Exporting Jihad

Another installment of Mark Steyn’s America Alone today. Chapter four is entitled “Flying the Coop: Big Mo vs. Big Mac,” in which he says “the biggest globalization success story of recent years is not McDonald’s or Microsoft but Islamism. … It was a strictly local virus, but the bird flew the coop.”

Muslim states now form the largest bloc on the UN Human Rights Council, “which explains why that pitiful joke of a council does nothing for human rights.” Islam, Steyn explains, is a religion that is simultaneously a political project in a way that no other religion is.

Furthermore, this particular religion is historically a somewhat bloodthirsty faith in which whatever’s your bag violence-wise can almost certainly be justified. And, yes, Christianity has had its blood-drenched moments, but the Spanish Inquisition, which remains a byword for theocratic violence, killed fewer people in a century and a half than the jihad does in a typical year.

So we have a global terrorist movement insulated within a global political project insulated within a severely self-segregating religion whose adherents are the fastest-growing demographic in the developed world. The jihad thus has a very potent brand inside a highly dispersed and very decentralized network much more efficient than anything the CIA can muster.

Why did the Ft. Hood massacre take place? We are willfully blind. Why do we allow radical imams to create disciples within our prisons? Again, we are willfully blind. Steyn correctly notes that we continue to fumble around with no real strategy for dealing with this violent ideology. “Indeed, for the first few years of the war on ‘terror,’ our leaders declined to acknowledge there was an ideology. And, as the years roll on, groups with terrorist ties are still able to insert their recruiters into America’s military bases, prisons, and pretty much anywhere else they get a yen to go.” Steyn wrote that prior to Ft. Hood, as well as prior to the Obama win in 2008, which has added another layer of willful blindness.

In 2005, an American citizen, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, all of twenty-three years old, was charged with plotting to assassinate President Bush. He was a graduate of the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax, Virginia. What did he learn there?

No room for American history, but that’s not so unusual in Virginia high schools these days. Instead, the school concentrates on Wahhabi history and “Islamic values and the Arabic language and culture,” plus “the superiority of jihad.” By the eleventh grade, students are taught that on the Day of Judgment Muslims will fight and kill the Jews, who will find that the very trees they’re hiding behind will betray them by saying, “Oh, Muslim, oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.”

A bittersweet postscript to this particular school is that the grounds used to house a Christian school—a school where I once taught briefly. Now it’s in the hands of those who propagate jihad.

Steyn’s final paragraph includes this sobering thought: “Far too many American conservatives still think the dragons are at the far fringes of the map—that in the twenty-first century the United States can be a nineteenth-century republic untroubled by the world’s pathogens because of its sheer distance from them.” In fact, those pathogens are very near, in our midst. When will we realize this?