Shariah: The Threat to America, a report released by the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC on Wednesday, is an attempt to provide a veneer of seriousness in support of the hysterical ravings of people like Pamela Geller.
The fact that Washington’s foreign policy establishment won’t take the report seriously is beside the point since Islamophobia needs neither the consent nor the interest of the establishment or the mainstream media in order to continue its advance across America.
The fact that 52% of Republicans believe that President Obama supports the imposition of shariah is sufficient evidence that a new McCarthyism has already gained a firm grip on this country while opposition to this movement has barely begun to solidify.
Under a heading, “The Enemy Within,” the new manifesto for Islamophobes warns: “a massive demographic shift has brought adherents to shariah — a doctrine that, by definition, opposes all others — deep into the non-Islamic world. [p.127]”
Although the report describes shariah as “the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle,” with moderates on one side and Islamists on the other, the authors decline to express any opinion about which side of this “fault line” most American Muslims reside. Indeed, the focus on shariah merely seems to be a ploy through which Islam as a whole can be attacked by those who profess no hatred for Muslims.
At the very same time, shariah is likened to a disease — a disease spread by Muslims.
The growth of Muslim populations in the West augurs the inexorable spread of shariah into Western societies — less by violence than by dint of natural procreation, unchecked immigration, and the incessant demands of an aggressive minority that refuses to assimilate. Logic should tell us, then, that the growth of shariah in the West threatens Western-style liberty: threatens freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and upends religious and sexual equality. [p.130]
For those willing to shun evil, a path to redemption is laid out: “… every effort should be made to identify and empower Muslims who are willing publicly to denounce shariah…”
But there’s also a call for a Muslims-keep-out sign at the border: “Immigration of those who adhere to shariah must be precluded, as was previously done with adherents to the seditious ideology of communism.”
Is it possible that America could succumb to the folly that the Islamophobes are demanding?
Well, it’s worth considering the fact that two decades after the end of the Cold War and more than fifty years after the passing of McCarthyism, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service still scrutinizes prospective citizens to see if any communists are trying to sneak into this country.
In fact, Sharia presents about the same threat to America as that posed by the Bible. Had America’s founders stuck to the principle “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,” it seems unlikely that the colonies would ever have sought independence. It wasn’t Christ who objected to taxation without representation.
Thomas Jefferson rightly believed:
…that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right…
Ironically, the Islamophobes manifesto that Frank Gaffney is now promoting, cites the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (in which the passage above appears), even while doing exactly what Jefferson condemned: proscribing American citizens as unworthy of public confidence unless they denounce their religion.
Maybe these fear- and hate-mongers should pay more attention to the principles upon which America was founded and worry less about Islam.
This article is cross-posted at Woodward's site, War in Context.