On November 13 at Hillsdale College in Washington, DC, the Center for Security Policy presented a live-streamed panel discussion with three of America’s top experts on the shariah doctrinal threat to national security. Dr. Andrew Bostom, Diana West and Stephen Coughlin will be joined by Frank Gaffney to discuss, “Benghazi: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Influence of Shariah Doctrine.”
Benghazi: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Influence of Shariah Doctrine
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Featuring nationally-recognized experts and authors:
- Moderator: Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy
FRANK GAFFNEY: This promises to be a most informative and hopefully very constructive contribution to our understanding of what has happened, most immediately, in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 September 2012. But much more broadly, what is happening – what has happened since that terrible day in which four of our countrymen, including our ambassador to Libya, were murdered.
I am Frank Gaffney with the Center for Security Policy, and I have the privilege of moderating this conversation. This will, I hope, be a particularly useful exercise in connecting the proverbial dots. There are many of them now checkering the landscape and they’re much in need, it seems to me, of that connective tissue. The kind of information that will make sense, hopefully, of what’s going on in both Benghazi and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa and the Muslim world, as it’s called much more broadly. And indeed what’s going on here. We will be, I trust, discussing with our panel the nature of the relationship that the United States now has with the Muslim world, specifically as a result of the policies of the Obama administration.
I know we will be talking a bit at least about what I consider to be the absolute essence of the connective tissue between all of these dots, namely, shariah. The totalitarian, supremacist, Islamist program that its adherents seek to impose on all of us. I expect that in the course of our conversation, we’ll have a chance to visit about some of the manifestations of our policy approach to Islam in general and shariah specifically as it has been evidenced in such things as the counter-insurgency strategy, the so-called COIN strategy, whose principle author, as you know, has recently become the object of considerable controversy, shall we say. General David Petraeus. And whose current principle implementer is now also embroiled in controversy. The commanding general of our forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen. To visit about these issues, to illuminate them, to help us all – and most especially, those who will be holding in the next few days not one, not two, but three different hearings that will, we’re told, examine and hopefully elevate the sorts of questions that we’re addressing today, are three, as I say, of the best minds I know in this part of the battlespace in this part of the free world at the very least.
Our first speaker will be Dr. Andrew Bostom. Andy is, by my lights, one of the great renaissance men of our time. He’s not only a serious medical doctor, but he has also become one of our time’s, I think, leading authorities on this phenomenon of shariah. What it means for various minorities, notably the Jews, and for the rest of us who love freedom and seek its survival. His newest book, which is very much on point, and which we commend to you, is Shariah Versus Freedom. Andy will speak first and I think provide some important context for the rest of this discussion. Diana West is, I think, well known to this audience. As a nationally syndicated columnist, a remarkably powerful writer and thinker. But also the author of a marvelous book, Death of the Grownup. She will be commenting on the Benghazi-gate story as it fits into this paradigm of shariah and what it means for all of us. And finally, and certainly not least, Stephen Coughlin. Steve has served his country in uniform, rising to the rank of a major in the intelligence branch in the United States Army. He was called up and served after 9-11 and became the duty expert for the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Islam and the threat that its shariah adherents, particularly, pose to the rest of us. His master’s thesis has become one of the seminal works – and I think will become the subject of, or the bulk of a new book that we’re anticipating will be out shortly, entitled Catastrophic Failure.
ANDREW BOSTOM: J. B. Matthews, who announced a career as a communist front operative to become one of the world’s foremost anti-communist authorities on such groups, observed in his 1938 Odyssey of the Fellow Traveler, it cannot be denied that communists and their sympathizers object not only to a denunciation of communism, but also to a calm and critical examination of its principles and practices. Strange as it may seem, communists denounce those who merely cite the things of which communists themselves openly boast in their own public statements. Matthews observations from nearly seventy-five years ago are apposite to the discussion today, because he captures the shared reactions by both advocates of and apologists for two totalitarian ideological systems which are eerily similar. Modern communism and still-unreformed pre-modern Islam.
Indeed a contemporary humorist of Matthews had cogently highlighted the striking similarities between Islam and communism, referring to the communist’s creed with this aphorism. There is no god and Karl Marx is his prophet. Alas, in our present stultifying era that increasingly demands only a hagiographic view of Islam, even such witty illuminating aphorisms may become verboten. Witness president Obama’s stern warning during his Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 speech to the UN General Assembly when he proclaimed the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. The travails in Libya and among the broader Middle Eastern Muslim participants in the Orwellian named Arab Spring demonstrate graphically how enforcing barbarized views of Islam which ignore Islamic doctrine in history intend a policy debacle. First, I will summarize the salient features of shariah, Islamic law, and its appeal as demonstrated by recent polling data from Libya’s North African Muslim neighbors, Morocco and Egypt. Then I will trace briefly how what my colleague Diana West has aptly termed our making the world safe for shariah policymaking mindset operated and continues to prevail in Libya. Derived from Islam’s most important canonical texts, the Koran and Hadith, and their interpretation and codification by Islam’s greatest classical legists, shariah, Islamic law, is not merely holistic in the general sense of all encompassing, but totalitarian. Regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion to personal hygiene to the governance of a Muslim minority community, an Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order. Clearly this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent to more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, shariah’s liberty-crushing dehumanizing political aspects feature open ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order. Rejection of bedrock Western liberties. Including freedom of conscience and speech. Enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death. Discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast vulnerable pariahs. And even Muslim women to subservient chattel. And barbaric punishments which violate human dignity. Such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption. But this – but is this ancient brutally oppressive totalitarian system still popular amongst the Muslim masses? Particularly in North Africa? In a word, yes. Polling data released April 24th, 2007, from a rigorously conducted face to face University of Maryland worldopiniondynamic.org interview survey of the Muslims conducted between September 9, 2006, and February 15th, 2007, 71 percent of the one thousand Moroccans and 67 percent of the one thousand Egyptians surveyed, desired this outcome to unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or caliphate.
The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a caliphate was strongly suggested by a concordant result. 76 percent of Moroccan Muslims and 74 percent of Egyptian Muslims approved the proposition, quote, to require a strict application of shariah law in every Islamic country. Libyan rebel spokesperson, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, born in 1952 in al-Bayda, one of the first cities to rise against Gaddafi, studied law and Islamic jurisprudence in Benghazi before embarking on a legal career that culminated in his appointment in 2007 as Gaddafi’s minister of justice. A foreboding wikileaks memo from February 27th, 2010, revealed, quote, in the course of the discussion of the criminal code, Abdul Jalil abruptly changed the subject from freedom of speech to the, quote, Libyan people’s concern with the US government’s support for Israel. He averred the Libya cares deeply about Muslims everywhere and about Muslim countries. In his view, the root cause of terrorism stems from the perception that Europe and the US are against Muslims, unquote. But in August of 2011, Abdul Jalil’s vision for Libya was apparent in his championing of Libya’s draft constitution whose salient feature was part one, article one which stated, Islam is the religion of the state and the principle source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence, shariah. Following Gaddafi’s removal, Sunday, October 23rd, 2011, pronouncement by Abdul Jalil, now the leader of Libya’s transitional council, reiterated the overarching general role of shariah and including this specific example, he, Abdul Jalil, also announced the annulment of an existing secular family law that limits the number of wives a Libyan male can take, contradicting the provision in the Muslim holy book, the Koran. This would be Koran 4:3, which is the fourth chapter, third verse, that allows men up to four wives. Thus liberated Libya appeared bent on reinstituting shariah based polygamy in pious conformity with Koran 4:3. Simultaneously, in late October, 2011, reporter Sharif al-Halwa [PH] confirmed that the al-Qaeda flag was aloft on the Benghazi courthouse.
Several months later, during a trip to Libya in early 2012, al-Halwa noted the al-Qaeda flag was still flying atop Benghazi’s courthouse. But more importantly, he ventured to the jihadist flashpoint of eastern Libya, Derna, to expose Libya’s shariah enforcers. Unofficial Derna leader and local al-Qaeda head, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi proclaimed if you establish the shariah, we’re with you. We’re your soldiers. We’re ready to die alongside you if you establish shariah law. “Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile” was an August, 2012 report prepared by the combating terrorism technical support office, a Pentagon program office. Within a month of the murderous 9-11-12 attacks which left four dead, US Libyan ambassador Stevens, two heroic former Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and a US Air Force veteran, Sean Smith. The report emphasized how al-Qaeda senior leadership working via a large, powerful, and well-established jihadist infrastructure in Libya, including prominently Ansar al-Sharia, the group responsible for the Benghazi consulate attack, sought to capitalize on US and NATO supported insurrection which toppled the Libyan despot Gaddafi and fulfill its goal of making Libya part of an eventual transnational caliphate. A sizable Ansar al-Sharia public rally during June, 2012, was highlighted in the August, 2012 Pentagon report which also noted the unwillingness of Libya’s shariah supporting central government to contend with these ostensibly more radical avatars of shariah supremacism. With resigned sobriety, the Pentagon report emphasized how such jihadist al-Qaeda discourse resonates among a significant swath of the Libyan population. Finally, the Pentagon report’s executive summary raises serious questions about the callous inattention to security for US diplomatic and ancillary personnel in Benghazi. And more importantly, the abysmal see no shariah failure of imagination regarding overall US policy in Libya which has embedded the most fanatical jihadist extent of al-Qaeda itself. The report concluded – and I want to read this to you – al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya. But it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name. Ansar al-Shariah, led by Sufyan Ben Qumu, a former Guantanamo detainee, has increasingly embodied al-Qaeda’s presence in Libya as indicated by its active social media propaganda, extremist discourse, a hatred of the West, especially the United States. Al-Qaeda adherents in Libya used the 2011 revolution to establish well-armed, well-trained, and combat experienced militias. The al-Qaeda clandestine network is currently in an expansion phase. Running training camps and media campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. However, it will likely continue to mask its presence under the umbrella of the Libyan Salafist movement and, with it, shares a radical ideology and a general intent to implement shariah in Libya and elsewhere.
And one of the apparent US avatars of this grossly misbegotten policy is now its most prominent victim-cum-martyr. Namely Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Diana West has brought to my attention two profoundly disturbing classified cables written by Stevens during 2008 which captured this warped mindset. Stevens made a pilgrimage to eastern Libya, Derna. The longstanding proud hotbed of jihad, which was a hub of the aggressive late 18th through early 19th Century North African Barbary jihad campaigns against the US. Moreover, even the absence of strict shariah compliance, anthropologist Evans-Pritchard’s 1949 characterization revealed how the Muslim Bedouin of eastern Libya compensated for the less than assiduous fulfillment of the ritual requirements of Islam by their jealous commitment to jihad. And here’s Evans-Pritchard’s description. It would also be a questionable judgment to assert that the Bedouin of Saranaga [PH] that’s eastern Libya, are not religious because they do not pay attention – the same attention – to outward ritual as do townspeople and peasants, for piety and holiness as we’ve often been admonished, are not the same. Perhaps the Bedouin make up for their shortcomings by their enthusiasm for the jihad, holy war, against unbelievers. They consider that they have fulfilled their obligation under this head in ample measure by their long and courageous fight, formally declared a holy war by the caliph of Islam, at the time, against the Italians, French, and British. A Bedouin once said to me when I remarked how rarely I had seen Bedouin at prayer, but we wage – but we fast and wage holy war, unquote. The 2008 cables reveal Stevens cavorting with the very Libyan Muslim denizens of Derna who are proudly sending their sons to be homicide bombers, etceteras, in Iraq, attacking and killing or grievously wounding US troops there at the highest per capita rate of any location in Islamdom.
One memo is more than sympathetic to this hotbed of jihadism. It is almost reverent. Stevens repeats uncritically their self-characterization as being like Bruce Willis in the movieDie Hard. Even entitling his cable as “Die Hard in Derna”. And one can perhaps see, as Diana West suggests, the germ of the idea for the strategy ultimately employed to overthrow Gaddafi spearheaded by jihadists like Stevens’ colleagues. The horrific depressing spectacle of our great nation’s willing exploitation by violent shariah supremacists brings to mind a remarkably candid assessment by the 18th Century Moroccan Sufi master, Ibn Ajiba from his Koranic commentary, a work I was made aware of by my colleague Mark Duri [PH] describing unabashedly the purpose of the humiliating Koranic poll tax of submission for non-Muslims brought under Islamic hegemony by jihad, who become so-called dhimmis, as per Koran 9:29. Ibn Ajiba makes clear the ultimate goal of its imposition was to achieve what he called the death of the soul through the dhimmi’s execution of their own humanity. Here’s what he said. The dhimmi is commanded to put his soul, good fortune, and desires to death. Above all, he should kill the love of life, leadership, and honor. The dhimmi is to invert the longings of his soul, he is to load it down more heavily than it can bear until it is completely submissive. Thereafter, nothing will be unbearable for him. He will be indifferent to subjugation or might. Poverty and wealth will be the same to him. Praise and insult will be the same. Preventing and yielding will be the same. Lost and found will be the same. Then, when all things are the same, it – the soul – will be submissive and yield willingly what it should give. Cynically ignoring shariah doctrines and practices that permanently endanger the life, liberty and property of non-Muslims, US policymakers, epitomized by the murdered Libyan ambassador Stevens, have sacrificed US lives and our nation’s soul. Thank you.
DIANA WEST: Benghazi is a very complex story. I think it’s one of the most complex episodes that our nation has gone through in some time. It is complicated on many different levels. And my fear, actually at this point, now that we have some media attention on the concurrent scandals, is that we will lose the larger story. Right now, we’ve got the security breach story, we’ve got the who knew what when story, and we have the Petraeus and General Allen stories fogging our minds, perhaps. But I think that the – while these are necessary points to nail down and necessary scandals to reveal, there is the un-discussed and unnoticed larger scandal, which is the fact – as Andy was alluding to – that the Obama administration supported al-Qaeda forces in Libya against Gaddafi, who up until the time he was killed, was an ally against al-Qaeda forces worldwide. So another way of saying this, really, the way I like to say it, is that in Libya, Uncle Sam joined the jihad. Now how this might have come about is a very crucial policy to understand. It’s something we don’t talk about. It isn’t acknowledged.
But once you start burrowing into this via Benghazi, I think we have a chance, at least, to bring the facts to light. I believe it’s come about through a willful reckless disregard and/or a suppression of Islamic theology, of Islamic jihad, of Islamic jihad to spread shariah. And whether this is from out and out Islamic sympathies or from negligence, from ignorance – excuse me, pardon me – such a reckless disregard of the Islamic factors has paradoxically permitted our policymakers to ally the United States with proponents of world Islam, which would be shariah, Islamic law, caliphate, which all of these things, it must be remembered, are the endgame of jihad. So I look at Benghazi and I see this policy having blown up in our faces. But so far, this is not part of our debate. But this is the very blindness – just to give you a very small example, that in the very first place, permits a United States diplomatic compound to be guarded from a barracks inside the walls by a local militia called the February 17th Martyrs Brigade. This has been discussed, trip – you know, just falls off the lips trippingly, of congressional witnesses in the media, no one stops to explain, to consider, what does that mean? What is local militia? Andy just gave you a little bit of flavor of what the local militia pool might be in eastern Libya. And I will repeat that eastern Libya sent more fighters to kill and maim Americans in Iraq per capita than anyplace in the world. And it’s a quite intense difference between Libya’s numbers and Saudi Arabia’s numbers. I’ve forgotten my little graph today, but its well more – substantially more per capita than even Saudi Arabia. That’s the local. February 17th Martyrs Brigade. What’s February 17th? Well, February 17th, most people will remember, is February 17, 2011, was the day of rage, so called, on which Benghazians kicked off the revolution against Gaddafi. But, February 17th, 2006, is actually the day they were marking in 2011. This is a day that doesn’t enter into our consciousness. But it should. February 17th, 2006 was the date of another day of rage when thousands of Benghazians left the mosques after Friday prayers and attacked the Italians consulate, burned it, the Italians had to be evacuated for fear of their lives. And this was done to punish Italy for the temerity of having a minister who went on Italian television to declare that freedom of speech was a cornerstone of Western liberty, that the Danish cartoonists at that moment the subject of tremendous pushback and rioting across the Islamic world for the Mohammad cartoons of a tiny newspaper in Denmark, that declared solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, and for this, he was fired the next day by then prime minster, Berlusconi. And I suggest, I argued, this was in compliance with Islamic law. Berlusconi was demonstrating that Italian – his Italian government – was under Islamic law and prohibited such criticism, prohibited such statements, you know, supporting freedom of speech, supporting Western liberty, but it wasn’t enough for Benghazi. Three days later, the Benghazis attacked the consulate.
So this is February 17th. Now how about the martyrs? The martyrs are the eleven, twelve, about a dozen, Benghazians who were shot and killed by Gaddafi’s police guarding the Italian consulate. There was no loss of Italian life in this attack. There were martyrs to the cause, to the jihad against the West. And so, I mean, a normal person has to scratch his head and say, how could the United States allow the February 17th Martyrs Brigade inside an American compound to guard American interests? That’s what we’re dealing with. But that is what we’re not dealing with because we don’t know this, we aren’t told this. Our leaders hide this and our press doesn’t seem to care. That’s an example. I could go through the same litany with another local militia, the Libya Shield, but maybe we’ll wait for the question and answer period. It’s even worse than the prominence of the February 17th Martyrs Brigade. Benghazi, by the way, means City of Martyrs. So I mean you have to know the territory you’re in. So this is where we are. And the point that I would like to also make is that this was not some ad-hoc security engagement. That only – they couldn’t find anyone else to guard the compound. And they didn’t know better. This was policy. And we see this in the cables that have been released by the House government oversight committee from the regional security officer at the time, Eric Nordstrom, discussing the fact that this was State Department policy, to transition security to locals. So this wasn’t just, you know, what are you getting locally? This was a policy. And it wasn’t working, which is exactly why they were calling for Americans to come and help shore up the security that they knew was a shambles. So you have to wonder where this policy came from. And it didn’t begin in the spring of 2011 when Ambassador – not yet Ambassador Stevens, but Christopher Stevens was famously dropped into Benghazi to be point man to the so-called rebels in eastern Libya. It didn’t begin with the February 17th2011 day of rage. I don’t know if it was in place. I would like to find more about the program that Gaddafi oversaw – his son oversaw to release scores of al-Qaeda members from Libyan prisons in 2010. I don’t know how much that America was involved in that. But I do know that our ambassador at the time was present at one of these ceremonies.
This policy was a long time coming and we know something about it from the cables – the cable flow released, thankfully released by WikiLeaks. I am actually a big fan of WikiLeaks, because our government has too many secrets. And this kind of policymaking should not be secret from us. I can’t speak to Stevens’ motivations in reading his cables. But I’m trying to track his policy and there are certain themes that emerge. And I would say the first set of cables, I would draw to your attention, were written in late 2007 and the first half of 2008. And they related – they were not only by Stevens, there were some other diplomatic personnel from the embassy in Tripoli. Stevens was not the ambassador, but he was a high diplomat. And they were tracking the well being of two released Guantanamo detainees, who had been repatriated to Libya to go into Libyan prisons. One of them is very interesting to us because Andy just mentioned his name. His name is Sufyan Ben Qumu. And he was picked up off the field – out of the field in 2002 by the Americans in Afghanistan, Pakistan area. He was known to be – or discovered to be – an al-Qaeda member, a Libyan Islamic fighting group member, which was the al-Qaeda affiliate at that time. He was also with bin Laden in Sudan. He was in the training camps in Afghanistan, you know, down the line. And these cables track the well-being of – there was another man, but I haven’t found links on him yet, so I’ll concentrate on Ben Qumu, but they track what the prison life was like, whether they’re getting coffee or tea, how much exercise, family visits. Great interest in his well being in getting visits to, you know, some kinds of monitoring of their prison term. It’s very strange. No real explanation lies in these cables as they’re written. It’s just you notice two, maybe even more, cables that I’ve looked at that, over time, tracking what’s going on with Ben Qumu. Now, he was released as part of the reconciliation when these jihadists promised not to be violent anymore and they were released and all of them were out by 2010. And he later became a leader of the February 17th revolution in eastern Libya.
Now when you think about Stevens coming back to Libya in February – in the spring of 2011, it’s almost impossible to imagine he would not have had some dealings with this man and those dealings need to be revealed. We need to find out what American policy was toward an al-Qaeda leader like Ben Qumu. Who, kicker, is now the leader of Ansar al-Sharia. Which is thought to have – believed to have led the attack on the US compound in September. So, I mean, the tragedy, the irony, the outrageousness, is just mind-boggling. But I would hazard that no one here has read this before because it has not – it has not been reported. And the links have not been made. And yet they are online, available to any reporter who’s spending time looking at this, and any policymaker as well. The second set of cables, the other set of cables I wanted to bring to light, had to do with Stevens’ own interest in eastern Libya in 2008, this is right after the US discovered a cache of documents that showed that the Libyans were sending more per capita fighters. And what he understood with his cable work and with his footwork in eastern Libya was that jihad was a cultural norm, that these people were proud of sending these fighters into Iraq. And yet by the end of this series of cables, he has decided to decouple this Islamic imperative to fight and insert the “Die Hard in Derna” theme and sort of de-Islamize the entire motives of this area, to sort of take Islam out of their culture. It’s so important to their culture and yet his recommendations, going back to the States, was we start to see this suggested, maybe if we got rid of Gaddafi, everything would be all right. And so I wonder if maybe the Arab Spring policy really had its beginnings in 2008 in eastern Libya with diplomats such as Stevens. I wouldn’t single him out as being the single architect, but you start seeing the groundwork laid. This needs much more work.
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: What I’m going to do is talk about an outlier Benghazi issue, the issue always referenced in Benghazi, but never actually pursued in its own right, and that has to do with the issue of the YouTube clips. And how do you explain a near pathological obsession with trying to hang it up on there. And I think it’s very important because I think that the underlying issues surrounding the need to support the YouTube narrative is every bit a threat to the national security of this United States as what happened in Benghazi. And it needs to be understood in its own right. Joseph Piper wrote a philosophy tract back in the 1970s. He was a German philosopher. And it was called “The Abuse of Language and the Abuse of Power” where he tried to explain to Germans in the 1970s how when the Nazis abused language they came to be able to abuse power. And it’s very important because one of the things he pointed out is once the current social norm – people’s understanding of reality is based upon what he called a pseudo-reality, you almost have to treat the truth as propaganda just to get it heard. And I would like to point out, we are there, okay? The things that are being discussed here. Andy went deep, so you’re not going to find that on YouTube. Diana went and did some research on this. But the underlying facts to almost a hundred percent of what we say is obviously true to anybody who makes a decision to actually research this. There is not some major competing issue on facts between what we’re saying and what the other side says. One is templated against a pseudo-reality that is not real but enforced. And the other is true to the exclusion of what is being told in that pseudo-reality. And I think that’s very important to keep in mind.
On the 23rd of September, on “60 Minutes”, everybody heard the comments about the bumps in the road. And president Obama got a lot of flack for the term bumps in the road, but nobody picked up what he said afterwards. He said, there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road. In a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that has been completely controlled by the government. I actually agree with president Obama on that comment. I would like to point out al-Qaeda has said their exclusive organizing principle is Islam. As defined in Islamic law. The Muslim Brotherhood has said their exclusive organizing principle is Islam as defined in shariah law. And of course the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation says their exclusive organizing principle is Islam. I say that I agree with this, in fact, I agree with it so much so that I made it the point of my thesis in 2007 to point out that those national security individuals with responsibility for War on Terror issues who do not know that organizing principle are guilty of malpractice. Or are looking at malpractice. In fact, there is simply no comprehending what’s going on without reference to that. And yet here we have it. The one thing that you can be run out of government for is to dare to talk about the one organizing principle that makes everything make sense. And why am I bringing that up? Without this knowledge, you can hardly understand the policies and objectives of the most powerful driving forces in the Islamic world, by which I’ll say two of them. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I will tell you, these entities are almost off the discussion boards in almost every government entity. And if they’re not, they’re propagandized understandings of it. In fact, the article to be written one day will be the article that talks about the two most powerful people in the world that nobody knows anything about. And yet they are clearly driving everything from the Arab Spring to other events, the YouTube clip. And that is Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu – I’m sure many of you are saying, who? And yet he is the head of the OIC. And a man named Yusuf Qaradawi. He is the person calling the shots on the Arab Spring. He’s called the shots on all of them. And, you know, here’s how hard it is to find that out. Do a Google search. Do a Google search. But because their names aren’t there, because their driving force is actually Islam, everything they see seems incoherent. It will be incoherent. The enemy plans to win the war by making it not understand their organizing principle. So this brings up the whole point of talking about the YouTube clip. These entities, the OIC and the Muslim Brotherhood remain opaque so long as we don’t understand who they are or what they represent. And we will never really be able to get the full sense of what the YouTube clips are about. As of course everybody’s heard, the Benghazi event was blamed on the YouTube – the clips. I’ll just talk – I’ll use the word clip.
Okay, I’m going to treat this as a completely severable event. Although people can get into questions about whether they are severable, I think at this point we could say, you had the YouTube incident that started at the Cairo embassy on September 11th. And then you had the events at Benghazi. And for this purpose, let’s keep them as severable. Let’s take a look. On September 11th, at the beginning of the day, I believe the Cairo embassy was closed with a posting saying, the embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims as we cut off efforts to offend believers of all religions. We firmly reject the actions of those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others. I’m one of those people who believe that you do not have the right to make a – do something, make a bad decision. You actually don’t have any rights at all. And of course, I don’t want to get into whether people – what people think about the YouTube clip itself, I would just get – I’ll just make the point that if the Supreme Court says Nazis can march in Skokie, if the Supreme Court says that some artists can put a crucifix of Christ in a vat of urine, then I’m really not prepared to hear issues about other people’s feelings. I really am not. That is whether I like it or not or whether I agree with it or not, that’s the law of the land. So I think it really means something that our State Department is putting out a message that runs counter to the First Amendment free speech right of an American, who’s actual message I don’t actually personally even have to agree with to make that point. I’m told that when the day of – when the protest happened in front of the Cairo embassy, it was a regular Egyptian soiree. The relatives of both the Blind Sheik and Zawahiri, the number two in al-Qaeda, showed up.
The very next day, the president of the UN commented on the events and nothing about – nothing about what was going on at Benghazi made it. What did he say? He condemns and deplores in the strongest terms any acts of defamation of religions and religious symbols and he said that such acts amount to – to incitement to hatred and xenophobia. And could lead to international instability. He went on to say, that states have to intensify international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding amongst civilizations. So to prevent indiscriminate targeting of religions and cultures. By reaffirming their rights to freedom of expression, he calls for the observance of obligations in accordance with international law. Obligations to curb freedom of speech. Okay? Now, clearly, he’s talking about what was the topic of the YouTube clip. Now, interestingly enough, the 14th of September, no less than twenty-six embassies, there were no less than twenty-six events around the world, including, I think, sixteen or seventeen embassies in the Muslim world, where there were protests having to do with this video clip. Now with this same narrative, with the same words, with the same directives. Now, we are going to be told that it was completely, you know, coincidental. Spontaneous. That these things exploded all over the world at the same time, same place, on the same message. I will be one of those people who will tell you of course this was choreographed. Of course it was planned. And the major topic of discussion coming up later in the month of September at the UN, in the General Assembly, was going to be defamation of religion. And I will argue that we really need to understand that. And I just read what the president of the UN said. So I want to ask you if it doesn’t sound very familiar with – remember when I talked about the OIC? 2005? Well, in 2005, the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation put out something called a Ten Year Plan. And the Ten Year Plan was to make all references to subordinate all freedom of speech law in the world, subordinated to Islamic laws and Islamic notions of slander. How many people are aware of that? Raise your hand. Okay. Because let’s just compare what the – what the president of the UN said.
And see what the OIC said. From paragraph three of the combating Islamophobia, which was released in 2005. The UN is to endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia and to call upon all states to enact laws countering it, including deterrent punishment. That means that you, an American citizen, inside the United States, could be punished for defaming what – for saying something Islam deems is inappropriate for it. How many people think that that would be a catastrophic breach of the First Amendment? Okay. So this whole thing we saw with the YouTube clip was a rerun of the cartoon crisis in Europe in 2006. Where you had a day of rage followed by various statements, all of the messages choreographed. And almost none of it, by the way, almost none of it coming from al-Qaeda. It was OIC and MB voices. Okay? It is today. So it’s also just like the Pope’s Regensburg speech back in 2006, remember? Day of rage. You can’t say that. So this defamation of Islam, day of rage cycle, is something that we have seen repeated over and over again. Of course, we saw it twice in Afghanistan with the Koran burning. What is the objective of these days of rage? To get US leaders and US thinkers to get so intimidated by Islam that they will pass laws to curb defamation of Islam as a crime. Are we not there? Just think about that. So the OIC’s ten year program of action seeks to subordinate free speech including the First Amendment to Islamic notions of free speech. As bad as Benghazi is, and it was bad, it’s an attack on people and places and it’s an event – but the YouTube clip represents an attack on the integrity of the Constitution of the United States itself. And I will tell you, if it is breached, the Constitution is done Cause our constitution cannot stand a breaching of the First Amendment. That’s why it is the First Amendment. And that’s why understanding the YouTube clip is more important than Benghazi. And I fully believe Benghazi is very important. But it was so important that the YouTube clip narrative follow through that it seems to me that maybe the Obama administration was willing to take the hit on Benghazi. But I keep asking myself, how did they prioritize their effort that they stuck to this? So the OIC has been promoting this UN resolution to get the ten year plan passed for a long time.
This last iteration was resolution 1618, okay? They watered down the language so it would be politically appropriate for the West and saw they could slide it through. The question isn’t is the OIC going to try to get to us through the UN? The troubling question is why did our State Department agree to work with the head of the OIC to make this a law, get this resolution passed in the UN with the clear intent of implementing it against US citizens? Cause that would be the follow line. Of course, on October 15th – excuse me, on July 15th – on July 15th, 2011, our Secretary of State met with the head of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, remember, that’s the second time I’ve mentioned his name. The one you never heard of. And yet our Secretary of State, in his temple, agreed with him that she would use the best efforts of our State Department to seek passage of resolution 1618. But the OIC clearly states it reflects the implementation of their ten year plan. Okay? It was actually authored by them. Not only did Hillary Clinton agree to that, but she agreed – she agreed that she would use some old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming so that people won’t – will feel they have the support to do what we abhor. Does anybody – is anybody bothered that our State Department, our embassies, have been in the business of condemning an American’s free speech right to foreign entities? Agreeing with foreign entities that they will go after Americans in an extra-legal way to do this? Does anybody else have a problem with that? Does anybody else have a problem with the fact that our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle want to run from this? Because if they’re running from this, they’re running from the most sacred duty that they have and that is to support and defend the Constitution. And it’s to support and defend the Constitution.
The layers that make this ambiguous to people are layers that are only to ambiguate people who want to be confused. Because this is direct. The OIC announced it in their Ten Year Plan. They make it clear that resolution 1618 is it. And it would call for the subordination of the First Amendment in the United States. There is no ambiguity here. And we can’t allow our people to hide behind this. Because this is what we stand for. So but didn’t the YouTube clip – didn’t the guy who created the YouTube clip, wasn’t he subjected to peer pressure and shaming? How many people know he was convicted and sent to jail? Okay. Where is the ACLU on this? Anybody who wants to get – if anybody thinks this is not – he’s not in prison because of a First Amendment issue, I just don’t understand that. So what I would like to point out in conclusion, I will conclude, is that for those who find this to be new information, it may be time to question what you think you know about what’s going on in the Islamic world. And I will tell you, you should start with the Arab Spring. So concerned was certain members of Congress with this – and this is my concluding remark – Congressman Franks, as the chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution, asked the assistant secretary, Tom Perez, whether the State Department would ever entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion. I mean, basically give effect to 1618. And Perez refused to answer, being asked this three times. So then I would just like to end this with the fact that this is not theoretical. It’s not something in the remote future. It’s happening now. Thank you.
FRANK GAFFNEY: I think that was a pretty extraordinary rendering of the problem. And I think we have circulated, if not we will before the program is over, some specific questions that we think are warranted coming out of both the analysis that you’ve just been treated to and any other information that’s available now. I encourage you also to look for a new film that is currently making its way I think through a distribution deal that hopefully will be available soon, a trailer for it can be found at silentconquest.com. And it picks up on a number of these points. In fact, I believe several of our speakers are featured in it. To help make the case that this business in Benghazi is not an isolated incident. It is very much of a piece with the larger problem that we’ve been addressing thus far. With that, I’ll be happy to open up the floor to questions. When you have a microphone presented, I would ask you to identify yourself and any organizational affiliation you may have. Let’s start right here.
QUESTION: Bill Murray. Religious Freedom Coalition. I can start with the ending. The same song ends the same way. Most of the conservatives, our conservative senators, our conservative groups, the only anger they had over Libya is that Libya wasn’t – the Libyan government wasn’t being overthrown fast enough and al-Qaeda wasn’t being installed quick enough. We now are in Syria and the biggest concern of our conservative senators and our conservative groups is that the secular government of Syria isn’t being overthrown fast enough and al-Qaeda isn’t being put in power quick enough. Now, you know, when both sides of the aisle want to put the two and a half million Christians in Syria, put their heads on the chopping block, so that they’re all killed, persecuted, and sent off, at what point do we stop supporting as conservatives anybody that has a gun that wants to overthrow somebody and start to look at who the hell they are?
DIANA WEST: I don’t think anyone – any of us would have anything to counter what you’re saying. Of course, it’s an outrage. I think that part of the problem is that these ideas and these problems, this notion of America supporting al-Qaeda is not discussed. It’s not admitted. You have to kind of read your own tea leaves or read what we write, which is just out there in the mainstream. And our candidate, our standard bearer of the Republican party last week who lost, did not bring these things up, didn’t enter into a debate, weren’t asked – this, in a sense, the Islamic prohibition on criticism of Islam is in effect. I’ve maintained that for more than a decade. We don’t talk about it because we can’t. We think we can’t. And I think that’s why we end up in this situation of serving al-Qaeda, serving the global caliphate, etceteras, and putting these governments in power.
ANDREW BOSTOM: Bill, we midwived shariah based constitutions in liberated Iraq, in liberated Afghanistan, we sat by idly as the Syrian Christian population was decimated in liberated Iraq. We had the case where the Vatican had to intervene to save a quote, unquote apostate in Afghanistan. This is a policy that we’ve had from the very beginning, certainly post 9-11, where we are willfully blind to the doctrine in these societies that prevails. And it prevails amongst the so-called moderates and amongst those who are more radical who, in essence, are really just more impatient to impose the shariah in its full forms.
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: I’m just trying to think of – the power of ignorance is really extreme. I mean, when you take a look, what happens, one of the comments that has started to really grate on me is someone will say, I’ll say something and they’ll say, well, yes, that’s a real good man. Or that’s a real good woman. Meaning, they know them, they like them, they’ve gotten their sense of them. And they’re a really good person. And it’s grated on me because those really good people have been making decisions that have caused this country to suffer severely. It has caused people – it has caused the people under them to die. And they died because of their ignorance. And at a certain point, at what point does ignorance at the top level constitution sedition or constructively so? Because some of these people, they’re getting people killed. Now I have no doubt that when we talk to those conservatives, they’re going to give us this whole people – that, every bit as delusional as the left leaning argument is the one that has fixed on the conservative side. That everybody wants to have rights like Americans. This is the face of al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the OIC that categorically denies not only those rights, but the basis for those rights. So I think the thing about this is we really have to start being not nice about this. And saying, you know, not only did we knock out Gaddafi and install al-Qaeda, everything you needed to know about who they were, you could have done a Google search in real time. Not only that, but if you just read some of the newspapers and understand what they meant, you would have seen that Yusuf al-Qaradawi was the person who was launching these initiatives. So this is my way of saying for those conservatives, that’s it.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Let me just add one quick point, this ignorance is in part spawned by something that Steve alluded to, namely, the purging of those like him and for that matter others, both in uniform and out, and files and briefing materials and the like which has spoken the truth. So the ignorance is not simply accidental or a lack of diligence, it’s that we have submitted to the point where we’ve made ourselves blind. At, I think, a further example of our submission, more generally.
QUESTION (ARTHUR GREEN): I was in the Foreign Service. I served in Doha, the home base of Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi. My question is for Mr. Coughlin. If the Brotherhood and the OIC are the building blocks of the jihadism, who are the NGOs in the international media who are the purveyors of the information?
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: Well, I didn’t really come prepared to talk about who those players are, but I think that you have an elite media. I think they have constructed a meme, a narrative. If the OIC was to come out and say, we’re going to impose Islamic law of slander on the non-Muslim world, people would say, get out of here. They were very aware – I have this little booklet, I brought it just in case something like this would come up. This is a book about the OIC written by the triple IT. The International Institute of Islamic Thoughts. A Muslim Brotherhood front group. And they were talking about the OIC in this book and it was written in 1988. You know, all the time we’re being told that the OIC – that the Muslim Brotherhood is a criminal organization, you just get this double message. Sheik Qaradawi has lived quite well in Doha. So it’s my way of trying to answer – so they knew in the 1980s that this word homophobia really caused people to reel back. Okay, so they created the term homophobia. And they thought they knew they couldn’t really get the West to buy off on Islamic law and the brutal suppression, but what they could do is mask their entire narrative in the postmodern meme. The diversity narrative. And then just put it in right after the word homophobia. Racism, sexism, transgender, blah, blah, blah. Homophobia, Islamophobia. And they knew that they would get the entire media to bite. Because I will say that, yes, I do believe that there are some very evil people who are very aware of what they’re doing. For example, I’m not convinced that Hillary Clinton knew what she was agreeing to when she agreed to that. I think she just thought it was another part of the diversity narrative. And that’s where you get to the point where you say, well, don’t you have a duty to know who these people are? All you have to do is go online to find it.
FRANK GAFFNEY: But it has to be said, if Hillary Clinton has, sitting at her right hand, as a person on whom she relies – don’t take my word for it, the Washington Post said so, for advice on matters involving the Arab world, the Middle East, a woman who has been tied personally as well as through her family to the Muslim Brotherhood for twelve years, that has to have some likely bearing on the decisions or at least the thinking that Mrs. Clinton has been doing in these matters. And that is not an isolated example as we hope all know. We have a course on this subject called muslimbrotherhoodinamerica.com.
DIANA WEST: Frank, I just want to add one little tag team on that which is that, speaking of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s aide, over the summer, when this came to light, I wrote one of my – I write a syndicated column that used to appear in the Washington Examiner and I wrote about this, I reported on what was going on on the Hill with the congressmen and the denouncements by Senator McCain and the issue about Huma Abedin, and the Washington Examiner refused to run it. I don’t know exactly why, but it refused to run it and that’s how this works. You know, in terms of the suppression.
QUESTION (ADM. ACE LYONS): I’m chairman of the Center’s military committee. I want to go back to the issue we all seem to dance around. I want to know why the ambassador was there on the night of 9-11. And let me preface that by saying, look, we had the Blue Mountain security manager that afternoon say, hey, there’s something wrong. He puts out a message on his two radios and his cell phone. He bails out of Benghazi on a flight. Three hours before the attack, you have roadblocks, checkpoints set up that the Turkish counsel general had to go through to get to the consulate. Now nobody can tell me, he gets to the consulate for his meeting with Stevens and says, oh, by the way, I went through all your checkpoints, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Why didn’t Stevens leave with the counsel general or why did he stay there? Pass my question to the panel here. Your wisdom on this.
DIANA WEST: It’s not knowable at this point. But there are many rationales, but it does – I’ve looked into it a little bit. I mean, I wonder why, first, I wondered whether as an ambassador he could have left. And I found out that he could. And in fact, you could say that there is – he bears some responsibility for the casualties that followed in not leaving that dangerous situation. We don’t know – we don’t know what the Turkish counsel and he met about. We do know that there was a serious CIA mission in Benghazi that may have seemed to him more important than their safety. Or going back to what I was trying to illustrate, he may have felt so comfortable with these people that he never thought something like this could happen to him. Because he knew them. And he had great affinity for them. And their cause.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Let me just add two other data points to the ones that Ace mentioned. One is that the folks in the compound knew that they were being surveilled the morning of the attack. Early in the morning as a matter of fact. And it prompted one of the victims, Mr. Smith, to write on – as you probably have seen – an online gaming site, that if we survived the night, I think it went on to say, we’ll be playing games again tomorrow, but there was reason to believe, as you say, Admiral, that there was something going down. Yes, sir?
QUESTION (BOB PETRUSAK): I’m a retired state prosecutor. And I’ve always been very interested in the trial of the Blind Sheik. His conviction for seditious conspiracy and in our failure of our government to follow up on that and pursue convictions of other persons involved in similar activity. And having heard Mr. Coughlin talk about sedition – mention the word sedition, and also talk about Islam as a strategy, I’m very interested in the question of whether or not we as a society should regard Islam or perhaps Islamism as a massive seditious conspiracy that is contrary to our law? Now, by Islamism, I mean, not the Muslim going to the mosque to pray. But the whole notion that society and politics should be controlled by Islam. And I believe I heard you, Mr. Coughlin, you mentioned Islam as a strategy, did I not – and I presume that’s what you mean? The whole notion that Islam should control society and politics?
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: I think what I was pointing out was when president Obama gave a speech about the fact that Islam was the single organizing principle that that is declared to be the single organizing principle by which the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and even the OIC say drives them. To which, I think you could take it to mean Islamic law. Now I don’t think we have to get into the hyper, you know, controversy of what Islam does or doesn’t stand for to point out that the Muslim Brotherhood explicitly states that their understanding of Islamic law requires them to wage jihad till the world’s been claimed for Islam. And when they make reference to Islamic law, they actually nail down real Islamic legal statements to say that. Now my experience has been not that people come up and come up with a competing argument or a, you know, different version of Islam. They try to shut down the debate. They don’t want it talked about. And I think one of the reasons is, is because there seems to be a super-tight fit between what the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda and the OIC says is Islamic law and what their doctrines say it is. And I have just always noticed that our moderate friends will say stuff like, well, this is just what I choose not to believe. Or if I brief somebody who – at very senior levels of our national security – and I will brief something to the effect, well, brief it to the point where it’s just locked down, we have the Muslim Brotherhood saying or al-Qaeda saying, we’re going to do it based on Islamic law.
In fact, this is Islamic law. And then we find a contemporary Islamic jurist saying that. We find a classical Islamic jurist saying that. And we see them both quoting the same hadith and the same Koranic verses for it. So what happens isn’t that they say, my gosh, you’ve nailed this down. This meets a burden of proof that basically will call for a summary judgment. No, they’ll say, well, I just choose not to believe that. What do you do? So I think the point of it is, we don’t have – this is a very important point to me – we don’t have to prove what is or is not true Islam although I think we can win this positively on that point. All we have to do is prove the enemy we fight says that’s the true Islam that they rely on to kill you. And so long as you have that right, you have what constitutes the basis of their threat doctrine. And the simple fact of the matter is, and there are people here who know me from historically, I have put a brief together that calls things in advance for years now. And it’s not just they kind of sort of happen the way we’re briefing years in advance. They happen exactly the way it’s briefed. And so we – the two issues need to be understood as separate. Cause it’s entirely conceivable, yet every bit as lethal, that the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda misinterpret Islamic law, but they’re still killing you. And therefore, you’re still dead. Okay? And you still have to defeat it. So there’s two questions there. And as a national security issue, the debate is resolved at the point at which you fix that doctrine, right or wrong, as the basis for a stated threat doctrine. Does that answer your question? And we can simply nail that down. It’s not just that you have the case with the Blind Sheik. You also have the Holy Land Foundation case. Where once you have the first conviction – you were a prosecutor, it’s pretty close, shooting fish in a barrel, getting the next round of prosecutions. I mean, there are complexities and stuff, but – and those were shut down. They were ready to go.
ANDREW BOSTOM: My real job is as an epidemiologist and so I’m very comfortable looking at data. And we have extraordinarily alarming data from the Muslim community in this country. And it’s not just recent data. It goes back even before 9-11. Detroit area mosques, there was a survey that 81 percent of respondents endorsed the application of shariah law where Muslims comprised a majority of the population. Now, that’s not a theoretical concern when you look at the behavior, the actual behavior, of the Dearborn community where they try and impose, you know, Islamic laws, sanctions, against proselytization, for example. And we’ve had notorious cases to that regard. The Center was involved in what I think was an outstanding – the only way you can do it – study of a representative sample of a hundred US mosques. And 81 percent of them were fomenting jihad. This is not a small number, 81 percent. You don’t have to be a biostatistician to understand 81 percent. We have the assembly of Muslim jurists of America. This is a mainstream teaching organization. Every year, it trains North American imams throughout the US and Canada. This organization, just go online and read the fatwas, read the advice they’re giving to Muslims that right in and ask questions about shariah related topics sanctioning punishment for blasphemy, sanctioning punishment for apostasy, seeking – speaking very disparagingly of other faiths, sponsoring female – supporting female genital mutilation. I mean, just go down the gamut of things that are quite offensive to us that are part and parcel of the shariah. This is a mainstream organization. There were just data that were published, it was a convenient sample. It wasn’t the perfect, random digit dial sample, but it was a convenient sample of six hundred Muslims that was published by Wenzel Associates in conjunction with World Net Daily, these Muslims – who, by the way, were of higher socioeconomic status and better education, so if anything, they should be more moderate by Western standards, 60 percent of them reject our First Amendment. These are data. These are not figments of people’s imagination. We have a serious problem.
QUESTION (DAN POLLACK): A couple of you pointed out that the leaders of the attack on the consulate was a graduate of our Guantanamo school for terrorists, you know, continuing education, I wanted to – looking at things from his point of view, I’ve often been struck by how it must seem to these Muslims who are dedicating their lives to damage the West and yet actions taken by the West seem to lend them support. Is there an element of this, I’ve often thought that back in the days following the ‘67 Arab/Israeli War, the Arab and the Muslim cause seemed on its hind legs cause they were losing. If anything, they seem more susceptible to losing once you start them on the losing path. And I think they interpret all of this bending over backwards by the United States and Europe to give them an advantage as God’s will and if we can only find some spots to tactically exploit this. I’m interested in each of your reaction to our actions that seem to empower them. And how that results internally in our enemies.
DIANA WEST: The first thing that comes to mind in terms of our empowerment of the Islamic world is the Islamization of our military forces in this past nearly decade of wars. And this should be of grave concern because the military has imbibed Islamic law as part of this counter-insurgency idea that was, of course, spearheaded by General Petraeus, CIA director Petraeus. As a way to make them like us. As a way to win them over, win hearts and minds, all of these phrases are apt. And what it has done is forced us to submit all the further. And when you have the United States military submitting, I don’t think they’re really stoppable until you cease and desist. I think the way Israel is being treated is another huge encouragement. If Israel goes down, I think Europe is next. And then us, or at the same time, I mean, these are very serious invitations to jihad. And we make it very easy for them. Again, because we have already entered into this deep submission.
ANDREW BOSTOM: I think the issue that Diana has focused on in the military is the lynchpin issue, in fact. Our – I experienced this firsthand. I was actually out in Ft. Leavenworth when Petraeus was still there. And having been quite familiar with the academy, you know, the medical school is an Ivy League medical school and my research, non-medical research, forced me to be on the campus a lot, it’s frankly insane what goes on there in terms of the bowdlerization of Islamic history and doctrine in any of the related courses. But in fact, that mentality is pervasive amongst the so-called academics that are recruited into our military institutions. With rare exceptions like Steve, who didn’t stay there. And actually knew what he was talking about and has predicted the failures of the policies. I mean, it’s turning reality on its head by, exactly what Steve said, creating this false reality. I could not believe, it happened in a formal lunch session, being with pseudo-academics out at Ft. Leavenworth who sounded like, you know, the most revolting drivel mongering leftists that I’ve had to deal with in the mainstream academy.
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: So those who can’t teach at community college then go teach at US military academies or advanced military institutes. That’s a horrible thing to – I do know some very good professors, but sometimes you see the people kind of crowd the back of a room in a presentation, they’re kind of like, wow. If you look at a book called Reliance of the Traveler on the section on jihad, there’s a section that quotes the Koran and do not call for peace when it is you who have the upper hand. Okay? I want you to think if you’re that – why you wouldn’t think, you not only have won the war, but you’re in the process of rolling us up. Okay, it think that, you know, I think we’ve hit on it a couple of times, I was remiss maybe in bringing it up, it’s very easy for the Muslim Brotherhood to be successful over there when the people advising our senior leaders are the Muslim Brotherhood here. People like Mohammed Morsi joined the Muslim Brotherhood when he was going to the University of Southern California. Did you know that? Okay.
The number two guy in the Muslim Brotherhood, you know, maybe successor to Qaradawi, was the imam in Ohio, Hilliard, Ohio. The man who was teaching our troops at Ft. Hood and Ft. Bliss before they deployed, Louis Safie, was the man that Qaradawi picked to run the Syrian – what was it called? The Syrian National Council. I mean, Steve, how do you know we picked him? Because it was in an article, lets be clear, translated from English to English, where they said so. That this stuff is just simply out there. And so when you know that you’re the people driving the train and you know that your senior leaders are so afraid to lose their job by not agreeing with them on something, you know, look at the COIN, look at the COIN where they decided that the preference for our combat forces in Afghanistan was going to be the protection of Afghan civilians. So it’s not to upset anybody when you had the pure homicide of our officers, green on blue, what was the solution? Not to talk about the fact that maybe the Karzai regime is penetrated. But to blame our soldiers for their own murder. So when you see that going on, when you take a look at our COIN and the COIN is based on satisfying the Afghans, formally and informally, where the Afghan government, based on the constitution we wrote formally subordinates to Islamic law, you really should see this type of activity as foreseeable. It’s certainly the normal consequence of subordinating your COIN to a government and to a people who subordinate themselves to a form of law that sees you as always being wrong and it always being your fault.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Let me make one additional quick addition to this litany. And literally, we could spend the afternoon enumerating these. But just to this point, imagine the takeaway from these Islamists around the world, the jihadists, that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military officer of the United States, uses a press conference to excoriate a distinguished serving officer teaching at one of these military institutions. For having offended Islam. In his brief. Ruining the man’s career as well as sending an unmistakeable signal to the rest of the cohort that don’t even think about doing that. Not just the teachers, but the students. This is submission. And I think there are people on this panel who know the Koran a lot better than I do, but that phrase keeps coming back to me, make them feel subdued. Part of this dhimmitude phenomenon and there’s o question that you behave as we are, submissively, you are incentivizing them do more of that making us feel subdued through violence among other means.
DIANA WEST: Well, just to add – to bring it back to Benghazi, the same Joint Chiefs chairman made a phone call to pastor Terry Jones on September 12th, asking him to withdraw his, essentially, movie blurb, his support for the YouTube clip, innocence of Muslims. Actually made a phone call to an American citizen asking him to withdraw his opinion of a creation of another American citizen or someone protected by our laws.
QUESTION (RON THOMPSON): I’m a graduate of Georgetown law. I sent you a paper recently after you gave me your business card. I’m a former member of the DC bar. And I still, to take what Bob said a step further, there’s still one step that hasn’t been taken, and as a lawyer, I’d like to offer this, I would like – because I think we’re hypnotized by the word religion, and I heard a couple of things said today, once single word by you, Dr. Bostom, that was a little bit of a red flag, you talked about unreformed Islam, implying that there’s some reformed Islam that would be a good thing, which I have trouble with, so my question is, is it possible – and I’m trying to write a paper on this – that Islam is not a religion for purposes of the word religion in the First Amendment? Because there are six elements to the First Amendment. And the first one, the first wording of the amendment talks about establishment of religion. Well, as I understand the definition of Islam, somebody correct me if I’m wrong, it’s inseparable from being the established religion or if it’s established, so I’ll repeat – and the other five elements, which I won’t take time to go through, for the First Amendment, is it possible to argue, take sort of a total intellectual offensive, and argue that Islam is not a religion for the purposes of how that word is used in the First Amendment of the Constitution?
ANDREW BOSTOM: There is a historical record which would argue in your favor. That Islam, of all the major faiths, and I’m not just talking about Judaism and Christianity, I’m talking about Buddhism, Hinduism, etceteras, has found it impossible, till now, to separate religion from state. It’s simply found it impossible. So I guess you could say it’s a theoretical possibility, but – and some Muslim states, you know, Ataturk tried his experiment. It was a brutal experiment. And he really wound up substituting a form of Turko-centric racism for Islam. Now it had some tangible benefits. Certainly for Muslim women. It didn’t help the minorities at all. Didn’t help them a wit. Became something of an ally, some would argue, in terms of the struggle against communism. But I think your point is very well taken. A wonderful anthropologist who was not an Islamophobe, Gelder, after struggling with the study of Islamic societies from the perspective of an anthropologist wrote a book that was actually fairly well received in the early 1980s by Muslims. Ten years later, he concluded that Islamic societies, based in 1991, compared to a hundred years earlier, had actually regressed. And he said, as a respected anthropologist, he had never seen societies that were so resistant to secularization. And this was his final lament on the subject.
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: I think that one of the reasons the book Shariah: The Threat was written was because if you use the word Islam, you’re talking about the whole thing. If you focus on just shariah, you’re raising the point that the point at which Islam intersects with the Constitution, it’s the point at which it’s not a theological issue, it’s a legal issue. And in that regard, I think that there’s a very real strategy to always put Islam on you as an exclusively – in exclusively First Amendment terms. Islam itself doesn’t actually define itself purely as a religion. It defines it as a complete way of life governed by Islamic law, which it defines as the law of the land. Now the books I get on shariah don’t refer to itself as religion, they refer to themselves as law, and they make it clear they mean the law of the land. One of the things I’d like to point out is when you decide to go down the road to look at this, you read their law pure, like you were doing comparative law. And you don’t read into what they say anything that comes from your Western legal or Western religious understanding of things. You read it as they say it. Now, I think it’s very important – I try to get people to really argue this strictly from the perspective of not the First Amendment, but Article 6 of the Constitution. This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. And at every point down the line where Islamic law runs counter to that principle, it folds. Okay? And that becomes a unilateral decision. And it’s not up for, you know, people can make a decision whether that’s too hard for them to live in this country. I’m not asking for that. But I think that people who allow that to be folded, who are under their own oath to the Constitution, are letting it slide. And I think it’s just very important, cause I do think, yes, you can make that argument. They certainly don’t want you to make that argument. By they, I mean, the Muslim Brotherhood and groups like that.
QUESTION (REV. LOU SHELDON): Thank you, Frank. And I want to commend all of the speakers. They’ve done an excellent job of telling us how close to our backside these alligators are. And second, I think I’d like to hear comments from you, where do we go from here? Do we just go home and cry? [LAUGHTER] Do we go into recovery? Or are there some kind of marching orders that you can give? Because we know we might not necessarily have a true friend at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or in the Department of State or other places and all them things that have been mentioned about those that did stand up and be counted. But the time has come that we’ve got to do this, because you can hear the chains rattling just down the stairs from this building.
DIANA WEST: Yes, well, it’s always an important question and it is a hard question to answer. Except insofar as speaking out, being unafraid, having no fear in terms of discussing this and meeting this, and also my concrete wish would be that we could – we could early retire the senior leadership of the United States military. Because they are at the point where they are so beholden to these Islamic norms that they have put our troops in uniform in great jeopardy and we have lost many lives because of it.
ANDREW BOSTOM: Far be it for me to put a Panglossian gloss on this, but frankly, again, when I look at polling data, I think the American public, despite all the obfuscation, despite the fog machine, despite the apologetics, I sense that they understand that there’s a very serious problem. Rasmussen – I know he’s in ill repute now, maybe because of the election, but he wasn’t that far off. He’s published polling data within the last year that shows that most Americans and 63 percent believe there’s a fundamental conflict between Islam and Western Civilization. That there’s a complete rejection of the shariah in another set of polling data, which was actually a bipartisan poll of Pat Caddell and John McLaughlin, thirteen to one, Americans reject any application of shariah in the United States. Very few Americans are sanguine about the Arab Spring. You know, 70, 70 percent plus are not the least bit sanguine about it. I think we have to find representatives who will stand up and speak to a preexisting constituency.
STEPHEN COUGHLIN: You know, when I first started having troubles making these briefings, I didn’t realize I was out on a limb doing them inside the Pentagon. But it needs to be made very clear that the purging of the language in my issue started when I was still – when Bush was still the president. You might want to talk about this administration, how we don’t have a friend there, I think the real possibility is we only have the illusion of friendship in the other administration. And in fact, there’s a part of me that believes that Benghazi became something of a kind of a harbinger to people, not just because of Benghazi and the election, but for people who want their presidents to actually believe in something. His decision to play the calculating calculations that caused him not to say something would be the same ones that caused a person who really believed in the integrity of this country and standing up on something to take a stand.
And so I think at a much – even separate from Benghazi itself, was the fact of, you know, it seems to me that the Republican party today stands for taping together a whole bunch of constituencies. And throwing them a bone and not meaning any of it. And then, you know, telling them to take a ride if they don’t like it. So I would like to say that I think that what to do, I think that Andy’s right. I think that there is clear evidence when polling is taken, that the public is aware of this issue and they’re growing in numbers in terms of what they think and what they see, despite the fact of what you hear. So I think people have to get smart. And I think they have to get mad. And they have to realize that, yes, you’re going to get your five thousand votes from a Muslim Brotherhood movement, but we’re going to make it clear to you that you’re going to lose a hundred thousand votes because of it. Because the Constitution is not negotiable. And that’s just the way it is. And I think that people really have to – when I say get smart, not just get smart knowing the issue, but get smart in getting your friends informed. And getting informed in a credible way. And not say things that cause you to look like a fool. Make sure you know what you’re saying. These people will attack. They attack fast, they attack hard. Every congressperson I’ve ever met who thought, well, we know, we’re politicians, we know what it is, and the opened up their mouth, and then got hit, and they didn’t see it coming. And they run for cover. And I don’t mean this to disparage anybody who may think I’m talking about them, because I may not be talking about them, but my whole point here is, this – the other side doesn’t look at this as a political game. They look at it as war. Okay? And you need to understand that this is a winner take all kind of thing.
FRANK GAFFNEY: This is a perfect point on which to conclude. I must tell you that I’ve learned so much from these folks, not just today, but through their writings and through my interactions with them, and we try to distill some of it down and that course that I mentioned earlier, free online video course called Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within and the entire tenth part of the course, building, I hope, on what Steve has admonished us to do, namely, to become knowledgeable about these threats, is devoted to what we do about it. It’s very practical in terms of instruction. It talks about what we can do as individuals. It talks about what we can do as members of groups. Like those represented here. And it talks about what we have to do as citizens of this country. And I hope that it will be something that both those of you here in this room will take to heart and those of you joining us through the miracle of live streaming will also take a look at. Because, to the extent that you do indeed take away from these kinds of comments not only more questions that have to be addressed and hopefully will be, especially if we’re demanding that they be addressed on Capitol Hill in the next few days, but that we as people who love this country have to do what our predecessors have done before us, which is insure it survives for the next generation. And that will not be done if we sit passively by as our freedoms are being eroded and ultimately destroyed by people who, as Steve has said, think they are at war with us. So with that, I want to thank all of you for being here, those who’ve joined us via the internet and most especially, if you will join me please in thanking this extraordinary panel.
Well done. Thank you all.