Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs.
Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008. 282 pp.
The irony of
Robert Spencer’s new book, Stealth Jihad,
is that he will now have to prove to his opponents that they were partly right
about Islam. For years, apologists for the Religion of Peace have argued that the
correct understanding of jihad need
not imply terrorism or violence; it is merely a quest for justice, according to
the dictates of Islamic law. Now that Spencer documents in great detail the broader
attempt to impose Shari’a on America
and the West through non-violent means – in the media, the courts, the
workplace, schoolhouses, universities, and the government – another redefinition
will be required.
confronts the unusual terminology on the first page of his book. “For many
people,” he writes, the term Stealth
Jihad “will be nonsensical.” This is only so to those with little understanding
of the tenets and dogmas of Islam – which is most of the American public.
post-9/11 spin, Islam does not mean “peace” but submission. Thus, the Koran states conquered People of the Book” (Christians
and Jews) must pay an extra tax to “feel themselves subdued” (9:29), a concept
repugnant to Western notions of personal conviction and freedom of conscience. Muslims
believe the Koran is the literal word of Allah, which demands obeisance from all,
even those who reject its authority.
evidence of Islam’s universal scope from the Koran and the hadiths, from early
Islamic jurists and current representatives of American “Muslim civil rights”
organizations. Chief in importance is Hasan
al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim
Brotherhood, that international fount of stealth and frequently conspicuous
jihad, who wrote, “Islam is an
all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on
every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order.” Spencer
quotes influential, contemporary Muslim scholars who state Islam is “by its
very nature a universal state” that “tolerates the existence of no other state
than itself.” Its goal, they declare, is “the establishment of an imperial
world state,” realized through “absorption” of the secular West. To this end, the
Brotherhood has had a chapter in Paris since 1937…and allies on hundreds of
college campuses, funded by taxpayer dollars.
Lest he be
accused of seeing jihadists under
every burqa, Spencer states the obvious: just as there are varying degrees of
fervor among adherents of any religion, “there are innumerable Muslims in this
country today who are happy to live in a pluralistic society in which there is
no established religion.” Al-Banna acknowledged there are many levels of jihad, including mere “interior
spiritual struggle” – which he deemed the lowest level. Waging warfare against
the infidel was the highest expression of fidelity. Stealth Jihad documents those who pursue the myriad gradations in
The author begins
by noting the concerted effort to portray all those who tell the truth about
Islam as “Islamophobes,” followed by legal and sometimes physical intimidation.
He relates Muslim threats in the wake of the publication of cartoons depicting
Wilders’ film Fitna, the thought-crime
van Gogh, and a number of lesser known events. (Conspicuously absent is the
case of Pim Fortuyn, the assassinated Dutch politician who addressed the book’s
thesis head-on from a socially progressive standpoint in his own book, Against
the Islamization of Our Culture.) At
other times, leveraging their allies on the multicultural Left, stealth jihadists make use of speech codes and
nuisance legal cases. The author’s personal persecution could fill a
book-length volume, but Spencer cites merely a smattering of his own
experiences, focusing instead on the legal harassment of FrontPage Magazine contributor
Ehrenfeld, NRO’s Mark Steyn, and the
late Oriana Fallaci (FrontPage Magazine’s Woman
of the Year 2005).
need not be a critical opponent of Shari’a
to experience the wrath of al-Banna’s middling moralists. One can merely be a
Catholic employee who dares to eat pork in the workplace. Or an employer who refuses
special privileges to his Muslim employees to take prayer breaks while their dhimmi co-workers continue laboring away.
…Or the parent
of a young child who attends public school. Textbooks teach schoolchildren
that, while Crusaders plundered and slashed their way through the Middle East
(to reclaim the land the Crescent
subjected by the sword), Islam “spread” peacefully, aided by its “tolerance for
other religions.” Others force boys and girls to parrot Islamic religious
dogmas. His exposé of the Muslim organization tasked with censoring textbooks
is an eye-opener. His chapters on public education, university professors
Esposito and the Middle
Eastern Studies Association), and the growing industry of Shari’a-compliant finance are worth the
price of the book.
None is as
chilling as the infiltration of the Department of Homeland Security and the
nation’s intelligence community in general.
bare the underground network of Muslim “advocacy” organizations who work in
concert to promote their supremacist agenda. Stealth Jihad includes the most comprehensive and irrefutable
portrait of the Council
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) yet written. (Its partners are
organizations Jihad Watch, FrontPage
Magazine, and DiscoverTheNetworks.org
have been exposing since going into print.)
His coverage reveals
another cause for concern: for jihadists,
peace and violence are not polar opposites, as they were to Martin Luther King Jr.
and Malcolm X; they are two sides of the same jihadist coin, pursued cyclically, or in tandem, to promote the
goal of an Islamic-compliant world. As a result, he often finds those involved
in non-violent jihad have ties to
terrorism, which he also documents.
religious scholar who has lectured the U.S. Central Command and the U.S.
intelligence community, is editor of this website’s sister publication, Jihad Watch.
In 2006, al-Qaeda offered him an ultimatum: convert
to Islam or die. (To date, Spencer remains a faithful part of the Church
Militant.) No one is more qualified to comment on the topic, as this well-written,
thoroughly documented volume demonstrates. After systematically presenting the
theology of Islamic supremacy, he examines each area of influence, proving the
drive to bend all Americans to follow Shari’a
with one example after another.
problem is one thing; solving it is another. Spencer’s prescriptions on what to
do will rankle some and lead to his further character assassination. He is at
his best when calling for the government to impose existing laws – and most
gets to the point when he calls for a revival of patriotism, the self-assurance
necessary to deny Islamic encroachment, white liberal guilt, and multiculturalist
recriminations of the greatest nation in the history of the world. He is at his
most questionable in calling on the government to “End Muslim immigration into
the United States.”
Spencer will be
criticized – but not merely for his immigration policy. The same people who
denied the Soviet Union’s malicious designs now see no worldwide Islamic
threat, neither at home nor abroad, violent nor voluntary. The intellectual
heirs of those who defended Alger
Hiss now bemoan the martyrdom of Sami
al-Arian. Yet it is the irreligious and the “progressive” who should be
most concerned about the growing influence – of thought, of action, and of
silencing their critics – Islamists exert in secular society. Somehow, publications
that have commissioned dozens of articles depicting omnipresent “Christian
Dominionists” scheming with every school board in America to teach the Bible as
literature maintain an agnostic indifference to Shari’a’s would-be enforcers,
content to shoot the messengers. As Spencer proves, they would be better served
casting a critical glance at those whose aim is submission, rather than
Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs, is available from Amazon.com for $18.45,
more than one-third off the cover price.