During the Cold War, American intelligence loved getting its hands on defectors from communism. The reasoning was that these people had the best information about the plans of the other side, information that would help America defeat them.
In the present war against what President Bush has properly labeled "Islamic fascism," defectors are just as valuable.
The Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel, recently made a former leading imam and radical Islam expert available for media interviews and I had a chance to speak with him. He goes by the name of Sam Soloman because of death threats from those not happy with the information he has about their plans to dominate the world.
Soloman was brought up in the Islamic tradition and became a "recruiter," which he says is something like an assistant teacher. One of his responsibilities was "brainwashing people in the Koran." He tells me "The suicide bombers go through stages, and the most important stage is not when they blow themselves up. The most important stage is conforming them to the (Muslim) ideology. Once they are conformed to the ideology, the rest is easy. That is the role I had."
Soloman is in double trouble. Not only did he abandon Islam and the terrorists' objectives, he has also become a Christian, which has marked him for death. Born in the Middle East, he visited Washington from his adopted country, which he declines to name to protect his family.
Soloman speaks with knowledge, credibility and conviction. He has memorized large sections of the Koran and tells me, "There's not a single verse in the Koran talking about peace with a non-Muslim, with the Jews and the Christians. Islam means submission. Islam means surrender. It means you surrender and accept Islamic hegemony over yourselves..."
I ask him about the best strategy for fighting it: "It cannot be combated simply by force. It needs to be combated ideologically, spiritually (as well as) through arms."
Soloman says the outlets for Islamic ideology are religious - seminaries, the madrassas (Koranic schools) and especially the mosques. "From the beginning, Mohammed used the mosque to propagate this ideology. It was in the mosque that jihad was declared (and) that troops were sent to conquer the rest of the world. The mosque was the seat of government and Americans are right to be concerned about (their growth)."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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