen in the United States, in other nations, and on a transnational basis, such ideologies can be very powerful and threatening to the values we seek to uphold.
What history shows is that defenders of equality and liberty can't defeat or challenge such ideologies merely with military or law enforcement tactics. Fighting supremacist ideologies requires a "war of ideas" that reaches many avenues of national and international society, it requires addressing such ideologies in academia and in the media, it requires addressing such ideologies in governments and in public institutions, it requires addressing such ideologies through economic and public pressures. A "war of ideas" may engage individuals in every aspect of society, but it also requires centralized focus, leadership, and public debate. Most importantly, such a "war of ideas" must be uncompromising on the issues of values of equality and liberty, and confrontational to ideologues who would deny the right of such values. Tacticians are not the individuals to lead of "war of ideas." Tacticians making recommendations on how to avoid confrontation with supremacist ideologies are definitely not those to provide strategic guidance on a "war of ideas."
Every "war of ideas" needs a blueprint of goals and objectives, but most of all it needs inspiration. In the American war on white supremacism, such inspiration came from the values that "All Men Are Created Equal." These values are as valid today in addressing Islamic supremacism as they were in our nation's founding Declaration of Independence and as they were in our actualization of such values in a 100 year long war against white supremacism. But our approach to dealing with this supremacist ideology today is completely different.
Hitler's Germany, George Wallace's Alabama, and the Taliban's Afghanistan share the same blot of supremacist values inimical to our identity. They serve as examples of what could happen if supremacism is not confronted. But our opposition to Nazism, our opposition to white supremacism did not end merely with removing Hitler from power or enforcing American federal civil rights laws in post-Wallace Alabama (and other parts of the country). Our opposition to such supremacist ideologies continued as a war of ideas beyond individual men, individual states. The world war against Nazi Aryan supremacism was a continuing war that involved military, propaganda, educational, political, economic, and social changes throughout Europe. We confronted Europeans who embraced such ideologies to change as individuals. The American war against white supremacism was a continuing war that involved federal legislation, educational changes, economic changes, and social changes throughout America. We confronted Americans who embraced such ideologies to change as individuals.
Yet in facing the Taliban's Afghanistan as a base from which 9/11 hijackers were trained to attack the American homeland, most of the focus is in terms of military issues and logistical "rebuilding" of Afghanistan's infrastructure. We are not demanding that individuals who embraced the Taliban's Islamic supremacist ideology to change as individuals, we are not defining and debating that ideology, and we are not asserting value judgments that such a supremacist ideology is unacceptable. Our focus remains on violent tactics of "extremists" following this ideology, not the ideology itself.
Incredibly, in the minds of some, the Taliban are being viewed as "multi-faceted" and individuals available for negotiation, and rehabilitation back into political governance. Could you imagine suggestions that the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan were multi-faceted and that attempts should be made to bring such supremacist ideologies into "mainstream" political parties? Yet this is precisely what has been suggested for the Taliban in Afghanistan by members of the United Nations and western political leaders.
The root of such dysfunctional behavior is the unwillingness to discuss the ideology behind the Taliban's actions. "Islamic supremacism" (or the westernized term of "Islamism") and its basis in Sharia are not a topic for discussion in western debate. Per my recent writing on Pakistan, the growth of the influence of Sharia throughout the nuclear weapons-armed Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the efforts of the Taliban to enforce such Sharia law by gunpoint, beheadings, and bombs is also largely ignored by much of the news media and by civil liberty activists. Debate on Sharia is now officially forbidden in United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) public hearings, as recently addressed.
Unlike other battles against supremacist ideologies, we have no war on "Islamic supremacism," because American leadership dares not mention its name for fear of "inciting" Muslims to join "extremist" terrorist groups and promote more violence. Could you imagine American leadership being afraid to criticize the Nazi Aryan supremacist ideology for fear that Nazis would commit sabotage on an American military facility? Could you imagine modern American leadership being afraid to criticize the white supremacist ideology for fear of inciting whites to join the Ku Klux Klan? If we used such tactics to fight other supremacist ideologies... we would have lost such wars - and abandoned our values.
Yet this is the type of world that we find ourselves in today regarding the subject of Islamic supremacism. It is a world where Islamic supremacists have bullied the leaders of liberty and equality into silence on their ideology itself, in hopes that we might contain some of the violent aspects of the ideology for a while. It is a topsy-turvy world where challenging a supremacist ideology leads to charges of "hate" and "bigotry." This is what happens when America prioritizes tactics over values.
-- Where once bombings and killings by white supremacist organizations were condemned by an informed American public and media, now such bombings and killings by Islamic supremacist organizations around the world go widely unnoticed and unreported, unless they happen in Iraq.
-- Where once marches and rallies were held calling for action against white supremacists, now marches and rallies are held calling for inaction against Islamic supremacists, including calls to release from prison Islamic supremacists associated with terror groups.
-- Where once white supremacist groups were excoriated as bullies, now much of academia, the media, and many individuals in American leadership apologize for Islamic supremacist groups around the world as victims, regardless of who is killed or maimed for the furtherance of such a supremacist ideology.
-- Where once we challenged white supremacist segregated schools, now American leadership chooses to ignore Islamic madrassas that teach hate and violence, including ones in the United States funded by the Islamic supremacist nation of Saudi Arabia.
-- Where once we alienated nations that advocated supremacist ideologies, now American leadership recognizes nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan that advocate or support Islamic supremacist ideologies as "allies."
-- Where once we sought to destroy the remnants of Nazi Aryan supremacism in defeated Germany, now American leadership allows so-called non-violent Islamic supremacism to continue to grow and gain influence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
-- Where once the media and the creative world publicized the plight of Jews trying to escape Nazi supremacism, now there is a concerted silence by most of the media and the creative world on the plight of those who leave Islam trying to escape from death punishment as "apostates" in Islamic supremacist nations.
-- Where once academia viewed white supremacists as ignorant social outcasts, now today's academia invites representatives of Islamic supremacist organizations as members of forums on homeland security.
-- Where once leaders of America's news media attacked the savage nature of white supremacist ideology, now leaders of America's news media refuse to acknowledge the existence of Islamic supremacism, and the Washington Post and New York Times allows Islamic supremacist representatives of Hamas to publish articles in their newspapers.
-- Where once American leadership used economic leverage against foreign and domestic supporters of supremacist ideologies, now American leadership fails to acknowledge the need for energy independence from Islamic supremacist nations on oil, and continues to fund such supremacism through petrodollars every day.
-- Where once white supremacist "Jim Crow" laws, the supremacist ideology of Apartheid (meaning "separateness"), and Nazi Nuremberg Laws were all condemned by civil rights advocates as violations of human rights of equality, now most civil rights advocates fear to address the impact of Islamic supremacism on human rights, refuse to address Islamic supremacist blasphemy and apostate laws, refuse to address the impact of Islamic supremacist laws on women and the oppressed, refuse to address the impact of Islamic supremacist laws on freedom of speech and expression, and debates on Sharia are forbidden in UN human rights organizations.
-- Where once supremacist ideologies were viewed as savage and unconscionable in civilized society, now academics argue that Islamic supremacism is acceptable because it reflects the "cultural values" of Islamic nations.
-- Where once American school children were taught of the need to reject white supremacism and to reject such code words for such ideologies as "white racial pride," now there is no education to the youth on Islamic supremacism, and they are taught that "jihad" is merely a peaceful struggle.
-- Where once white supremacist politicians were shunned by the American federal government with federal laws passed to undermine and destroy their ideology, now pro-Islamic supremacist organizations are welcomed in discussions with the American federal government, with government representatives attending conferences of organizations listed as co-conspirators in terror trials, that have speakers with a history of supporting Islamic supremacism, and with government representatives sitting beside Islamic supremacist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir that seeks a global caliphate.
-- Where once American federal law enforcement conducted domestic intelligence on white supremacists in an effort to completely undermine their efforts nationwide, now organizations linked to Islamic supremacism provide instruction to American federal law enforcement on how to interface with Muslims.
-- Where once America had a total war on white supremacism (both violent and non-violent aspects), now American leadership seeks to only address violent "extremists" among Islamic supremacists.
-- Where once Jimmy Carter called for embargoes on South Africa due to its supremacist Apartheid policies, now Jimmy Carter physically embraces Islamic supremacist Hamas leaders belonging to an organization listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
-- Where once black American churches provided a bedrock of defiance against white supremacism, now churches such as Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ are being used to promote propaganda by the Islamic supremacist group Hamas, and to praise political Islamic supremacists such as Louis Farrakhan.
-- Where once other American Christian churches also confronted white supremacism, now leaders of some American Protestant Christian churches such as the Presbyterian Church (USA) cordially meet with and promote Islamic supremacists, including terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.
-- Where once we were disgusted by the Nazi promotion of the anti-semitic screed "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" in Mein Kampf, now we ignore the promotion of this hate screed in Islamic republics and among Islamic supremacist groups, and even American liberal Christian religious groups (such as the Presbyterian Peacemakers) invite Islamic supremacist speakers to expound on the Protocols of Elders of Zion at college functions.
-- Where once American government leadership felt that exporting our values of equality and liberty was a priority in global relations, now American government leadership seeks to instead address values of "progress" with global Islamic communities.
-- Where once American leadership challenged supremacist groups and sacrificed as a nation based on the courage of our convictions, we now just don't want any more trouble and will accept compromises to avoid "inciting" Muslims to join "extremist" organizations.
This grim situation will only continue to grow the longer that American leadership fails to acknowledge and address the issue of Islamic supremacism as an ideology, and as an ideology that America firmly and concretely opposes. Confrontation of Islamic supremacism may not be the best tactical approach for avoiding additional violence, but confrontation is unquestionably the strategy necessary to preserve and protect America's values and identity.
One of the greatest such stories is the heroic war on white supremacism and the national battle to make the value of "all men are created equal" a reality. This American war on white supremacism provides a microcosm of the larger international struggle that must be met against Islamic supremacism. The war on white supremacism is not merely an illustration of what steps must be taken against Islamic supremacism within the United States -- but demonstrates a blueprint on what steps must be taken around the world.
As we revealed the savagery of American white supremacist ideology in our media, so our media must our now reveal the savagery of Islamic supremacist ideology around the globe. As we spoke out and rallied against white supremacism, so we must now speak out against Islamic supremacism around the globe. As we mocked those who defended white supremacism as a defense for "white racial pride" in America, so we must mock those who defend Islamic supremacism around the globe as a defense of "cultural values." As we undermined white supremacist groups in America, so we must undermine and discredit Islamic supremacist groups in the United States and around the world. As we challenged white supremacism in Alabama, Mississippi and in every state in America, so must we challenge Islamic supremacism in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, and in other nations around the world.
Supremacist ideologies, by their very nature, are at de facto war with equality. Failure to defend the ideology of equality is a de facto victory for supremacism.
Courage - of - our convictions... is more than just a phrase. It is an ethical challenge to generations of Americans past, present, and future. It is the fuel that burns the beacon of equality and liberty. America has a history of heroes that lived for and died for such courage - to stand as an example to those who would come after them.
Will our generation be able to rise to such a challenge, or will it find the burden of defending our values of equality and liberty too heavy? The choice to defend these values will be a costly sacrifice, but an even more costly sacrifice would be to fail to do so.
If Americans can forget about or fail to understand who attacked them barely eight years ago on 9/11, it is not unreasonable to expect that America's 100 year war on white supremacism may also be inconsistently understood or remembered. Every day, untold millions of Americans touch a symbol of a memorial to the first leader of that war on white supremacism. They handle pennies, five dollar bills, and see the symbol quite possibly every day. Few pause to stop and think why that Lincoln Memorial exists in Washington, D.C. and why the symbol of that memorial passes across millions of their palms every day - the symbol with the words "All Men Are Created Equal" chiseled in marble inside of it. Even fewer remember that Lincoln's efforts were to fight for the values inherent in our American Declaration of Independence -- "All Men Are Created Equal" -- and to prove that American had the courage of its convictions.
It is important to remember where America has achieved great victories, such as the crushing defeat of the white supremacist ideology as a national force for political power and as an institution.
Some argue that America's war on white supremacism is not relevant because it was halting at times, and took sacrifices of over 100 years to accomplish. I argue that such sacrifices and struggle is what makes it especially relevant to the challenges that face us in the global war on Islamic supremacism.
Some argue that America's war on white supremacism is not relevant because others besides the federal government stood up in defiance for principles of equality that we all now cherish, not just to fight white supremacism. I argue that it is precisely because America fought with itself for the courage of its convictions on equality; as even a diminutive seamstress could stand up to supremacism, this demonstrates the ability of every American man and woman to confront Islamic supremacism on a global basis.
Some argue that America's war on white supremacism is not relevant because Islamic supremacism is not yet pandemic across American institutions, law, public schools, employment, and society. I argue that if America does not remember the historical lessons that it learned from the war on white supremacism, it will inevitably allow Islamic supremacism to grow as a cancer in the United States as it is continuing to grow unchecked around the world.
The ultimate act of moral defiance against supremacist political ideologies came on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln in his Emancipation Proclamation: "I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.... believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God." Per the National Archives, "[a]fter January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom."
While the American Civil War ended in 1865, this moral act of defiance began a 100 year battle in the United States against the political ideology of white supremacism - a total war of ideas against such a supremacist political ideology that would forever change America to fully validate the ideals set in its Declaration of Independence that "All Men Are Created Equal".
During this war, a resistance movement created from veterans of the Confederate Army was founded in 1866, known as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). In 1870, a federal grand jury found that the Ku Klux Klan was a "terrorist organization." This white supremacist terrorist group and its offshoots would continue to be a focus, but hardly the only focus, of American leadership over the next 100 years.
The white supremacist KKK terror group declined in the immediate years following the Civil War, and President Ulysses Grant prosecuted its members under the Civil Rights Act of 1871. As previously mentioned, a second incarnation of the KKK developed during the 1920s with a peak membership of 4 to 5 million, but declined after the Great Depression and two world wars. A third incarnation the white supremacist KKK terror group developed in the 1950s and 1960s, and the U.S. federal government leadership once again focused a total war effort against this ideology, including every aspect of federal law, law enforcement, education, and communications.
Over the subsequent hundred years after the Civil War, the ongoing war against white supremacism, like any war, had its setbacks, failures, and plateaus. It is a national disgrace, while a key part of history, that the Ku Klux Klan terror group rose to such membership levels in the 1920s.
This war of ideas against the white supremacist ideology in the 1960s is of great importance in viewing a strategy in fighting Islamic supremacism today.
In fact, the total war of America against such a supremacist ideology - fighting both its violent and non-violent aspects at a tremendous cost and with a tremendous success - is the singular most important lesson for the entire world in fighting Islamic supremacism.
The American lesson of total war against the white supremacist ideology should be the first lesson for counterterror groups around the world -- know, define, and never appease a supremacist enemy.
There is no question that the "war of ideas" on the political ideology of white supremacism in the 1960s was very much a true war - on both sides of the battle. The violent and the non-violent white supremacists shared an anti-freedom ideological viewpoint that remained the focal point of the "war of ideas" regardless of their use of violent or non-violent tactics.
Excerpts from white supremacist terror group Ku Klux Klan Imperial
Wizard Sam Bowers' "Imperial Executive Order":
Excerpts from inauguration speech of non-violent white supremacist
Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1963:
Based on the thinking of some of today's counterterror analysts who apologize for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) groups, the non-violent political approach of Alabama Governor George Wallace would have been definitely more desirable because it used a non-violent, political method to communicate its viewpoint. Using the Islamic supremacist appeaser rationale, if today's appeasers had provided such influence in the 1960s, we would have still had parts of America that legally enforced racial segregation so that whites might not be incited to join violent white supremacist terror groups.
Thankfully for America, such groveling to supremacist ideologues was not acceptable to America's federal government leadership in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, American federal government's approach to the white supremacist ideology in this era was to attack it on every front - and in every aspect, including both violent and non-violent aspects of white supremacism.
Yet such American federal government efforts against white supremacism required the leadership and courage of individual citizens - whose fearless nature should serve as an inspiration to those speaking out against Islamic supremacism today.
The true heroes in the war against white supremacism were those who put the lives and livelihoods on the line to stand in defiance of it. The ideology of supremacism, which is dependent on the tacit acceptance of others to maintain its control, was challenged one day by a seamstress.
Rosa Parks, diminutive in size, but large in courage, set an example of defiance against the ideology of white supremacism on December 1, 1955, when she refused to accept a white supremacist Montgomery, Alabama government law which called for segregating bus passengers by race, and refused to accept the order of a bus driver to move to make way for a white bus passenger.
Defiance takes many forms. Rosa Parks' defiance was just the first of many other acts of defiance against white supremacism, in terms of civil disobedience, marches, rallies, petitions, articles, and broadcasts in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. Many were jailed; some had homes and churches destroyed. Some were killed by white supremacist terrorists.
But the dream to realize in practical terms the ideology that "all men are created equal" in America that Abraham Lincoln demanded 100 years earlier, and that was inherent in our Declaration of Independence, would be reached by the concerted efforts of many individual heroic acts of defiance, and by concerted efforts by the American federal government to finally destroy the cancer of white supremacism once and for all.
Below are some examples of the total war by America's leaders against the white supremacist ideology - through criminal investigations and prosecutions, Supreme Court actions, federal legislation, U.S. military action, domestic counterintelligence, news media coverage, and public education:
-- FBI Criminal Investigations against White Supremacist Terror Groups. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a long history of infiltration and federal arrests on the white supremacist terror groups as the Ku Klux Klan. This 90 year war by the FBI against such white supremacist groups has lasted from 1924 to today. The FBI reports that on June 21, 1964, "[f]ollowing the FBI's MIBURN investigation, eight men, including Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and Sam Holloway Bowers, Jr., the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the KKK of Mississippi, were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment under the federal civil rights statutes for the crime." The FBI's MIBURN investigation was the result of white supremacists murdering three civil rights workers in 1964 in Mississippi. White Supremacist terrorist Groups continue to be investigated and arrested by the FBI today.
-- Supreme Court against White Supremacism. The U.S. Supreme Court of that era understood the threat of supremacist ideologues and their danger to American freedoms. In 1954, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka to end segregated schools in Kansas and 20 other states.
-- Federal Law against White Supremacism. The United States federal government attacked white supremacism with a series of sweeping laws designed to undermine the non-violent white supremacist political successes in states such as Alabama, led by Governor George Wallace. This included a 1957 Civil Rights Act to create a Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice, and a federal Civil Rights Commission. This was followed in 1964 by President Johnson signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to eliminate job discrimination and segregation in public accommodations, as well as creating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
-- U.S. Military against White Supremacism. When non-violent white supremacist Arkansas Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround all-white Central High School to keep nine non-white students from going into the school due to its white supremacist segregation policies, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army into Little Rock to stop the white supremacist actions, and ensure that federal law was upheld. The same Army division that has fought Nazis, Communists, and Jihadists - also fought white supremacists in America. Our total war against the ideology of white supremacism was that absolute.
-- FBI Domestic Counterintelligence against White Supremacism in 1960s-1970s. Numerous reports address the efforts of the FBI's intelligence operations, COINTELPRO, to discredit white supremacist Ku Klan Klan members, to infiltrate their organizations and work to disband their organizations. Such domestic counterintelligence operations were not limited to simply attacking such white supremacist terror groups, but also in aiding the press and anti-supremacists in acting against white supremacists. Per a Cambridge University report on the FBI's COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE operation, "FBI secretly coordinated efforts to discredit Klan organizations before local Southern communities that continued to tolerate vigilante violence. Intelligence information on Klan activities, provided discretely by the FBI to liberal Southern journalists, politicians and other molders of public opinion, helped those white Southerners who were opposed to Ku Klux Klan activity to transform their private dismay into public rebuke and criminal prosecutions."
-- News Media against White Supremacism. America's news media engaged public debate with a series of reports on white supremacist activity, both violent and non-violent, and how white supremacist thought and actions deprived other Americans of their civil rights. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the continuous coverage showing the evils of white supremacist behavior undoubtedly reached most homes in America through print, radio, or television news media.
-- Public Education against White Supremacism. America's public education systems taught a new generation of children on the evils of the white supremacist ideology, and instructed them against actions based on such a supremacist ideology, whether such actions were violent or non-violent. The pluralistic education system attacked the white supremacist ideology for its efforts in denying civil rights to all American citizens, and the generation of children who underwent this public education provided an ideological beachhead of freedom against white supremacists.
In every corner of America, the war of ideas was waged against the white supremacist ideology - in the homes, in the schools, in the houses of worship, in sports, in entertainment, over the airwaves, in the print media, in the military, in law enforcement, in the political arena, and in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere. There was no dark space left for advocates of white supremacism to spread their propaganda of hate without a fight. It was a take-no-prisoners war of ideas where the white supremacist politicians' venomous propaganda was defanged by reason, truth, and justice, and was exposed for the savagery that it truly represented.
The federal government and the FBI did not fear a "war of ideas" nor did they look for someone else to lead the charge - it was a national, concerted war of ideas, where everyone - the school teacher, the newspaper writer, the FBI agent, the baseball player, and the average citizen - all played a role, all shared in sacrifice in defeating the white supremacist ideology - and no one, no one at all - feared using the name or identifying the enemy of the white supremacist.
The war against the white supremacist political ideology was hardly just a war on white supremacist terrorism or the Ku Klux Klan's terrorist tactics. It was a war of ideas that would validate and define America's identity, America's values, and America's dignity. It was a war that honored the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for defining the ideals of America.
America's total war against the white supremacism provides the benchmark for the world in what is necessary to fight Islamic supremacism.
Confrontation against a well-defined enemy may seem too simple for some of today's government leaders and other analysts. But in fact, an important lesson in the war against white supremacism is the fearlessness in naming the enemy.
In the 1960s and today, there have been no qualms about defining the name of the ideology of "white supremacism." It is not called anything more complex, more convoluted, and less clear than what it was and is - supremacism by whites. In America's war against white supremacism, it challenged whites to change, if they supported, tolerated, or tacitly agreed with white supremacist ideologies. It was unquestionably confrontational terminology - that was the intent - to confront. America believed, then and now, that to call white supremacism anything less would be dishonest with itself, and with those who they sought to confront.
Three months after the DHS "terror lexicon" memo on why not to use the term "Islamic" or "Islamist" in referencing terrorism, the DHS continued to correctly use the term "white supremacist" in its documentation. The October 2007 Homeland Security Report (page 10) uses the term "white supremacist." The FBI and our federal law enforcement use the term "white supremacist." Of course, they should do so, just as when federal law enforcement profiles for "white supremacists" it will be profiling for "whites." Pretending that there isn't anything "white" about "white supremacism" would be just as intellectually and strategically dishonest as pretending that there is nothing "Islamic" about "Islamic supremacism."
America's war on white supremacism shows that terminology gadgets and appeasement do not and will not work. America's war on white supremacism shows that anything less than total war on an ideology that is opposed to our values will lead to failure.
The American war against white supremacism is of particular importance due to the aspects of its efforts in fighting non-violent supremacism as well as violent supremacist terrorism. America did not attempt to appease the George Wallaces of the world to end Ku Klux Klan terrorism.
By its very nature, supremacism is an exclusionary ideology, based on the belief that the supremacists are superior to others with a different race, race, religion, gender, etc. It seeks to exclude from power and freedom, directly or indirectly, those with who are different from the supremacist ideals - whether it is one's race, religion, gender, etc. The fundamental reason why America was driven to go to total war with the white supremacist ideology - is that the exclusionary nature (whether violent or non-violent) of a supremacist ideology - runs directly counter to the concept of American democracy.
But America also has a history of fighting other supremacist ideologies on an international level, and lessons should be learned from these experiences as well. American history provides numerous lessons on the uncompromising position by our nation's leadership against supremacist political ideologies such as Nazism and Communism. The fascist political ideology of Nazism was rooted in an Aryan supremacism, and demonstrated its most horrific supremacist action in the systematic murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. The political ideology of Communism was also based on a supremacist ideology of the Communist totalitarian state, resulting in even greater mass slaughter of mankind, which has estimated at numbers from 60 million, 94 million, and 146 million. Regardless of which number is "most correct" - any of the figures provides a testament to what horrors an unchecked supremacist political ideology can wreak upon humanity.
In both cases of America's war against these totalitarian, supremacist political ideologies, America waged an international total war against its ideological adherents, both violent and non-violent. America's military, law enforcement, foreign and domestic intelligence, communications, economic, and education systems were coordinated for a comprehensive strategy against such supremacist ideologies. We had no qualms about identifying the name, the nature, and the threat of such supremacist ideologies. Today, while fringe adherents may claim support for such supremacist ideologies, they have been universally disparaged and discredited among generations of Americans in a total war of ideas.
War against foreign totalitarian political ideologies such as the
Nazi supremacist movement, the Communist supremacist movement, should be
simpler for American governmental leadership to grasp due to their
traditional association with foreign nations. The United States has a
history of readily definable war actions against enemies that are
foreign nations. The more complex idea is fighting a war against hybrid
political ideologies that are not centered around foreign nations, but
on ideas that are based on identities of race, religion, etc.
The contrast between the take-no-prisoners war of ideas against white supremacism and the tentative, indecisive, tactical bumbling regarding Islamic supremacism could not be greater.
Would it have been sufficient for George Wallace to renounce white supremacist violence only, but to allow non-violent political efforts at expanding white supremacism to continue? The very question seems absurd. Of course not, we would reply. But this is exactly the strategy suggested by non-violent Islamic supremacist adherents and their apologists, and that is being conveyed to senior American government officials in our military and security agencies.
In a historical fluke in American warfare, the 9/11 attacks caught the American government so unprepared on the threat of Islamic supremacism that when Congress enacted a bill for "Authorization for Use of Military Force" (AUMF) in response to the 9/11 attacks, any meaningful term identifying the enemy other than "those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States" was not included. Rarely has any authorization for military force been so ambiguous and uncertain. But this was the mentality and the mood of the nation at that snapshot in history. America was still reeling from the 9/11 attacks, it was in a state of emergency, the dust had barely settled in the stricken areas of America's homeland.
The 9/11 Commission, however, did provide a term for the enemy and its ideology.
Regarding the enemy and its tactics, the 9/11 Commission Report uses the term "jihad" in referencing the enemy 79 times and specifically defines "jihad" as a "holy war" executed by Osama Bin Laden and his compatriots (Section 2.3, Paragraph #302 on page 55), as well as defining "mujahideen" as "holy warriors" (Paragraph #302, same page). The 9/11 Commission Report refers to such "mujahideen" 22 times. The 9/11 Commission Report refers to the term "jihadist" 31 times, including the references to the "worldwide jihadist community" (Section 5.1, Paragraph #691 on page 148), to "Islamist Jihadists" (Section 5.3, Paragraph #741 on page 158), to "Islamist and jihadist movements" (Section 6.3, Paragraph #887 on page 191), and multiple references to an NSC memo on "Jihadist Networks".
Regarding the enemy's ideology, the 9/11 Commission uses the basis of the enemy's ideology as the westernized term of "Islamism" that typically refers to the hybrid political ideology based on Islamic supremacist views. In the 9/11 Commission Report it states: "Islamist terrorism is an immediate derivative of Islamism... Islamists define themselves as 'Islamiyyoun/Islamists' precisely to differentiate themselves from 'Muslimun/Muslims.' ... Islamism is defined as 'an Islamic militant, anti-democratic movement, bearing a holistic vision of Islam whose final aim is the restoration of the caliphate.'" (page 562, Notes Chapter 12, Note 3).
But the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties division and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) seek to have American government officials ban the use of the terms "jihad," "jihadist," and "Islamist" when analyzing the enemy threat. In fact, they seek to have everything that could possibly identify the enemy threat with "Islam" removed from debate in a sanitized terror lexicon that seeks to only reference ambiguous "extremists."
How could America have fought white supremacism if it refused to acknowledge that the ideology had anything to do with whites? Or if it cowered in half-measures for fears of offending white sensibilities? The same America that sent the U.S. Army in Arkansas to force white supremacists to stand down, in the 21st century now fears to even name Islamic supremacism.
The January 2008 DHS terror lexicon memorandum states that: "[s]enior officials must make clear that there is no 'clash of civilizations;' there is no 'us versus them'"(page 8).
When it comes to Islamic supremacism, nothing could be further from the truth.
What is the real goal of Islamic supremacist leader Osama Bin Laden? As described in his October 2007 message, it is nothing less than "[t]he greater state of Islam from the ocean to the ocean, Allah permitting." Such goals are not mere "religious evangelism." Such goals are not mere "cultural values." Such goals are the based on the ideology of Islamic supremacism, an ideology that is not just shared by Bin Laden and the Taliban, but by many who claim to be non-violent. The tactics of terrorism used by some Islamic supremacists do not define the ideology; therefore a "war on terror" is not a war against such a supremacist ideology. Nor is a tactical battle on "Islamist terrorism" a war against such an ideology. As with America's proven history in fighting white supremacism, the only solution against such an ideology is to fully confront Islamic supremacism -- in all its forms - violent and non-violent.
In America's history, we have proven that fighting the Ku Klux Klan white supremacism terror group was not enough. It would have been insufficient to merely arrest their leaders and disband their groups. To be effective, America needed to challenge the arguments of segregation and "white racial pride" that white supremacists used as non-violent political arguments to prevent America from achieving equality. As shown in previous paragraphs, this 100 year war against white supremacism required a challenging of white supremacism on every level - in the government, in economics, in schools, in public institutions, in academia, in the press - in any public venue that existed.
In addition to the goals of seeking the creation of a global Islamic caliphate, what is the other supremacist objective of Islamic supremacist organizations such as the Taliban? Implementation and enforcement of Sharia law.
The Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) March 2008 study "Islam: Governing Under Sharia" states that Sharia law is based on 4 primary sources: (1) the Islamic Qur'an; (2) "the hadith, or record of the actions and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, whose life is to be emulated"; (3) "ijma, the consensus of Islamic scholars"; and (4) "qiyas, a kind of reasoning that uses analogies to apply precedents established by the holy texts to problems not covered by them."
The CFR's March 2008
study also states that:
In Walid Phares' book "The War of Ideas," he states that [t]o the radical Islamists, it boils down to no laws other than the Sharia laws, and no Sharia laws except as interpreted by their ulemas and imams." In addition, Walid Phares states that "[t]he jihadist perception of the judicial branch is clear: it is an agency at the service of a higher authority, the caliphate, or whoever represents it until it is reestablished." (War of Ideas, Chapter 6, page 90.)
Many in the media and academia refuse to address the role of Sharia in Islamic supremacism, just as they refuse to acknowledge the existence of Islamic supremacism itself. Yet as you read this today, in many parts of the world, Islamic supremacist terrorists are fighting for Sharia, and many around the world are dying or suffering because of Sharia. While the Wall Street Journal seeks to promote financial vehicles based on Sharia, some are being beheaded, tortured, imprisoned, fleeing, or facing bombings based on the efforts Islamic supremacists to enforce Sharia.
In my recent article on the efforts of the Taliban to create a Sharia mini-state within Pakistan, I address how Sharia is used as the rationale by the Taliban to bomb businesses, harass women without burqas, threaten men without beards, and behead those they view as "spies." It is easy to dismiss these Sharia actions by the Taliban as terrorist "extremists," until you realize that Pakistan Sharia courts sentence people to death for "blasphemy," that the Afghanistan government seeks the death penalty for individuals for "blasphemy," that the Pakistan government seeks a global death penalty for anyone who commits "blasphemy," and that the Pakistan ambassador to Denmark suggested that the terrorist attack on the Danish embassy was deserved based on cartoons considered "blasphemous."
Moreover, such Sharia advocates also support a death penalty for those who choose to change their religion from Islam considered to be "apostates." The Afghanistan Parliament demanded that an Afghan citizen who changed his religion be put to death, as the man fled to Italy. In the Islamic Republic of Iran this month, Islamic police arrested and tortured a couple for "activities against the holy religion of Islam" for reading the Christian Bible, and threatened "the next time there may also be an apostasy charge, if you don't stop with your Jesus." In Scotland, on June 30, 2008, a Pakistani family that converted from Islam to Christianity is pleading for asylum in the United Kingdom, due to fears of a death penalty should they be returned to Pakistan. There are many more such stories. You won't hear about them on CBS, ABC, NBC, or CNN. They won't make the front page of the Washington Post or the New York Times. But the endless abuses and threats by institutional Islamic supremacism around the world won't go away by simply ignoring them, or refusing to acknowledge the existence of the political ideology of Islamic supremacism. They will only grow and become worse over time.
But this human equality, civil rights crisis is waved away by some academics that defend tolerance of Islamic supremacism as simply nations having different "cultural values." Did they defend the "cultural values" of Jim Crow laws and white supremacist segregation? Did they defend the "cultural values" of Nazi supremacism?
The 9/11 Commission Report drew a linkage between "Islamist terrorism" and political "Islamism." But the problem is much larger than this in terms of human rights and in terms of terrorism itself. If terrorism is "political violence," then aren't Sharia-based killings or death threats due to Islamic supremacist political ideologies "terrorism" as well? In fact, such terrorism is institutionalized in nations that support Islamic supremacism; many of these nations are directly or indirectly funded by millions of American dollars. Wall Street is oblivious to this as it promotes more Sharia financial vehicles.
The Sharia abuses, the death threats for blasphemy, apostasy, must be recognized as terrorist threats to civilization. As white supremacists' threats to destroy a black churches were considered terrorism, so too are Sharia-based death threats against those who choose to seek freedom of religion nothing less than terrorism today.
In the war against white supremacism, did the FBI seek guidance from white supremacist George Wallace on how to fight the Ku Klux Klan? While such a question appears laughable today, imagine the advice that George Wallace would have given, and how if white supremacist political leaders had been able to influence the federal government on such matters, how the war against white supremacism would never have been fought, let alone won.
This is precisely the two-pronged attack that Islamic supremacists are using against the American federal government today -- a violent Islamic supremacist approach and a non-violent Islamic supremacist approach -- together their primary purpose is to weaken the resolve and undermine any efforts by the American federal government in taking action against the ideology of Islamic supremacism itself.
The American federal government recognizes and has prioritized the threat of violent Islamic supremacist terrorist groups and individuals. It has a network of laws, security measures, and tactics to prevent terrorist attacks by such organizations and individuals. It reacted swiftly with an obvious lack of balance on dealing with ideological issues, as it focused first and foremost on doing whatever it took from a tactical operations perspective to protect the American people from a largely unknown, poorly understood threat.
This apparent challenge in dealing with ideological issues has been swiftly addressed by political Islamic supremacist organizations, which clearly recognized the opportunity offered by the American federal government's ideological indecisiveness, unfamiliarity with the ideology of Islamic supremacism, unfamiliarity with Arabic languages, and unfamiliarity with Islam. Such Islamic supremacist organizations stepped in to offer "guidance" and "education" to the American government leaders in providing direction on how to deal with violent "extremists," and to offer recommendations on how to avoid "inciting" other Muslims around the world from joining "extremist" organizations.
This strategy of infiltration by Islamic supremacist political organizations serves several functions: controlling America's definition of the enemy, silencing activists from revealing Islamic supremacism's threat, controlling education on Islamic supremacism, and dividing the American public from gaining a consensus on an approach on Islamic supremacism. While the infiltration by Islamic supremacist politicians manages a chaos strategy to confuse and divide the American government and its public, Islamic supremacist terror organizations pose the constant threat of mass casualty terrorist attacks on the American homeland to keep the American government in line so that they better listen to Islamic supremacist politicians - or else.
-- Islamic Supremacists' Strategy for America's Definition of the Enemy. Since America still lacks a strategy in dealing with Islamic supremacism (as the AUMF never defined an actual enemy), Islamic supremacist political groups can help shape the thinking of who and what such an enemy might be. They have done so with great success, discouraging American federal government leadership from using terms such as "jihadist" or "Islamist" and redirecting them towards terms that are either ambiguous (such as "extremist") or not understood by the American public (such as "takfiri" - calling someone essentially an apostate from Islam). As Islamic supremacist terrorists also seek war against "extremists" in their own vernacular and view those who don't support Jihad as apostates themselves, this strategy by Islamic supremacist politicians allows them to manipulate an American definition of the enemy that keeps all battles centered on situational, tactical environments, as defining a larger ideology is now impossible, while at the same time not alienating Islamic supremacist terrorists themselves since the definitions are essentially meaningless. The Islamic supremacist politicians advise their American government believers that such a terminology will really "work," as it will differentiate "extremists" or "takfiri" from other Muslims, and turn other Muslims against Islamic supremacist terrorists. But how this really "works" for Islamic supremacists is it that keeps Americans from having any strategic approach towards confronting Islamic supremacism as an ideology and forces America to bleed itself dry in endless circular, tactical, reactive measures without a defined enemy or strategy.
-- Islamic Supremacists' Strategy for Silencing Civil Rights Activists. With an America confused over the hybrid political ideology of Islamic supremacism, once again Islamic supremacist politicians have ensured that their vision filled the vacuum of debate on the subject. While attempts by white supremacist groups to justify their actions based on "white racial pride" failed, Islam is so foreign to millions of Americans that Islamic supremacists can claim "expert opinions" that Sharia and Islamic supremacist actions are indeed culturally justified values. As a minority supremacist group, Islamic supremacist politicians can readily intimidate those who would challenge them with cries of "Islamophobia," and by stating if critics aren't Muslim, they can't possibly understand the issues. The innate fairness of the American public allows them to be gullible for such arguments, as is America's strong commitment to religious freedom. Islamic supremacist politicians leverage these American values, combined with massive misinformation campaigns, to portray any who would criticize Islamic supremacism as "racists" or "bigots." This strategy allows Islamic supremacists to keep the American people off-balance on the subject of Islamic supremacism and silences what should be efforts by traditional civil rights and liberties groups in examining and condemning abuses under Sharia and Islamic supremacism. The silencing of debate on such Sharia abuses in the UN Human Rights Commission is just a taste of what is yet to come in American public discussion in the future, if this Islamic supremacist strategy is not thwarted.
-- Islamic Supremacists' Strategy for Controlling Education. In the war on white supremacism, the American federal government and educators challenged segregationist and supremacist policies, and changed the way the American public and its children would think on issues like white supremacism. But today, it is Islamic supremacists who are controlling education of both Muslims in madrassas, and of non-Muslims in public schools. In the suburbs of America's capital, the Fairfax, Virginia Islamic academy funded by Saudi Arabia teaches Muslim children hatred of non-Muslims, and the Montgomery County public school systems teaches non-Muslim children that jihad is nothing more than a peaceful struggle. Islamic supremacists have sought to leverage their minority status to argue that civil rights should allow them to influence teachings in public school systems so that American non-Muslims are not "bigoted" against Muslims. The confused non-Muslim educators have so readily agreed with ensuring that no "bigotry" should be communicated, that they have abandoned teaching on the facts of Islamic supremacism as an ideology for fear of lawsuits, pickets, and negative publicity. Islamic supremacists, like Nazi supremacists and white supremacists, are well aware that if you can control what is taught, you can control how a population thinks. Islamic supremacist influence in education is not merely limited to organized educational facilities and in academia. Islamic supremacist organizations also "teach" federal law enforcement organizations on how to interface with Muslims. Could you imagine George Wallace teaching the FBI how to interface with white Americans? This is the unique edge that Islamic supremacists have as a minority organization.
-- Islamic Supremacists' Strategy to Divide America's Resolve. It is no secret to the world that the American public has been politically polarized for over a decade. Islamic supremacist politicians seek to play one group off another in America, and keep us focused on fighting among ourselves, so that we don't have time to look at the larger issue of Islamic supremacism as an ideology. Islamic supremacist politicians have leveraged America's internal pre-9/11 political divisions, inability to define an enemy after 9/11, ignorance of Islam, weak news reporting on issues such as Sharia and Islamic supremacism, fear of another terrorism attack, fear of being accused of being "bigots," and Islamic supremacists have leveraged their minority status -- into ensuring that an American consensus on Islamic supremacism will not happen. At worst, such Islamic supremacists seek to cancel out any efforts by American leadership in confronting Jihadists, by forcing their hand through internal divisions to appease non-violent Islamic supremacists. Since you can't confront and appease supremacist ideologies simultaneously, Islamic supremacist politicians have effectively undermined the image that American leadership is serious about Islamic supremacism. At best, it will keep the American public so preoccupied in fighting among themselves that it will continue to quietly manage a stealth jihad in infiltrating our military, law enforcement, and other executive branches of government. Islamic supremacists or their apologists have already reached most of the major areas of America's defense infrastructure. In the U.S. military, frequent documents have been published to "educate" the military on the correct terms to use in "defining the enemy," to call for tactics for America to engage with the Islamic supremacist organization Muslim Brotherhood ("Jihad is our way"), and to instruct the military that "the effort to pursue 'militant Islam' instead of simply opposing 'terrorism,' is too grand a project."
-- Or Else. Unquestionably, Islamic supremacists benefit the most from threats of potential terrorist attacks on the American homeland. That doesn't mean that such threats can't and shouldn't be reported, but we should recognize that the unique nature of mass casualty terrorist attacks on America's homeland has empowered Islamic supremacist politicians in a way that no other supremacist organization has ever accomplished before. The Nazi supremacists and white supremacists never had the hold over the American imagination in terms of mass casualty threats the way that Islamic supremacists have the hold over America today. The mass casualty suicide bomber is something incomprehensible, unreal, and nearly supernatural to the American imagination. It is a stark evil that most Americans have never faced in their relatively peaceful lifetimes. It is little surprise that many Americans will support any policy, any tactic that will reduce such a threat. Even if such promise of peace is only on a short term basis. But such Islamic supremacist blackmail efforts against American values and principles will never be satisfied. Giving into such blackmail didn't work with Nazi supremacists, wouldn't have worked with white supremacists, and ultimately it will not work with Islamic supremacists either.
The day must come in America where new leadership must reject the efforts of infiltration by Islamic supremacists that sap our will to confront an ideology inimical to our values, and the day must come in America when we recognize tolerance of Islamic supremacism for the values blackmail that it is.
While both white supremacism and Islamic supremacism share a primary imperative to "control," a key historical difference is that in America white supremacism was largely reactive, Islamic supremacism is largely activist. In terms of an ideological threat, America could have afforded to fail with other less aggressive supremacist ideological enemies, as they were slow and finite in their progression. While white supremacism was endemic, it also had numerous individuals in America's population that naturally resisted it. Some supremacism ideologies cannot grow beyond their supremacist base. For example, white supremacism could not extend itself naturally to Asians or Latinos.
Islamic supremacism, however, is a different type of transnational supremacism - in that it is an activist, infinite growth organization. Islamic supremacism's objective is not only to get all others to submit to their ideology, but also to get all others to become assimilated or converted to their ideology. This infinite activist nature of such a supremacist ideology poses a grave international threat to civilization. The only experience of an infinite activist supremacist group that America has had any experience with is the state-supremacist ideology of Communist totalitarianism.
Like Communism, Islamic supremacism has twin imperatives for control and activist growth. Like Communism, Islamic supremacism is a transnational ideology. But unlike Communism, Islamic supremacism is not state-based. This is a key differentiator which changes and undermines America's traditional defenses against such ideologies that are state-based.
The true Achilles heel that undermined Communism as an activist ideology was its state-based dependency. While small cells and terrorist groups of Communism can exist quasi-independently, the successful growth of Communism as an activist ideology is dependent on its assimilation and construction around a centralized nation-state government. Communism is a state-centric supremacist ideology, which denies use of other transnational factors used by supremacist organizations such as race, religion, etc. So without the continuous growth of successful Communist state government organizations, Communism as an activist ideology was naturally limited. Moreover, because Communism was dependent on a state-based construction, it allowed America's defense infrastructure to address the growth of Communism on a nation-state basis, which followed the traditional way America's defense infrastructure categorizes threats to national security.
Islamic supremacism has all of the transnational activism of Communism, with none of its state-based limitations. Moreover, while advocates of Communism may be enthusiastic in its growth to promote Communist ideals in this world, Islamic supremacists follow a evangelistic fervor for activist growth not only for the promotion of Islamic supremacist goals in this world, but in support of a supernatural afterlife according to Islam. The challenge that America faces in addressing Islamic supremacism is that death is not a deterrent to the true Islamic supremacist ideologue.
At least in fighting Nazism, white supremacism, death was a deterrent. Mutually Assured Destruction was an option to use in challenging Communism. But in fighting true Islamic supremacist ideologues, America must realize that adherents to this activist supremacist ideology will readily sacrifice their lives for any tactical advantage in expanding this ideology. This means that this generation of Americans must be prepared for even greater sacrifices in defending liberty and equality than our forefathers before us, and must be even more determined in halting the progress of Islamic supremacist ideologies than in fighting past supremacist ideologies. Every new adherent to Islamic supremacism represents another new potential suicide attacker on America.
Denial and obfuscation of the threat of an activist, controlling supremacist ideology such as Islamic supremacism is a mortal error in judgment for a civilization that values freedom and equality. When facing an activist ideology that will readily utilize suicide tactics, it is imperative that America retain its focus on the values that it is committed to upholding and clearly define Islamic supremacism as the supremacist political ideology that it is. Appeasement to values blackmail by Islamic supremacism is a slippery slope that America will find even more costly when it finally does decide to confront the bully of Islamic supremacism on a global basis.
Major pro-Islamic supremacist political organizations in America include:
-- Muslim American Society (MAS) -- founded by the Muslim Brotherhood whose motto is "Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope," the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that "MAS was founded as the United States chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist, anti-Western organization whose goal is the 'introduction of the Islamic Shari'ah as the basis controlling the affairs of state and society,'" and which publicizes a magazine "The American Muslim" which has repeatedly praised suicide bombers. The MAS Freedom organization has attempted to infiltrate American mainstream political parties as well, and U.S. presidential candidates have held one-on-one meetings with the MAS Freedom group. Recently MAS Freedom's Mahdi Bray was quoted on a U.S. presidential candidate's web site defending the confessed Palestinian Islamic Jihad supporter Dr. Sami Al-Arian, in an article where Islamic supremacist Al-Arian is obscenely compared to Martin Luther King.
-- Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) -- whose spokeswoman Edina Lekovic was managing editor for Al-Talib when it instructed Muslim readers to "defend our brother" Osama bin Laden, and "refer to him as a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah." Moreover, as Steven Emerson has pointed out, MPAC "repeatedly has lobbied to remove Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizballah from the U.S. list of designated terrorist groups."
-- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) -- unindicted co-conspirator in Holy Land Foundation terror trial, whose 2007 convention speakers included supporters of Hamas, supporters of 1993 WTC terrorist "Blind Sheik" Omar Rahman, and a speaker who seeks to replace U.S. government with an Islamic caliphate
-- Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- As CAIR-Chicago stated in "Taking Islam out of Radicalism," "[t]o use the word Islam to qualify the problem of radicalism is highly problematic." CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in Holy Land Foundation terror trial. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has a 10 part, 118 page expose on CAIR and its links to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi-funded groups "whose U.S. offices have been raided to investigate possible links to Hamas and Al Qaeda," "CAIR's involvement in radical conferences and denigration of moderates," "CAIR's Extremism and Anti-Semitism," and "CAIR's denial of the challenges posed by Radical Islamists"
-- Muslim Brotherhood (MB) -- As stated above, the Muslim Brotherhood's motto is "Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." As addressed in a recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism: "The Brotherhood is based on the goal of worldwide Islamicization. As its founder, Hassan al Banna said, 'It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.'" An internal Muslim Brotherhood strategy memorandum put in evidence during the Holy Land Foundation terrorist trial stated that: "The Ikhwan 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."
-- Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) - while smaller in the United States than in other other countries, the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization has known branches in California, Chicago, and Wisconsin which promote Islamic supremacism and has a "goal of overthrowing governments in order to replace them with a caliph who would implement Sharia law." During the 2007 ISNA convention, Hizb ut-Tahrir's pro-caliphate booth was located next to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's booth.
America's leadership, media, and academia must become independent of the influence of such Islamic supremacist organizations which seek to shape the language, debate, and willingness of America to confront Islamic supremacism. But while it is essential to declare independence from the influence of such Islamic supremacist groups, there is a chorus on denial on the challenges that Islamic supremacism poses to America.
With the efforts of such Islamic supremacist organizations dividing American public opinion and baffling American government leadership, it should be little surprise that there is an organized chorus of denial that seeks to prevent efforts to confront Islamic supremacist ideologies.
American government and international organizations continue to seek to silence any debate on the ideology of Islamic supremacism, let alone its links to terrorist activities. The January 2008 DHS "terror lexicon" memorandum warns "USG officials should use caution before employing religious terminology" (page 5). The March 2008 National Counterterrorism Center memorandum on "terror lexicon" issues tells government officials to "avoid using terms drawn from Islamic theology." Similarly, on June 16, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) warned that discussion of Sharia's impact on human rights would not be tolerated. A theme across these various statements is the assumption that the average citizen is not qualified or capable of addressing subjects on Islamic supremacism and actions taken based on that ideology.
Did Americans have to be an "expert" or a "scholar" in race relations studies to recognize "white supremacism"? Could you imagine if George Wallace had managed to convince someone at the U.S. federal government or at the United Nations that only an approved list of "white studies" scholars could be allowed to debate the issue of white supremacism? The idea, of course, is both laughable and frightening. But this is precisely what is happening, on an official basis, regarding debate on the issue of Islamic supremacism. Increasingly, the topic is officially off-limits in the very places where it needs to be discussed the most.
Like Rosa Parks in 1955, it is our responsibility to defy those who would silence us from challenging Islamic supremacism and speak out against it. But a significant challenge to such free speech is a concerted effort by Islamic supremacist organizations to cut off any debate on such ideologies in public forums. A key approach used to silence such debate is the suggestion that individuals are simply not learned enough or competent to debate Islamic supremacist issues. The January 2008 DHS memorandum once again makes this point: "[i]t is one thing for a Muslim leader to use a particular term; an American official may simply not have the religious authority to be taken seriously, even when using terms appropriately" (pages 3 and 4).
Furthermore, "Islamic scholars" seek to communicate the same message. But one only needs to look at Georgetown University's John Esposito to see how independent such Islamic scholars are. Professor Esposito's Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding was funded by $20 million from Saudi Arabia. Professor Esposito has a long-standing history as an apologist for Islamic supremacism, claiming that his "years studying those attitudes [of the world's Muslims] suggest that Muslim hostility toward the West is mostly political, not religious, and that Muslims hope the West will show their faith more respect."
Such "Islamic scholars" increasingly provide the "expert opinions" to U.S. government agencies, to the United Nations, to law enforcement agencies, and to other national and international organizations. They head academic "Islamic studies" departments at universities to educate our young people, and they advise other educational organizations that produce textbooks for our children. Yet for the most part, they remain in steadfast denial on the subject of Islamic supremacism itself.
Imagine if during the war on white supremacism, we had an entrenched group in academia that was driving government opinion, advising law enforcement, and teaching Americans that there was no such thing as "white supremacism," that in fact, any such debate on white supremacism was nothing more than a racist and bigoted diatribe. This would have been George Wallace's dream situation. Such a defeat by white supremacism of the forces of intellectual reason and investigation would have been devastating for America, for America's commitment to its principals of equality, and for America's future as a pluralistic nation.
Yet such a nightmare scenario is precisely what is happening in the debate on Islamic supremacism in America today. Organizations such as CAIR (associated with Islamic supremacism) advise law enforcement on how it should act, organizations such as ISNA (whose speakers include supporters of terrorists attacking America) meet with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, organizations such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council (whose leaders have supported Osama Bin Laden) provide forums with guidance on homeland security matters, organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood (whose motto is "Jihad is our way") are suggested as organizations to engage with by Islamic scholars writing for West Point military publications.
The influence of Islamist supremacist political organizations on American governmental leadership can be best illustrated in the fact that both the DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) felt the need to prepare memoranda on how to use terminology about Islam and terrorism in the first place. This is the main point, not the debate over individual terms per se, but that American government agencies that are charged with American security were compelled to prepare such memoranda that exclude terms only for one specific group when discussing terrorism. This was a tremendous historical victory for Islamic supremacist political groups, and should be a wake-up call that America is losing the war of ideas.
We have no comparable memoranda or debate regarding terrorism and proper use of terminology regarding any other supremacist ideology to ensure that white supremacists, black supremacists, Aryan supremacists (or any other supremacist group) are not offended. We have no such exclusionary terror lexicon designed not to "incite" groups with extreme left political ideologies (anarchist, communist), ecological, or any other group where the tactic of terrorism is performed in stated support of their ideology. So the fact that we have a government-provided "terror lexicon" specific to Islam, Islamism, Jihad, is a unique aspect in fighting terrorism tactics. No other race, religion, or political group has managed to successfully lobby the American government to use only terms that they would not find offensive when referencing a specific type of terrorism.
The fact that such a recommended "terror lexicon" exists to ensure that language does not reference anything remotely "Islamic" or "Islamist" regarding terrorist activity -- is much more important than the language in the terror lexicon memorandums themselves. The important question that Americans must ask themselves is why is there only such a "terror lexicon" when it comes to Islam?
The lobbying influence of Islamic supremacist organizations clearly has impacted the thinking of American leadership - once again to rethink exclusionary tactics (when it comes to Islam) as good, rather than bad. We have no exclusionary tactics on terminology when it comes to terrorism by any other political group, racial supremacist group, or religious supremacist group. There are no guidelines to advise government official not to speak of "white supremacism," as this may offend other white Americans, etc. Such exclusionary tactics in terminology only apply to Islamic supremacism. These tactics themselves are the process of Islamic supremacism at work today in the United States.
The analogy in comparing how such exclusionary tactics would have blunted efforts in fighting the ideology of white supremacism is an obvious one, but it is hardly the only such analogy. Imagine any other ideology where terrorism is used and imagine a "hands-off" approach in refusing to acknowledge the existence or threat of such a group, let alone guidelines to ensure that it is not discussed. The logical reaction should be "why"? But that question falls largely on deaf ears in debates on this subject, as Islamic supremacists have increasingly managed to control the venues of debate with American government leadership, academia, and the media on this subject.
I don't view the term "white supremacist" as offensive to me as a white American. Nor do I view the efforts of law enforcement in profiling "white supremacists" as likely to be white as a matter of unreasonable racial profiling. Unlike efforts to identify Islamic supremacists, targeting white Americans in fighting "white supremacists" is indeed actually "racial profiling." But so what? They should use racial profiling in fighting white supremacists. How else would the federal government fight that ideology? Should they have feared to use such terms as "white supremacist" for fear of "inciting" other whites to join terrorist groups?
In the DHS January 2008 terror lexicon memorandum, it states on page 1 that "the terminology we use must be accurate with respect to the very real threat we face. At the same time, our terminology must be properly calibrated to diminish the recruitment efforts of extremists who argue that the West is at war with Islam." What other groups or political ideologies get such "hands-off" treatment? What other groups or political ideologies should not be referenced in terminology on terrorism to diminish recruitment efforts?
In fighting white supremacism did America argue that "our terminology must be properly calibrated to diminish the recruitment efforts of white supremacists who argue that the Federal Government is at war with whites?" In the war on white supremacism, in developing "terminology to define the terrorists" did the Federal Government seek recommendations from "American whites"?
As some will argue, the battle against white supremacism was partially led from other white Americans, but many other non-white Americans also led the fight against white supremacism. Should non-white Americans' use of the term "white supremacism" been censored, because they did not have the right to "slur" all whites with a supremacist ideology?
Words do matter. If what we say is important, what we fear to say may indeed be even more telling on who we are and what we believe.
The January 2008 DHS terror lexicon memorandum states that "[t]he struggle is for progress... The experts we consulted debated the word 'liberty,' but rejected it because many around the world would discount the term as a buzzword for American hegemony" (p. 7, paragraph 5). At a conference that I attended with the memorandum's author, Mr. Daniel Sutherland, he continued to expand on this idea, stating that what people really want in life are good things for their families and children, prosperity.
Ironically, this DHS memorandum is from the "Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties," but use of the word "liberty" itself is discouraged in "recommendations from [anonymous] American Muslims." Americans might have thought that an organization focused on "civil liberties" would flat-out reject such recommendations and refuse to put them in print, let alone circulate such recommendations as guidance to hundreds of thousands of government employees. For context, it must be understood that mission of the DHS organization is solely focused on preventing another terrorist attack on the American homeland. Their desperate tactical mission is to prevent this by any and all means necessary. As previously mentioned, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) failed to identify a specific enemy and enemy ideology. America's political leadership also failed to adopt the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission on "Islamism" and "Islamist terrorism." This strategic and ideological vacuum has provided the opportunity for Islamic supremacist political lobbyists to influence bottom-up thinkers in tactical organizations and academia, with the underlying message that we don't want any more trouble from Jihadists, and that we, not they, need to change.
If we have tactical organizations to defend our buildings and our people, who will strategically defend our values? Where is our "homeland security" of ideas and values? The DHS memorandum makes it very clear that our tactical government agencies are intimidated in defending such values of liberty and equality.
In fact, such "recommendations from American Muslims" are completely wrong about America and its identity. America's core values are not simply about "progress," they are about liberty and equality. When our government is told not to promote liberty and equality, we should be demanding who is telling them this and why, and the memorandum authors have not provided this.
The war of ideas is more fundamental than specific security tactics and measures. The war of ideas is centered around what it means to be an American and what our shared American values are. If some Americans don't agree with American values of equality and liberty, it is they who need to reassess their values, not the American government.
American values are not focused only on achieving peace and neutrality with the world, seeking only ambiguous "progress." American values of equality and liberty are confrontational to many in the world -- to Nazis, to Communists, to white supremacists, and yes, to Islamic supremacists. Such values will gain the enmity of enemies of freedom and equality everywhere - the flame of equality and liberty is a threat to those who would deny it. That is also why such values provide a beacon of freedom to those who are oppressed around the world.
Nazi supremacist Adolf Hitler also claimed to be for progress and prosperity, as did Communist totalitarian leaders, white supremacist George Wallace, and a host of other anti-freedom leaders. Calls for the ambiguous term of "progress" are frequently the last resort of scoundrels who genuinely have no useful ideas or values to offer to their people.
In America, you will see no national memorials to "progress" or to "prosperity," but you will see memorials to those who gave their lives in fighting against Nazi and Communist supremacism, to those who gave their lives in fighting for liberty. You will see monuments - not just to people, but to ideas and to values. In America, you will see a Statue of Liberty. In America, you will see the words "All Men Are Created Equal" chiseled in a marble monument. In America, you will see the words "All Men Are Created Equal" memorialized in our very Declaration of Independence itself. Because in America, we live and die for the values of liberty and equality -- these values are "America" -- every bit as our geographic nation and our people.
Progress may be sufficient for individuals, groups, and nations that do not value liberty and equality, but America is not and never has been such a nation. The day that United States is only about "progress," it will cease to be "America." Defense of American values will be confrontational to Islamic supremacist groups and individuals, just as it was confrontational to Nazis, Communists, and other supremacist groups and individuals. If liberty and equality is confrontational with those whose values are inimical to ours, then that is a fight that we need to face proudly and defiantly.
America has a red, white, and blue badge of courage when it comes to defending liberty and equality. We have proven this in our countless sacrifices for these values over the centuries. It is time once again to prove the courage of our convictions against Islamic supremacism.
The last thing Americans would expect is our military to surrender to an ideological challenge to such values. It is our military that has frequently led the physical aspect of the war of ideas against totalitarian ideologies around the world. When President Dwight Eisenhower was challenged by white supremacists in America, he used the U.S. Army to put such challenges to equality and liberty down. America has a deserved pride and respect in our military and in the men and women who sacrifice their lives for these values.
So it is especially painful to see the infiltration of apologists for Islamic supremacism within America's military, attempting to undermine the definition of the enemy, our strategy, and our resolve to fight for our values. But as apologists for Islamic supremacism have continued to multiply throughout our government, our media, our academia, and our population, it is predictable that such contamination would even spread to those providing strategic guidance to our military.
-- Seeking to Change What America's Military Says. For years, lobbyists have been reaching out to America's military leaders to get them to change the language they use regarding Jihad and Islamic supremacism. As Walid Phares stated a year ago, "The practice of not using 'Jihad' and 'Jihadism' was lately defended by two academics at the National Defense University who based their arguments on a study published by a Washington lobbyist, Jim Guirard." This National Defense University study was then published in an article by the American Forces Press Service (AFPS) as "Loosely Interpreted Arabic terms can promote enemy ideology." The AFPS is the news service provided by the American Forces Information Service, part of the United States Department of Defense. AFPS supplies news stories to U.S. military forces around the world. Mr. Guirard, who represents the Truespeak Institute, is supported in such efforts by the Islamic supremacist group and unindicted Holy Land Foundation terror trial co-conspirator ISNA, as well as by Islamic scholars, such as the Saudi-funded Georgetown University Center leader John Esposito. While such efforts will make no difference to how Jihadists perceive themselves or are perceived by others, what these efforts will do is to avoid debate and analysis on the ideology of Islamic supremacism itself, by removing the symptoms of terrorist activity from the consideration that they are inspired by an Islamic supremacist ideology. As addressed in an article on non-interventionism, ex-CIA analysts Marc Sagemann and Michael Scheuer have also written about and provided ideological apologies for Islamic supremacism, stating essentially that such an ideology does not exist, and that terrorist actions are the result only of American foreign policy and the "glamour" of terrorist activities themselves. The 2008 "terror lexicon" memoranda by the NCTC and DHS are predictable outcomes of efforts to change what our very military calls the enemy.
-- Seeking to Change Who America's Military Views as the Threat. As efforts have continued to move America towards a "War on Extremism" (W.O.E.), the idea of Islamic supremacists as an ideological threat continues to blur. In the June 2008 issue of the West Point Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) publication "Sentinel," another Islamic scholar, George Mason University Center for Global Studies professor Peter Mandaville argues that Islamic supremacists are not only not a threat, but should be engaged as allies. (Americans should be wondering why a professor who believes that Hamas is not really a terrorist group should be providing strategic guidance on terrorism to the West Point Military Academy.) In the West Point publication, Professor Peter Mandaville decries the idea that "the default assumption still appears to be that Islamism of any kind is more likely to be part of the problem rather than a potential component of counter-terrorism solutions." Peter Mandaville tells West Point readers that in fact what America should be doing to prevent terrorist attacks is to engage with the international Islamic supremacist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood of "Jihad is our way" is hardly the only aspect in rejecting such an Islamic supremacist apologist argument. The Muslim Brotherhood is based on the ideology of Islamic supremacism based on activism towards converting the world into a global caliphate ruled by Islam. As previously mentioned, the Muslim Brotherhood specifically has stated its strategy in the United States that it seeks to sabotage it "from within." In fact, this effort by Peter Mandaville in providing propaganda to the West Point Military Academy is precisely what the Muslim Brotherhood's strategy has sought to achieve. Professor Mandaville argues that "Islamists and counter-terrorism practitioners are likely to find a more common alignment of interests than perhaps either of them anticipated." His argument sounds credible to those who believe that America is only fighting ambiguous "extremists." To those who recognize that Islamic supremacism is inimical to our values, such arguments are a transparent effort to undermine the American military's ability to define the threat.
-- Seeking to Change What America's Military Views as the War. The Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College publishes security and strategic reports for U.S. military agencies, military leaders, and to influence policy. So when this branch of the US Army War College calls for America to run from fighting a war to defend its values, Americans should be deeply concerned. The US Army War College sent this message in April 2008 to American military leadership in publishing a study by Islamic scholar Sherifa Zuhur on "Precision in the Global War on Terror: Inciting Muslims through the War of Ideas." Professor Zuhur is not ambiguous about her message to the American military in stating that "the effort to pursue 'militant Islam' instead of simply opposing 'terrorism,' is too grand a project" (page 9), and that "it is time to abandon the assumptions of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West" (page 115). In effect, this Islamic scholar is guiding American military away from looking at Islamic supremacism as an ideology, and instead advises that the only possible course for America is the circular, tactical guerilla warfare against "terrorists" or "extremists" instead. Professor Zuhur tells America's military that "[p]lanners and policymakers should avoid essentialist and reductionist interpretations of key concepts like the Caliphate" (page 117). Professor Zuhur tells America's military that the "United States (even along with Europe) cannot undo the Islamic awakening, the growth of Islamist movements and principles, and popular support for them. Work with Islamists instead of engaging them in what surely will be a very long war" (page 118). In summary, this study distributed by the US Army War College was provided to American military around the world to tell them to ignore the ideology of Islamic supremacism, and to discourage any type of confrontation with Islamic supremacism to defend our values of equality and liberty. Clearly the Islamic supremacist propaganda campaign is working.
Despite such infiltrations, I am aware of efforts by members within the U.S. military to continue to resist Islamic supremacist indoctrination. However, the structural organization of the U.S. military is to obey orders and follow commands. If we are to keep our U.S. military free of Islamic supremacist indoctrination, it remains our responsibility to take the political battle to our American leadership to ensure that our military's focus remains centered on defending American values.
If American leadership was looking for a case study on "what not to do" in addressing the challenge of Islamic supremacism, it would need to look no further than the United Kingdom. But in the chorus of denial on the challenge of Islamic supremacism, there are many who (frighteningly) believe that the United Kingdom offers ideas and research that could be valuable in counterterrorism measures in the United States. In fact, if America continues to pursue an approach of denial on Islamic supremacism, comparable to that of the United Kingdom's, it could well go down its same disastrous path.
The symptoms of the United Kingdom's disastrous policies on Islamic supremacism can be seen in the June 22, 2008 London Times where Sir Simon Jenkins writes that: "[t]he Taliban's chief objective is not world domination but a share of power in Afghanistan... [and that the Taliban] offer the best hope of beating Al-Qaeda." (Of course, the Taliban's objectives are to work towards a Sharia-based Islamic supremacist global caliphate, one country at a time, just as Al-Qaeda.) Such symptoms can also been seen in the recent comments by Sir Hugh Orde (frontrunner to be the next commissioner of Metropolitan Police) that UK should negotiate with Al-Qaeda. Most importantly, such symptoms can be seen in the repeated attempts by British Jihadists to commit mass casualty terrorist attacks in April 2001, December 2001, and 2006 on the United States homeland, and the position of the United Kingdom as the "focal point for Islamic terrorism across Europe." The disastrous United Kingdom approach to addressing Islamic supremacism has made it one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and a continuing serious threat to America's national security.
But among the chorus in denial on the threat of Islamic supremacism, the efforts of the United Kingdom to try to "engage" its Muslim community to discourage Muslims from "extremism" seem attractive. The UK Home Office's Jonathan Allen recently summarized this approach to a George Washington University panel on homeland security issues that Muslims don't need to agree with United Kingdom foreign policies to share UK's position on being against such "criminals" as Jihadists. Last winter, the United Kingdom government also developed its own "terror lexicon" where terms such as "Jihad," "Islamism," etc., would no longer be used, and the London police force started instructing its officers on Sharia law.
While there is a plethora of detail on tactics involving British Jihad and Islamism (much of which I address at the web site "British Jihad and Islamism Watch"), my focus in this article is on how the ideological challenges have failed in the United Kingdom, and why such failures must not be replicated to address tactical efforts in counterterrorism in the United States.
The United Kingdom strategies against Islamic supremacism have failed precisely because they have been consistently weak on the issue of Islamic supremacism as an ideology. Historically, the United Kingdom looked the other way for decades as Islamic supremacists infiltrated the United Kingdom, set up Islamic supremacist organizations, publicly threatened violence, and developed a European logistics base within the United Kingdom. The UK immigration policies were considered so lax that Osama Bin Laden applied for asylum to move to the UK in 1995 as a safe haven for his Al Qaeda operations, while Bin Laden was planning the "Bojinka plot". Had Bin Laden managed to immigrate to the UK, or had Dhiren Barot's British Jihadist gang managed to successfully attack New York City prior to the 9/11 attacks, it well may have been the United Kingdom that the U.S. had to deal with rather than Afghanistan.
During the decades of the United Kingdom's alleged "Gentleman's Agreement" with Islamic supremacists, other European nations were furious with UK's asylum for such supremacists and UK's unwillingness to crack down on this ideology. Many Europeans called the UK "Londonistan" due to its growing status as a logistics base, planning hub, and asylum center for Islamic supremacists throughout Europe. After the 9/11 attacks, Islamic supremacists such as al-Muhajiroun held conferences and rallies in "honor" of the "magnificent 19" who attacked America on 9/11, and Islamic supremacists became increasingly public and bold in their threats towards the Western world, encouraged by Al-Qaeda's attacks on America, and empowered by the UK's unwillingness to crack down on them.
It wasn't until the United Kingdom itself was attacked on July 7, 2005 in the London subway and bus bombings that the UK was sufficiently incentivized to "crack down" on Islamic supremacists. In a recent interview in Lebanon with Omar Bakri Mohammed, he stated that after the July 2005 bombings, the UK government "violated the 'Covenant of Security' (Aqd Al-Amaan) that had hitherto guaranteed peace between Muslims and the British state." But this did not last long. A few years after inconsistent efforts to crack down on Islamic supremacist organizations, the UK government concluded that it was facing a bigger problem than it could handle. The estimates of the numbers of Islamic supremacist terrorists and supporters being monitored by the UK MI5 domestic intelligence agency have varied - ranging from 1,200 to 4,000 -- but the fundamental problem is that the UK MI5 and the UK government feel overwhelmed by the task and gravity of their threat. (Of course, the UK has no historical experience in facing a challenge like the 4 million member Ku Klux Klan white supremacist terrorist group in the United States.)
So in an effort to reinvent old policy, today's UK has gone to a "War on Criminals" mode (since they won't use the word "Jihadists"), continuing to avoid recognizing the threat of Islamic supremacism as an ideology, and continuing to tolerate Islamic supremacist organizations (such as Hizb ut-Tahrir), while using terminology and public relations efforts (such as training Bobbies on Sharia) to convince British Muslims not to accept "extremism" or to support "criminals." In fact, this "new policy" is not much more different from the "old policy" on Islamic supremacist ideology, except that if Islamic supremacists make direct, public, and prosecutable threats, then they can expect to be arrested, at least until they are turned loose again.
This "new strategy" by UK is not intended to confront Islamic supremacism as an ideology at all, which is why the chorus of denial on Islamic supremacism find it so attractive. It is only intended to discourage and temporarily disrupt Islamic supremacist terrorist plots from being actualized on a rolling basis. What the UK government fails to appreciate is that it can't simply keep its ship of state afloat by endlessly bailing water as the hole in the bottom continues to grow larger. So with every new Sharia court established in the UK, with every new instance where British courts accepts Sharia, with every new pronouncement that Sharia law should be accepted, with every new comment that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda should be negotiated with, the empowerment of Islamic supremacism continues to grow as an ideology that can affect change within the United Kingdom. While the UK government believes that such "tolerance" and "understanding" of Islamic supremacism defuses violence, it fails to understand that weakness in its national values encourages others to gravitate to stronger, more defined values, such as Islamic supremacism.
Furthermore, the UK's history in conflict management over a foreign empire is one that ultimately concluded in constant defeat of Britain in region after region, resulting in a culture of conflict avoidance by the mid 20th century. Such conflict avoidance with Nazi Germany supremacists nearly cost the UK its national sovereignty, and those who demonize pre-WWII UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain should recognize that he represented a view common in British society at that time, and which has sadly been revitalized today.
While the chorus of denial on Islamic supremacism points to the UK experiments in "engaging" its Muslim society as a laudable example to be followed, it must be remembered that it is the American historical experience and commitment to sacrifice for the equality against supremacist organizations that is our most valuable lesson. It must be remembered that the UK continues to represent one of the greatest threats by Islamic supremacism towards the United States in the world - with repeated mass-casualty terrorist attack attempts by British Jihadists against the United States homeland. The last country (except perhaps for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Iran) that the United States should seek to "learn lessons" from should be the United Kingdom.
Unlike the United States, the United Kingdom had no Abraham Lincoln, no Emancipation Proclamation, no Gettysburg Address, no words "all men are created equal" chiseled in marble in a memorial in the heart of its capital. It simply is not the same country as the United States. In America's Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom, our fundamental differences were clearly stated in the defiant declaration of the ideal that "All Men Are Created Equal."
Our beloved values ensure that America's population knows what it means to be "American." Does the UK's population know what it means to be "British"? The UK's history in the Magna Carta is focused on "liberty," but not necessarily equality. Liberty is only half of the equation of freedom, equality is the other completing half of freedom that provides the values to truly challenge any supremacist ideology.
America's war on white supremacism and its consistent sacrifices for both liberty and equality provide the necessary and relevant historical examples on how to counter such threats and provide the basis for a declaration of independence from Islamic supremacist influences.
In a war of ideas, the individual battles are sometimes less visually obvious than in traditional military battles. But certainly those who remember seeing black churches burned to the ground by white supremacists, who remember the slaughter of 6 million Jews by Nazi supremacists in the Holocaust, who remember the 9/11 attacks by Islamic supremacists in 2001... remember that such horrific violence was more than random senseless acts, but that such violence was a deliberate act of war against a race, against a religion, against a people that values equality and liberty.
These wars of ideas are more than rhetorical battles and debates. They are mortal and moral conflicts that define who and what we are. They are civilizational conflicts that define what values we hold dear and what values we will give our lives to defend. To diminish the magnitude of such moral and values conflicts is an insult to all those whose lives, whose families, whose peace, was sacrificed.
Supremacist ideologies - whether they are Nazism, White Supremacism, or Islamic Supremacism - are not the values of a civilized society. They are the values of a savage society, a society that America's pluralistic democracy can not, will not, and must not appease or tolerate. In our founding Declaration of Independence, we declared that "All Men Are Created Equal." One hundred and forty five years ago, our president declared a war that would challenge white supremacism based on the ideals best summarized in his Gettysburg Address: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
All men and women of all races, religions are equal. This fundamental American value is the antithesis of Islamic supremacism, where freedom of religion is not permitted, where terrorism is lauded as "martyrdom," where "blasphemy" and "apostasy" is punishable by death, where women and non-Muslims are second class citizens, where children are forced into marriage, where girls and women are murdered for "honor," and where the only way - is the Sharia way.
We cannot continue to allow those in denial on Islamic supremacism to persuade our government leadership that such diametrically opposed values can continue to co-exist without confrontation. We cannot continue to let those who would apologize for Islamic supremacism persuade our government leadership that "progress" and "peace" are worth more than the values of equality and liberty that define America itself.
America must make a declaration of independence from the influence of Islamic supremacism in our society, in our government, and in our nation.
A declaration of independence from the influence of Islamic supremacism in America is not an educational issue, it is an issue of determination, of defiance, of willpower. It is a challenge to see if we truly have the courage of our convictions. A declaration of independence from the influence of Islamic supremacism in America and around the world is the moral calling of this American generation - to confront, to defy, and to deny the efforts of Islamic supremacists here and around the world to expand their activist supremacist ideology. We must reject Islamic supremacism influences in our government leadership, our military, our academia, our schools, our news media, and our allies. We must reject Islamic supremacist organizations and their attempts to infiltrate our society and divide our nation. We must defy the efforts of Islamic supremacist organizations to influence our language, to gain a safe haven for their anti-American ideology, and to influence government policy to ignore American values.
With such a declaration of independence from Islamic supremacism, we must face a greater, more dangerous task ahead - a war against the ideology of Islamic supremacism itself. Many fear such a confrontation -- and with good cause. Such a confrontation will result in great sacrifice. But a greater sacrifice would be to abandon our principles of equality and liberty in favor of "progress," a greater sacrifice would be to retreat before a supremacist bully that seeks to manipulate our national and international policies in fear of terrorist retribution, a greater sacrifice would be to allow this current threat of Islamic supremacism to make the sacrifices of generations before us to be in vain in defining America as the defender of equality and liberty.
Islamic supremacists fail to understand that America will survive all attacks and weapons against us, that America will survive all losses and sacrifices in the defense of its values of equality and liberty, that America will survive any catastrophe that may befall its geographical nation or its people. Because America is not just a geographic nation-state, America is not just a group of people, America is an idea itself. This is why we fight for equality and liberty. This is why we sacrifice for equality and liberty. Because this is who and what America is.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
We understood this when we first made our Declaration of Independence, and we fought a war over 100 years with white supremacists to make these values a consistent reality. As we address the new ideological tyranny of Islamic supremacism, we must remember that these truths are just as self-evident today as they were on July 4, 1776. They remain just as important to fight for now, as then, no matter what ideology threatens them.