At the tail end of the Russian Revolution, Lenin mocked some Mensheviks for protesting that they were not permitted to express their views in public: “Permit us to put you before a firing squad for saying that. Either you refrain from expressing your views, or, if you insist on expressing your political views publicly . . . then you will have only yourselves to blame if we treat you as the worst and most pernicious elements.”
Vladimir Ilich’s candor is rare today, but the sentiment is not. The nearest contemporary equivalent of the culture of hate embodied in Bolshevism is global jihad. Its chief front organization in the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), claims to be “just another civil-rights group,” devoted to protecting the rights of Muslims and promoting a better understanding of Islam in America.
The specifics of how it goes about this ostensibly worthy goal are revealing. CAIR has called the guilty verdict in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case “a travesty of justice” and argued that it “represents the degree to which an anti-Muslim venom has penetrated into society.” It condemned the conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks in 1995, as a “hate crime.” (CAIR advisory-board member Siraj Wahhaj was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White in 1995 as one of the unindicted coconspirators in the attempt to blow up New York City sites in 1993.)
In August 1998, CAIR condemned the targeting of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. In October of that year, it demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as “the sworn enemy.” In 1999, it objected to the premiere of Touched by an Angel, which featured a story line about slavery in Sudan and forced conversions of Christians in the south of the country. Its 1999 annual report criticized American public schools for “the lack of religious accommodation” and praised Paterson, New Jersey (the scene of much public rejoicing by immigrant residents on September 11), where the school district cancels classes on two Muslim holidays.
Even Muslims have found themselves under attack when they expressed criticism of Muslim belligerence. In April 2001, CAIR issued a press release criticizing Khalid Duran’s then-forthcoming book (though it had not yet seen it), Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews. Its attack grew into an international campaign, with some Arab religious leaders calling the author an apostate (murtadd)—an invitation to a compulsory death sentence under Islam. Duran, a Pakistani-born academic, complained that the seal of approval applied to CAIR by American politicians of both parties gave it an altogether undeserved credibility and emboldened it to become aggressive and oppressive. Non-Muslims do not know who speaks for whom in the Muslim community, he says, and “CAIR and its fellow extremist organizations have had surprising success in being accepted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.”
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, CAIR’s leading duet—Palestinian-born Nihad Awad and an American-born convert, Ibrahim (“Dougie”) Hooper—were invited twice to the White House to meet President Bush, as part of his campaign to assure the public that the majority of Arabs and Muslims in the country do not support terrorism. At the time Mr. Bush received them, CAIR had not yet condemned the attacks. Until December of that year, it referred to the “alleged attackers,” implying that someone other than the named 19 were the real culprits.
Some days after the attacks, CAIR, on its website, also called on its supporters to send donations: Under a picture of the World Trade Center in flames, the message said simply, “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.” Yet the hyperlink took would-be donors to the website of the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic “charity” whose assets were frozen soon thereafter by the U.S. government because it had given millions of dollars to Hamas! A week later, CAIR called on people to donate to the Global Relief Foundation, another Islamic charity based in suburban Chicago, whose assets were also frozen in December 2001. According to the Treasury Department, “The Global Relief Foundation has connections to, has provided support for, and has provided assistance to Osama Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda Network, and other known terrorist groups.”
To direct donations for the victims of September 11 to an Islamic charity accused of helping terrorists is scandalous in itself. To do so twice within one week should have brought CAIR to the attention of law-enforcement agencies.
In the best Stalinist tradition, however, CAIR has tried to airbrush its record since September 11. It used to keep archives of all its past public statements and activists’ speeches on the web; after September 11, many have mysteriously disappeared. Since then, materials that have subsequently proved embarrassing to CAIR have also been removed.
In 2002, CAIR embarked on a library campaign to help Americans learn about Islam “as a religion of peace and justice,” to counter what it saw as “a rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric.” Its goal was to place a package of books, videos, and audio cassettes in as many of the country’s 16,000 libraries as possible. As Nihad Awad put it, “the lack of timely and accurate books in libraries . . . [creates a] knowledge gap that leads to increased misunderstanding and produces unnecessary divisions.” CAIR claimed that the program was not subsidized by any foreign government, though it received a half-million-dollar donation for the program from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud. This effectively gave the endeavor a Wahabi seal of approval on the materials included in the library package, in addition to the imprimatur that CAIR already enjoys from the closely related Egyptian Ikhwanis.
By 2003, CAIR felt emboldened to complain about the FBI surveillance of mosques but remained mute when it was revealed soon thereafter that the Al-Farooq mosque in New York was complicit in collecting funds for Al Qaeda. Undeterred, it has continued to demand amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act to protect the Muslims from government eavesdropping. It did not comment on last year’s spate of bombings from Casablanca to Istanbul, though, and it never misses an opportunity to attack the slightest sign of “disrespect” for Islam in America.
CAIR’s longer-term agenda became apparent in May 2004, when it issued a report claiming that anti-Muslim incidents in the United States had increased by almost 70 percent in 2003. The study “outlined” (a euphemism for superficial or fraudulent research) over a thousand “incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment” last year, “the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever recorded.” (The word experience is another coded term: It denotes an entirely subjective view of a situation or event that could not be pumped up into an “incident.”) According to CAIR’s reckoning, hate crimes alone jumped by an unprecedented 121 percent. On the basis of this report, CAIR demanded a public inquiry to post-September 11 policies impacting the Muslim community, legislative actions to curb the use of profiling by law-enforcement agencies, increased hate-crime prosecutions, and “modifications” to the PATRIOT Act to end “abuses” of the Muslim community.
With the latest “report” and its associated demands, the real agenda of CAIR is finally clear. It is a hate group that is not interested in promoting anyone’s “rights,” let alone increasing any “understanding” of anything. It does not want to change the nature of discourse on Islam in America; it wants to transform America into a barren wasteland of mind-numbing uniformity of thought and feeling on par with Kim Jong Il’s. Awad and Hooper are not Islamic community activists seeking to better the lot of their coreligionists; they are political visionaries.
If CAIR sees itself as the acceptable face of Islam presented to the public and the media, what must “extremist” Islam be like? CAIR probably does not represent the majority of Muslims in America, who are said to be mostly moderates who wish a quiet life. That, however, is irrelevant—not because such moderates are rare, but because they are unimportant. Religions, like political ideologies, are pushed along by money, power, and tiny vocal minorities.
Among America’s Muslims, the most active minority, epitomized in CAIR’s leaders, is pushing the wrong way. Among America’s Jews—a community similar in numbers, albeit far better integrated and more influential—another small minority is identified with an almost equally unpleasant organization: the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith.
Like CAIR, the ADL resorts to deception in billing itself as “the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.” What it does in practice has very little to do with this eminently worthy objective. It has a radical political program and social-engineering agenda that goes well beyond “fighting discrimination.” It insists on America’s total demographic and cultural transformation, even though that transformation is manifestly detrimental to the interests of the Jewish community itself.
The ADL’s immigration policy illustrates the point. For decades, in line with its loathing of the “principally white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon view of America,” ADL has been advocating more or less unrestricted Third World immigration into the United States, on the grounds that a restrictive policy was inherently discriminatory and that a more diverse population would make the Jews more secure. In November 1965, it hailed the abolition of the national-origins quota system and stressed the “educational role” it played in helping to bring this change about; for the ensuing four decades, it stridently equated any advocacy of immigration control with “discrimination.”
As many American Jews now realize, however, the ADL’s agenda was driven by its leftist ideological blinkers, not by its concern for the community. As Stephen Steinlight, former director of national affairs at the American Jewish Committee, wrote soon after September 11, the Jewish community “should stop letting the thought police of the more extreme incarnations of multiculturalism squelch it”:
We cannot consider the inevitable consequences of current trends—not least among them diminished Jewish political power—with detachment. Our present privilege, success, and power do not inure us from the effect of historical processes, and history has not come to an end, even in America. But if we hope to persuade the organized Jewish community to adopt a new stance of enlightened self-interest with regard to the immigration debate, a debate that will surely become increasingly bitter, fractious, and politicized in the crudest partisan ways in the days ahead we have little choice. Of equal urgency, and inextricably linked to that debate, is the mission of finding ways to strengthen national unity and social cohesion in America by resuscitating patriotic assimilation under demanding, historically unprecedented circumstances.
That Jewish groups—Steinlight went on, obviously alluding to the ADL—should defend an uncritical immigration and visa policy that allows for the open-ended entry of Muslim fundamentalists into America and then deny government agencies the means of keeping track of them is self-defeating to the point of being suicidal. Major components of the current open-ended approach to immigration must be rethought “before we will have become complicit, through action or inaction, in a fait accompli that may have dire implications for Jews and for America.”
What he means is that, these days, real antisemitism does not come from those who talk about the Jewish role in promoting liberal immigration policies. It comes from Arabs and other Third World immigrants—including, significantly, a growing segment of Aztlan nationalists—whom those very policies have welcomed and who may yet make the position of the Jewish community in America infinitely less secure than it would have been if they had not come in the first place. That much should be obvious; what Steinlight understands, however, Abraham Foxman will never admit.
he ADL is no less self-defeating in its routine equation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism and its equation of Israel with Likud’s policies. By engaging in such smear campaigns, it breeds the very malaise it claims to combat. By insisting on an ever-more-passionate American attachment to Israel, the ADL is not doing the latter a favor. Encouraging Israel to diversify and enhance her external relations and to reduce her present excessive dependence on the United States, would make her better equipped to survive in an inherently unfriendly environment. The making of foreign policy is a form of continuous adaptive behavior aimed at preserving and enhancing the security of a state. Being perceived as a permanent American client-state—and perceiving herself as such, and modifying her behavior accordingly—was bad for Israel because it distorted the adaptive pattern. This overreliance limits Israel’s room for diplomatic and military maneuvering, and this may become fully apparent at a future critical juncture when American and Israeli strategies diverge.
The ADL’s self-appointed task of preventing such divergence in perpetuity is inherently risky. Its strategy of doing so heavy-handedly, by equating any opposition to the task with antisemitism, is dishonest and dangerous. If American regional hegemony is challenged by a new element in the equation—say, by Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons (and Iran is far more likely to acquire those weapons than Iraq ever was) the limits of the present symbiosis may become rapidly and—for the Israelis—painfully obvious.
Perhaps the darkest side of the ADL is its contribution to the campaign to create legislation against “hate crimes” motivated “by reason of the race, color, religion or national origin of another person.” In April 1990, Congress passed, and President George H.W. Bush signed, the bill. This awful law has led to the rise of a veritable industry of special-rights advocates, attorneys, and assorted hatemongers who continually prompt their constituents to report “crimes.” They have made America seriously less pleasant than she had been before. The “culture” of victimology and the obsessive imposition of the race, sex, and sexual-orientation agenda on the rest of us was the predictable result. If the ADL and CAIR had their way, we would have more of the same—much more. Their demands for additional sweeping legislation to limit freedom of speech in America are crafted in different phrases but are identical in substance.
Prima facie, CAIR and the ADL look like two sides of the same coin, like communists and Nazis, or one-world liberals and neocons. They both share a vision of America as an unpleasant—nay, outright evil—place. They hate the real, historical America with a passion and want to transform her in line with their peculiar world outlooks. Their desired outcomes and the methods they would apply are somewhat different, but the goal is the same: CAIR’s and the ADL’s partnership for hate is a revolutionary project that aims to destroy the vestiges of America’s Christian faith and tradition, to make Americans feel guilty about who they are and ashamed of their history, culture, and ancestors.
Nevertheless, one important distinction should be kept in mind: CAIR’s motivations and methodology are far more in keeping with the broader religious community it claims to represent—in terms of Islam’s advance against what is left of Christian civilization and society—than the ADL’s are or ever will be. As I have demonstrated in some detail in The Sword of the Prophet, Christianity and Christendom have no inherent value—except, perhaps, a negative one—in Muslim eyes, and activities to hasten our ongoing dissolution are fully justifiable to most “mainstream” Muslim leaders, both strategically and morally.
With respect to the ADL, by contrast, the circumstances are more complex. Many American Jews are waking up to the impact on Jews, specifically, as well as on everybody else, of the ADL’s pet projects—most notably, unrestricted immigration. For some of them, Foxman’s ridiculous campaign against Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was a wake-up call. That ranting appears like a silly footnote compared to the ADL’s role in opening the floodgates of Third World immigration and laying the foundations of a police state, but Foxman could not help himself: His hatred of the film’s central character outweighed whatever positive feelings he may have for anyone and anything, the Jews included.
This time, dozens of Jewish-American commentators of very different political persuasions rejected his tirades, however, and pointed out that he has no claim to represent anyone but his organization’s members. Some, such as Don Feder, warned that the same forces that would pull down the Cross also seek to smash the Star of David and trample the Torah under their bloody boots:
If Christians and Jews do not unite in the face of this international jihad—and make common cause with Hindus and Buddhists as well—we are all lost. With the raw sewage being pumped out of the open cesspool that calls itself a creative community—songs that celebrate rape and the degradation of women, films that glorify violence and legitimize perversion and sexual anarchy—it’s ironic that some have chosen to attack a film that dramatizes sacrifice and redemption.
The only service Foxman and his organization may have done to America at this critical moment in her history was to prompt a bold response from those Jewish intellectuals who realize the need to resuscitate patriotic assimilation in order to promote national unity and social cohesion or who understand that the preservation of Christianity is essential not only for the moral survival of the Jews as a community but, in time, for their physical survival. While it is too much to expect that this realization will dawn on the current leadership of the ADL, we can hope that the disparity between the organization’s self-anointed mission and the genuine interests of the community it claims to champion will become increasingly evident—to the detriment of the former.