Let me remind my readers that I am a non-ideological fiscal conservative and social moderate. My two main sources of background information for this blog are the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both of which I read assiduously on a daily basis. When they agree on a particular issue, I will probably agree with them. Otherwise I’m on my own!
In last Saturday’s WSJ there appeared a powerful article, “Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Islam’s Most Eloquent Apostate.” Ms. Ali explains that “The West’s obsession with ‘terror’ has been a mistake. Dawa, the subversive, indoctrinating precursor to jihad, is a broader threat.” Here is the gist of her argument:
- There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and at least 10% of them, or 160 million, are Islamists (who practice political Islam). Islamists want to impose Sharia (Islamic law) on society which is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution: religious tolerance, the equality of men and women, and other fundamental human rights.
- The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with the rule of Sharia law. This is accomplished by subversion from within – the abuse of religious freedom in order to undermine that very freedom. The U.S. is in a weak position to combat nonviolent extremism because of the First Amendment which bars Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of religion, etc.
- There are now 2.6 million Muslims in America and likely to be 6.2 million in 2030. Half say they think of themselves first as Muslims, second as Americans. A fifth of Muslim Americans say there is support for extremism in the Muslim American community.
- The U.S. government should ally itself with genuine Muslim moderates and reformers, not with “nonviolent” Islamists. The FBI should scrutinize the ideological background and nature of all Islamic organizations. The DHS should deny entry to foreign individuals involved with or supportive of Islamism.
Conclusion. According to Ms. Ali, “We are dealing with a lethal ideological movement. … We have to grasp the gravity of dawa. Jihad is an extension of dawa. It is dawa by other means.”