The vast Muslim conspiracy to undermine Western civilization from within is seemingly endless according to the many ideologues on the American right. According to IPS News, a prominent right-wing think tank named the Center for Security Policy has released a report entitled Shariah: The Threat to America (very large PDF) which has already been endorsed by multiple Republican members of Congress. According to IPS:
The report proposes the alarming conclusion that many apparently-lawful U.S. Muslims are waging a “stealth jihad” to impose sharia on the U.S. through peaceful means, and that virtually all major Muslim-American organisations are affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni fundamentalist organisation.
At the conference, CSP president Frank Gaffney warned of Muslim radicals “destroying Western civilisation from within”, aiming to impose sharia through force if possible but through “a more stealthy technique” if necessary. “If we…convey the idea we are submitting to those who espouse sharia, we are signaling to them that it is now practicable to revert to the more forceful way of achieving their ends,” Gaffney said. He warned that the resultant attempt “to impose sharia upon us through force” could make the Sep. 11 attacks “look like a day at the beach”.
Suggesting that sharia is “the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time”, the report offers far-reaching – and to critics, draconian – proposals for how to combat it. These include banning Muslims who “espouse or support” sharia “from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States”. The report similarly recommends prosecuting those who espouse sharia for sedition, and banning immigration to the U.S. by those who adhere to sharia.
The report’s allegations appear to be based heavily upon a document that was used as an exhibit by prosecutors in the federal trial of the Holy Land Foundation (a case in which at least some of the evidence was proven to be fabricated). Titled Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group, the document–purportedly written by a Hamas leader and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) associate in the US named Mohamed Akram–spells out a plot on the part of the MB to undermine America from within by first rooting itself in its civil society. An often cited paragraph states the following:
The process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who choose to slack.
Conservative columnist Rod Dreher wrote in 2007 that:
The entire 18-page platform outlines a plan for the long haul. It prescribes the Muslim Brotherhood’s comprehensive plan to set down roots in civil society. It begins by both founding and taking control of American Muslim organizations, for the sake of unifying and educating the U.S. Muslim community – this to prepare it for the establishment of a global Islamic state governed by sharia. It sounds like a conspiracy theory out of a bad Hollywood movie – but it’s real. Husain Haqqani, head of Boston University’s Center for International Relations and a former Islamic radical, confirms that the Brotherhood “has run most significant Muslim organizations in the U.S.” as part of the plan outlined in the strategy paper.
Reading these descriptions, one cannot help but think of this memorandum as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with a more Gramscian strategy and Jews substituted with Muslims.
The CSP published report is written by a group calling itself Team B II. This is an apparent homage to a report commissioned in 1976 by then-Director of Central Intelligence George H. W. Bush on the threat posed to America by Soviet Communism. Those invited to take part were known skeptics of the détente policy who were given access to classified intelligence. Unsurprisingly, the conclusions of the final report stated that:
The Soviet Union was, pursuant to its ideology, determined to secure the defeat of the United States and its allies and the realization of the worldwide triumph of Soviet Communism. As a result Team B found that not only was détente unlikely to succeed the way the U.S. government had envisioned, but the U.S. national security posture and policies undertaken in its pursuit were exposing the nation to grave danger. (CSP report, Introduction)
The CSP report further credits the original Team B with helping get Ronald Reagan elected president in 1980 and providing the “intellectual foundation for his strategy for destroying the Soviet Union and discrediting its ideology.” Such a triumphalist view of Cold War history is typical among many on the American right. But I would hope that even the most ardent ex-Cold Warriors would be able to recognize that viewing a major world religion adhered to by a billion people the same way they once viewed a totalitarian superpower and its satellite states is an enormous error in judgment.
The two “team leaders” who were in charge of writing the report on sharia are ex-DIA officials Lt. Gen. William G.”Jerry” Boykin and Harry Edward Soyster. Boykin is no stranger to controversy for being a Christian fundamentalist that casted the War on Terror in Biblical terms and was frequently accused of holding anti-Islamic views. Harry Edward Soyster was the director of the DIA from December 1988 to September 1991. After retiring he became a spokesperson for Military Professional Resources Inc., a private military company.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. MPRI has long been controversial for its role in the various wars waged in the republics of the former Yugoslavia. Much of of this attention has been focused on its contracts to arm and train the Croatian military and its alleged complicity in the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the Krajina region in Croatia. Most recently Serbian-Americans living in Chicago filed a $10 billion dollar class action against MPRI. But less noticed is its role in arming and training the mostly Muslim Bosnian army against the Serbs.
After months of fretting, the U.S. has come up with a plan. Senior officials told Time that some private company, most likely MPRI, which has done work for the Croats, will train the Bosnians, who will be freshly outfitted with hundreds of tons of new weapons provided by the U.S. and its allies. “MPRI has got the know-how and the track record in the Balkans,” says a senior Pentagon official.
MPRI is ready. “The Bosnians need training at the company level, putting battalion staff together, that sort of thing,” says retired Army Lieut. General Harry Soyster. “It can be done pretty quickly.” Formerly the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Soyster, MPRI’s operations chief, is the only official who speaks publicly for the company.
In a secret, just finished report that cost $400,000 to prepare, the Pentagon has determined the Bosnians’ military needs. The study concludes that the Bosnian Serbs’ advantage could be erased by giving the Muslim-Croat Federation about 50 tanks plus similar numbers of artillery and armored vehicles, say Pentagon officials familiar with the findings. The Muslims also need antitank and antimortar weapons, light arms and basics like boots and bullets. In an indication of how important MPRI’s role would be, the report contends that the forces need more training than arming, especially in tactics for midsize units involving hundreds of troops.
Making matters even more intriguing is the fact that “the Bosnian Muslims hired MPRI using money that was provided by a group of Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. These nations deposited money in the United States Treasury, which MPRI drew against.” It is hard to imagine why someone who once profited from a Saudi-funded venture to arm a predominantly Muslim military against Christian Serbs would be seen with anything else other than suspicion by the various Islamophobes who helped write the report. Indeed, many US conservatives did criticize the Clinton administration for aligning itself with Muslims in the former Yugoslavian republics. For example, the Senate Republican Policy Committee under Larry Craig made up numerous press releases alleging that Clinton was allying America with shady Islamists, drug runners and even Iran. Such accusations were also made by many on the anti-war left. Still, there were other conservatives who bashed Clinton for not being tough enough on the Serbs. Notable among these critics was none other than Newt Gingrich, who advocated air strikes against Serbian forces and arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims.
The fact is that despite all the ramblings of the Islamophobic right about the “incompatibility” of Islam with the West the US has always allied itself with Muslims and even extremist forms of political Islam whenever it finds such alliances to be convenient. So while it remains to be seen whether or not Gen. Soyster really holds such paranoid views about the religious adherents he once helped arm and train, there can be no doubt that the current US conservative position of hostility to Islam is somewhat disingenuous.