by Frank Gaffney
Surprisingly, on net, last week was not a good one for the Free World. Despite the signal accomplishment of liquidating Osama bin Laden, Western civilization suffered serious reverses on several fronts.
What these reverses all have in common is a deference to the doctrine our enemies' call "shariah," in a manner they perceive to be acts of "submission." Such behavior is exceedingly dangerous, as it invites our foes to redouble their efforts to make us, in the words of the Koran, "feel subdued."
For instance, consider the aftermath of SEAL Team 6's extraordinary take-down of bin Laden. What ensued was nothing less than a debacle as President Obama's political appointees kept changing their accounts of what had happened. As one wag put it, "Osama bin Laden died and we got 72 versions."
The subtext was of an administration effort desperately trying not to give offense to our adversaries. Yet, they and our friends could only have felt reaffirmed in their already dim view of what passes for American leadership under Mr. Obama.
Then, there was the unctuous effort to dispose of bin Laden's body in strict "conformance to Islamic practice." The fastidious cleansing and wrapping of the body, the 40-minute ceremony and the burial at sea conjure up images of an America treating one of its most psychopathic enemies as a legitimate, even revered figure. Islam scholar Andrew Bostom raises the question whether such rites actually included shariah-conforming denunciations of Christians and Jews? Either way, this exercise was a pathetic act of appeasement.
Next, the President announced that he had decided not to release the dead jihadist's photo. As with the handling of bin Laden's burial, the justification given was concern that the picture's dissemination would only inspire more violence against us and our forces overseas. The truth of the matter is that the more we signal our fear of the violence of shariah-adherent Muslims, the more certain it is to be visited upon us.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday an appeals court in Denmark convicted one of Western civilization's most courageous defenders - Lars Hedegaard, president of the International Free Press Society. His crime? He gave offense to Muslims. Yes, that's right, a Danish judicial panel effectively enforced shariah blasphemy law. In the process, the court violated one of the most cardinal pillars of freedom: the right to free speech.
If allowed to stand, the ruling in the Hedegaard case will be used to abridge fundamental civil rights throughout Europe, and possibly far beyond. Yet, there has been remarkably little outcry about the defendant's plight - most especially from journalists who have as much to lose as anybody.
In this instance, as in the foregoing ones, the West is acting out of fear, lest our conduct become grounds for fresh violence. This is an enduring legacy of, among other things, the manufactured outrage and mayhem over the Danish cartoons a few years back. It gives ominous new meaning to the expression "Something is rotten in Denmark."
Unfortunately, our own judicial processes seem increasingly susceptible to Islamist intimidation, as well. Recently, counter-terrorism expert Patrick Poole published at Pajamas Media excerpts from an interview with an anonymous source high in the Obama Justice Department. These included an allegation that political appointees in that department had "quashed" a request by prosecutors to pursue individuals and organizations listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the nation's largest terrorism financing trial: United States v. the Holy Land Foundation.
According to Poole's insider, the problem was that the administration stood to be embarrassed if this prosecution went forward. After all, the defendants associated with Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) would assuredly have tried to use their close ties with government officials and agencies to avoid the convictions and punishments meted out to the first five Holy Land conspirators.
The plot thickened last week. Shortly before Attorney General Eric Holder was scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill, the prosecutor in the Holy Land case, U.S. Attorney Jim Jacks, told the Dallas Morning News that there was no political interference from "the Attorney General or the White House" leading to a decision not to prosecute CAIR. This directly contradicts not only Patrick Poole's source but also House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY), who insisted that both prosecutors and FBI agents involved in the case had told him they had "vehement objections" to the "declination to prosecute" memo that came out of Washington.
Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX), himself a former judge and chief justice in the Texas court system, pointedly challenged the Attorney General during the latter's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Rep. Gohmert noted that it is a matter of record that Mr. Jacks had filed compelling briefs at both the federal district and appellate levels - and was upheld by both courts - in his position that there were sufficient grounds to treat CAIR and others as co-conspirators with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The AG claimed unconvincingly to be unfamiliar with the particulars.
We need to stand up against shariah, not submit to it - at home or abroad. We must demonstrate that we are, to use bin Laden's term, the "stronger horse," by touting our victories and power, and not convey the opposite impression by obscuring or apologizing for them. And we must see the paperwork that precipitated the declination to prosecute CAIR and its Muslim Brotherhood friends - and then get on with putting them out of business.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.
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