June 2, 2010

McCarthy at Power Line

The new McCarthy book arrived yesterday, and I ripped through the first 100 pages last night. I wish the first chapter were available online, but for now, settle for McCarthy talking about the book at Power Line

The provocative sub-title will no doubt earn McCarthy instant outrage and dismissals from the left, but he doesn't suggest that the Alinskyite crowd in the White House is colluding or cooperating with the jihadists to sabotage America...just that they share a goal....the end of our capitalist social order and our culture of individual freedom. Argue the point if you can.

McCarthy stresses that while the numbers of violent Islamist terrorists is relatively low, a high percentage of Muslims do favor the implementation of sharia law, so just because they don't personally take part in blowing up skyscrapers, their more subtle efforts at undermining secular law are no less radical and no less a malign force in our society. Yet we define these people as "moderates"...and that's nuts. From the Power Line piece...

The point is that Islamist ideology - the modern version conceived by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, refined by thinkers like Sayyid Qutb, and expounded by the likes of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, probably the most influential Sunni cleric living today - is very mainstream. Sure, it is an aberrant position to endorse the killing of Muslims who fail to adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam; but if the proposition at issue becomes, say, "I support the killing of Americans operating in Muslim countries," or "I would like to see the U.S. Constitution replaced by sharia law," we find the percentage of approving Muslims shoots skyward. Indeed, while much was made of Qaradawi's condemnation of the 9/11 attacks (a condemnation that was more tactical position than a moral one), the same Qaradawi issued a fatwa in 2004 calling for attacks on American troops in Iraq - and in so doing drew strong support from scholars at al-Azhar University.

The thrust of my book is that we need to come to terms with this in order to defend ourselves. There is a vibrant debate in the Muslim world about terrorism. We need to understand, though, that it is a debate about methodology. Islamist terrorists and other Islamists are in harmony about the endgame: they would like to see sharia installed and the West Islamicized. That a person is not willing to mass-murder non-Muslims in order to accelerate that process does not make him a moderate.

In the chapter about what to call the threat, I ultimately conclude that it is best to describe it as "Islamism" or the "Islamist" challenge. I do this as a hopeful nod to the millions of Muslims who both reject violence and do not want to live in sharia societies. But I do it with my eyes open. It may well be that these Muslims will not succeed in reforming their creed, in stripping from it the elements that cannot coexist with such core tenets of Western liberalism as freedom of conscience, the proposition that people have a right to make law for themselves, the proposition that freedom really is freedom rather than perfect submission, the equality of men and women and of Muslims and non-Muslims. Still, I think we have to support the reformist cause. I do not believe we can entice natural allies to our side by telling them their religion is irredeemable. They are trying to redeem it, and it is in our interest to help them - while recognizing that they may very well fail.

Seems to me far closer to "realism" than the folks who refuse even to utter the "I"- word when discussing terrorism.

More McCarthy in this concise statement of his case at the NY Post

Posted by dan at June 2, 2010 2:19 PM