In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain. The purpose for meeting with Adja was to negotiate an end to Muslim raids on American ships.
Jefferson and Adams later reported what the ambassador said when asked how he could justify such attacks. According to the report given to Congress, Adja replied “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
Little has changed in the intervening years concerning Islamic hatred of Americans. What has changed, however, is that Muslims have become more cunning in their tactics. That is the subject of Robert Spencer’s book Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs.
This book takes up where Spencer’s 2005 publication, Review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades) left off.
As the title suggests, Stealth Jihad is about the more subtle and quiet mechanisms Muslims have begun to employ for undermining the integrity of non-Muslim societies. Spencer focuses particularly on America to show the progress Muslims have been making towards their goal of total domination.
The director of Jihad Watch and a weekly columnist for Human Events, Robert Spencer is an internationally recognised Islamic scholar. He knows Islam from the inside out and bases his arguments entirely on what Muslims have themselves written or said.
The bulk of Stealth Jihad is not so much about the goals of the Muslim community as the new means they are employing for reaching those goals. It is essentially the Gramscian strategy for cultural change, based on slow and steady infiltration of the culture’s dominant institutions, media and public discourse.
“Destroying The Western Civilization From Within”
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna in an attempt to revive the political aspects of Islam following the decline of the Ottoman Empire. al-Banna was unabashed in stating his ultimate goals:
“it is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world: Allahu akbar!”
In 1982 the Muslim Brotherhood produced a document detailing a twelve-point strategy for achieving al-Banna’s goal to “establish an Islamic government on earth.” The document did not advocate terrorism and in fact urges Muslims to avoid “confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa [Islamic proselytizing] or its disciples.” Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood advocates using deception to mask its real agenda. Their real agenda, as revealed in their own words, is for the hegemony of Islamic law to be introduced into America little by little.
In 1991 the Brotherhood reaffirmed this goal. Mohamed Akram of the Muslim Brotherhood wrote, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” In the note he said that the Muslim Brotherhood
“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 Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
The key words in Akram’s quote is where he contends that Muslims must work on “destroying the Western civilization from within.” Jihadist activism in the past has tended to focus on toppling the enemies of Islam from without, through the use of external violence and force. This was the method that Muhammad employed for capturing Mecca and the surrounding regions, and it has also been the tact taken by countless Islamic conquerors since. However, Akram is describing a quite different method, one which he refers to as “a new stage of Islamic activism.” A new stage, we should note, but not a new plan. The new stage relies on subverting Western civilization from within by using the very mechanisms and institutions of Western civilization itself, such as the democratic process, the media and education.
Akram has spoken of the Islamic religion being “enabled within the souls, minds and the lives of the people of the country in which it moves.” He also urges that “All of our priorities, plans, programs, bodies, leadership, monies and activities march towards the process of the settlement.” In order to achieve this “settlement”, he says they must “shift from the collision mentality to the absorption mentality.”
In short, America will be absorbed into the Islamic settlement without a single shot ever having to be fired. That is the nature of the stealth jihad.
The Face of Moderate Islam
The stealth jihad represents an overarching strategy encompassing even those groups considered to be moderate. Spencer quotes the writings of various “moderate” groups to show that their long-range objectives are the same as those groups which advocate terror. The terrorists as well as the, so called, “moderate” groups, share the common goal of forcing American society to accommodate itself to the canons of Islamic law.
Many of the ‘moderate’ Islamic groups in America, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or the Muslim Public Affairs Council, have links to terrorist organizations. This is not surprising, seeing as they share the same agenda with the terrorists. What differs is only their methodology.
The picture begins to emerge that to be a ‘moderate’ Muslim organization is not to have given up the supremacist impulse which rejects coexistence with non-Muslim value systems; rather, it is to embrace a range of peaceful mechanisms for bringing that agenda to reality. Legal endeavours, civil rights initiatives, media campaigns are all among the weapons in the arsenal of the stealth jihadists.
As these groups acquire more politically savvy, they have come to see that terrorism is not only an ineffective means for achieving their goals, but is actually harmful for their objectives. Why use guns and bombs when all it does is cause people to hate you? How much more effective to conquer a people through gaining access to their hearts.
One of the ways this is being achieved is as Muslim groups influence what is written about their religion in textbooks. Spencer devotes all a whole chapter to showing just how sophisticated many of these groups have become in lobbying the publishers of mainline textbooks to present egregiously inaccurate information concerning Islam or the Crusades. Through the manipulation of teachers’ organizations, these textbooks are being disseminated to a wider and wider radius of schools. In these books, Muslims are constantly portrayed to be victims of oppression, while the darker side if Islam is either ignored or denied altogether.
Silencing the Critics
Spencer writes that “One of the most effective tactics employed by Islamic jihadists throughout the world is to intimidate their opponents into silence.” The goal of the stealth jihadist is to make Islam off-limits for critical discussion. By using the courts to enforce censorship and by labelling those who criticize Islam as being “hatemongers,” and “Islamophobes”, scholars and pundits are too intimidated to say what they know to be the truth about Islam.
One of the most effective strategies here has been to get the media to think of Islam as a race not a religion, so that those who criticize Islam can be accused of being racist. The charge of racism is even more effective than issuing death threats since it can have the immediate effect of turning the media against a writer or organization.
The silencing of criticism is the stated aim of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents fifty-seven Muslim-majority states. In their March 2008 meeting in Senegal, the OIC put forward an international agenda. They said they intended to craft a “legal instrument” that would make the criticism of Islamic illegal. “Islamophobia,” one of their company declared, “cannot be dealt with only through cultural activities but (through) a robust political engagement.” That, Spencer points out, is “a careful euphemism calling for restrictions on freedom of speech.”
UN Human Rights Council Caves In
Amazingly, the campaign to restrict free speech is now causing restrictions on which crimes can be investigated by the UN Human Rights Council.
In June 2008, the Associated Press reported that “Muslim countries have won a battle to prevent Islam from being criticised during debates by the UN Human Rights Council.” What does this mean in practice? The agreement not to discuss religion in the UN Human Rights Council was prompted after Muslim countries complained about there being references to Islam during a discussion of the problems of female genital mutilation, execution by stoning and child marriage as sanctioned by Islamic law. The discussion of such atrocities was continually stonewalled by representatives from Muslim countries. The representative from Pakistan, for example, urged the council’s president to prohibit David Littman, to be banned from speaking. Littman was presenting information about practices such as burying women up to their waists in pits and using blunt stones to increase their agony in death.
The representatives from Muslim countries went a lot further than merely urging the UN Human Rights Council to simply ban inaccurate criticisms. Rather, they urged that all criticisms of Islam but shut down. One Senegalese diplomat made a report to the UN Human Rights Council urging that even to quote the Koran in the context of criticizing Islam is itself an act of bigotry and “Islamophobia.”
The council president eventually gave in and prohibited all discussion of Islam in the council meetings. Just think about the implications here for a moment: an international body dedicated to promoting human rights is now prohibited from discussing the fact that Islamic theology provides the basis for people to mutilate female genital organs or to stone people to death.
One would have never thought that Westerners would give up free speech of their own accord, yet if Spencer is correct, Americans are now in the process of carving out a major exception for Islam. This, Spencer argues is simply the beginning of the slippery slope. Once we surrender the right to criticize a religion, he asks, can the surrender of freedom of religion be far behind?
Medicine for a Particular Time
The strategy of stealth jihad was outlined by the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa. He is a spokesperson of moderate Islam and described by Wikipedia as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam.” If what Spencer has revealed about, so called “moderate” Islam, this should immediately make us suspicious. Ali Gomaa’s “revisions” are in fact, merely temporary measures for this particular time. In his own words: “We accept the revisions conditionally, not as the true teachings of Islam but with the understanding that this process is like medicine for a particular time.” In other words, violent jihad is temporarily set aside for strategic reasons. This does not mean the goal of the jihadists has changed, just that their tactics have become more refined and effective.
One of the reasons that the stealth jihad is more effective than terrorism is because it does not happen in our faces but under our noses. At a time when almost all of America and England’s anti-terror resources are devoted towards heading off another violent attack on domestic soil, it has never been easier for groups advocating stealth jihad to remain out of the limelight. In fixating on the threat of terrorists, the government of America and Britain is simply not interested in this more sinister and effective threat.
Spencer shows that the American government has even been developing ties with these “U.S.-based stealth jihadist organizations” which present themselves as being “moderate.” Not only does the United States’ government curry these groups for favours, but they listens closely to their advice on Islamic related issues, seeing them as an alternative to terrorist groups. For example, the stealth jihad organization CAIR, which has financial ties to a virulently supremacist Islamic Wahhabi sect, conducts “sensitivity training” to teach government officials how to interact with Muslims. In the process, CAIR representatives have been granted access to vital security procedures, such as airport protocols.
The American government is thus ignoring the possibility that the terrorist agenda might be advancing through non-terrorist means.
When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the battle lines were more straightforward. Muslims in the 18th century were attacking American’s ships in their battle for global domination. The Islamic goal for global domination has not changed, but the battle lines are now less clear unless we understand the subtlety of the stealth jihad. We must understand that those who embrace the, so called, “moderate” position have not really abandoned the doctrine that mandates the total subjugation of non-Muslims. They have merely changed their strategy to something far more effective.
Though Stealth Jihad was written in 2008, its message is more timely now than when the book first appeared. It has recently become very clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is working to undermine the integrity of both British and American society.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the MI6, recently described the Brotherhood as being “at heart, a terrorist organisation”. The comments were made at a conference on British-Israeli diplomatic relations at Chatham House. Sir Richard also said that Hamas and Hizbollah were “Iranian surrogates”.
Osama bin Laden’s mentor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was himself a member of the Brotherhood in addition to being a senior member of al-Qaeda shura council. Osama bin Laden had himself claimed to be a member of the Brotherhood.
In short, only a fool could doubt the supremacist aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, even though they are turning to the subtle tactics of the stealth jihad.