Frank Gaffney and Andy McCarthy were the only two people to speak twice at the conference. In these speeches, McCarthy talked about his new book, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, while Gaffney talked about how the same Muslim Brotherhood that has recently come to power in Egypt has made vast inroads in this country, with influence in the highest reaches of the Obama administration.
Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and is the host of Secure Freedom Radio, a nationally-syndicated radio program that addresses current and emerging threats to national security, sovereignty and American culture. Mr. Gaffney is the publisher and associate author of Shariah: The Threat to America, a report that provides a comprehensive “second opinion” on the official characterizations and assessments of the threat of political Islam as put forward by the U.S. government. Gaffney is a columnist for the Washington Times, TownHall.com and Newsmax. He is a contributor to Andrew Breitbart’s BigPeace.com and his columns are featured on WorldNetDaily. In April 1987, Gaffney was nominated by President Reagan to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control and U.S.-European defense relations. From 1983 to 1987, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy.
Andrew C. McCarthy is the author of the books, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy and The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad. He is a former federal prosecutor and a Contributing Editor with National Review Online. He co-chairs the Center for Law and Counterterrorism, a joint project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the National Review Institute, where he also serves as a senior fellow. From 1993 to 1996, while an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he led the prosecution against the jihad organization of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, in which a dozen Islamic militants were convicted of conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. Mr. McCarthy also made major contributions to the prosecutions of the bombers of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Millennium plot attack Los Angeles International Airport.
Obamanation: A Day of Truth
Accuracy in Media Conference 9/21/2012
Speaker: Frank Gaffney
“The Muslim Brotherhood in America”
Speaker: Andy McCarthy
Transcribed by J. C. Hendershot & Bethany Stotts
ROGER ARONOFF: Okay. Next up, we’re going to do our second panel. Let me step up here. With the rise of
FRANK GAFFNEY: How long do you want me to go, Roger?
ARONOFF: Like, fifteen minutes.
GAFFNEY: Fifteen minutes, okay. I always ask, because I’ve got about 25 minutes of stuff to talk to you about, and I’m going to talk to you very fast to get all of it in, okay? And I’m not kidding, really: I want to go through a lot of stuff, some of which I’ve learned from my very distinguished, and greatly admired, colleague Andy McCarthy, and will go through this at warp speed. Where do I point it at? There? There we go. This is a book—there it is!—that Andy contributed to, along with nineteen of us, aimed at trying to understand the ideology that underpins much of what we’re seeing around the world today. Andy will talk much more about how that’s manifesting itself elsewhere, so I won’t get into that, but I do want to just mention that we think sharia is the right way to describe that ideology, the connective tissue that helps explain what it is we’re up against. It has these unpleasant qualities: Totalitarian, repressive, anti-Constitutional—especially as it relates to women, and Jews, and other minorities—and it is the thing that these folks intend to impose worldwide. It is about power, not faith; if you take one thing away from my remarks, I hope this is it—because if you get that piece, then it’s a lot easier for us to think about what we do about it than if you don’t.
When you hear people say that it is Constitutional, there are two possibilities: They don’t know what they’re talking about, or they do and they’re lying to you. The easy way to figure this out is, if they are prominent Muslims, they’re lying to you, because they certainly know—especially if they are folks associated with this outfit. You’ve been hearing a lot about them lately; they are the prime movers behind sharia’s worldwide triumph—at least, they aspire to it—and reestablishing a Caliphate to rule according to it—interestingingly enough, the same goals as these two cats. The fellow on the right, as you know, is no longer with us, thank God; the fellow on the left is a former Muslim Brother who is now running the operation al-Qaeda—the only difference is tactics and timing, between al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood, which spun off al-Qaeda, in fact.
This got a little garbled at the bottom. This is evidence that these cats are here, found in a secret sub-basement about half-an-hour away from where we sit right now, in Annandale, Virginia. It is the mission statement. It also is the inspiration for Andy’s second, superb book, The Grand Jihad. This talks about something that we are, as a nation, by and large, missing altogether, notwithstanding Andy’s great educational efforts—namely, the stealthy kind of jihad, which is the compliment to the violent kind. Where, tactically, you can’t pursue violence, you still have an obligation to try to advance sharia’s agenda with that stealthy kind of technique.
We, helpfully, were given—along with this document, and about 80 banker boxes’ worth of other documents that were found in what amounts to the Muslim Brotherhood’s archives in Annandale, Virginia—this list of our groups, our organizations and organizations of our friends, which was attached to that strategic plan, the “Explanatory Memorandum.” Even today, 21 years after this document was written, these are still among the most prominent Muslim-American organizations in the United States. Do you get that? This list of Muslim Brotherhood organizations, self-described as such by the Muslim Brotherhood itself, still represents the preponderance of the prominent Muslim-American organizations in the country.
These are just examples of techniques that are used by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance this stealthy kind of jihad; Maybe in Q & A we could talk a little bit about how that is applied specifically. Every one of them are problematic: By and large, you probably are unaware that they’re even going on. I like to think of it as kind of like the Rorschach test: You don’t see it until somebody points out what you can find there, and then that’s the only thing you can see. Well, you start looking for what the Muslim Brotherhood is doing in these various civil society institutions and you pretty quickly can’t miss it.
I want to talk about personnel in government, the influence operations that are being run in that last bullet, the government of the United States. These are seven examples, hardly exhaustive, and I won’t go into all of them in light of the time we have. I want to just do three of them, but we have dossiers on all of them at an online course that I commend to you called “Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within,” available for free at muslimbrotherhoodinamerica.com.
I’ll start with this lady. You’ve heard a lot about her lately. Andy McCarthy has done an absolutely brilliant job of getting the facts out about her. She’s the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State. Huma Abedin is her name. She has come to public attention because Michelle Bachmann and four of her colleagues wrote a letter to the Inspector General at the Department of State asking whether a person with family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, as she has, could possibly be exercising influence on policies of the State Department, with the effect of bringing them closer and closer in alignment with the desires of the Muslim Brotherhood. This created a huge furor, as you know. [Bachmann] was personally attacked, never mind the other four members of Congress who joined her—by the way, Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, and Tom Rooney in Florida were the other four. It also happens that they wrote four other Inspectors General about other individuals, including some that I’m going to identify for you. The point is, as Andy has established, this woman not only has family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—as you see here, Abdullah Omar Naseef, a top Muslim Brotherhood operative and al-Qaeda financier through the Muslim World League, actually put her whole family in the Muslim Brotherhood business, something called the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs—she, herself, was associated, on the masthead, of basically the only thing this outfit produced, namely, a Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, for 12 years. And for seven of those 12 years Omar Naseef was also on the masthead.
This is a clear problem, especially if you can read that last bit—the Washington Post name falls off the slide. “Huma Abedin—” this, by the way, is from 2007—“Huma Abedin is one of [Hillary] Clinton’s most trusted advisors on the Middle East. When Clinton hosts meetings on the region, Abedin’s advice is always sought.” I suggest to you that it is certainly the case today, if it were true in 2007, and that’s a problem.
I don’t know if you know this gentleman, Rashad Hussain. The President likes to say he is his “Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.” You may not be familiar with the organization, the OIC, as it’s known. It is the most powerful multi-national organization in the world. It runs the largest, the United Nations. Its power results from our having transferred immense wealth to a number of its member states; it has 57 of them, 56 plus Palestine. It is the organization that, today, is driving—I think Andy will agree—much of what we’re seeing around the world at the moment—specifically, driving the demands that we curb freedom of expression in this country. That has been part of the OIC’s agenda since 2005, they have been hard at it, and I would suggest to you that a man that, as the President said in announcing his nomination—or appointment to this post—“enjoys very privileged status in the Muslim-American community”—or Muslim community, more broadly—“and will be very appealing to the OIC.” Why? Because he is a hafiz of the Qu’ran. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that term; a hafiz of the Qu’ran is someone who has memorized every word of the Qu’ran. Now, I don’t know—maybe this is an exaggeration—but I think you’ve got to kind of be into it to do that. And when I say into it, I don’t simply mean into the Qu’ran, I mean into sharia, because, in fact, this does give you a special status. You see several organizations that he has been associated with over the years, including as a member of the Muslim Students Association—I think there is no question that he is tied to them. Whether they are shaping his thinking, whether they represent a conflict of interest, is for others to judge, but, at the minimum, I think it’s fair to say he’s almost certainly representing the OIC to the United States rather than the other way around.
Lastly, in this particular presentation: Mohamed Magid is perhaps best known in this community because he runs one of the most virulently sharia-adherent mosques in this region, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque, the ADAMS Center mosque, out in Sterling, Virginia. That’s his day job. He also happens to be the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in the United States, so established by the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2008. Mohamed Magid is so deeply inside the wire of the Obama administration that there really isn’t an agency that has anything to do with national security that he is not actually involved with in some fashion. Attending iftar dinners, serving on advisory committees—as, in this case, the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group; that is an important post because it was that group that helped conjure up not only the argument for purging the files of the FBI and other agencies, lest there be any materials in them that were offensive to Muslims, but, also, establishing guidelines that made it clear, henceforth, before federal funds are used for training people in countering violent extremism—that, of course, is the euphemism that has replaced the previous euphemism, which was “terrorism,” which, we saw in the Bush years, was what was said instead of “jihadism”—but countering violent extremism, if you want to use federal funds now, if you’re going to train on this, you’re going to have to get the approval of community leaders like Mohamed Magid. This is the Muslim Brotherhood inside the wire.
This is not an eye test, this is just an example, a small sample, of the kinds of policies that I’ve been talking about that are now increasingly aligning not simply with the desires but with the demands of the Muslim Brotherhood. One that I suspect will overlap with Andy’s remarks is the effort that we’ve made to establish the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I won’t go into it in the interest of time, and because he’ll do a better job of it than I, but I just want to put the marker down. What is happening now to accommodate the demands of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, among other places, is not an accident. It, I think, reflects the fact that not only the President and others in his administration have a certain sympathy, shall we say, for the Brotherhood and its agenda, but—I like to think of it, you know, he said quite candidly to Joe the Plumber in the 2008 election that he was about redistributing wealth, “part of the fundamental transformation of America;” well, I think there was also, unstated but very much evident in this—a redistribution of American power to our enemies, among others, and I think this is evidence of it. But one of the demands of Mohammed Morsi at the moment, and I know this is very much in Andy’s wheelhouse, is the release of the “Blind Sheikh” [Omar Abdel-Rahman]. Watch this space because that will be an entry item, I suggest, probably after the election. Why, there he is, Mohammed Morsi! I won’t go on—again, because I think Andy will—but this is a problem.
I want to spend a minute just making clear that this is not narrowly a partisan critique, or an Obama problem. Going back to the [Bill] Clinton/[Al] Gore administration, you had Muslim Brotherhood operatives being brought in—in the case of Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, as a good-will ambassador—as an advisor on the Palestinian-American—excuse me, Palestinian-Israeli talks—and as the certification authority for chaplains in the United States military, and prison system. Now I don’t know about you, but there are not many populations that I would less like to have the Muslim Brotherhood ministering to than the United States military and our felons.
Interestingly enough, the guy in the middle is now one of those felons: He’s serving hard time in Supermax, originally given a 23-year sentence, reduced for good behavior—unexplained good behavior—to 17 years. But the chaplains, as best I can tell, that he appointed, are still working, as well, in that the system, as well as in the military. Now I want you to remember this guy, because Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, having established himself in this administration, even though he was a, top Muslim Brother and, it turns out, an al-Qaeda financier, subsequently shown to have been involved in an act of terrorism—the reason he went to prison was, he agreed with the late and unlamented dictator of Libya, Moammar Gaddafi, to try to kill the then-Crown Prince, now King, of Saudi Arabia—this character decided, in the run-up to the 2000 election, that he wanted to make sure, in the event the guy on the Left lost, that he and his friends would not lose the influence that they had curried during this administration. So what did he do? He went to work with a guy many of you may know, to create what was known as the Islamic Free Market Institute—with Grover Norquist as its founding Chairman. This organization became a Muslim Brotherhood front group for the purpose of penetrating and subverting, from within, the conservative movement and the Republican Party. I could go through examples, but suffice it to say—this is one of them—2000, May, Governor’s Mansion, Texas. A gaggle of these Muslim Brothers joined Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi with the then-Governor candidate for the Presidency; he’s up in the upper left. There are five others; I could show you pictures of each of them with the President of the United States. The one down on the bottom right, you may know, also; Suhail Khan actually worked in the White House, as the Muslim gatekeeper in the Office of Public Liaison, for the better part of 2001—including critically, in the period right around 9/11. The problem with that, of course, is these guys I believe, are now actively trying to get their hooks into this guy—trying to do to the 2012 campaign of Mitt Romney what they did to the 2000 campaign of George W. Bush, which gave them the entrée to have extraordinary impact on policy in the Bush Presidency, particularly in the critical period immediately after 9/11. I believe we are still reckoning with the full impact of the policies, and the understanding of the threat, and the articulation of what was the problem, and what could not be said about the problem, dating from the influence operation that these guys ran against President Bush with the help of Grover Norquist.
I leave you with one thought: In 1961, long before he became Governor of California, let alone President of the United States, Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. It is not passed on to our children through the bloodstream. It must be fought for, it must be protected, and it must be handed on to them to do the same, or we will spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it was like to live in the United States when men were free.” This is that moment. We need your help.
ARONOFF: Once again, can we get the lights back on? I bring you Andy McCarthy again.
ANDY MCCARTHY: Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. I want to go quickly because I want you to be able ask us questions, but I do want to start where Frank ended, because I think that’s really what the key of the Arab Spring is. The book that I released this week is called Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, and the reason Islamic democracy is so topical is because of the Arab Spring narrative, where it’s basically been rendered to us, by the Western press, that what’s taking place now in the Muslim Middle East is a spontaneous outbreak of democracy. I hope my book is the antidote for that fantasy, the idea being that what’s actually happening in the Muslim Middle East is something that’s been long coming, and perhaps inevitable, but certainly the pace of it has picked up, and that is the ascendancy of Islamic supremacism.
Islam can be interpreted a variety of different ways. I think it’s fair to say that, throughout the world, as it gets more remote from the cradle of Islam in the Middle East, it has to make compromises. It has had to moderate in a number of places, and it’s practiced in a way that is that is more moderate in a number of places throughout the world. We can debate until the cows come home—and we have—the true nature of Islam; I think that’s neither here nor there in terms of our security, because what we’re talking about with respect to the so-called Arab Spring is Islam on its home turf, and there it is anything but moderate. What I think we have missed is that Islamic supremacism is not the fringe ideology of a small collection of violent killers who we can’t even call jihadists anymore, because their killing is supposed to be detached from any ideology; they would have you think—that is, our opinion elites and our government for the last twenty years—that these people kill wantonly and irrationally. In point of fact, in the Muslim Middle East, Islamic supremacism—which, as Frank said, really the backbone of it is sharia; that is really the framework of the entire system—is the dominant Islam of the Muslim Middle East. We now have seen in not only poll after poll over a number of years, but now, in election after election after election that, when given the choice, when given the free ability to vote, to choose, Muslims in the Middle East pick Islamic supremacists to rule them. That is the choice they are making, and the point is that it is not a democratic choice. The reason I want to focus on freedom is, I think that really is the dividing line that we have to understand in order to understand the dynamic that’s happening before our eyes over there.
In the United States, in the West, democracy is a culture of freedom. It is not a set of procedures. It is not elections. It is not constitution writing. Those are the attendments of democracy. Democracy is a culture; it’s a way of looking at the world. One of the best books I’ve ever read is a book called A History of the American People, by Paul Johnson, and the thing I like the best about the book is, he actually starts the history over a century before we had a government, a Constitution, a Revolutionary War, or any of the structures in place that we now live under. The point of that, I think, is a very telling one, and that is that the American people were an identifiable people with an identifiable culture long before they were ever the United States or the American government. That culture is what edified and led to our Constitution and our way of life here. It is, I think, the most evolved form of freedom culture in the West—culture of freedom.
In the Islamic world, when they talk about freedom, or when we talk about freedom, it’s like two ships passing in the night, because their conception of freedom is virtually the opposite of what we mean by it. Islamic scholars, over the centuries, have rendered the concept of freedom in Islam as perfect slavery—total submission to sharia. Now, I don’t mean that as demagogic; I’ll be called “Islamophobic” for saying it, but what I just said is no different than what you would hear from any traditional classical jurist in the Muslim world. Their view of the world—and we should, I think, instead of talking down to them, try to get our feet in their shoes, and try to understand where they’re coming from—is that sharia is Allah’s beneficent gift to mankind, that is, the perfect pathway, the perfect roadmap to living a fully flourishing, dignified human life the way Allah intends for it be lived. Now, we don’t have to agree with them; we certainly don’t agree with them in the West—most of us don’t—and we can find fault with a great deal of what’s in sharia, and find it, as Frank mentioned, completely antithetical to some of the core values in the West, beginning with the very idea that the governed have a right to make law for themselves, and chart their own destiny, irrespective of any religious code. But the point is that they believe it, and that’s their way of looking at the world. What they want is not freedom in the sense that we see freedom. What they want is more sharia: They want societies that are more faithful to a classical interpretation of sharia. That’s not speculation on our part anymore: We’ve now seen them with the ability to choose, and that’s what they choose.
The point I want to make is that you need to understand that division about freedom, because I think it hones in on the major point that we’re talking about two different civilizations—two different, entirely different, ways of looking at the world—and it should be no surprise, then, that what we’re calling “democracy” is not the phenomenon that’s happening there. Where democracy in the West is a culture, democracy in the Muslim Middle East is a tool. The most important Islamic politician in the world, the most important Islamic political official, I argue in the book, is probably Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is the Prime Minister of Turkey. He famously said, as I mention in one chapter of the book, that “Democracy is just a train: We ride it until we reach our destination.” That’s what their view of it is. Their view of it is that the proper destination is sharia, and democracy is a route other than, say, violent jihad for installing Muslims, or Islamists, into power when they’re numerous enough to win elections and be able to begin to implement sharia law, which is deemed, in their ideology, to be the necessary precondition for Islamizing a society.
I’ll leave you with this one thought so we can get to some questions. When I was in the third grade, in Catholic school in the Bronx, we had a democratic election. It was great: We had a President, we had a Vice President, we had a Treasurer. Everybody knew the nun was still in charge. We were not a democracy. Having a referendum did not turn us into a different cultural entity than we were. You should not be deluded by the fact that they take votes in the Middle East that that equals democracy. Democracy is a culture, and it’s a culture that they don’t want. It’s not that they don’t get it. It’s not that they’re not sophisticated enough to understand it; Islamic ideology is actually very sophisticated. The people who are great scholars in it are people of great learning. The fact that some of what they think they’ve come upon is, to us—and, I think, objectively—horrific to contemplate, doesn’t mean that they’re not people of great sophistication and great learning. We shouldn’t talk down to them. It’s not that they don’t get it. It’s not that they don’t understand what the West is about. It’s not that, when they finally get to see what life is like with these great freedoms, suddenly the bell will go off and they’ll realize, Gee, this is the right way to do it.
They get it: They just don’t want it.
ARONOFF: We have questions here? Okay.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: How much is cultural jihad in the United States dependent upon Saudi and Salafist funding?
GAFFNEY: I would offer that it’s hard to say with precision, but I think, both in terms of structural means of support and simple deep pockets, it’s almost certainly the preponderance of the funding. Andy may want to weigh in on this, but one of the engines for much of what’s going on here, as I mentioned, is this organization that Omar Naseef used to run as its Secretary General, the Muslim World League. This is an arm of the Saudi government; I think Andy’s described it as the most important Muslim Brotherhood organization in the world, and that’s because it is the funding vehicle for a lot of the others, including the Abedin family business, but many, many others as well, including a subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America, run currently by Mohamed Magid, called the North American Islamic Trust, NAIT. NAIT’s mission is to purchase, or otherwise finance, the mortgages for mosques in the United States. Not surprisingly, with ownership comes a certain influence, shall we say, over who will serve as the imams—typically, Saudi-trained imams, or approved institutions like Al-Azhar, will be favored—and the materials that are in the bookstores or in the libraries that are referred to by the imams when people seek guidance on matters like, oh, jihad, the madrassas, their curricula, and so on.
So these are mechanisms, by some estimates—I don’t know if Andy would agree with this, but some estimates have said that some 80% of the mosques in the United States have gotten their funding through, or ultimately been taken over by, NAIT. That’s a number that happens to track with an undercover investigation that was done by two of our colleagues, David Yerushalmi and Mordechai Kedar, in which 100 mosques across the United States were randomly sampled and had people go in and examine them for, basically, adherence to sharia, and then established, using certain empirical data, whether there were signs that they were, in fact, promoting jihad; in roughly 80 of the 100 mosques were found both.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: Frank, who financed those loans?
GAFFNEY: The money, I think, basically comes from the Muslim World League, funded through—
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: Saudi Arabia—Saudi Arabia, right?
GAFFNEY: Well, I think I mentioned that the Muslim World League is an arm of the Saudi government, yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 2: Can I get in a question for both gentlemen? About seven years ago I was at an event in New York City; the great Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis was, basically, defending the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as Roger did with the film that he produced. Lewis said, “We either free them, or they are going to destroy us.” But looking back on it—and I’ve had many second thoughts about what Bush got us into in the Middle East—have you fellows thought, perhaps, what we did in Iraq has really backfired? That, despite all the brave sacrifices, we’ve created a virtual client state of Iran, and that our continuing involvement in Afghanistan is going to be another no-win situation for the United States?
MCCARTHY: My own view of it is—and I was a supporter of the Iraq war as well—I think that we’ve always lacked a strategic vision of the war, the overall war. I don’t think it was ever a war that was taking place in just Iraq and just Afghanistan, and the simple but very difficult—just simple to explain—roadmap for victory, I think, never was any different than what Bush said about a week after 9/11, which is, “We’re going to after the terrorists in any haven that they maintain, any place on the planet, and every regime in the world has a choice: You’re either with us or you’re against us—and if you’re against us then we’re going to treat you just like we treat the terrorists.” Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go war with every regime in the world, but we do organize the world, then, along the lines of who our real friends are, and who our enemies are, which is a lot more efficient way to make policy.
I thought when we began, particularly, the endeavor in Afghanistan, that that was along the lines that we were going to go. In other words, we were not going to be stopped, by any country, from going after terrorists, wherever they operated, whether it was Pakistan, or Somalia, or Yemen, or wherever; if the regimes were aiding and abetting the terrorists, we were going to work to topple those regimes, and, whether we did it by force or by other means, that was what we were going to do—but we were going to do it in a holistic way that, really, was a war along the lines of World War II, and we were going to fight until we won.
I never thought—and, regardless of what I thought, I don’t think the American people ever bought into the idea of spreading democracy in the Middle East, that that was a sensible security policy. We certainly never had a national debate about it. And, let me say this—it’s counterintuitive, its counterfactual. Think about 9/11, just to take one example: Where did 9/11 get planned? It got planned in Madrid, in cities in Germany, in Los Angeles, San Diego, down in Florida, Arizona—all democracies, the last time I checked. The fact is that it’s one thing to say, if your threat environment is other countries, that if we democratize everyone, that’ll help our security because democracies tend not to go to war with each other. Well, okay, that’s at least a theory. It’s a rational one. But if your threat environment is a sub-sovereign, secretive terrorist organization that exploits the freedoms available in a democracy in order to conduct attacks on the West, then there might be a lot of good reasons to try to democratize places, but your national security is not one of them.
So we went into this experiment to democratize a culture that does not want our kind of democracy, under the guise of a theory that them becoming democracies was going to make us safer as a matter of national security. The whole thing is loopy. I think if anyone had pitched it as “That’s the idea,” you would have looked at them like they had three heads. But what it was pitched as was actually the rational way that you defeat this enemy, which is that you go after the violent nests wherever they are, and you make clear to the regimes that aid and abet them that they are enemies of the United States—and you don’t want to be an enemy of the United States.
GAFFNEY: I agree with just about everything he said—as is usually the case, I think. I guess I would just put a fine point on it. I think, going back to your question, Cliff, it wasn’t for me so much a question of what we did, as how we did it, and I think it’s not unrelated to some of the things that I just showed. I think it fairly quickly became the case that there were certain things that you couldn’t do in terms of waging war against this enemy, once it was established that we weren’t at war with this enemy; we were at war with al-Qaeda, and that was pretty much It. Only, in some cases we weren’t even at war with them—notably, when al-Qaeda was getting safe haven from Iran, for example; that was something we didn’t talk about or want to go to.
Like, I think, both you and Andy, I felt very strongly that Saddam Hussein was part of the problem we were confronting. He had weapons of mass destruction, for sure; the argument was over whether he got rid of them all. I think he did not, until he moved some—I think, probably, across the border, where they’re now, I think, a problem for us in Syria. But, in any event, I took him at his word when he said he wanted revenge against us for Desert Storm, and I think that, given enough time—and he was getting let’s remember closer and closer and closer to getting out from under the sanctions, such as they were—he would be very much in that business. Now, have we created something worse, in the way we did it? Yeah, I think we did, in some respects, and that is a problem.
ARONOFF: Go ahead.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 3: Okay, to take the high-level view, broad view: What is the public consumption excuse for having these, I’ll say, enemies so close to the White House, so embedded in the White House—and then what is the real reason why these people are so embedded in the White House, all of these White Houses?
GAFFNEY: Well, of course, they’re not called “the enemy.” These are “good Muslims.” These are “model Muslims,” I think, for those who are bringing them in—and, in some cases, they’re actually on the payroll; in the case of Huma Abedin and Rashad Hussain, they’re on the payroll. In other cases they’re serving in advisory roles; in some other instances, they’re less official, but, nonetheless, used as routine liaisons to the Muslim-American community.
There is, at best—to refer again to my guru on these things—a willful blindness going on here as to who these people are; whether the associations they have to the Muslim Brotherhood matter or not; and whether what they are urging upon us, as, I would argue, a result of their Muslim Brotherhood ties, or for whatever other reason, is actually at odds with American national interests. But part of our purpose in doing this course at muslimbrotherhoodinamerica.com, and, I know, in Andy’s work, is to allow the American people to make informed decisions of their own about this, because I think it’s manifestly obvious this is not a good plan, especially when you go back to that Grand Jihad mission statement, that they’re about destroying us from within, by our own hands.
MCCARTHY: The only thing I’d add to that is in terms of “Why do they do it?”: Banna’s plan—Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ’20s—is a very sophisticated plan of revolution. It’s a bottom-up plan. It’s based on a lot of Islamic ideology, of course, but it’s also based on tactics that we’ve seen, and long seen, in connection with the Left. His idea was, you start out with the Muslim person, and then it’s the family, the community, the town, the city, and so on. It’s a gradualist plan. It’s not like al-Qaeda; they’re not trying to bludgeon you into accepting sharia tomorrow. They’re smart: They think that if you gradually work your tentacles through the society, the gains that you get will be permanent gains—and they don’t worry as much about blowback. And, if you think about it, they’ve been in the United States now for about three generations, so they’ve built up quite an infrastructure here.
But I think the “Why?” is, they want to march through every important institution in Western society, and regularize sharia, to the extent that they can get it accommodated, The way we are now, government is an extraordinarily important institution, but it’s not the only one they want to be in: They want to be prominent in every important influential institution in this society, whether it’s the academy, whether it’s the financial center, the media, entertainment, et cetera—
MCCARTHY: But—yeah. But if you want to do a plan like this, government’s essential.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 4: I would like to ask: Frank has done an excellent job of showing us how the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government, our agencies, and the political powers today, and, apropos of Andrew’s comment about how DOJ is trying to suppress, and bring to heel, our 50 state governments with multiple lawsuits over things that they have no right to sue them over, the question arises as to whether or not our state governments, 50 state governments, are relatively sharia-free, so that they can resist any further effort to, if it comes to that, state versus federal power. And, by the way, can we attach some kind of a name to the people that are trying to infiltrate the Romney campaign?
GAFFNEY: Well, I showed you two of them: Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Look, my feeling about this is that, as you would expect, I think, there are varying degrees of penetration at the state level, as well as the federal level, by the Brotherhood. Andy has done some terrific work excoriating Chris Christie. There is a fellow by the name of Mohammad Qatanani, who—I’m always mispronouncing his name, Qatanani, something like that—who, just the other day, apropos this point I made about the OIC trying to impose sharia blasphemy laws in this country, said something to the effect that “If you don’t stop saying these sorts of offensive things, America, you will have a national security problem.” Now this is a man that, Chris Christie intervened when he was U.S. Attorney, through a deputy, to prevent from being expelled from the United States. This is a man Chris Christie had in his Governor’s Mansion about a month ago, for an iftar dinner in which, in one of the more nauseating displays of special interest pandering, he pointedly singled him out for special appreciation.
In other states you see it to other degrees, but I will tell you one of the most hopeful things that I’ve come across, and been very supportive of, is an effort to counter one of these techniques—Andy’s just alluded to it, too—the effort to insinuate sharia into our courts. People find it hard to believe that this could happen. We did just a sample, a study, back—July of 2011, I think it was—looking at 50 cases, just at the state appellate level to get a sort of manageable sample size, in which somebody had tried to bring sharia into a proceeding, plaintiff or defendant. In 27 of those 50 cases, in 23 different states, the court in question upheld the use of sharia to dispose of the matter, usually to the extreme detriment of women and/or children. This has given rise to an initiative that, as I say, I’m very encouraged about, which has come to be known as “American Laws for American Courts.” It’s a really simple proposition; most people think, Duh! and yet, when you look at this kind of data—and, by the way, proponents of sharia say there are as many as 70 cases, they’re very pleased at this, and I suspect that there’s a lot more than that, actually—but in any event, American Laws for American Courts is an initiative that simply says, “Any foreign law—” it doesn’t single out sharia, it doesn’t single out any religion at all—“that violates the Constitution of the United States, the rights accorded us under it, or state public policy, cannot be used in the courts of that particular state.” Four states have adopted this so far, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, and, most recently, Kansas. I think there are as many as twenty others in which it is currently under review. There’s a terrific organization, the Americana Public Policy Alliance, that is trying to help get this done; publicpolicyalliance.org, I believe, is its website, I commend it to you. It’s a way in which people are pushing back, and, I think, wherever this debate has been joined, it has had the very salutary effect of causing people to learn about the extent this Brotherhood stealthy jihad is underway.
ARONOFF: So w—
MCCARTHY: But the most important thing Frank just said, if I could just finish his last point—
MCCARTHY: —is under review. Along the lines of “elections have consequences”—which we talked about before—if Obama’s reelected, he’s going to put another couple hundred judges on the federal courts, and probably at least two on the Supreme Court. American Law for American Courts was analyzed by David Yerushalmi, who’s a brilliant Constitutional lawyer. I think he’s made a bulletproof argument for it—if you follow the law. But progressive judges have a propensity for inventing the law as they go along, and as time goes on, and as these laws get adopted in the states and start working their way through, it’s not going to be the state courts—it’s going to be the federal courts, ultimately, that decide whether they’ll be validated or not. And that—
MCCARTHY: —anyone can guess.
GAFFNEY: —on that point, a federal judge did strike down a Constitutional amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution—which was not crafted this way, it was an easier kill for them—but so far this one has not been challenged. But Andy’s right: Elections do have consequences.
ARONOFF: One more question here, and then a closing minute or so from each of you.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 5: Yes, I just had a question regarding the general influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on overall society. Now, it’s pretty obvious that educational institutions are, needless to say, left-of-center. The one I went to in particular, which is DePaul University of Chicago, is an extremely Left-wing organization; it was very much infatuated with multiculturalism entities, and one of the largest student groups that we saw, that got a lot of praise from all students, was the Students for Justice in Palestine. Now, this was a group that sort of brought students into more of the Islamic culture, and it was very big within the Muslim community of Chicago, and what we see is that it was generating an attitude that Islam was a religion of peace, and it brought a lot of students into their organization. But what happened was that it generated sort of an anti-Israeli sentiment. Now what we see at my institution is, there’s about three, now, anti-Israeli groups at school. My question to you is, do you believe that this is an arm of an arm, perhaps, of a Muslim Brotherhood tactic—so we can see where, like, it gets into more of educational institutions now?
MCCARTHY: Both Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb, who is, probably, the second—and, probably, peer—most important theorist of the Brotherhood were teachers—“educators,” I’m sorry. In their ideology, and in their tactics, nothing, I don’t think, has been more elemental than controlling the campus. If you’re going to rank the institutions that they target, I would say that academe was even more important than government. As Frank, I think, mentioned, the Muslim Students Associations were the Muslim Brotherhood’s first toehold in the United States. They started in the early ’60s; there are now between 500 and 600 chapters across the United States and Canada—and they have been a gateway for an awful lot of people, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda recruiter who was killed last year. They been a gateway for a lot of violent jihadism as well as Islamist activism. So that’s been something that they’ve concentrated on from the very beginning. The other interesting thing I think you said is that, you know, it was a “religion of peace” atmosphere, or at least rhetoric, that instantly resulted in a lot of hostility toward Israel. I wonder how that happens . . .
ARONOFF: Andy, you want to just wrap up a minute? Then you, Frank?
GAFFNEY: Sure, go ahead.
MCCARTHY: Let me just stress the message of Spring Fever, which is that this is two different civilizations. It’s two different ways of looking at the world. It doesn’t mean we have to be at war; one of the most preposterous things you hear is that if we don’t accommodate Muslims in the Middle East—Cliff, I think you mentioned Bernard Lewis’s “We have to free them, or they’ll kill us.” That’s, I guess, the Bernard Lewis of, like, ten years ago, which sort of is the opposite of the Bernard Lewis from about 30 years ago, if you sort of hold the two of them up together. But with due respect for a number of smart people who make that point, you can have hostile forces or hostile populations coexist without having to be at war with each other; there are places where their interests are going to align, there are places where they won’t. If America’s going to be strong, we have to have red lines that can’t be crossed, and we have to make sure our enemies know that we’re going to defend them, even if we’re not looking for trouble. It’s a lot more sensible to make policy knowing that your friends really are your friends, and your enemies are your enemies, rather than trying to pretend that your enemies are really friends. That, I think, is a lot more sensible
But for those people who say, “If we don’t adopt this democratization approach, that means we’re at war with 1.4 billion Muslims,” that’s lunacy. I mean, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. We’re not going to be at war with 1.4 billion Muslims, we’re going to protect America’s interests in the world—and where they collide with people who mean us harm, we’ll go to war with them. Where they collide with people who don’t mean us physical harm but are hostile to us, there are ways of dealing with that, too, and we’ve always dealt with them. But the idea that you’re in a shooting war unless we rededicate ourselves to democracy in the Middle East is the loopiest thing I ever heard.
GAFFNEY: We’re at a point where, I think, it’s important to emphasize something that is implicit in both what Andy and I said, namely, that as you think about that one-point-whatever-it-is, 4 billion—yesterday it was 1.2 billion; whatever it is, it’s presumably growing—focus on this fault-line that arises from sharia. The Muslims who do not embrace this repressive, totalitarian doctrine in their own lives, and are not seeking to impose it on other people, are, at least for the moment, not the problem. I think there are large numbers of them—certainly, in this country, in fact, I think it’s still the case, though we keep trying to add to the numbers of people for whom this is not true by bringing them in as refugees—but many, many, many of the Muslims in this country came here to get away from sharia, and have no interest in having it imposed on them here. On the other hand, the people who do embrace this doctrine, who, therefore, know that it is God’s will that they must engage in jihad of one kind or another—personal, violent, stealthy, financial—they are the problem.
Our challenge, it seems to me, is trying to discourage people from migrating from the “non-problem” category to the “problem” category—and if there’s anything that is absolutely antithetical to doing that, it is embracing the sharia-adherent Muslims, legitimating their most vociferous proponents, enriching them, as I mentioned on the slide—you know, $1.5 billion a couple of months ago, $1 billion in debt relief within the past week or two, $4.3 billion going through international financial institutions, all to Egypt alone, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egypt.
All of which has an effect. I just want to close with this thought: We engage in this kind of behavior, whether we call it “political correctness,” or “cultural sensitivity,” or “diversity,” they call it something else—they call it “submission,” which, as you probably know, is the literal translation of the word Islam, and, as Andy said, “Perfect freedom is perfect submission to sharia.” If you’re into that kind of thing, then you’re going to really like what they have in mind for you. But if you’re actually, as I think we all are—and certainly our previous speaker was very forceful on this point—into freedom, then submission is the last thing we should be doing, because—again, another important takeaway—if you follow the doctrine of sharia, when you witness an infidel, in particular, but any enemy, engaging in submissive behavior, you are commanded to make them feel, as the Qu’ran says, “subdued.” What does that mean? That means more violence. That means maybe you’ve reached the moment when you can actually migrate from the stealthy, what I think of as pre-violent, to the violent, to finish the job the way Mohammed taught you to do. So, far from actually making this problem more tractable, or less dangerous, or preventing us from giving offense to anybody, this submissive behavior is condemning us to submission, and probably a lot more unpleasant things along the trail. So we mustn’t do that.