At NRO/The Corner, reliable anti-Islamist Andy McCarthy calls for opposition to Cordoba House today, recalling the protests that he believes helped stop plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan.
That dissent was enough to forestall the trial, but it will have to be even more energetic to stop the mosque — whose construction would be a classic instance of supremacist Islamists building their icons over those of the non-Muslims they mean to vanquish. As I explain in the book, this is not a case of me drawing an inference from the facts we can observe, although those facts are obvious enough. Leading Islamists — not just terrorists but Muslims who adhere to very mainstream Brotherhood ideology — insist that they will “conquer America” and turn it slowly into a shariah society.
I find the above statement comically myopic (or would the right phrases be “willfully blind“?). In terms of victor’s “icons,” just ask yourself, for example, how an Islamist views the zillion dollar U.S. monster-embassy in Baghdad. But let’s set that aside, and take McCarthy’s description at face value: If I believed that Shariah Law, or perhaps some Americanized version of it, would be better for the United States, is there anything in our constitutional tradition that would prevent me from organizing, speaking, or constructing buildings to advance that purpose? What if I were a communist or a Nazi or… a far right conservative?
For every political ideology or religion, there is someone in a pluralistic society convinced that its triumph would be their destruction, moral or physical or both. We live and even flourish amidst the contradictions – though over time it becomes more and more difficult for believer in religion 1 to claim with a perfectly straight face that belief in religion 2 is sending his good friend across the table to eternal damnation, or that mere belief in ideology 3 is a threat to everyone’s survival. And it also becomes more and more difficult for belief in religion 2 and ideology 3 to remain unaltered. Today’s hardcore “Papist” or “Commie” is not yesterday’s. He can’t be. You don’t step in the same river twice, and human beings are mostly water – wearing endlessly away at the remnant rock.
The process often feels to serious believers like the onset of decadence. I don’t think that can be helped. I think it’s likely that, over time, the U.S. will absorb Islamic influences in predictable and unpredictable ways. In a world one-sixth Muslim, a free country will tend to become something around one-sixth Islamic – it might overshoot, it might fall short. In the meantime, in resisting the outward forms of Islamism – support for Shariah Law, maybe a building project in Manhattan – people like McCarthy visibly take on the inward character – the ideological rigidity, paranoid xenophobia, willful blindness – of that which they despise. That’s pretty much inevitable, too.
As for me, I think I’d rather have America, and call it the Caliphate, than have the Caliphate, and call it America.