- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Suddenly, it seems, everyone is talking about Shariah. In particular, growing controversies over proposed mosques at ground zero and other sites are becoming powerful “teaching moments” - raising awareness about the repressive theo-political-military-legal doctrine that animates the builders and that their fellow adherents seek to impose on the entire world.

Unfortunately, too many Americans remain unaware of the magnitude of the danger we face from Shariah. Worse yet, their ability to comprehend this threat, let alone respond appropriately to it, is being disserved by people who know better - or should. Specifically, the public is being misled seriously by some journalists and politicians who are obscuring the true nature of Shariah and by Shariah practitioners who engage in deliberate deception to facilitate the penetration of their doctrine into Western societies.

As an example of the former, consider the article that led the New York Times’ front page on Sunday, “Battles Around Nation Over Proposed Mosques.” It accurately reported that Americans from the ground-zero neighborhood in Lower Manhattan to San Bernardino, Calif., are expressing growing concern about Muslim mosques that “seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic Shariah law.”

Yet the Times proceeded to dismiss the idea that such mosques are a problem. It cited “interfaith groups led by Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, rabbis and clergy members from other faiths [who] have defended the mosques.” One person was quoted as saying that the opponents “have fear because they don’t know” those involved in such mosques.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg went even further last week, declaring that those critical of the construction of a permanent symbol of Shariah adherents’ victorious destruction of the World Trade Center “ought to be ashamed of themselves” for being intolerant. Moreover, he categorically rejected the idea that it was reasonable, let alone necessary, to determine the source of funds for the $100-plus-million mega-mosque near ground zero.

In other words, the mayor seemingly is indifferent to whether the funding for the mosque sponsored by the Cordoba Initiative (named for the capital city of the Moorish conquerors of Spain and the site where they triumphally transformed a Catholic church into a massive mosque) might be the Saudis, with their version of Shariah known as Wahhabism.

This cavalier attitude is stupefying insofar as two years ago this month, the New York Police Department issued a report warning that Wahhabi mosques in America were incubators for “homegrown” Islamic radicals.

The mayor has a duty to know a lot more than he evidently does about Shariah. He certainly has an obligation to figure out whether - as is true of, by some estimates, 80 percent of the mosques in America - the ground-zero mosque is going to fit the profile of a Wahhabi-associated facility.

The challenge of assuring public awareness of the Shariah threat would be hard enough if the only impediment were ill-informed politicians and journalists. Matters are made much worse by the skill with which Shariah’s adherents dissemble, or simply lie.

For example, the New York Times article cited Camie Ayash, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tenn. - the sponsor of a proposed 52,000-square-foot mosque that has precipitated an intense local backlash. It reported that Ms. Ayash “lamented that people were listening to ‘total disinformation’ on Islam.” She then engaged in a classic example of real disinformation - or what Shariah calls taqqiya - claiming, “There’s no conflict with the U.S. Constitution in Shariah law.”

Even the most superficial review of Shariah shows that statement to be preposterous and misleading. In fact, among other Constitution-affronting features, Islamic law prohibits democratic lawmaking. It requires the replacement of constitutions and governments like ours with a global theocracy governed by Islamic law. It brutalizes women and otherwise treats them as second-class citizens and authorizes the murder of homosexuals and apostates.

Shariah is, in short, wholly incompatible with our legal system, freedoms and way of life.

Then, there was this gem from Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor in Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky. The Times quoted him as saying that while “radicalization of alienated Muslim youths is a real threat, the youth we worry about are not the youth that come to the mosque*.”

Look no further than the New York Police Department report for a reality check. It reported: “This [Shariah] ideology is proliferating in Western democracies at a logarithmic rate. The Internet, certain Salafi-based non-governmental organizations, extremist sermons/study groups, Salafi literature, jihadi videotapes, extremist-sponsored trips to radical madrassas and militant training camps abroad have served as “extremist incubators” for young, susceptible Muslims - especially ones living in diaspora communities in the West.”

Americans across this country are struggling to understand the true nature of the threat we face from Shariah. They are entitled to straight talk about the extent to which it is being insinuated, promoted and legitimated not only in mosques but by financial institutions, banks, academic institutions and government agencies. Those who fail to provide such unvarnished truths are part of the problem and should be treated accordingly.

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

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