NRO INTERVIEW: “We suffer from willful blindness now more than ever. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, who prosecuted the Blind Sheik, who masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Center, warned us of our error in his terror memoir by that name; as we continue our denial of the threat Americans face, McCarthy names names in his new book, The Grand Jihad, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list this weekend.
McCarthy backs up what we in the opposition have been expressing for weeks now.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: “So atrocious has been the bloodbath wrought by al-Qaeda, its affiliates, and its imitators that it has enabled more methodical Muslim extremists to operate under the radar.” Are there politicians — true leaders — out there who get that?
ANDREW C. McCARTHY: Some do, most don’t. In the last three attacks or attempted attacks (Fort Hood, Christmas bomber, and Times Square), absurd efforts were made to pretend that there was no connection to Islam. Fort Hood was especially reprehensible, with Gen. Casey claiming that to lose the military’s “diversity” would somehow be even worse than the mass murder, and with the military following up by whitewashing the role of Islamist ideology from its report on the atrocity.
And now, look at the Ground Zero mosque controversy. We have leading politicians rallying to the Islamist cause on the grounds of “tolerance.” Yet there are 2,300-plus mosques in the U.S. and scores in the New York metropolitan area alone. No one has tried to stop that, even though we know about three-quarters of the mosques are controlled by anti-American Islamists. (To be clear, I am speaking about who controls the mosques, not who attends them.)
If you want to talk tolerance, let’s talk Islam — not Islamism, Islam. In Mecca and Medina, the Muslim crown-jewel cities, it’s not just that there are no churches or synagogues permitted. Our “friends” the Saudis, enforcing a command of the Koran, refuse to permit non-Muslims even to enter these holy cities (though I understand some accommodations have finally been made for non-Muslims in the outskirts of Medina — not the main part of the city). I don’t think there should ever be a mosque at Ground Zero, certainly while the war is raging. Would we have permitted a Shinto temple to be built at Pearl Harbor in 1943? But even if I were open to the concept, is it unreasonable to tell the sponsors: “No mosque for now; get back to us when Islamic countries start exhibiting the same degree of religious tolerance that is the hallmark of the West”?
The effort to build the mosque has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. They want to call it “Cordoba,” the name of the caliphate that conquered Spain and ruled it, often brutally, for over half a millennium. This is no surprise. The Muslim Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, taught that propaganda battles were among the most important in the civilizational jihad. “Fighting the unbelievers,” he elaborated, “involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam including beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their places of worship, and smashing their idols.” One of the ways Islamists have always smashed idols is by building theirs atop those of the peoples they set about conquering.
Since the controversy started, we’ve learned that the principal figure behind the mosque, this imam called Faisal Rauf, is a member of the “Perdana Global Peace Organization,” which was one of the Islamist-Leftist groups behind the flotilla that tried to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas — and Rauf’s father was a Banna contemporary who studied and taught at al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam where many Islamist clerics (e.g., the Blind Sheikh) were educated and where, for example, the faculty rallied behind Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi (the Brotherhood’s spiritual guide) when he called for the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq.
What is going on with this mosque couldn’t be more transparent, and yet the political class — with a few honorable exceptions — has either fallen silent or joined in the ridiculous claim that “our values” require that we permit the mosque’s construction on that site.