Diana West

It's just seven minutes of airtime out of millions since 9/11, but a recent segment of "The Kelly File" on Fox News bears notice. It's as good an example as any of the state of paralysis that still afflicts the public square since jihad struck Manhattan and Washington, D.C., 13 years ago. We have mourned our dead, fought wars, rebuilt cities, but something still is missing. That something is informed talk about Islam. Frank discussion of the Koran and Muhammad. Without it, there is no stopping the jihad that is shutting down Western civilization.

Host Megyn Kelly interviewed Maajid Nawaz about the Islamic State (ISIL), the latest Muslim horde on a jihad to establish a "caliphate" (pan-Islamic regime) based in sharia (Islamic law). Nawaz could be considered a defector from Hizb ut-Tahrir, one of the revolutionary Islamic groups, some violent, some removed from violence, dedicated to the establishment of a caliphate based in Islamic law, from al-Qaida to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Nawaz said goodbye to all that in 2007, he says. In 2008, he and fellow defector Ed Husain founded Quilliam, a British "counter-extremism" foundation named for William Quilliam, a 19th-century British convert to Islam. Abdullah Quilliam, as he became known, opened the first British mosque on Christmas Day, 1889. "Co-exist," right? It's no stretch, however, to imagine Sheikh Quilliam at home in Hizb ut-Tahrir as a fatwa-issuing advocate of the caliphate and sharia both. He also issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from fighting for or assisting Britain ("contrary to the sharia"), then fighting Muslim tribes in the Sudan.

Scholar of Islam Andrew Bostom first brought these fatwas to my attention, but they are now accessible on Abdullah Quilliam's Wikipedia page. Should we take a "counter-extremism" think tank in Quilliam's name seriously? Could the name have been a mistake? Or is it a joke on gullible infidels? A wink to stealth jihadists?

This piqued my interest in Kelly's Nawaz interview. Zeroing in on the ISIL beheading of Steven Satloff, she asked: "Where does their thinking come from? ... The first reaction many here in the United States and around the world had was these people who are doing this are psychopaths."


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).

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