As you read this, I will be away from my desk. While I am gone, I will be posting a mini-retrospective of some of my previously published, copy-righted work. The articles seem to hold up. In some cases, I will introduce the piece. In most instances, I will let the piece speak for itself.
The Islamification of America — March 19, 2006
As Americans, we have a long and legendary history of welcoming and assimilating immigrants. This includes granting political asylum to those in flight from political persecution. But, as Americans, we must also ensure that what has gone wrong in Europe—or what some are now calling “Eurabia”—does not happen here.
At this moment in history, we cannot allow a large influx of Arab and Muslim immigrants who have no intention of assimilating into a western, modern, and democratic American way of life. Please note that I am saying a “large” influx of immigrants who do not wish to “assimilate.” I am not talking about Arabs and Muslims who not only want to assimilate but are actively in flight from repressive Islamist regimes. How we might do this is the subject of another piece.
Here, I want to focus on those things that specifically endanger America in the absence of a massive influx of Arab and Muslim immigrants bent on jihad. I am talking about the ways in which a small but organized number of Muslim-Americans and Muslim immigrants, aided by their many Christian- and Jewish-American supporters, are currently seeking to begin the Islamification of America.
According to the scholar Bat Ye’or and the journalist Oriana Fallaci, Europe became “Eurabia” due to a massive influx of hostile Muslim immigrants with a high birth rate whose passage to Europe was aggressively funded both by Arab oil money and by European doctrines of “multi-cultural tolerance.”
A similarly dangerous, multi-cultural tolerance also exists in America. So far, however, it has won support mainly among our intellectual elite and our liberal and progressive media. Respect for barbarism thankfully does not yet exist among most American civilians. However, our concept of “religious tolerance,” academic freedom, and free speech are now being used to promote and protect hate speech against America and Israel and against the Judeo-Christian tradition. Let me give some recent examples.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is fighting to overturn the U.S. State Department’s decision not to admit Tariq Ramadan. Please note: Ramadan’s grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood and his father joined the family business. (The Jew-hating Brotherhood is a staunch advocate of jihad against the West). Ramadan is also a suave apologist for Islamic religious and gender apartheid and is, arguably, pro-jihad. He is, no doubt, a “moderate” compared to al-Qaeda’s Bin Laden and Iran’s Ahmadinejad. Yet Ramadan may outdistance such terrorist counterparts in terms of his far more sophisticated disinformation capability. Nevertheless, the ACLU sees his right to teach and preach as a First Amendment issue. Perhaps they have a point. My questions: Are we obligated to extend First Amendment rights to our enemies when we are at war? Even if doing so endangers us?
And further: Why did PEN—a distinguished Association of Writers of which I am a proud member—feel obliged to honor or to “invite” Ramadan to their festive annual conference which will take place at the end of April of 2006? Would they extend a similar honor to Hitler? Would they do so simply because the American administration had banned the sale of his book or refused to allow Hitler to preach here?
According to the Iranian dissident Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, PEN was going to honor both Ramadan and Magdi Allam, the Egyptian-born non-practicing Muslim deputy editor of Italy’s premier newspaper, Corriere della Sera, but Allam refused to appear together with Ramadan. When I called the PEN office they confirmed that Ramadan was still “invited” but was no longer being given an award. Why does an American organization dedicated to both free and artful speech feel that “even-handedness” obliges them to honor a Muslim anti-Islamist and a Muslim Islamist apologist at the same event? Whose favor do they curry, whose censure do they fear? That of western politically correct intellectuals or that of Islamists? Is there an operative difference when it comes to pro-Islamist free speech?
More recently, the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Norman Seigel, followed by the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, defended the right of the New York City’s top Muslim prison imam to rage against America, Jews, and Zionists. At a conference of Muslim students, Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil claimed that Muslims were being “tortured” in city jails; that “the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House;” and that we should not allow “the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us.”
The imam was suspended with pay for two weeks but not fired. Perhaps he does have the right to say anything he pleases as a citizen; perhaps his loss of this right might also endanger us all. My question is, what if he is indoctrinating a large population of NYC criminals? Conversion to Islam, especially among African-American men in jail, is growing, both here and among North-and Caribbean-African men in Europe. Can we consider them truly “rehabilitated” if they hold such extremist views when they are released?
Further, what does it mean that Duke University and Georgetown University have recently defended the right of the Palestine Solidarity Movement to hold their annual conference at their respective campuses? Both institutions claimed that even if the hate speech against Jews, Israel, and America was false and inflammatory, it was still protected by the First Amendment and by academic freedom.
Let’s assume they are right. My question: at what point can we understand that such hateful teaching and preaching have the power to inflame someone like the Iranian student, Mohammed Reza Taheriazar who just drove his rented SUV into a crowd of fellow students at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, injuring nine people? According to Daniel Pipes, this quiet and seemingly assimilated terrorist said that he wanted to “punish the American government for their actions around the world” and that he “wanted to avenge the death of Muslims around the world.”
Such ideas are rampant in the Islamic media. Just as the 2000 Intifada against Israel has gone global, so too has the hate speech against America, Israel, and the West become global and technologically magnified. The anti-American and anti-Zionist mosque sermons that have historically taken place locally every Friday have now also gone global and are available, via satellite, throughout the world, including in Europe.
Not to worry. The Qatar-based network, al-Jazeera—the very same network to which bin Laden and al-Zaraquawi send the videos of their beheadings—wants to open an office in Washington, D.C. to “spin” the news in English for us. Luckily, like the Dubai Port deal, it has encountered some American resistance. There is no guarantee that such resistance will ultimately prevail.
But here is what really worries me. The same First Amendment, free speech, and academic rights that seem to work so well for Islamists, do not seem to protect our right to criticize Islamic terrorism or Islamic religious and gender apartheid. Thus, by and large, the First Amendment absolutists of the American media chose not to reprint the Danish cartoons in solidarity with the Danish cartoonists. In fact, only one brave young editor, Harry Siegel of the New York Press, walked off the job when his boss refused to allow him to publish the controversial cartoons. Meanwhile, the bookshop so well known for stocking books by dissidents, San Francisco’s City Lights Bookshop, absolutely refuses to stock or sell Oriana Fallaci’s work.
Those of us who describe Islam/Islamism accurately are often slandered as “racists” and as “Islamophobic” and silenced by lawsuit and by fear of lawsuit. Members of Cincinnati’s Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) managed to shut down a production of a play by Glyn O’Malley about the first female suicide bomber. A group of Muslim students at De Paul University managed to get Professor Thomas Klocek fired or permanently “suspended” because, off-duty, (just like the NYC prison imam above), he tried to tell the truth about the Israel-Palestinian matter. Muslim students, perhaps shocked that anyone would dare disagree with their anti-Israel views, reported him as a “racist.” Klocek pro-American and pro-Israel free speech is, apparently, not as protected as is that of another De Paul University professor, Norman Finkelstein, a well-known Holocaust denier and demonizer of Israel. Finkelstein has certainly not been suspended for his false and inflammatory views. On the contrary, he is up for tenure.
In Europe, lawsuits have been launched against those who tell the truth about Islam. A series of such lawsuits has kept Oriana Fallaci in exile from her native land, Italy, and has made it dangerous for her to visit Switzerland. For similar reasons, the Israeli-American author Rachel Ehrenfeld cannot visit England, where a Saudi billionaire has won a default judgment against her. Ehrenfeld’s alleged crime? She told the truth about this particular Saudi’s funding of terror – and she has counter-sued him here, under her First Amendment right to do so. Interestingly, while many major newspapers and booksellers, including Amazon, have written briefs on her behalf, no one but Ehrenfeld is funding the actual lawsuit in defense of our collective right to tell the truth about the Islamic funding of terrorism against us.
Finally, the same western intellectuals who insist on our right to mock both Judaism and Christianity are often the first to charge “Islamophobia” and “racism” when Islam is presented accurately and criticized, not to mention presented in a series of rather innocuous cartoons. (The three offensive cartoons were slipped in by Muslims, and the riots against the cartoons were carefully orchestrated months later.)
What is to be done about this state of affairs? First, we have to re-evaluate the meaning of free speech, both in terms of hate speech and in terms of wartime realities. Along the same lines, we must find some legally and politically sound ways to slow down or to eliminate entirely the growth industry of jihadist hate speech in America. Islamists do not hesitate to falsify, exaggerate, and censor our culture, e.g. the Danish cartoon incident. We cannot allow our traditions of freedom and tolerance to be taken over by intolerant forces in the service of repression or terrorism. This is not easy to do but it must be done—and done quickly—by the best lawyers and legislators in our land.
Second, we must begin to insist that Muslims allow the same free speech and religious practices to religious minorities in their countries that they wish us to extend to them in the West. This means that if Muslims want religious freedoms in the West, they have to grant such freedoms to Jews, Christians, and other religious minorities in Muslim countries. It is well past time they did so. The Middle East is already entirely judenrein, free of Jews, except in Israel, and I doubt whether any of the 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab Muslim countries, or their descendants, will want to return. But Christians have long been—and still are—persecuted, often severely, under Muslim rule. Thus, America might begin to peg every trade or peace treaty with a Muslim country or business to an agreement about religious tolerance and freedom.
Third, we should not allow a falsely positive or superficial picture of Islam to be taught in public schools (and inserted into textbooks), nor should we teach a balanced view of Islam as long as Islamic schools, both here and abroad, refuse to teach anything true about Judeo-Christian culture.
Finally, we endanger countless Muslim women and girls and freedom-loving Muslim men as well, when we extend religious freedom to Muslims who believe it is their religious right to subjugate, torment, mutilate, and murder women and dissidents. In a dangerous cultural ju-jitsu, Islamists have been using our strengths against us. Previously, we in the West insisted how proud we were to tolerate the intolerant. We can no longer afford to do so. Instead, we must stand up to intolerance and hate speech, just as we must stand up to jihad—with all our hearts, and with all our might.