The Lessons of Boston
Three weeks after the bombings it is possible to make some firm and a few tentative conclusions. The most important fact is that the outrage was an act of Islamic terrorism. The attackers were Muslims, but the U.S. elite class—by ignoring that fact or denying its relevance—makes a comprehensive anti-jihadist strategy less likely than at any time since 9-11.
The culprit-in-chief is President Barack Obama, who has banned the use of the words “Muslim” or “Islam” in the official American discourse on terrorism. In mandating the disconnect Obama has gone well beyond the squeamishness of Western bien-pensants in naming the enemy and their chronic tendency to see all religions as interchangeable. By placing a ban on any meaningful debate on the link between Islam and terrorism Obama is effectively aiding and abetting the enemy. In reality the jihadist threat can never be controlled by focusing on causes external to Islam itself. That enemy has a clear ideology and a standard blueprint for radical political and social action. The result is a global phenomenon that cannot be compared in fanaticism and readiness for violence with any other ideology in today’s world.
It is an undeniable fact that Muslim immigration and the existence of a Muslim diaspora in a country are directly connected to that country being the target of terror. The aversion to profiling is a glaring symptom of the elite class pathology. Law-enforcers in other parts of the world pay no heed to the dictates of “sensitivity.” Arabs profile other Arabs, Indians profile Pakistanis, Japanese profile Chinese, and everyone profiles Africans. Israel profiles everyone entering and exiting all the time, and makes no qualms about it. One percent of Muslims living in the United States were responsible for over 90 percent of terrorist offences and serious threats in the country since 9-11. A young Muslim man is literally tens of millions of times more likely to carry out a terrorist attack in the United States than an Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, or Orthodox Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or a Buddhist. Or for that matter a Lebanese Christian. Membership of a group is a valid pointer in assuming and judging unobserved behavioral characteristics of an individual, especially in the absence of specific information about that individual's background. To suggest otherwise is neither moral nor sane.
It is essential to define and understand the enemy. Are Muslim terrorists—the only variety that seriously threatens the United States and the Western world—true or false to the tenets of their faith? The answer has to be based on Islam’s history and dogma, not on any a priori judgment by those who presume to know the answer or, worse still, may have ulterior motives—e.g. Obama—for not wanting the truth known. The result is that most Americans remain largely ignorant of Islam’s record of interaction with other societies and faiths, and therefore unable to understand the motives, ambitions and methods of terrorists. Some will understand intuitively that the attacks in Boston were not an aberration of Islam’s alleged peace and tolerance, but a predictable consequence of the ideology of Jihad. That understanding needs to be universal.
Obama clearly sees the above view as illegitimate today and punishable under some hate speech statute tomorrow. His forthcoming amnesty of all those unknown millions of illegal aliens will go hand in hand with the treatment of a growing Muslim diaspora as a fixed given that must not be scrutinized in any anti-terrorist context. As I wrote in Defeating Jihad seven years ago, an effective defense against terrorism demands a re-think of our foreign and military policies. What were the costs and benefits of supporting the Muslim side in the Caucasus and the Balkans? But let me repeat the obvious: the impact of ongoing Muslim migratory influx into the developed world is inseparable from any coherent long-term defense strategy. Controlling the borders is only the first step. The application of clearly defined criteria related to terrorism in deciding who will be admitted into the country, and in determining who should be allowed to stay from among those who are already here, is essential. Carefully evaluating the ideological profile of all prospective visitors to America, and systematically re-examining the behavior of all resident aliens and checking the bona-fides of naturalized citizens, is an essential ingredient of a serious anti-terrorist strategy. To that end, Islamic activism needs to be treated as an excludable, eminently political, rather than “religious” activity.
The victory against terrorism ultimately has to be won in the domain of morals and culture. It can be won only by an America hat has regained its awareness of its moral, spiritual, and civilizational roots. Instead, after every act of Islamic terrorism, we are served fresh doses of antidiscriminationism and tolerance. In 1938 Hilaire Belloc wondered, “Will not perhaps the temporal power of Islam return and with it the menace of an armed Muhammadan world which will shake the dominion of Europeans—still nominally Christian—and reappear again as the prime enemy of our civilization?” Now we know the answer. We are on fast track towards the grand Gleichschaltung of nations, races, and cultures that will mark the end of history.
As I wrote six years ago and reiterate today, we need laws that will treat any naturalized citizen’s or legally resident alien’s known adherence to an Islamist world outlook as excludable—on political, rather than “religious” grounds. The sharia, to a Muslim, is not an addition to the “secular” legal code with which it coexists; it is the only true code, the only basis of obligation. To be legitimate, all political power therefore must rest exclusively with those who enjoy Allah’s authority on the basis of his revealed will—and for as long as they remain infidel, both Europe and America are illegitimate. So how can a self-avowedly devout Muslim take the oath, and expect the rest of us to believe that it was done in good faith? Because he is practicing taqiyya, the art of elaborate lying that was inaugurated by Muhammad to help destabilize and undermine non-Muslim communities almost ripe for a touch of Jihad. (Or else because he is not devout enough and confused, but in that case there is the ever-present danger that at some point he will rediscover his roots.)
Those who preach or promote jihad and advocate the introduction of sharia can and should be treated in exactly the same manner that adherents of other totalitarian ideologies had been treated in the free world during the Cold War. My five key conclusions from 2005-6 still stand:
Seek zero porosity of the borders. No anti-jihadist strategy is possible without complete physical control of borders. Illegal immigration is a major security threat.
Demand denial of amnesty to illegal immigrants from nations and groups at risk for Islamic terrorism.
Discard the irrational ban on “profiling.” Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all transnational terrorist networks that threaten Western countries’ national security and way of life are composed of Muslims. It is time to accept that “profiling” based on a person’s appearance, origin, and apparent or suspected beliefs is an essential tool of trade of law enforcement and war on terrorism. Just ask the Israelis!
Subject the work of Islamic centers to legal limitations and security supervision. All over the Western world, Islamic centers have provided platforms for exhortations to the faithful to support causes and to engage in acts that are morally reprehensible, legally punishable, and detrimental to the host country’s national security. They have provided shelter to the outlaws, and offered recruitment to the leaders.
Treat affiliation with Islamic activism as grounds for denial or revoking of any level of security clearance. Such affiliation is incompatible with the requirements of personal commitment, patriotic loyalty and unquestionable reliability that are essential in the military, law enforcement, intelligence services, and other related branches of government (e.g. immigration control, airport security). Presence of practicing Muslims in any of these institutions would present an inherent risk to its integrity and would undermine morale.