February 11, 2006
I'd like to think the wild conflagration over the Danish newspaper cartoons criticizing violent Islamism is a tipping point, where even previously blithe, namby-pamby Westerners finally begin to get that radical Muslims want to eradicate our way of life, our customs and cherished freedoms of speech, religion and political expression. Make no mistake, these are the true aims of the cartoon jihadists, as foreign affairs consultant Oliver Guitta calls them in this new Weekly Standard cover story.
...one of Denmark's leading Islamists, Imam Ahmed Abu-Laban, led a delegation late last year to visit influential figures in the Muslim world. He took with him a dossier of cartoons, both those that had been published and others, much more offensive, of dubious provenance. One place he took his road show was Qatar, where he briefed Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and a star of Al Jazeera....Abu-Laban's labors were not in vain, and everywhere the loudest protests have come from the Muslim Brotherhood. On February 3 in Paris, Larbi Kechat, an imam linked to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, said, "The most abject terrorism is the symbolic kind, which spreads unlimited violence." Meanwhile, in Qatar, al-Qaradawi was calling for an "international day of anger for God and his prophet," describing the cartoonists as "blasphemers" and Europeans as "cowards." Acknowledging the latter's role, the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, in London, stated on February 8, "The issue disappeared from the radar until Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the mufti of Al Jazeera TV, seized upon it and called for Muslims worldwide to protest."
But wait. It gets worse.
A new book published by Le Seuil in Paris in October...written by the Swiss investigative reporter Sylvain Besson and not yet available in English,...publicizes the discovery and contents of a Muslim Brotherhood strategy document entitled "The Project," hitherto little known outside the highest counterterrorism circles.
Besson's book, "La conquĂȘte de l'Occident: Le projet secret des Islamistes (The Conquest of the West: The Islamists' Secret Project"), recounts how, in November 2001, Swiss authorities...stumbled onto "The Project," an unsigned, 14-page document dated December 1, 1982. One of the few Western officials to have studied the document before the publication of Besson's book is Juan Zarate, named White House counterterrorism czar in May 2005 and before that assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing. Zarate calls "The Project" the Muslim Brotherhood's master plan for "spreading their political ideology," which in practice involves systematic support for radical Islam. Zarate told Besson, "The Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians." "The Project" is a roadmap for achieving the installation of Islamic regimes in the West via propaganda, preaching, and, if necessary, war. It's the same idea expressed by Sheikh Qaradawi in 1995 when he said, "We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America, not by the sword but by our Dawa [proselytizing]."
Thus, "The Project" calls for "putting in place a watchdog system for monitoring the [Western] media to warn all Muslims of the dangers and international plots fomented against them." Another long-term effort is to "put in place [among Muslims in the West] a parallel society where the group is above the individual, godly authority above human liberty, and the holy scripture above the laws."....One point emphasized in "The Project" is that Muslims must constantly work to support Islamic Dawa and all the groups around the globe engaged in jihad. Also vital is to "keep the Ummah [the Muslim community] in a jihad frame of mind" and--no surprise here--"to breed a feeling of resentment towards the Jews and refuse any form of coexistence with them." (On February 2, At-Tajdid, a Moroccan Islamist daily close to the Brotherhood, explained to its readers that the Danish cartoons were "a Zionist provocation aimed at reviving the conflict between the West and the Muslim nation.")
By inflaming a controversy such as the current one, the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to widen the rift between the West and Islam. It specifically targets Muslim communities living in the West, aiming to radicalize their moderate elements by continually pointing out the supposed "Islamophobia" all around them.
David Brooks (free reg. req.) believes Islamists are sealing their own fate.
We believe in progress and in personal growth. By swimming in this flurry of perspectives, by facing unpleasant facts, we try to come closer and closer to understanding. But...Islamists...have retreated in disgust from the inconclusiveness and chaos of our conversation....You frame the contrast between your world and our world more bluntly than we outsiders would ever dare to. In London the protesters held signs reading "Freedom Go to Hell," "Exterminate Those Who Mock Islam," "Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust," and "Europe You Will Pay, Your 9/11 Is on the Way." In Copenhagen, Denmark, an imam declared, "In the West, freedom of speech is sacred; to us, the prophet is sacred" -- as if the two were necessarily opposed.
Our mind-set is progressive and rational. Your mind-set is pre-Enlightenment and mythological. In your worldview, history doesn't move forward through gradual understanding. In your worldview, history is resolved during the apocalyptic conflict between the supernaturally pure jihadist and the supernaturally evil Jew....In my world, people search for truth in their own diverse ways. In your world, the faithful and the infidel battle for survival, and words and ideas and cartoons are nothing more than weapons in that war....But in your overreaction this past week, your defensiveness is showing. Democracy is coming to your region, and democracy brings the conversation. Mainstream leaders like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani are embracing democracy and denouncing your riots as "misguided and oppressive."....it is hard to intimidate people forever into silence, to bottle up the conversation, to lock the world into an epic war only you want. While I don't share your rage, I do understand your panic.
We need not pray that Brooks' prediction is right. By continuing the conversation, we can smoke these bastards out. They are their own worst enemies. One thing to do here at home is call bull**** on the "hate speech" hustlers afflicting Blue America's cities, who blindly rush to the defense of any extremist Muslim targeted by immigration or law enforcment authorities. As evident in today's news from Seattle. The typical Orwellian twist is that the real "haters" are portrayed as victims by their defenders, and the upholders of civil society painted as oppressive bigots. Sounds like part of "The Project" to me.
TECHNORATI TAGS: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, THE PROJECT, SYLVAIN BESSON, JUAN ZARATE, YUSUF AL-QARADAWI, ZIONISTS, JEWS, DAVID BROOKS, OLIVER GUITTA>
Posted by Matt Rosenberg at February 11, 2006 02:48 PM
Daniel Pipes, a man whose judgment I normally respect, has asserted in a recent opinion-piece that Western civilization stands or falls on the principle that any man must be free to insult or blaspheme whomsoever he pleases with impunity. Many Muslims appear to be acting on the counter principle that Islamic civilization stands or falls on the proposition that no man shall be permitted to demean the prophet with impunity. Neither view seems to me to be worthy of the passion invested in it.
There are many things we are free to say that we nevertheless ought not to say, because it would be too imprudent, insulting, or merely tasteless. Consider the "n" word, which I think it is fair to say has now been wholly expunged from our public and polite discourse. Why is this? Are we afraid that black people will assault us if we use the term, or that the gods of political correctness will ruin our careers? Perhaps to some degree, yes. But surely the larger reason is that most of us would be deeply embarrased to use a word with a history of the most ignorant bigotry. We simply avoid a form of speech that causes obvious offense without any corresponding public benefit. Why should it be any different with speech deliberately calculated to injure religious sensibilities? Do we really want to go to the barricades in defense of an ill-advised slander of another religion? Call me a flaccid defender of the West, if you like, but I don't think so.
Regretting the cartoons does not, of course, justify the violence of the response it has evoked. No insult cuts deep enough to warrant a murderous reaction, for that only destroys the basis for the self-respect that has been attacked. The best rebuttal to bigotry, either in speech or action, comes from Frederick Douglas, himself no stranger to its injuries. When a group of white ministers once apologized to him for the indignities heaped upon him by other whites, Douglas replied, "No man can degrade me, sir; only I can do that." Exactly so. That is the only manly answer, whether in Virginia or Mecca.
Excellent article, I couldn't agree more. This cartoon madness drama is just bringing things to a head faster and hopefully focusing the Libs a little more on just how dangerous and serious the Jihadis are. They do seem to be very defensive and thin-skinned. I picked your blog randomly from Malkin's website but I will definetely be back. Keep up the good work!
I currently reside in Oklahoma, however I grew up in the Great Pacific Northwest. I find myself bragging on the beauty of Washington yet constantly apologizing for the the liberals. Good Blog!
Take a look at this post, Dirka, Dirka?
Also, scroll down to some of the typical cartoons coming from the Arab world. Who condemns these cartoons?