Jeffrey Imm on September 11, 2008
Every year since the 9/11 attacks, I have been measuring our progress in the war against Jihad on this Patriot Day. In the past year, we have seen some military accomplishments in foreign theaters of war, but in terms of the larger war of ideas against the Islamic supremacist ideology behind Jihad, we are losing that war. However, there is one hope to turn the tide against Islamic supremacism and that hope rests with you.
Understanding Islamic Supremacism as the Basis for Jihad
As addressed in my July 2, 2008 article "Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies," most of our government leaders refuse to acknowledge the Islamic supremacist nature of the Jihadist threat and how to leverage America's historical experience against other supremacist ideologies in fighting Islamic supremacism. Jihadist terror activity is the result of a fundamental conflict between an Islamic supremacist Sharia-based form of societal control versus the ideas of equality and liberty.
Although the "experts" claim that "extremism" is the result of political grievances, socioeconomic stresses, and poverty, the truth remains that the Jihad is rooted in a war of ideas between Islamic supremacism and freedom. This is not only a war of ideas, but also a war of values.
The American people have demonstrated the courage of their convictions in fighting such supremacist ideologies in the past - in the streets, in schools, in homes, in work places, and in government. The American people have proven that they understand the meaning of the natural law that "all men are created equal" that supremacist ideologies abhor. It is the American public -- the housewife, the business person, the construction worker, the musician, the artist, the teacher, the athlete, and every other individual that is willing to fight for such principles of equality -- that is and has been the frontline troops in the war of ideas against supremacist ideologies.
You are the expert on equality and liberty, because your life is based on these values. You have internalized your knowledge of equality and liberty as part of your identity as an American; it is something that you understand as a basic part of your identity. With your grounding in the values of equality and liberty, your critical thinking on Islamic supremacism and Jihad is also vitally needed. America desperately needs you to internalize your knowledge on the Islamic supremacist threat, based on your learning, research, and reflection these past seven years since the 9/11 attacks. Such internalized knowledge comes from your digesting this information, and making such knowledge a part of your world vision and your priorities in your life. Combining your internalized knowledge on Jihad and Islamic supremacism with your pro-equality values makes you the most valuable "expert" on Islamic supremacism that America can have.
Why We Need You... to Fight Jihad and Islamic Supremacism
America is losing the war of ideas against Islamic supremacism today. Seven years after 9/11, our national leadership and a large group of our citizenry still do not recognize the ideology of Islamic supremacism that provides the basis for Jihadist actions. This lack of focus in the war of ideas has led to leaders calling for a war on "extremism," and led to tactical debates that refuse to acknowledge the identity of the enemy that our leaders claim to be fighting.
The past year has seen the forces of Islamic supremacism making significant advances in the American government and military, resulting in Islamic supremacist groups influencing our homeland security strategies and our foreign affairs. Certainly, in 2008, America has had some tactical military successes. But those short-term military victories and sacrifices will mean nothing if we don't challenge the Islamic supremacists that seek to redefine America's policies based on their Islamic supremacist vision. The anti-equality, anti-liberty Islamic supremacist ideology has continued to grow this past year as our leaders continue to debate tactics. Regarding Jihad, such government leaders have spent your tax dollars on who, what, where, and when... but remain unable to answer the vital question of why Jihad happens and the Islamic supremacist ideology it is based on.
America must have a national activist grassroots movement to understand, communicate, and rally against Islamic supremacism in our nation's capital and in cities around the country. Only such a national activist effort can thwart the continuing Islamic supremacist efforts to influence our government's actions. Only our willingness to serve as citizen soldiers in this war of ideas by internalizing the lessons we have learned from 9/11, the past seven years of Jihadist horrors, and the knowledge you already have, will make the difference against an army of Islamic supremacists and an army of tactical "experts" who think that you still don't know enough to define the enemy, seven years after 9/11. We can fight the Islamic supremacist ideology by our commitment to our values of equality and liberty, by revealing the supremacist nature of the threat, and by our joint efforts to awaken our national conscience. But given the level of infiltration that we have seen at the top levels our national leadership, America needs your activist commitment to defeat this ideology. On this Patriot Day, we need you to make this your personal war for America, for equality, for our children, against Islamic supremacism and Jihad.
Why You Are Needed to Turn the Tide Now
In the past year, major developments in the war of ideas have included a series of victories by forces promoting Islamic supremacism:
-- A Muslim Brotherhood ("Jihad is our way") memorandum calling for infiltration of American institutions using "front groups" (revealed during the Holy Land Foundation terror trial) was addressed in a September 7, 2007 memorandum by former Defense Department Islamic law specialist Stephen Coughlin. But Mr. Coughlin was then pressured out of the Pentagon in January 2008.
-- In June 2008, the West Point Combating Terrorism Center published "Engaging Islamists in the West," where Peter Mandaville calls for working with engaging with Islamic supremacists on counterterrorism measures, promoting a "role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in counter-terrorism and national security efforts." (There have been other similar articles published by West Point and by other U.S. military organizations in the past year.)
-- In April 2008, it was revealed that a "terror lexicon" had been created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) that would end the use of the terms "Jihad," "Islamist," and "caliphate," with a focus to identify the enemy as merely "extremists." This terror lexicon was to be used by all government employees. The DHS memo also stated that "progress," not liberty, should be promoted.
-- In April 2008, Defense Secretary Gates explicitly stated his definition of our enemy as merely "extremism," and in June 2008 his Defense Department created a "National Defense Strategy" document that refused to acknowledge the enemy beyond "extremists" and viewed that a U.S. military goal is to promote "prosperity."
-- In June 2008, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court questioned the transnational Jihadist threats to America and granted habeas corpus rights to Jihadist enemy combatants.
Our military, law enforcement, homeland security, courts, academia, and the press have all been influenced by the forces of Islamic supremacism in the past year. Our few victories have been in the legislature, where a mostly partisan effort to condemn the DHS/NCTC terror lexicon succeeded as an amendment to an Intelligence bill by Representative Peter Hoekstra, and where Representative Brad Sherman defied the demands by ISNA (unindicted co-conspirator in HLF trial) and MPAC to silence Steven Emerson in a Congressional hearing. Congressman Hoekstra's efforts were previously denied by the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee, and were opposed by over 40 percent of the House of Representatives.
In dealing with foreign nations and international organizations, in the past year we also saw the United States appointing an Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) - the same OIC organization whose members have silenced any debate on Islamic supremacism in the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and who seek to silence any debate on Islamic supremacism through repeated efforts at "Islamophobia" resolutions. In the past year, we have also seen the growing Islamic supremacist threat from the United Kingdom and Pakistan, who are perceived as allies in fighting "extremists." In Iraq and Afghanistan, we saw the growing efforts of Islamic supremacists gaining influence among the people, despite our military campaigns.
In addition, over the past year, there has been a growing effort among counterterrorism organizations and analysts to promote a tactic of "counter-radicalization." Such "counter-radicalization" tactics promote engagement with Islamic supremacists to get them to promote their supremacist ideology through "political," rather than "violent" means. Such tacticians fail to grasp that when it comes to Islamic supremacism (or any supremacist) ideology that engagement equals legitimizing supremacist efforts, which empowers such groups to grow and gain further membership. In an awful twist of fate, such counterterrorism analysts and analysts promoting "counter-radicalization" will likely end up helping Islamic supremacist groups to gain members. Such "experts" seek to guide American national and foreign policy to legitimize Islamic supremacists' ideology, which is the basis for Jihad.
You are needed, as a citizen activist, to stand in their way and to demand that your representative government defies Islamic supremacism. The forces supporting or appeasing Islamic supremacism are formidable and troubling, but they are nothing compared to you.
Our Greatest Hope
Perhaps you think no one listens or cares. Perhaps you are cynical or uncertain about your power to make a difference. Yet history shows that the American people are the greatest conquerors of terrorist organizations in history. In the 20th century, the American people defeated a white supremacist terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, which at one point had 4 million members. The 20th century crushing of that white supremacist terrorist group was based on the American people's determination that our commitment to equality and liberty was greater than our fears and our divisions. It was the individual American people - one person at a time - that disowned the ideology of white supremacism that had spread throughout our nation. It was the individual American people, not the "experts," that found the courage of their convictions to truly be a nation that honors the value that "all men are created equal."
In the 20th century, we made the widespread white supremacist ideology into a disgrace. What other nation's people have defeated such a massive terrorist and supremacist threat?
The American people did this in hundreds of ways: in rallies, in protests, in demanding action from their government, in schools, and activities across the nation; we need to take such actions today regarding Islamic supremacism. We denied the non-violent political supremacist offerings of segregation and a "separate-but-equal" nation, as Islamic supremacist Sharia advocates seek today. We denied legitimacy to a supremacist ideology of hatred, based on a lie that others are inherently inferior, as Islamic supremacists believe today.
Once again, your country needs you now this time to confront Islamic supremacism. In ways large and small, your citizen activism against Islamic supremacism is needed now more than ever. You are needed to reach your fellow Americans, your families, your neighbors, and certainly, your representative government. You are needed to show your representative government by your demonstrations, by your letters, by your constant communication, that you won't tolerate ignoring the threat of Islamic supremacism.
You and your fellow 300 million Americans are needed to provide a living memorial to the 9/11 fallen by demanding that our government recognize the threat of Islamic supremacism and develop a strategy to counter it. America's 300 million voices can change this nation, and can defy Islamic supremacism. You are our greatest hope.
Courage and Commitment during the Long War against Jihad
History will remember the efforts of the anti-Jihad leaders in America, such as Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, Walid Phares, and others. Future generations will look at anti-jihad organizations' efforts to educate Americans as a shining moment of courage in these dark days. But it would be irresponsible to expect just these anti-Jihad leaders and organizations to fight the war against Jihad for all Americans.
This is your war too. It is your war on Jihad.
Every one of us that values equality and liberty has a role and an obligation in this war against Islamic supremacism and Jihad. No matter who you are, no matter how busy you are, no matter how many other responsibilities you have, this is your war on Jihad.
None of us have a choice in this fight. This war is not an option for us; it is not something we can do when we have nothing else to do. Good intentions are not enough. Our nation, our people are at total war in a battle for the very values on which America was founded. We can't expect "ordinary lives" during this war. But we can work to give such hope to the next generation. We can defy Islamic supremacist efforts to kill, pervert, and destroy the next generation of children that remain our shining hope for the future.
By internalizing our knowledge about Islamic supremacism and Jihad, our direction is clear. We must confront such an anti-equality, anti-liberty ideology. But we must make certain we stay focused on the enemy ideology, not on petty conflicts among each other, and not on frustrations.
Staying focused on the enemy also means not providing advocates of Islamic supremacism with ammunition to misrepresent the populist movement against Islamic supremacism. Staying focused means not tolerating those who advocate random hate and violence against others. Staying focused means learning from those in American history who successfully challenged supremacism before us and using tactics of shame, using tactics of reaching for our higher national purpose of seeking the natural law of equality, and using tactics of inspiration that "we shall overcome"... not tolerating those who would advocate their own identity-based supremacism as a response to Islamic supremacism.
Our commitment in the long war against Islamic supremacism will also demand courage and resilience from us. In the long war against Islamic supremacism and Jihad, we are bound to have setbacks. We also have to anticipate that, over time, some groups, some web sites, and some leaders are going to be lost. People will come and go. Our losses will be temporarily discouraging. But we have to stay focused and remember that our cause is larger than any one group, any one leader, and any one campaign.
Our adversaries are not dependent on only one leader, one group. They have numerous, nationwide ideologues and sources of resources. If one goes down, another one will step up. Anti-Jihadists and anti-Islamic supremacist causes must match and exceed such agility and such flexibility of resources; such pro-equality, pro-liberty campaigns must exceed Islamic supremacists in numbers and in determination.
With 300 million whose lives are dependent on the values of equality and liberty, there is no reason why the American populist defiance against Islamic supremacism should not be the most powerful, most agile, most demanding political force in this nation. The organization of such an anti-Jihad, anti-Islamic supremacist political force in America is the defining challenge of our generation. The imperative among all Americans to defy Islamic supremacism must remain our top priority. It is our national calling, our national duty, our national responsibility.
We must ask ourselves: what do we live for - if not to ensure for generations that follow that America will offer a life where our values of equality and liberty are honored and defended?
We must ask ourselves: what is the cost of allowing our national soul to be blackmailed by Islamic supremacist thugs who threaten terror if we defy their ideology that is a cancer to our very national identity?
Most importantly, we must ask ourselves: what life are we willing to live - one where we might die for the values that make us America or one where might live abandoning all that we hold dear?
On the anniversary of 9/11, we remember the dark day when New York City was attacked, when Washington DC was attacked, when Pennsylvania was attacked, when America itself was attacked.
But more importantly, we remember that no matter what Jihadists and Islamic supremacists do to our cities and to our people, we will defy them. Our defiance is our personal, individual war against Jihad. Our defiance is a commitment to equality and liberty. Our defiance is to show Jihadists that America will Fear No Evil.
[Postscript - see also Sources documents for additional reading and background information.]
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