Jihad Against the West: The Real Threat and the Right Response, Oct. 21, 2006 | WTC, South Boston, MA

Robert Spencer | Daniel Pipes | Flemming Rose

IT WAS NOT WITHOUT personal concern that I'd signed up for this local South Boston Objectivist-sponsored conference on the Jihad Against the West: The Real Threat and the Right Response, half joking to a work colleague the day before, that perhaps I ought to wear a Kevlar vest as I'd be in the same room as Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer & Flemming Rose (the Danish editor who'd initiated the Mohammed cartoon contest).

In fact, I'd asked the security gal, "do you want to search my bag?" arriving to the second talk of the morning. She looked thru half heartedly. Perhaps I didn't fit the threat mold. I noted some beefy security types positioned throughout, including at least two armed police.

Many in the audience had come alone. There were empty seats. I saw no TV cameras, or heard, during the Q&A sessions, any questions from bonafide "journalists". Instead, there were concerns expressed from Jane & Joe citizen, self-educated, alarmed (via blogs, online journals) including a self-professed homeless man, well-read, who lived in the woods in Jamaica Plain, named Don. I asked myself, if a homeless man in Jamaica Plain can read an advertisement in a bookstore & attend, where's C-Span, CNN, NBC & CBS? I'd asked Don how he could afford this event as each session was, depending on when one registered, up to $55. Don explained that he had been left a trust fund from an aunt, so he'd had some funds. It was difficult, he mentioned, to protect his stash of books from the weather.

Too, there was a precocious 14-year old boy, named Aron, who'd come on his own from Newton. Aron was Jewish, believed in God, but was very interested in the Objectivist (Reason vs. Faith) philosophy.

Others, I presumed came alone, because they are one amongst their friends, families and colleagues, who'd realized Jihad as a personal threat. During my wait to have Robert Spencer sign my copy of his Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, I met two other patriots. One, a direct descendant of Ulysses Grant, Bob, and Madeleine, a NYC psychologist, of Jewish descent, who'd since come to Christ and now considered herself Catholic.

Robert Spencer spoke plainly without wavering: Islam (not some "hijacked" form of it) is the issue. "We need to listen to Muslims themselves to hear their intent. Jihadists are forthright in their following of Mohammed."

Spencer mentioned Ahmadinajad's letter to George W.Bush inviting him to Islam as an example of how Muslims follow Mohammed's teachings. When Ahmadinajad's letter was ignored, he'd asked Mike Wallace to make Bush understand that there "would be consequences" to not accepting Islam.

While there may be moderates in Islam, "Mohammed's example is normative, considering there is no pope...so they are susceptible to Jihad and extremism, regardless of upbringing, moderate or not." Muslims either join Jihad actively, support it financially or by some other means. Sura 9:111 explains that salvation is assured for those who kill or are killed in the name of Allah: [9:111] GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran - and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.

"Treaties are not to be entered into unless its a time when Muslims are losing," he explained. "Carter, Clinton, Oslo, Condoleeza Rice. Why should any of these Infidel leaders trust Muslims when they're teachings clearly say not to?"

Spencer highlighted Adam Gadahn's invitation/ threat to US requesting us to convert to Islam, using Sura 9:29 [9:29] You shall fight back against those who do not believe in GOD, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what GOD and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the religion of truth - among those who received the scripture - until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly. He added that the very same Muslim invitation/ threat had been put personally to himself, Daniel Pipes & Steve Emerson.

"Its hard for modern secular minds to understand 7th century warrior mentality, but we must understand how Mohammed is the moral standard for Muslims. That's all there is and all that has been. Unless outside ideas that have been imposed by force from outside, especially secular law, as introduced in early 20th century in Turkey. The Muslim goal is 1.) conversion, 2.) subjugation and/or 3.) war.

Though many Musims do not understand 7th-century Arabic in the Koran, and appear secular, pious & otherwise observant, the danger is when Saudi-funded Wahhabists encourage young Muslims to enter Jihad to gain salvation."

What should we do? Spencer suggests the first thing is to get our President to stop calling Islam "a religion of peace". He continued, "He's not chief theologian. We give $2 billion a year to Eqypt to keep them from attacking Israel, yet they allow Muslim extremism taught in their schools. Same with Mushareff in Pakistan. Turns out with his book, we learn he was threatened to get him to cooperate. Fine, threaten him some more. Saudi's are chief enablers. We're paying for our own destruction." The enemy is not limited to without. According to Spencer, CAIR's Ibrahim Cooper wants the US to become Islamic "through education."

Secondly, Spencer suggests, we need to criminalize Jihad through education or violence. Thirdly, we need to address immigration. Already in Europe, some nations have instituted immigration paperwork, including questions such as (laughingly) "Are you a terrorist?"

The obstacles we face include a "straightjacket on intellectual thought on US campuses," as well as an inverted version of the whiteman's burden: "people who are under sway of multicultural aura of west, that whites are the perpetrators and only brown-skinned are innocents. In fact, its not a racist issue at all. Its an ideology. There are 1 billion Jihadists. This problem will not go away till it gets worse. It could last 75-100 years."

Spencer's new book The Truth about Mohammed has already ushered in 5 new death threats to himself, he revealed humorously.

He finds fault, too, with this administration's lack of understanding of the nature of our enemy calling it a "conceptual error." "WMD or not. We just allowed 15 thousand Saudi students here to study. Our friends the Saudis..False assumptions lead to false conclusions...we need to watch Muslims carefully, piety is fine, but when Muslims want to change our consitution, that should be illegal."

Spencer believes it's the secularist who has the most trouble wrapping their minds around this threat. "Religious people tend to understand religious imperatives. Not all religions are equal in violence."

Daniel Pipes spoke next. His premise is that its Islamism, in the nature of Communism, Fascism, Socialism and Totalitarianism before it, is the real threat. "We are in a very bad moment in Islamic history, beginning in 1979 with Khomeni's rise to power in Iran, followed by the 1983 marine barrack bombing killing 240.

From the beginning, we've incorrectly perceived the issue as a crime | police problem, not as an act of war, nor an attempt to deal with the ideology. In the evening of Sep. 11, 2001, President Bush addressed the nation speaking of this War on Terror. What if on Dec. 7, 1941, FDR addressed the nation speaking of a war on 'Surprise Attacks'?

While those on the 'right' correctly sees the war, the left still sees the problem as a 'criminal action,' in the manner of John Kerry's statement, 'terrorism is a nuisance.'

Pipes claims that the violent Jihad actions against the US & UK last summer were not effective to their cause. On the other hand, "lawful Islamism is working. Erdogan visits the White House. In the long term, he's more dangerous than Bin Laden... Already, the US Post Office will not send pork to our soldiers serving in the Middle East. He's proud though, of the attention he'd brought to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Muslim cab drivers who'd refused to take passengers carrying liquor, resulting in a stay of the "two-light solution" calling it encroachment to Sharia. We need to be vigilant.

Pipes states too, the problems with fighting this enemy: Islam has no particular country and more adherents (estimating 100 million) than Nazism, Communism & Fascism combined. "WWII and the cold war are pre-cursors to today."

His solution is two fold: In the manner of 1945, he recommends military strikes which demand complete surrender, followed by aid like the Marshall Plan, and (here's where many of us in the room thought he wavered) that we look to the moderate Muslim, encouraging them, and wait for them to overtake the Islamists amongst them. "Mubarek is an example of a moderate leader who looks at the Islamists as a criminal problem," Pipes added. The patriot next to me quietly added, "but he killed 5 thousand, no questions asked."

Who are the moderate Muslims and how can we identify them? Germany has come up with 44 immigration questions, with many having to do with attitudes toward women and sex. Europe is asking the question what it means to be European, and slowly waking up to the threat of a redefined Eurabian identity.

"Fascism, Communism and Totalitarianism are inherently anti-Semitic and deeply anti-American."

Pipes recommends we see Peter Seller's 1959 film The Mouse that Roared for inspiration.

Danish Flemming Rose, former Jyllands-Posten editor, spoke last, but was perhaps the most newsworthy, revealing more about the aftermath of the cartoon scandal than I'd known before. Too, he jokingly referenced his knowledge of Islam as "nothing before 6 months ago, and I've been on a crash course ever since!"

As a result of the violence following the cartoons' publication, Rose says that "Europe has begun their most serious debate since WWII." That his newspaper has somehow shown intolerance and disrespect to Muslims "sounds stupid," yet one of the most critical to free speech is Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister. "Tolerance means sometimes you have to tolerate opinions other than your own. Respect requires positive acknowledgement."

Rose had been a correspondent in the Soviet Union so his framework of understanding had been the self-censorhip exhibited under Totalitarianism. Now, Rose suggests, "Islamism is the threat of our times."

"If someone calls me a bad Christian, it will not cause me sleepless nights. But if someone calls a moderate Muslim a bad Muslim, its very different: Intimidation."

Rose revealed that since the worldwide cartoon controversy erupted, he'd learned from US editors why few chose to publish them. As employers, they'd been concerned for those correspondents in the middle east, and wanted no harm to come to them. Rose advised them they ought to have admitted to the American public that the real reason for self-censorship was intimidation.

There are 3.7% Muslims in Denmark. 1% in US. During the cartoon frenzy, seething Muslims had called for the Danish Prime Minister to take a stand on the cartoon issues. 11 Muslim ambassadors were not received by the Prime Minister. "I'm glad that he didn't see them," Rose said.

Norway, on the other hand, had a very different response. A Norwegian editor published cartoons and the government severely critized that editor.

The worldwide cartoon attacks were a result of "very organized campaign between Danish radical imams, dictatorships in the Middle East and Middle East Imams," Rose added.

As a result, perhaps, of the violent reactions of Muslims to these innocuous drawings, many Europeans are beginning to understand that inviting Turkey into the EU does not mean that they will become more European. Instead, they are perceiving a real threat to their way of life.

"We need to stand up to Islamists intellectually, morally & militarily," he concluded.