A few weeks ago Bridget Johnson reported here at Pajamas Media about the jihad against free speech being waged by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) against the national DVD distribution of copies of the documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, in more than 70 papers. Not only has CAIR filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission against the group sponsoring the campaign, the Clarion Fund, but they have also demanded that the IRS investigate the organization’s tax-exempt status, claiming that the Clarion Fund is a front group for an Israeli organization. The evidence they have provided, however, is little more than the guilt-by-association variety.
I will only pause momentarily to note the outrageous hypocrisy of CAIR calling anyone else a front for foreign organizations, especially after an FBI agent testified two weeks ago in a federal terrorism finance trial in Dallas, identifying CAIR as a front group for the terrorist organization HAMAS and the international Muslim Brotherhood.
But if Obsession gave CAIR heartburn, a new documentary by the same director, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America, will undoubtedly give them kidney stones.
There are two cardinal reasons why CAIR and other Islamic extremist groups will find The Third Jihad even more deplorable than its predecessor.
The first is that the film directly challenges their claim to speak on behalf of all American Muslims. In fact, the film is narrated by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout American-born Muslim physician, a former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Jasser has been one of the most outspoken American Muslim leaders against the agenda of radical Islam in the U.S. and the organizations that actively work to advance the jihadist cause against our country. And he has done this through numerous television appearances on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and many other outlets, in print through articles and editorials, and speaking regularly on the national lecture circuit.
To have a mainstream Muslim leader — who is unashamedly pro-American and anti-jihadist; who cites his military induction oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as a personal fundamental commitment; who is not tainted with multiple ties to foreign jihadist groups and Islamic terrorist organizations; whose parents came to the U.S. from Syria fleeing the very oppression and religious extremism that typifies the Muslim world; who rejects the constant grievance-mongering and endless claims of victimization of Islamic extremists; and who is willing to publicly call out groups like CAIR for their extremist agenda to undermine the very liberties that make us Americans — leading this charge might be one of the most serious challenges that these groups have ever faced.
In the person of Zuhdi Jasser, American Muslim families can find a leader that represents their values and concerns, which presumably differ not at all from the concerns of non-Muslim families — children, jobs, making ends meet. No doubt they are eager for representatives of their community who can speak for them without screeching about Zionists, Palestine, the Crusades, Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the seemingly endless list of Western iniquities.
In The Third Jihad, Jasser pointedly attacks the central elements to the public narrative advanced by radical Islamic groups — that there is no problem within Islam, that there is no religious element to Islamic terrorism, and that any expressions of fear about the spread of Islamic extremism and terrorism are merely reflections of latent bigotry and Islamophobia of those concerned.
The threat identified by Jasser is the result of two converging trends: first, an inherent militarism within Islam itself, and second, the highly politicized and violent approach to Islam that developed throughout most of the 20th century. The three jihads referred to in the film’s title are the initial wars of Islamic conquest; the Ottoman wars that overtook the Byzantine Empire, capturing Constantinople, and pushed into the heart of Christian Europe during the 15th-17th centuries; and the final phase of jihad that we now find ourselves in, where those embracing the violent and militaristic elements of Islam seek to spread their holy war across the globe with the ultimate goal of establishing a global Islamic state governed by Sharia.
As Jasser observes, the chief obstacle to those advocating this global Islamic state through jihad is America itself.
What they have done to challenge American power is to leverage the wealth obtained through oil imperialism to generously finance Islamic extremism all over the world. Many American Muslim organizations have directly benefited from oil imperialism and ensured that radical Islam has taken root, such that what is being taught in many mosques in the U.S. is diametrically opposed to the fundamental American values of religious disestablishment, equality before the law, and the limits on the exercise of governmental power.
These breeding grounds for political Islam, financed through the riches of oil imperialism, are a direct danger to American security. The film notes that more than three dozen homegrown terrorist attacks targeting Americans have been discovered and disrupted since the 9/11 attacks.
This brings us to the second cardinal reason why CAIR will find The Third Jihad even more deplorable than Obsession: it reveals in stark terms the cultural insurgency that is taking place alongside jihadist terrorism. The film examines how the violent jihad and the cultural jihad are working in tandem to soften up the American culture to prevent any substantive response or defense against radical Islam and terrorism.
But this cultural insurgency is not the product of dark fantasies of notorious Islamophobes or part of the global Zionist conspiracy against Islam. Rather, we know about their plans for waging jihad through culture, politics, education, and law as a result of their own documents.
In the past two years, more material has been made public about the origins of CAIR and its network of allied Islamic organizations than ever before. And these strategic documents calling for a “civilization-jihadist process” dedicated to “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” have been recovered through court-approved warrants and made public by federal law enforcement authorities. These documents have been submitted by federal prosecutors and entered into evidence in ongoing terrorism finance trials. (I must recommend the comprehensive intelligence assessment of these documents and their national security implications by my friend and colleague LTC Joseph Myers.)
Thus for CAIR, The Third Jihad poses the gravest of threats — a mainstream Muslim leader possessing unquestioned pro-American sentiments issuing a clarion call about the dangers of radical Islam, who cites their own internal strategic plans exposing their intent to subvert the American system as part of “a grand jihad” in concert with the forces of violent jihad.
The message of The Third Jihad is directed at all Americans, but admittedly most Americans aren’t prepared to listen to, let alone respond to, the stark warning issued by Zuhdi Jasser. The challenge of this film is that we are already in the midst of the third jihad, whether we like it or not. The question it asks of us is the same self-examination expressed by Jasser at the beginning of the movie:
I’ve got a wonderful family that I love and a practice that I’m so proud of, and medicine has been my life. But you know the struggle of the 21st century against radical Islam is about my family; it’s about the country that I love and my ability to practice. If I don’t try to fix this and talk about an Islam that is different than the violence and the radicalism of the Islamists and the jihadists, I will leave nothing for my children and my family in the future. And that’s what I want to leave behind.
His dilemma is our dilemma: what do we want to leave behind for our children and our families in the face of the third jihad — and what are we prepared to do about it?
The Third Jihad is currently playing in limited release in theaters across the U.S. The DVD will ship on October 20 and can be ordered directly on the movie’s website. A trailer and other video clips can be viewed there as well.