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Why Bangladesh Matters By: David Meir-Levi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In the broad scheme of international relations, Bangladesh hardly seems a country of consequence. But a recent article in Canada’s Globe and Mail sounds an ominous warning: Bangladesh today has more to do with our lives than may be immediately apparent.

A dirt-poor, densely populated, Bengali-speaking Muslim nation, Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 and developed into a secular democracy. Once considered by most to be a moderate, peaceful country, the nation has recently become a new battleground between Islamic terrorism and democracy.

And democracy is losing. Despite hundreds of terrorist attacks against civilians -- most of whom are Muslims -- during the past three or four years, the government denies the role of Islam in the violence. In reality, the footprints of Jami’at el-Mujahideen, a terrorist faction, are clear. Yet the government has taken no substantive action in this matter.

The terrorists, by contrast, are more resolute. The purpose of the violence, according to those who take credit for it, is to topple the current government and replace it with a state founded on Shari’a law. Critics, intellectuals, lawmakers -- anyone who might stand in the way -- are threatened or killed.

The government acquiesces to the intimidation and threats of more violence, and by doing so, enables the perpetrators to gain more power and control. Major Muslim religious parties in the government, sympathetic to the religious extremism of the terrorists, encourage the proliferation of mosques and madrasas (religious schools) that preach Islamism and anti-government extremism.

The terrorists, meanwhile, have had astounding success in a recent operation to explode 500 bombs simultaneously in different parts of the country.

Five hundred bombs in one day anywhere in the world should be newsworthy, but the Western press has largely ignored these coordinated attacks.

Of what concern is that to us in the West? For starters, consider how much better poised Islamic terrorists will be to take on Western states after they add Bangladesh to their growing list of satellite countries in which terrorists can roam freely, recruit, train, arm, develop more sophisticated armaments, perhaps even WMDs, and organize attacks against other countries in the Middle East that are deemed insufficiently Islamic.

If radical Islam can establish a political base -- as it well may if the U.S. loses the terror war in Iraq -- Ayman al-Zawahiri or whoever emerges as the new Caliph of the far-flung Muslim Umma can then set his sights upon the real enemy: “Global non-belief” (to use Osama’s phraseology).

Therefore, the strategic importance of Bangladesh to the Islamists' crusade for global hegemony should not be underestimated. Should Bangladesh succumb to the Islamist onslaught, it would merely mark the latest in a long line of Muslim victories by means of infiltration and gradual rise to power in a host society.

From even an elementary survey of Muslim history, one can outline the process by which Muslim forces succeeded with a clearly defined plan of infiltration, intrusion and expansion into hitherto non-Muslim societies in Asia, from central Asia to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Once the force of Arab imperial conquest had been blunted in France by Charles Martel, and on the borders of India by what was left of the Sassanian Empire, Islam spread more slowly, but no less effectively, by means of infiltration and gradual take-over. Maintaining a low profile, Muslim groups used peaceful settlement and coexistence with the host society to establish power bases and expand the Muslim population. Initially, this was done without violence. Later, Muslims intent on taking over the country used violence as a means to destabilize the host government.

This process consisted of ten stages, and has been replicated in country after country over several centuries.[1] This way, the continued expansion of the Muslim “Umma” into “dar el Harb” (the realm of war, where Islam is not supreme but must be made supreme by force if necessary) was achieved without frontal warfare. The ten stages are as follows:

1. Infiltrate quietly, settling in small numbers near or among the locals’ towns and villages.

2. Establish friendly relations, and convince others of the virtues of Islam.

3. Participate in community activities and provide charity for poor and generosity to all, while encouraging the immigration of other Muslims.

4. Get converts and supporters from the rank and file of the local population, particularly from the poor and disenfranchised of the host society, via the multiple mosques and madrasas and charitable and human rights groups. (Today, in the case of the US and EU, converts come in great numbers from the ranks of criminals, especially imprisoned African-Americans.)

5. Agitate for greater and broader rights and considerations for Muslims, and for protection against real or imagined “Islamophobia”.

6. Organize a political party to push for changes in law to permit Muslim-only enclaves and for laws that formalize the host society’s accommodation of Muslim religious needs.[2]

7. Institute the divide-and-conquer strategy of making pacts with some anti-establishment or minority government groups, legal (as has been done in the USA with Green Party, National Lawyers Guild) or illegal (KKK, Aryan Nation) so they will help in the following stages.

8. Once you have the power base (some 10-15 percent of the population), then use violence, strikes, street riots, assassination, intimidation and bribery of government officials to destabilize the government.

9. If the host country’s government response to the violence is not effective, then there is a de facto green light to start full-blown terrorism which will topple the government and allow Muslim leaders to move up the power ladder with the help of the anti-establishment groups. Once in power, Muslim leaders can use their influence over the agitating Muslim population to quell the violence, thus pretending that they are helping restore order even as they themselves orchestrate the violence.

10. Abandon the erstwhile anti-establishment allies and reign supreme; establish Shari’a, and declare the state to be a new Muslim nation where Shari’a is law and non-Moslems are dhimmi.

On the ten-stage scale of societal infiltration, Bangladesh today is at stage 9. The fall of Bangladesh to Islamists, already visible on the political horizon, is a dark and ominous harbinger of things to come -- unless we find the political backbone to stop the Islamist infiltrators now.

Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that the tactics of Islamists in Bangladesh are not dissimilar to those plotted by fellow extremists against the United States.

Recall the directives on al-Qaeda web-sites regarding terrorism in the US last year. Al-Qaeda terrorist infiltrators, many of whom entered our country illegally via our porous Mexican border, were instructed to prepare for massive hijackings of fuel trucks to be driven into sensitive areas around our country -- on the same day – just like in Bangladesh.

The FBI estimates that there are some 5,000 terrorists in our country right now, invisible within the broader Muslim-American society. If we figure eight to nine handlers for each operator, that gives us more than 500 terrorists who could hijack fuel trucks and drive them into fuel storage areas, National Guard arsenals, telephone exchange buildings, satellite relay sites, government offices, power plants, military bases, just to name a few such sensitive targets.

Could it be that Bangladesh is just a practice rehearsal for the real thing?

While the EU and UK are at stage 7 and about to move into stage 8, in the US, the forces of Islamic extremism are still in the comparatively peaceful mode, likely around stages 4 or 5. It is impossible to predict how long it will take before America’s Muslim leaders have at their disposal the population numbers and resources needed to move to the more violent stages. But if the takeover of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency by Islamic extremists over the last 55 years teaches any lesson, it is that time is not on America's side.

The demand to help the Palestinian refugees of 1948 was met with the creation of the agency, whose mission it would be to re-distribute food and other necessities to the dispossessed refugees. Western states bore the brunt of the cost, but the agency became an organ of Arab governments and refugees, as they infiltrated and took over the staffing and administration of the UNWRA infrastructure.

Today, the UNWRA in Israel is an arm of Hamas and other Arab and Islamic terrorist groups. Its staff of around 22,000 is more than 99 percent Palestinian, and it works to fulfill the goals of those terrorist groups, even to the detriment of the refugee population it is supposed to assist.

Muslim agitation in France and elsewhere in Europe shows similar patterns. With the help of the Saudi-funded European Arab Union, and with the use of terrorism, street violence, vandalism, rent-a-mob riots called out on cue, and disturbances wherever Muslim populations are big enough, the Muslim leaders of Europe are on the verge of gaining enough political clout to force the governments to permit Muslim-only enclaves. The next step will be establishing political control over the entire host country.

The governments of the European societies and Bangladesh have proven unwilling or unable to meet this growing threat. But we still have a choice.


[1] cf. Bostom, Legacy of Jihad, passim’ and Karsh, Islamic Imperialism passim.

[2] Houck, David Kennedy, “The Islamist Challenge to the U.S. Constitution, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006 (this item is available on the Middle East forum website at http://www.meforum.org/article/920. And note too the demands made by French Moslems during the Winter 2005 riots -- that the French government establish Moslem-only enclaves in the mostly Muslim“banlieux”, where the official law of the enclave would be Shari’a.

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David Meir-Levi lectures in English, Hebrew, and Spanish and is a contributor to Frontpagemag.com.

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