Islamic terrorists, he says, aren't some fringe group of violent radicals who have hijacked a religion of peace. While the violent ones are a minority, they are a frightfully significant one in a religion whose membership is about 1.4 billion.
Even many of the so-called moderate Muslims, he notes, share many of the radicals' goals, if not their deadly methods. These nonviolent Muslims are often sympathetic to what McCarthy calls "soft jihad," which includes promoting the Islamization of our culture, the adoption of Shariah law, sensitivity training for our law enforcement officers and the like. The "moderates" often defer to the jihadists, especially in theological matters, because of their erudition and command of the scriptures.
It would be bad enough if many Americans had their heads in the sand about the true nature and threat of Islamic terrorism. But sadly, our domestic law enforcement and intelligence communities also have a history of failing to take jihadism seriously. If you don't understand the enemy, you cannot begin to fight it effectively.
If Muslim doctrine is the ultimate source of the jihadist threat against us, we must take that into account in formulating our security doctrine, such as punishing states that enable the exportation of the most radical, violent strains of Islam and refusing to tolerate their terrorist sanctuaries. While McCarthy doesn't advocate profiling, he does say we can't treat a person's ideology as irrelevant.
Instead of approaching the war tentatively, we must be aggressive, offensive and pre-emptive. And while it's fine for us to harbor the hope -- however unrealistic -- that Islam will reform itself, we must not under any circumstances apologize for who we are and who we are not. And we are not -- and don't intend to become -- an Islamic society.
McCarthy is not the garden-variety pundit pontificating about the threat of Islamic jihad based on a plethora of articles or books he's read. He became familiar with the enemy firsthand while directing the historic prosecution he relates in riveting detail in his book.
"Willful Blindness" is not only captivating -- it is sobering, even horrifying, shaking us out of our complacency and demanding we face head-on the relentlessness, unscrupulousness and implacably permanent commitment of our enemy to our total submission or destruction.