The embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood by President Obama, aided and abetted by the Republican establishment, is not new. It is the culmination of a gradual surrender whose silhouette was already evident nearly twenty years ago. I wrote about it in Willful Blindness, a memoir about the start of our nation’s confrontation with Islamic supremacism as a domestic threat — back in the early Nineties, when I led the prosecution of the Blind Sheikh’s New York jihadist cell, which carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Is our wayward course one that can be corrected? The ongoing controversy over Islamist influence on our government will probably answer that question.
Spotlighted are concerns raised by five conservative members of the House of Representatives about (i) Brotherhood-friendly government policymaking and (ii) government officials, such as the State Department’s Huma Abedin, who have longstanding Islamist ties. The crossroads at which we’ve arrived, however, involve a lot more than any single government official or policy. Let me be stark: Our liberty and security are threatened, and the questions not only of whether GOP leaders comprehend the stakes, but also of whether the Republican Party remains a worthy home for defenders of liberty, have become very real.
A little history, to measure how far we’ve veered. When we tried Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and his cohorts in 1995, the overarching charge was that all 12 defendants, plus dozens of unindicted coconspirators, conspired to wage a war of urban terrorism against the United States. Beyond the Trade Center attack, this campaign included a more ambitious plot to bomb New York City landmarks (e.g., Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, UN complex, FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters, some U.S. military installations, etc.), as well as sundry schemes to kidnap or assassinate current and former government officials, murder the president of Egypt, and the like.
Here is the crucial part that you need to understand: The Blind Sheikh and his subordinates were not merely “violent extremists,” seized by some sort of psychological problem. They were Islamic supremacists. Yes, their methods were barbaric; but that does not mean they were insane or irrational. Indeed, had that been the case, they would have been not guilty by reason of mental incapacity.
To the contrary, we proved that their actions were rationally motivated by Islamic supremacist ideology, an easily knowable interpretation of Islam, drawn directly from Muslim scripture, that commands its adherents to coerce societies into adopting sharia. Sharia is Islam’s totalitarian framework for how societies are to be ruled. It is not just a set of spiritual guidelines; it is a comprehensive social and legal system, said to be Allah’s gift and directive to mankind. It governs all human activity — not just prayer and worship, but financial, social, familial, political, military, and even hygienic activity.