History is replete with examples of strategic miscalculations in which an overreach — usually born of contemptuous disdain for a foe — led to disaster for the aggressor. Think Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 or Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union 131 years later. We may look back at Sept. 11, 2012, as the kick-off date for such a tipping point in our time.
To be sure, the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Islamists — notably, al Qaeda franchises throughout the Middle East and beyond, other so-called “Salafists,” Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and the mullahs of Iran — were becoming increasingly aggressive toward the United States even before last week’s mayhem in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, etc. Team Obama (notably in the person of its hapless and overexposed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice) and its running dogs in the media would nonetheless have us believe that the upset is the byproduct of an amateurish short video that disparages Muhammad.
In fact, as most sentient beings have realized by now, that film is but the latest pretext for Islamists to demand our adherence to what they call Shariah blasphemy laws. Such laws are but a part of the larger, brutally repressive Islamic political, military and legal doctrine that prohibits any expression that offends, or otherwise is unhelpful to, their faith.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration repeatedly has conveyed a willingness to accommodate — or at least tolerate — this threat to one of our most fundamental constitutional liberties: freedom of speech. That willingness is part of a pattern of submissive behavior that has encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies to believe that America is in retreat and that Shariah’s inevitable, divinely directed and global triumph is at hand. Their response, predictably, is to redouble efforts to make us, in the Koran’s words, “feel subdued.”
Examples of such behavior abound. Consider just a few of the more telling cases-in-point:
In May 2009, President Obama insisted that Muslim Brotherhood representatives be in the audience for his first speech directed at the Islamic world. It was delivered at Cairo University and freighted with apologies for past U.S. policies and efforts to associate himself with the beliefs and priorities of his audience.
Interestingly, Mr. Obama already had operationalized that policy approach two months before by having the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council co-sponsor with Egypt a resolution drafted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The object of the exercise was to further the group’s long-standing objective of forcing U.N. member nations to prohibit and criminalize expression that offends Islam.
In July 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a formal effort with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation dubbed the “Istanbul Process” to explore ways in which our First Amendment rights could accommodate Shariah blasphemy laws. (Some of those playing an influential role in this exercise are discussed in “The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration,” a booklet I just published with the David Horowitz Freedom Center.)
In December 2011, the Istanbul Process achieved an ominous milestone: The odious U.N. Human Rights Council adopted, with strong U.S. support, Resolution 16/18, committing member nations to adopt “measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.” Lest anyone think this a clever finesse, more or less in alignment with current U.S. law, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s secretary-general made clear that his organization did not view it as “the end of the road.” Indeed, developments of the past week — both here and abroad, official and nongovernmental — suggest that Team Obama is prepared to go further, too.
Given such encouragement, it is not surprising that the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies would respond by demanding further accommodations to them and their Shariah agenda. What is a surprise, though, is that they are acting out their ambitions at this juncture — not after Nov. 6 when Mr. Obama will, in his words, “have more flexibility.” It suggests that the Islamists have reached their tipping point, propelled to seek decisive domination by Mr. Obama’s perceived weakness, irresolution and submissiveness.
In the face of our enemies’ overreaching aggressiveness, however, the American people now face a tipping point of their own. If they arrive at the only sensible conclusion — namely, that four more years of the Obama administration’s malfeasance with respect to jihadism of both the violent and the stealthy, pre-violent kind — they may just respond by refusing to re-up a presidency that enables and emboldens our foes and undermines our liberties and friends. Should such a tipping point be realized, it will be one of truly historic proportions and prized by freedom-loving peoples forever.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM (1260).