“This all sounds fanatical if people don’t know about it.  I’m not a radical person.”

Despite her critics, and despite the rough reelection campaign she faces in Charlotte this fall, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC, 9th District) has spent the last two years fighting to bring her concerns before Congress and the American people.  In my telephone interview with her on June 14, she repeated her usual disclaimer—“I know how this sounds to some people”—but then proceeded in hard, clear language to denounce both Islamic terrorism and the recent attempts by certain Islamic organizations to infiltrate various government agencies.

Myrick spoke first of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, which she founded and which she chairs along with Robert “Bud” Cramer (D-AL), Kay Granger (R-TX), and Jane Harman (D-CA).  At the founding of the caucus on January 30, 2007, Myrick stated that “my hope . . . is to spur an elevated national dialogue on this issue so that we can unite as Americans did during World War II.”  When I asked if she might elaborate on this goal, Myrick explained that she and the others had begun the antiterrorism caucus as an educational tool for members of Congress and their staffs, so that they might more fully understand domestic terrorism and share that knowledge with their constituents.

Their efforts have certainly attracted attention.  Over the past 18 months, the caucus has doubled its original roster of 67 members, while sponsoring many talks by experts on terrorism and jihadist ideology.

In recent months, Myrick has battled Islamic terrorism in more controversial ways.  On April 16, she called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to revoke the passport of former President Jimmy Carter after Carter met with leaders of Hamas, officially regarded by the United States and by many other countries as a terrorist organization.  In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Carter had embraced Hamas official Nasser Shaer.  (In reporting this incident, MSNBC was quick to explain that “embraces between men are a common custom in Arab culture.”) 

Even more recently, Representative Myrick called a press conference to issue her own “Wake Up America” agenda, a list of ten recommendations that she and some advisors devised to fight the infiltration of American institutions by radical Muslims:

1. Will call for a government investigation of all US military chaplains who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi [who was imprisoned for funding a terrorist organization].


2. Will call for a government investigation of all US prison chaplains who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi.

3. Will call for the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the selection process of Arabic translators in the FBI and Department of Defense.

4. Will call for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) 501(c)(3) non-profit status which restricts “lobbying on behalf of a foreign government”.

5. Will introduce a bill to make the preaching, publication, or distribution of materials that call for the death of American citizens, attacks on the United States Government or Armed Forces, or the financing of the means and/or operations to accomplish these acts, acts of sedition and/or solicitation of treason.

6. Will call on the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit to verify the total sovereign wealth fund investment in the United States.

7. Will attempt to cancel scholarship student visa program with Saudi Arabia until they reform their textbooks [Myrick and many others claim that Saudi textbooks preach hatred and violence against non-Muslims]. 

8. Will introduce a bill to restrict R-1/R-2 religious visas for imams who come from countries that do not allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy. 

9. Will introduce a bill to cancel contracts to train Saudi police and other security forces in US Counterterrorism tactics until the Saudi’s [sic] certify the prosecution of Al Qaeda financiers, like Yasin al-Kadi, and the detention of repatriated Guantanamo terrorists that keep being released into the general population after being “rehabilitated”.

10. Will introduce or sponsor a bill to block the sale of sensitive military munitions, especially Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), to Saudi Arabia.

Although even some moderate Muslims applauded Myrick’s recommendations, Jibril Hough of the Islamic Center of Charlotte called Myrick’s plan and her concerns a new brand of McCarthyism—or, as he put it, Myrickism.  Myrick told me that she had met with Hough and a local imam only two weeks before our own interview, but the parties reached no consensus. 

Myrick explained the principal danger of allowing the points she has raised to go uninvestigated.  “They don’t have to attack us again,” she said.  “They are taking over on the inside.”

We spoke then of Europe and of the vast changes taking place within the European Union and in individual countries in terms of free speech, tolerance, and the marketplace of ideas.  Myrick briefly addressed the demographic decline of the Europeans vis-à-vis the flood of Muslims into that population.  Unlike many Americans, she was fully aware that the populations of such places as Greece and Italy are suffering from a birth dearth and are in severe decline.  She then turned to the role played by an abstract commitment to tolerance in the loss of freedom both in Europe and in America.  “It’s political correctness again,” she said.  “They use our own freedoms against us . . . We need to keep discussion and ideology out there.  People don’t realize the long-term planning involved here.”

Her response brought to mind the recent attempts by CAIR (several of whose officials have been convicted of terrorist-related activities) to downplay Islamic terrorism and violence.  In 2007, CAIR released a statement asserting that “there is a common misperception among Westerners . . . that the Quran teaches violence,” a remark that any rank-amateur student of the Koran and history would find ludicrous.  In response to criticism from certain Islamic groups, the State Department recently published “Words That Work and Words That Don’t,” in which government officials and employees are advised to change the vocabulary with which they address terrorism.  (“Don’t invoke Islam” and “Don’t harp on Muslim Identity” are two of the injunctions in this document.)

“More political correctness,” Myrick replied to me.  “We’ve all agreed to ignore them.”

Myrick urges all Americans to educate themselves on the subject of radical jihad and Islamic terrorism.  When I asked her to recommend some books to readers unfamiliar with these topics, she quickly named three titles.  “Infiltration by Paul Sperry is excellent.  It’s easy to read and filled with facts about the current infiltration of the government.”

In addition, she recommended Peter Feaman’s Wake Up America! and Mark Steyn’s best-seller, America Alone, as books accessible to readers who are new to this threat.

The diminutive Myrick was born and raised in Tifton, Ohio, where she attended Heidelberg College for a year.  After marrying and then moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, she reared a family—she has two children, three stepchildren, twelve grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.  In Charlotte she founded an advertising and public-relations agency and eventually served for two term as mayor of that city, where voters still remember her for improving the city’s infrastructure without raising taxes and for personally confronting drug dealers in certain impoverished neighborhoods.  Since 1995, she has served as a representative for North Carolina’s 9th District.  During her years on the Hill she has served in various capacities, including as a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.  Her bout with breast cancer turned her into a champion of cancer research and legislation.  In addition, her outspoken stances on controversial issues have made her one of the leading lights for American conservatives in government today.

When asked why she had put forth her “Wake Up, America” plan during an election year, as her controversial ideas may hurt her campaign since so many Americans seem tired of hearing about war and terrorism, Myrick replied, “Because I am seriously concerned about the infiltration threats we face and about the future of our grandchildren.”

Sue Myrick is that rare politician with heart and backbone, a gutsy lady who understands the meaning of the word duty.  In her willingness to perform such thankless tasks as fighting domestic terrorism, she has helped protect the interests of the American people and has brought honor to the members of her congressional district and to the state of North Carolina.