Islamophobic Hysteria Becomes Conventional Wisdom
It's been quite a week to be the author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.
My book was well received by the public and generously reviewed by some of the conservative press. In what passes for the "mainstream" media, however, it was mostly ignored and otherwise panned as Islamophobic hysteria. This was because the book had two themes that were deeply unpopular:
1. Islamic supremacism is not a fringe ideology, but instead an entirely mainstream interpretation of Islam that is followed by hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide -- the dominant Islam of the Middle East, and -- whether a majority or a strong plurality -- the dynamic Islam in the rest of the world today, including the West. Its chief proponents are the Saudi kingdom and the Muslim Brotherhood (Iran and its satellites compete with a Shiite version that is equally revolutionary, but there are vastly more Sunnis than Shiites). The Brotherhood rightly perceives itself as the intellectual vanguard of a global Islamic mass-movement with a ground-up strategy for Islamizing societies that prioritizes the implementation of sharia.
2. Islamists and Leftists are frequent collaborators. Though their disagreements are several and not trivial (e.g., women's rights, gay rights, abortion), they are in harmony on basic, big-picture matters. Both ideologies are totalitarian in the sense of wanting centralized control of people's lives, down to the small details; both elevate the good of the collective (or the ummah) over the individual; both are vigorously anti-capitalist (something most Americans still do not know about Islamist ideology); and neither can succeed in achieving its grand design without suppressing the liberties and self-determinism of the citizen.
On point 2, some objected to my use of the word sabotage in the subtitle. The word is not something I came up with, though. I was quoting an internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum which described the Islamist mission in America as "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within" by means of "sabotage" (to be precise, by "sabotaging" the "miserable house" that is "Western civilization").
This concept of pretending one's intentions are benign in order to bore into a society's institutions and fundamentally to transform them from within mirrors the Alinsky-style community organizing favored by the hard Left. Given that Islamists admit (at least among themselves) that they are committing sabotage, and given their propensity to make common cause with Leftists who employ the same transform-from-within strategy, I do not think there is much merit in this objection to the word sabotage. Put a different way, I think the real objection is that I spotlighted something they would rather keep hidden.