June 1, 2010 | The New York Post

The ‘Peaceful’ Jihad in America

Most Americans don't realize that jihad is about much more than terrorism.

Even the terrorists don't blow up buildings for the sake of blowing up buildings. There is method in their madness.

Jihad is not mindless mass-murder, nor is it a syrupy “internal struggle to become a better person.” No, jihad is the mission to establish and spread sharia.

The installation of Allah's law, believed by Muslims to be a divine injunction, is the necessary precondition to the creation of Islamic societies. While it can, and often is, waged forcibly, Islamists don't resort to violence (or, at least, to more violence) where surrenders, appeasements and capitulations are available.

And al Qaeda is merely an offshoot of the central Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hizb al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin. Founded in 1928, the Ikhwan's motto to this day remains, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

In 1991, Mohamed Akram, a US-based chieftain of the Brotherhood, penned a memo for the eyes of the central leadership in Egypt. Later seized by the FBI, this self-described “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” outlined the game-plan for what the organization regards as its “civilizational” war against the West:

“The Ikhwan 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 God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Nor was there anything new about this “grand jihad.” During a post-9/11 raid, Swiss authorities found a similar smoking gun — a methodical plan for the long-term “cultural invasion” of the West — written by Brotherhood theorists in 1982.

As a matter of fact, this sabotage strategy has been in place for nearly half a century. Its bottom-up elements stress Islamist domination of Muslim education, mosques and community centers. From these bases of operation in every city, the Brotherhood's method is not terrorize but to slipstream behind Islamist terrorists, assuming the posture of “moderates.”

The goal is to seep sharia — Islam's totalitarian legal code that governs not just the spiritual realm but all aspects of life — into our politics, law, financial system, educational institutions, labor negotiations, familial relations, and all facets of our domestic and foreign policy, from health care to engagement with Iran.

Yes, 31 years after the Iranian revolution, 17 years after Islamists declared war on the United States by bombing the World Trade Center and nine years after the 9/11 atrocities, the American people are still in the dark about the daunting challenge we face. Under jihadist siege for decades, we still don't even get what jihad is and why it isn't just about “violent extremists” — the politically correct term now used by government officials in their desperation to bleach the Islam out of Islamist terror.

Two years ago, I wrote about this ethos of conscious avoidance in “Willful Blindness.” But that was a memoir about trying to confront international terrorism as a federal prosecutor in the 1990s. The forces arrayed against us are much more extensive and insidious than al Qaeda, and they are not just pressing the limitations of our criminal-justice system.

The game-plan being executed against us targets American constitutional democracy itself, taking aim at its core principles of individual liberty.

Lavishly backed by Saudi billions thanks to a decades-old partnership with the kingdom, the Brotherhood is now raising, in our midst, its third generation of operatives and sympathizers. Its tentacles include such high-profile organizations as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim American Society (the Brotherhood's semi-official American branch).

Our opinion elites are only too happy to take at face value the claims of these groups to be “moderate.” Indeed, our government, media and academies are reluctant to discuss Islam honestly, let alone Islamist ideology.

And effectively allied with the jihadists is the hard left across the West. For all their differences (e.g., on abortion and the rights of women and homosexuals) Islam and the Left are in essential harmony when it comes to their vision of authoritarian government and their perception of the immediate obstacle to their designs: American constitutional democracy.

What the global Islamist project is doing, and how, are the subjects of my new book, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America,” published last week. It is the story of the ideology that not only fuels anti-American terror but stokes a sedulous jihadist campaign to Islamicize our society — not without firing a shot, but by capitalizing on the shots that have already been fired.

A grand jihad is hell-bent on sabotaging America. We ignore it at our peril.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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