Stealth Jihad and the Threat to Democracy

by Lorna Salzman

Some of my friends are puzzled by my recent declaration that I am withdrawing substantially from my environmental work to focus on the threat of Islamism and stealth jihad. Let me assure you that this decision was not a hasty one but one that my work in the past few years has led me to, without hesitation.

If you have read and given any credence to my environmental work, I ask you to give equal credence to what I have been writing and to my involvement in the issue of radical Islam and its demonstrated threat to civil liberties, personal freedom, secular democracy, and the rights of women. These are now ubiquitous and at least as dangerous as - and far more imminent than - the threat of a terrorist bomb.

The past three years have required me to keep abreast of developments regarding these issues, on the internet, in journals, in books, and communications with others involved in these issues, whether through the telescope of Arab-Israeli disagreements and the threats to Israel's existence, or through that of developments here and in western Europe involving threats to those courageous individuals who have spoken out at risk to their lives. The list of these people who live with bodyguards and anonymously increases daily.

As you know, it is exceedingly difficult to learn about these issues in the mass media or the liberal and centrist press. Because the burden of information and revelations about radical Islam has fallen on the right wing, and because the American left and its paleo-liberal fellow travelers, (the "useful idiots" supporting the Arabs in the middle east and their regressive positions on human rights and civil liberties) have consistently refused to acknowledge the atrocities of Islamism and sharia law, the ordinary citizen remains uninterested and uninformed on events and actions that directly threaten their constitutional rights and most basic civil liberties and freedom of expression.

Few of them know, for example, that Muslim honor killings have become routine in this country; that local governments are indifferent to polygamous marriages; that genital mutilation is still practiced among some immigrants, to cite only a few examples. In addition, few of them know the extent to which our universities have knuckled under to Islamist demands to suppress dissent and freedom of expression on the campus.

The recent censorship of a South Park episode by Comedy Central is only the latest in a long string of execrations being forced on the citizenry. One need not be paranoid to draw a parallel to Germany in the early 1930s, when the Nazis came to power and initiated their campaigns to repress and extinguish Jews and other minorities, or to the Stalinist period in the Soviet Union, when noted intellectuals, writers, composers and artists were given ultimatums by the government: conform to government-imposed standards for your art or face imprisonment...or worse.

The refusal of our traditional civil liberties defenders such as ACLU, PEN, Amnesty International, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild, etc. to get involved except in the defense of Muslims making false charges of discrimination is not just regrettable but reprehensible. CCR and NLG have, of course, long been knee-jerk adversaries of the United States and knee-jerk defenders of convicted terrorists and Muslim radicals. Now the ACLU has joined this unholy alliance.

Make no mistake about it: the defense of our Constitutional right to freedom of expression and dissent is under heavy attack, from Muslim radicals and the American left, and our government and media, as well as traditional liberals, are asleep at the wheel. Only the activation of individual citizens on all parts of the political spectrum can counteract these forces and defend our civil liberties.

Let us be clear who our adversaries and enemies are: not individual Muslims but radical Islam and sharia law, and those who accept and promote it. They are hard at work every day, in mosques, public schools, universities, the halls of congress, and before local
governments, trying to prevent us from exercising our freedom of speech - including the freedom to criticize religion. Every time that they get special treatment or an exception to civil law or customs, we come one step closer to a totalitarian society controlled by religious fanatics. We must confront them wherever they exist, without compromise or fear.

I am in the process of developing a movement and/or campaign dedicated to unfettered freedom of speech and civil liberties. Anyone who wishes to join or assist me in this is invited to contact me.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.