As the Democratic National Convention proceeds this week and
the Republicans are gearing up for their own party, we are still not hearing
the candidates being asked genuinely tough and illuminating questions about
what they would do about jihad terrorism. And so I offer here, as a public
service, a series of questions for interviewers and debate moderators to ask of
the candidates. Will anyone have the good sense and chutzpah to ask Obama,
McCain, Biden, or the Republican Vice Presidential nominee these questions?
1. What would you do to deal with the national security
aspect of immigration? With plans afoot to bring large groups of Iraqis,
including Iraqi Muslims, into the United States, what kind of screening will
you implement to try to ensure that we are not importing jihad terrorists into
the country? Will you reevaluate immigration levels from Muslim countries based
on recognition of the fact that there is no reliable way to distinguish a
peaceful Muslim from a jihadist sympathizer or potential jihadist?
2. Forty percent of the foreign jihadists fighting against
American troops in Iraq come from a putative ally of the United States, Saudi
Arabia. The Kingdom is also one of the world’s leading bankrollers of terror. A
Treasury Department official who tracks terror financing, Stuart Levey,
recently remarked: “If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding
from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia.” What will you do as President to
work toward ending the absurd situation we find ourselves in today, of helping
to finance by means of oil revenue our own destruction by means of jihad
terrorism? What steps would you take to put our relationship with Saudi Arabia on
a more realistic footing than it is on today?
3. The Department of Homeland Security and other government
agencies have adopted guidelines forbidding U.S. government analysts and
spokesmen from speaking about jihad or Islam in connection with Islamic jihad
terrorism. Given that the terrorists themselves consistently use the language
of classic Islamic jihad theology to explain their actions and make recruits
among peaceful Muslims, doesn’t this policy create the risk that we will not
understand our enemy’s motives and goals, and not be able to combat them as
effectively as we otherwise could? And wouldn’t that be true even if the
jihadist use of Islamic texts and teachings were, from an Islamic standpoint,
improper and incorrect?
Also, there is evidence that this policy was adopted on the
recommendation of Islamic scholars who are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood is engaged, in its own words, in “a kind of grand Jihad in
eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and
‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers
so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other
Is this not reason enough in itself to reevaluate these new
guidelines, if not to scrap them altogether?
4. Terrorism expert Stephen Emerson has called Hesham Islam,
a top aide to the deputy secretary of defense, Gordon England, “an Islamist
with a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bent who has brought in groups to the Pentagon
who have been unindicted co-conspirators.”
If that is true, it raises serious questions about the
extent of jihadist infiltration within the highest levels of our defense
If you are elected President, what will you do to root out
possible Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other jihadist sympathizers from
sensitive government positions? What kind of screening will you institute for
Muslim military and intelligence officials in order to try to ensure their
loyalty to the United States and their rejection of the jihad ideology and
5. Last week, a torture chamber was discovered in a mosque
in Baghdad. This revelation follows a large number of other incidents in which
jihadists used mosques to plot terrorist attacks and to recruit. As President,
would you favor the monitoring of mosques in the United States in order to
ensure that there is no terrorist activity and no seditious, Islamic
supremacist activity going on in them? What other steps would you take? Would
you call upon the Muslim community in America to institute comprehensive and
transparent programs in mosques and Islamic schools, teaching against the jihad
ideology and Islamic supremacism, and extolling the virtues of American
pluralism, democracy, and the non-establishment of a state religion?
If not, why not?