- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2006

In recent days, it has become harder than ever to deny the true nature of the conflict in which we find ourselves. As President Bush put it recently, “We are at war with Islamic fascists.” To be sure, the mounting evidence does not preclude some from denying this reality. The facts are clear enough, however, that we must begin to question the judgment, if not the motivations, of those at home who persist in trying to obscure the central threat we face from the totalitarian political ideology known as Islamofascism.

One straw in the wind could be found in Sunday’s New York Times, which prominently featured an article titled “And now Islamism trumps Arabism.” Though the author, writing from Cairo, used throughout the euphemism “political Islam,” the import was unmistakable: With its attacks on Israel and its survival of Israeli retaliation, the Iranian and Syrian-supported Islamofascist terrorist group, Hezbollah, has added luster and new recruits to longstanding efforts to subject the entire Muslim world — and, in due course, all non-Muslim populations — to Taliban-style Islamist rule.

The manifestations of this rising tide have become evident not only in the Muslim world — Arab and Persian, Sunni and Shi’ite alike. Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States are among a number of Western nations that narrowly averted terrorist attacks, all of which appear to have been orchestrated by adherents to one form or another of the Islamofascist ideology.

Particularly worrying is the fact at least some would-be perpetrators of such murderous attacks fall into a category increasingly described as “home-grown” — that is, suicide-bombers who do not come from abroad but are citizens of the country they are trying to afflict. Detecting and counteracting such individuals has proven even more challenging than preventing their fellow ideologues from getting into the targeted nations.

While it is true Western societies are increasingly arresting individuals suspected of involvement with terror who are native-born, to call them “home-grown” is misleading. This term understates the role played by foreign Islamists who have been allowed to establish elaborate recruitment and indoctrination operations inside such societies, including the United States.

For example, mosques and their associated schools (madrassas), prison and military chaplain programs, college campus organizations and increasingly businesses induced to accommodate Islamist demands for employee prayer rooms, time off for prayers, etc., are used as vehicles for inspiring and/or compelling adherence to the radicals’ ideology. Many of these operations receive generous funding from the world’s most important promoter of Islamofascism: Saudi Arabia.

So what are we to make of the claims of a prominent spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper, who has publicly denied Islamofascist imams in some U.S. mosques preach and teach in their schools the destruction of America? In response to a question from CNBC host Larry Kudlow last Thursday, Mr. Hooper declared: “I’ve been in a lot of mosques in America. I’ve never heard that. It’s not something that’s — I know of in the Muslim community. It’s put out and bandied about by anti-Muslim bigots constantly.”

This is, of course, patent nonsense. Most, if not all, of those convicted of ties to terror (which includes, by the way, three former CAIR officials) have been associated with radical imams and mosques, Islamist missionary organizations like Tablighi Jamaat, and/or Saudi-funded campus or prison recruitment operations.

This is no accident. For example, Freedom House has documented that the Saudis have been providing their mosques in America (Saudi Arabian-financed entities are said to hold the mortgages for as many as 80 percent of them) with materials that promote jihad against Americans and other “infidels.” (See: www.freedomhouse.org/religion/pdfdocs/FINAL%20FINAL.pdf.)

For too long, organizations like CAIR (which was reportedly spawned as a political front for the Islamofascist terror organization, Hamas), have been given a pass as they make misleading statements and otherwise sow confusion about the nature of this war. Especially intolerable is their practice of branding those who challenge them and their conduct as “anti-Muslim bigots.” (Ibrahim Hooper evidently used such unfounded charges to prevent yours truly from debating him on Mr. Kudlow’s show last week.)

Now that we have no choice but to be clearer about the nature of our enemy in this war, we must stop treating those who apologize for, or otherwise do the bidding of, the Islamofascists as anything but what they are: Part of the problem. The FBI and the law enforcement community more generally, the military and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should stop allowing CAIR and its ilk to provide “Muslim sensitivity training” to their personnel.

Similarly, the U.S. government should refrain from granting those like CAIR access to security-sensitive facilities and operations. Incredibly, in June, according to WorldNetDaily, a senior DHS official personally provided CAIR representatives a “VIP tour” of the Customs screening center at the world’s busiest airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International — at the same time British authorities were trying to prevent the penetration of their airport security systems by Islamofascist terrorists.

Finally, the media must not allow, as CNBC recently did, CAIR’s bullying tactics to prevent its representatives from being held fully to account. Such practices will only perpetuate the kind of muddled thinking that kept the U.S. from waging the indispensable “war of ideas” against the Islamofascists, both at home and abroad.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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