- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

As I looked out at the thousands of people assembled near Ground Zero on Sunday to oppose the construction of a mega-mosque there, I was reminded of Winston Churchill’s famous line that inspirited Britain at the first sign the tide was turning in World War II: “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

To be sure, the rally held two blocks from the World Trade Center was not a decisive defeat of the enemy like that dealt by the storied British “Desert Rats” to Hitler’s Afrika Korps in November 1942. But there was something pivotal about the fact that throngs of ordinary Americans - many of them family or friends of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001 - had come together to stand for hours in an intermittent rain not just to contest the construction of a mega-mosque at a wholly inappropriate location, but in informed opposition to the impetus behind that mosque: Shariah.

In fact, throughout the crowd could be seen signs with just the word “Shariah” lettered in dripping, blood-red ink. The prospect that the tide is beginning now to turn in our era’s war for the Free World can be found in those signs. They bespeak a recognition of the danger posed by the brutally repressive, totalitarian and anti-constitutional program that is espoused by the authorities of Islam. Shariah, the law of Saudi Arabia and Iran, is what Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the prime mover behind the Ground Zero Mosque, says he wants to “bring to America.”

The assembled union workers, firefighters, police officers, Patriot Guard bikers and other regular folks were addressed by a succession of citizen activists, community leaders and Sept. 11 family members. The thunderous response to patriotic speeches and songs about freedom and the threat posed to it by people like those who toppled the once-adjacent World Trade Center rang in the canyons of Lower Manhattan and - because of the massive media presence - across the land.

When my turn came to speak, I actually thanked Mr. Rauf. For, in his overreaching ambition to build what he dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” Mr. Rauf unwittingly and unintentionally created a “teachable moment” about Shariah and what he and others like him are doing to insinuate it into this country.

As a result most especially of President Obama’s ill-advised decision on Aug. 13 to embroil himself in the debate over the mosque, millions of Americans are now opposing its construction in proximity to some of our most hallowed ground. Our countrymen also are becoming more knowledgeable about Shariah and why simply moving this advocate and his Islamic “cultural center” complex a few blocks away will not mitigate the danger they pose.

Specifically, the public is learning of the obligation of Shariah’s adherents to impose this toxic program everywhere via jihad - holy war, waged by violence or by stealth. Thanks to the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, Americans also are getting a crash course on the pre-eminent perpetrator of the stealthy form of “civilization jihad,” the Muslim Brotherhood. While its tactics may differ from, say, al Qaeda’s, the Brotherhood’s objectives are identical: the supremacy of Islam and the establishment of a theocratic ruler, the caliph, who is to govern worldwide in accordance with Shariah.

As spokesmen from various Brotherhood front groups (notably, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society and the Muslim Public Affairs Council) have been vociferously demanding that the construction of a mega-mosque is a test of our religious tolerance, more and more of us are realizing that this is what is known in Shariah as taqiyya - lying for the faith.

The crowd on Sunday understood that, no matter how often the Brotherhood’s operatives and their non-Muslim apologists and enablers assert otherwise, the United States is not intolerant of the practice of Islam; the hundred or so mosques in New York City alone attest to that. Rather, the Brothers endlessly make such claims as part of the stealth jihad. Their playbook calls for them cynically to use our civil liberties to suppress opposition to the insinuation here of the most intolerant doctrine of all: Shariah.

As public awareness of and concern about Shariah intensifies, the Muslim Brotherhood and its friends are employing taqqiyafrantically in the hope of maintaining the obscuration so critical to their stealth jihad. Notably, on the margins of Sunday’s event, Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council - who attended Mr. Obama’s iftar dinner on Aug. 13 - tried to deflect criticism of Shariah, saying it is subject to various interpretations. He and his friends would have us believe that the jihad it orders means nothing more than “internal struggle” to practice one’s faith properly. Some, like Mr. Rauf, go so far as to insist that Shariah is compatible with the U.S. Constitution.

Fortunately, not all Muslims adhere to or seek to impose Shariah. If we start in a concerted way to empower those who do not, and effectively counter those - like the Muslim Brotherhood - who do, we may just be at the end of the beginning of this war to keep America Shariah-free.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WTNT-570 AM.