"You Can't Take the Islam Out of Islamic terrorism."
. . . the people who founded our country had a much more humble and better idea about how the country would need to be defended. They didn't assume that America would be forever, and they certainly were not under a delusion that we could be protected by our legal system from foreign threats to our security. They had a very strong conviction that there had to be an accountability nexus between the people who made national security decisions and the people whose lives were at stake. And what that meant was that the courts essentially were going to have no role in national security. They had an important role in our system, but not in protecting our nation from foreign threats.
Presume everybody that comes to court is innocent in our domestic legal system. How can anybody think that will apply to armed militants under declared hostilities against the country? Not individuals. How can anybody think that that would apply?
You hear a lot about, "We need to bring terrorists into our system, give them the full power of due process that we would give to a tax cheat," and get them convicted under all those presumptions that you just described, and then that way we can feel good about ourselves.
About Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik," now in prison in the U.S.
. . . and the "sweeping under the prayer rug" of the murder of Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League
Speaking of the "blind sheik:"
. . . he didn't have to ask for asylum until the end because we just let him in. It really was awful. I mean, he was on the list, but we didn't read the list and then when he got here it turned out that, you know, one office is investigating him and the other is giving him a green card as a religious instructor, you know, not our finest hour, but unfortunately a sort of a steady theme of all this. You know, if we look back at the 1993 attack, we had very good reason to know that it was coming. We had the FBI conducting surveillance in the late 1980s of these guys as they were conducting paramilitary training out in Long Island. We had, you know, a CIA angle to this because they were basically funding large parts of the mujahideen in Afghanistan, and they were doing it through the Pakistanis who were very sympathetic to the most anti-American elements of the mujahideen, and then we had this murder of Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League in 1990 where that murder was committed by a guy named El Sayyid Nosair, who was actually reporting to the Blind Sheik even while the Blind Sheik was over in Egypt, and though it was quite clear from the stuff that was seized from him that he was part of something that was much bigger and had much more ambitious designs than just the murder of Kahane, there was a decision made at that time to treat that murder like it was the work of a lone gunman, in order to prevent any religious element from getting into the case, which I think was a big mistake unfortunately.
I wanted to believe in 1993 the stuff that we were putting out, you know, that he [the blind sheik] basically perverted who was otherwise a peaceful doctrine. But what I found was going through all of his thousands of pages of transcripts and statements, was that when he cited scripture to justify acts of terrorism, to the extent he was quoting scripture or referring to it, he did it accurately, which shouldn't be a surprise.
". . . he [the blind sheik] was a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence, graduated from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Why in the world I would have thought that I or the Justice Department would know more about Islam than he would is beyond me now that I look back on it, but back then I was pretty confident that we must have been right when we said that he was basically perverting the doctrine.
. . . you assumed him [the blind sheik] to be a fruitcake. Nobody, nobody's religion could actually have things in [Islamic] scripture that he was citing, and you found out everything he said was there. It opened your eyes, and I think this is the kind of thing. . . . and you've talked about the notion here that they declared war on us, you cite 1993. We didn't take it seriously until 2001. Do you think we still take it seriously?
. . . We're taking it less seriously. . . . the reporting that's come out since -- I guess it was about April 24th -- is that the internal syncing at least in parts of the administration -- and this is something the State Department's pushed for a long time -- is that we make a mistake call jihadism, jihadism; because there are all kinds of jihad, not just forceable jihad. This is how the thinking goes. And, by the way, while there may be all kinds of jihad, jihad is a military concept. That's how it grew up. That's the reason there is a Muslim world in the first place. But secondly the idea is that when you call them jihadists, you are somehow emboldening them as if what they were relying on is how we regard them rather than how they see themselves.
We're so intimidated by the idea that there's a religious label on this and everybody is so afraid of their shadow to talk about it, that whenever you say what is obvious -- which is that you can't take the "Islam" out of Islamic terror and that the main cause of this is not democracy or lack of democracy; or, you know, ancient hatreds or the economy, poverty, or whatever our excuse is this week. This is driven by doctrine. You know, we have poor people all over the world. They're not all committing terrorism.
The ideology that we're talking about here is 14 centuries old. It existed and thrived before there was a United States. It has commanded the allegiance of the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the educated and uneducated -- to some extent, Sunnis and Shi'ites, princes and paupers. You know, you can't pigeonhole one rationale for why it exists other than the obvious one, which is that it's a matter of doctrine and the people who believe it believe it's a divine injunction and that mankind doesn't have a right to make laws which run afoul of what they believe is the law that was handed down by Allah directly to Mohammed 14 centuries ago.
What's it going to take to wake people up again to the existence of this threat, and just because we've thwarted one on our soil for seven years; however we've done it, doesn't mean the threat's gone away or is any less intense. What's it going to take?
Well, I hope it doesn't take another attack. . . . [regarding pulling out of Iraq] the worst thing we ever did was pull out of Lebanon in 1983 when the Marine barracks got hit. The next worst thing we probably ever did was pull out of Somalia when that got ugly. These people -- and when I talk about "these people," I mean people like Bin Laden and the Blind Sheik -- if used to a fair thee well as a recruiting tool this notion that they're the strong horse, we're the weak horse . . . . What they have going for them that we don't, is they have basically eradicated our threshold idea of what is civilized behavior. They are willing to do anything to win, and they're absolutely sure that history is on their side. Unless we become more sure than we are now that we're right, and that we have a need to show them that however long it takes, we're going to do what has to be done to win; you know, we can't rely on the fact that we're a super power and that it's inevitable that we'll win this thing.
The title of the book: Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad. The author is Andrew McCarthy.
from "Talking to Andrew McCarthy, author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad," an interview by Rush Limbaugh.
Hat tip to Jihad Watch http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020882.php
who pointed to this interview. More there.
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