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Neville's note: these two articles are not framed from the local Sharia threat as were 'Stealth Sharia' parts 1-3. They focus,
instead, on the more strategic threat of growing worldwide Islamism. And the opportunity to put articles by Frank Gaffney Jr. and John Bolton
on the same page was just too good to pass up.
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Try a little thought experiment. What would have happened in this country during the Cold War if the Soviet Union successfully neutralized anti-communists opposed to the Kremlin's plans for world domination?
Of course, Moscow strove to discredit those in America and elsewhere who opposed its totalitarian agenda - especially after Sen. Joseph McCarthy's excesses made it fashionable to vilify patriots by accusing them of believing communists were "under every bed."
But what if the USSR and its ideological soul-mates in places like China, North Korea, Cuba, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa had been able to criminalize efforts to oppose their quest for the triumph of world communism? What if it had been an internationally prosecutable offense even to talk about the dangers inherent in communist rule and the need to resist it?
The short answer is that history might very well have come out differently. Had courageous anti-communists been unable accurately and forcefully to describe the nature of that time's enemy - and to work against the danger posed by its repressive, seditious program, the Cold War might well have been lost.
Flash forward to today. At the moment, another totalitarian ideology characterized by techniques and global ambitions strikingly similar to those of yesteryear's communists is on the march. It goes by varying names: "Islamofascism," "Islamism," "jihadism" or "radical," "extremist" or "political Islam." Unlike the communists, however, adherents to this ideology are making extraordinary strides in Western societies toward criminalizing those who dare oppose the Islamist end-state - the imposition of brutal Shariah Law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Consider but a few indicators of this ominous progress:
Zakaria Al-Sheikh, head of the "Messenger of Allah Unites Us Campaign" which is the plaintiff in the Jordanian suit, reportedly has "confirmed that the [prosecutor's action] is the first step towards setting in place an international law criminalizing anyone who insults Islam and the Prophet Mohammed." In the meantime, his campaign is trying to penalize the nations that have spawned "Islamophobes" like Wilders and the Danish cartoonists by boycotting their exports - unless the producers publicly denounce the perpetrators both in Jordan and in their home media.
- In March, the 57 Muslim-state Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) prevailed upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution requiring the effective evisceration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Henceforth, the guaranteed right of free expression will not extend to any criticism of Islam, on the grounds that it amounts to an abusive act of religious discrimination. A UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression has been charged with documenting instances in which individuals and media organizations engage in what the Islamists call "Islamophobia." Not to be outdone, the OIC has its own "ten-year program of action" which will monitor closely all Islamophobic incidents and defamatory statements around the world.
- Monitoring is just the first step. Jordan's Prosecutor General has recently brought charges against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders. According to a lawsuit, "Fitna" - Wilders' short documentary film that ties certain Koranic passages to Islamist terrorism - is said to have slandered and insulted the Prophet Mohammed, demeaned Islam and offended the feelings of Muslims in violation of the Jordanian penal code. Mr. Wilders has been summoned to Amman to stand trial and, if he fails to appear voluntarily, international warrants for his arrest will be issued.
Unfortunately, it is not just some companies that are submitting to this sort of coercion - a status known in Islam as "dhimmitude." Western officials and governmental entities appear increasingly disposed to go along with such efforts to mutate warnings about Shariah law and its adherents from "politically incorrect" to "criminally punishable" activity.
For example, in Britain, Canada and even the United States, the authorities are declining to describe the true threat posed by Shariah Law and are using various techniques to discourage - and in some cases, prosecute - those who do. We are witnessing the spectacle of authors' books being burned, ministers prosecuted, documentary film-makers investigated and journalists hauled before so-called "Human Rights Councils" on charges of offending Muslims, slandering Islam or other "Islamophobic" conduct. Jurists on both sides of the Atlantic are acceding to the insinuation of Shariah law in their courts. And Wall Street is increasingly joining other Western capital markets in succumbing to the seductive Trojan Horse of "Shariah-Compliant Finance."
Let's be clear: The Islamists are trying to establish a kind of Catch-22: If you point out that they seek to impose a barbaric, repressive and seditious Shariah Law, you are insulting their faith and engaging in unwarranted, racist and bigoted fear-mongering.
On the other hand, pursuant to Shariah, you must submit to that theo-political-legal program. If you don't, you can legitimately be killed. It is not an irrational fear to find that prospect unappealing. And it is not racist or bigoted to decry and oppose Islamist efforts to bring it about - ask the anti-Islamist Muslims who are frequently accused of being Islamophobes!
If we go along with our enemies' demands to criminalize Islamophobia, we will mutate Western laws, traditions, values and societies beyond recognition. Ultimately, today's totalitarian ideologues will triumph where their predecessors were defeated.
To avoid such a fate, those who love freedom must oppose the seditious program the Islamists call Shariah - and all efforts to impose its 1st Amendment-violating blasphemy, slander and libel laws on us in the guise of preventing Western Islamophobia.
By JOHN R. BOLTON
July 15, 2008
Iran's test salvo of ballistic missiles last week together with recent threatening rhetoric by commanders of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards emphasizes how close the Middle East is to a fundamental, in fact an irreversible, turning point.
Tehran's efforts to intimidate the United States and Israel from using military force against its nuclear program, combined with yet another diplomatic charm offensive with the Europeans, are two sides of the same policy coin. The regime is buying the short additional period of time it needs to produce deliverable nuclear weapons, the strategic objective it has been pursuing clandestinely for 20 years.
Between Iran and its long-sought objective, however, a shadow may fall: targeted military action, either Israeli or American. Yes, Iran cannot deliver a nuclear weapon on target today, and perhaps not for several years. Estimates vary widely, and no one knows for sure when it will have a deliverable weapon except the mullahs, and they're not telling. But that is not the key date. Rather, the crucial turning point is when Iran masters all the capabilities to weaponize without further external possibility of stopping it. Then the decision to weaponize, and its timing, is Tehran's alone. We do not know if Iran is at this point, or very near to it. All we do know is that, after five years of failed diplomacy by the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany), Iran is simply five years closer to nuclear weapons.
And yet, true to form, State Department comments to Congress last week - even as Iran's missiles were ascending - downplayed Iran's nuclear progress, ignoring the cost of failed diplomacy. But the confident assumption that we have years to deal with the problem is high-stakes gambling on a policy that cannot be reversed if it fails. If Iran reaches weaponization before State's jaunty prediction, the Middle East, and indeed global, balance of power changes in potentially catastrophic ways.
And consider what comes next for the U.S.: the Bush administration's last six months pursuing its limp diplomatic efforts, plus six months of a new president getting his national security team and policies together. In other words, one more year for Tehran to proceed unhindered to "the point of no return."
We have almost certainly lost the race between giving "strong incentives" for Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and its scientific and technological efforts to do just that. Swift, sweeping, effectively enforced sanctions might have made a difference five years ago. No longer. Existing sanctions have doubtless caused some pain, but Iran's real economic woes stem from nearly 30 years of mismanagement by the Islamic Revolution.
More sanctions today (even assuming, heroically, support from Russia and China) will simply be too little, too late. While regime change in Tehran would be the preferable solution, there is almost no possibility of dislodging the mullahs in time. Had we done more in the past five years to support the discontented - the young, the non-Persian minorities and the economically disaffected - things might be different. Regime change, however, cannot be turned on and off like a light switch, although the difficulty of effecting it is no excuse not to do more now.
That is why Israel is now at an urgent decision point: whether to use targeted military force to break Iran's indigenous control over the nuclear fuel cycle at one or more critical points. If successful, such highly risky and deeply unattractive air strikes or sabotage will not resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis. But they have the potential to buy considerable time, thereby putting that critical asset back on our side of the ledger rather than on Iran's.
With whatever time is bought, we may be able to effect regime change in Tehran, or at least get the process underway. The alternative is Iran with nuclear weapons, the most deeply unattractive alternative of all.
But the urgency of the situation has not impressed Barack Obama or the EU-3. Remarkably, on July 9, Sen. Obama, as if stumbling on a new idea, said Iran "must suffer threats of economic sanctions" and that we needed "direct diplomacy . . . so we avoid provocation" and "give strong incentives . . . to change their behavior." Javier Solana, chief EU negotiator, was at the time busy fixing a meeting with the Iranians to continue five years of doing exactly what Mr. Obama was proclaiming, without results.
John McCain responded to Iran's missile salvo by stressing again the need for a workable missile defense system to defend the U.S. against attacks by rogue states like Iran and North Korea. He is undoubtedly correct, highlighting yet another reason why November's election is so critical, given the unceasing complaints about missile defense from most Democrats.
Important as missile defense is, however, it is only a component of a postfailure policy on Iran's nuclear-weapons capacity. In whatever limited amount of time before then, we must face a very hard issue: What will the U.S. do if Israel decides to initiate military action? There was a time when the Bush administration might itself have seriously considered using force, but all public signs are that such a moment has passed.
Israel sees clearly what the next 12 months will bring, which is why ongoing U.S.-Israeli consultations could be dispositive. Israel told the Bush administration it would destroy North Korea's reactor in Syria in spring, 2007, and said it would not wait past summer's end to take action. And take action it did, seeing a Syrian nuclear capability, for all practical purposes Iran's agent on its northern border, as an existential threat. When the real source of the threat, not just a surrogate, nears the capacity for nuclear Holocaust, can anyone seriously doubt Israel's propensities, whatever the impact on gasoline prices?
Thus, instead of debating how much longer to continue five years of failed diplomacy, we should be intensively considering what cooperation the U.S. will extend to Israel before, during and after a strike on Iran. We will be blamed for the strike anyway, and certainly feel whatever negative consequences result, so there is compelling logic to make it as successful as possible. At a minimum, we should place no obstacles in Israel's path, and facilitate its efforts where we can.
These subjects are decidedly unpleasant. A nuclear Iran is more so.
Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations" (Simon & Schuster, 2007).