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I appreciate the chance to engage in a debate with Jonathan Kay about a threat I perceive and he discounts: efforts by avowed enemies of freedom to impose their preferred alternative – a totalitarian, supremacist Islamic doctrine they call shariah – on the rest of us.

In his essay, Jonathan actually concedes points central to my argument including:

  • an ideology bent on global domination is at work at the moment;
  • the Muslim Brotherhood is a driving force behind that agenda;
  • Islamists have made inroads in Europe; and
  • a top Muslim Brotherhood operative, Mohamed Akhram, described in a strategic mission statement for his group in North America that it must engage in “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within…by their hands [i.e., ours] and the hands of the believers so that God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

Where Jonathan and I part company is on what to make of these and other relevant data. For him, the evidence amounts to a “conspiracy theory” – the sort of unfounded, if not unhinged, warnings that respectable people can safely ignore and, indeed, must if they are not to be relegated to the netherworld category of the politically incorrect.

I propose to respond by simply marshaling the facts and inviting the readers to decide for themselves which view is the more compelling.

• Knowing the enemy: Even the most cursory examination of the tenets, teachings and obligations inherent in the comprehensive political-military-legal doctrine of shariah shows it to require adherents to secure its triumph worldwide. Applying the model of Mohammed – who is believed by his co-religionists to be the perfect Muslim – the way this goal is to be achieved is through jihad or holy war.

Where practicable, jihad is to be waged in the most efficient fashion: through terrifying violence. Where the correlation of forces is adverse and the use of violence would be impracticable or actually counterproductive, the practitioners of shariah still have an obligation to engage in (or, at a minimum, support) jihad. They are simply to pursue the same objective in a stealthy, not so much non-violent as pre-violent, fashion. The Brothers call the latter “civilization jihad.”

Since 1928, the driving force the most organized, disciplined and ruthless promoters of shariah has been the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s goals have been unchanging from its inception: achieve the triumph of shariah all over the globe and re-establish a Caliphate (theocratic form of government) to rule in accordance with shariah. For most of the intervening period, however, the Brotherhood was forced by circumstance (oppressive secular regimes, hostile majority populations, lack of manpower or other resources, etc.) to operate in the shadows, both in Egypt where it was founded and increasingly elsewhere around the globe.

With the transfer in recent decades of immense wealth from the Western developed world to the Muslim petro-states and most especially Saudi Arabia, the Brotherhood has been able to secure access to substantial financial resources. They still have largely engaged in civilization jihad – though there are notable exceptions including their violently jihadist Palestinian franchise, Hamas, and spin-off organizations like al-Qaeda and Gama’at Islamiyya (the Islamic Group, headed by the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman).

One vehicle for purveying these billions of dollars has been an arm of the Saudi government, the Muslim World League (MWL). Under, in particular, the leadership of its former Secretary General, Abdullah Omar Naseef, the MWL seeded and nurtured myriad Muslim Brotherhood front groups around the world. Naseef turns out to be not only a top Muslim Brotherhood operative. He is also a designated terrorist for his involvement, among other things, with financing al Qaeda. One of Naseef’s priorities has been creating the infrastructure in nations where Muslims are in the minority to establish conditions where, over time, they can achieve dominance.

If such ambitions sound crazy, especially in countries like the United States where – as Jonathan points out repeatedly – the percentage of the population made up of Muslims, let alone shariah-adherent ones, is relatively small – one only need to look at the stated purposes of Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong and other totalitarians to realize that they can nonetheless be operationalized to horrific effect. We dare not make such a mistake again, in our time.

• Huma Abedin: Jonathan uses the case of Huma Abedin to try to discredit me and others who have warned that we are making such a mistake by ignoring the evidence of civilization jihad in our midst. As it happens, the deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to be far more likely a case in point than proof I am in error.

As it happens, Ms. Abedin’s entire nuclear family has helped Abdullah Omar Naseef advance his agenda over the last few decades. Naseef set them up in what amounts to the family business: the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, initially under the leadership of her late father, Dr. Sayed Abedin, and after his death in [1994], under that of her mother, Dr. Saleha Abedin. Her brother, Hassan, and her sister, Heba, have also been involved with the enterprise, listed for years as associate editors of its main product, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. And so, as it happens, was Huma from 1996-2008. During seven of those years, she was on the masthead with Naseef identified as a member of the journal’s editorial advisory board.

In a case like Huma Abedin’s, do these sorts of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – both familial and in her own right – matter? Well, evidently not if you are, like Jonathan, determined to rebut any suggestion of a conspiracy. If, on the other hand, one applies, say, the guidelines of the Department of State designed to prevent foreign associations from translating into circumstances that will compromise a person in a position of trust and/or the mission of his or her agency, such ties should be a showstopper.

Consequently, the questions posed to the State Department inspector general by Reps. Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Rooney about Ms. Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood ties are both well-founded and entirely legitimate. Ditto similar questions raised about several other individuals with similar associations in positions of influence with four other agencies.

• The stakes: The legislators’ questions take on particular urgency in light of the myriad changes the Obama administration has made that are bringing U.S. foreign, defense and homeland security policies increasingly into alignment with the aspirations and demands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the most momentous of these are assistance and encouragement given to Islamists seeking the overthrow of governments relatively friendly to the United States.

Jonathan suggests that America could not have had much influence on such outcomes and that, as long as the changes have been made democratically, we must welcome them. In fact, for example, President Obama and his administration have helped legitimate, train and fund the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, encouraged the overthrow of the Mubarak regime and insisted that the military peacefully and promptly transfer power to the Brotherhood’s newly elected political forces. Could this have happened without our help? Possibly. Did it? No.

The fact that such changes have been ratified by elections does not alter the reality that they are likely to prove inimical not just for those in Egypt aspiring to freedom and for America’s dwindling number of relative friends in the region and most especially our ally, Israel. The ascendancy of the Brotherhood and its Islamist allies is emboldening those who seek to bring down the United States, as well.

For example, Huma Abedin’s State Department recently granted a visa to Hani Nour Eldin, a member of the terrorist group, Gema’at Islamiyya, He was allowed into the United States and invited to meetings at the White House and Capitol Hill for the purpose of securing the release from federal prison of his leader, the Blind Sheikh, as demanded by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi upon his taking office as Egypt’s first post-Mubarak president. In response to criticism from legislators, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano basically told them to get used to it: The State Department was going to be issuing many more such visas to terrorists elected to political office.

In short, the United States faces yet again an implacable enemy, one determined to replace our freedoms and way of life with their antithetical one, Shariah. Under present circumstances, such a revolution cannot be easily achieved here, if at all. But, it is the height of folly to ignore efforts being made to advance that goal, by people in a position to do so and to make their job easier by joining their allies and apologists in attacking and suppressing their critics as paranoids or bigots.

As Jonathan Kay acknowledges, Europe is farther along than we are in submitting to the stealth jihad of its own Islamists and their backers like Abdullah Omar Naseef and the Muslim World League. If one wants to know whether there is such a thing as civilization jihad, whether it can achieve successes in Western societies, despite the relatively small number of its adherents, look no further than France where there are now some 750 no-go zones, Islamic communities that are now essentially off-limits to that nation’s law enforcement and other authorities. Or Europe with its 80-plus shariah courts operating side-by-side with English common law ones.

If we want to avoid the steady erosion of our rights and liberties, we must be aware of a true conspiracy to supplant them in favor of shariah and take steps to counteract its effects by exposing and holding accountable those involved in aiding and abetting the principal conspirators: the Muslim Brotherhood.

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