As the nation mourns the loss in combat of thirty of its military heroes - including 22 members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 - in Afghanistan over the weekend, the question inevitably occurs: What are we fighting for that justifies this latest among so much sacrifice in that distant, backwards and inhospitable land?
Sen. John McCain suggested on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the answer, in part, is to prevent the Taliban from taking over the country again - at horrific cost to the people and, in particular, the women of Afghanistan. That would be a more credible goal if we were not simultaneously negotiating what amounts to the surrender of the country to Taliban representatives.
A more compelling justification would be if we were fighting to prevent the success of those who, like the Taliban, adhere to the politico-military-legal doctrinethey call shariah. According to that doctrine, the entire world - not just Afghanistan - must submit to divine dictates as recounted by Mohammed and refined, interpreted and applied for over 1400 years by Muslim rulers (caliphs), scholars, institutions and jihadists. It is the particular mission of the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, notably al Qaeda, to accomplish this objective and establish a new, global caliphate to rule in accordance with shariah.
Unfortunately, many in this country remain clueless about this threat. A particularly egregious example of official willful blindness was evident in an outburst last week by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In response to criticism that he had appointed to his state's superior court a Muslim lawyer known for his ties to shariah-adherent terrorists and their sympathizers, Christie declaimed: "[This] shariah-law business is crap...and I'm tired of dealing with the crazies!"
As Andrew McCarthy a former federal prosecutor, National Review essayist and constituent of the Governor observed over the weekend:
As Governor Christie ought to understand, shariah concerns can't be dismissed as ‘crap.' They help us sort out the pro-American Muslims we want to empower from the Islamists. When we dismiss these concerns, we end up building bridges to all the wrong people, as government has done, to its repeated embarrassment, for two decades. That is how we end up ‘partnering' with the likes of Abdurrahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian (both ultimately convicted, with their ties to terrorism duly exposed); Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee leader who argued that Israel should be at the top of the 9/11 suspect list; and such Islamist organizations as the Council on American Islamic relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which, though not indicted, were shown by the Justice Department to be co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing case.
Unfortunately, as Mr. McCarthy observes, Gov. Christie is not the only one who is witless about the threat from shariah and the dangers associated with "building bridges" to its adherents, whether in the New Jersey Islamic community, among the Afghan Taliban or via Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR and ISNA. Such "‘bridge building' - code for ‘Muslim outreach,' the law-enforcement strategy that started in the Clinton years, picked up steam in the Bush years and has become the backbone of Obama counterterrorism."
The extent to which such "outreach" has now morphed into unvarnished embrace of Muslim Brotherhood-tied entities is evident in the Obama administration's "strategy" for "Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" unveiled last week. Notable for its moral equivalence - it studiously avoids specificity about the threat in favor of euphemisms such as "radicalization," "terrorism" and "violent extremism" that suggest threats from "Christian" and "right-wing" are equivalent to those from Islamists - the strategy calls for partnering with those who purport to eschew the "al Qaeda ideology."
In so doing, Team Obama is missing the same thing Chris Christie fails to comprehend: Far from being "crazy" or the ideology of only so-called "extremists" like al Qaeda and its franchises and copycats, shariah also drives the Muslim Brotherhood. That is true notwithstanding the fact that the Brotherhood uses non-violent - or more accurately pre-violent - means to advance shariah's imposition. According to its "phased plan," that will continue to be the case right up until the moment when the Brothers "seiz[e] power to establish their Islamic nation."
Consequently, what's crazy, to use Gov. Christie's term, are it is efforts to detect and defeat violent extremism by enlisting the very organizations that the federal government has established in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas are to be Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated entities. So is the Obama administration's bid to "bridge" differences with the Brothers' friends in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to stop free expression in the West-- if it has whenever there are "consequences," with or without actual connections, like, conveniently, that "right-wing" extremist's murderous rampage in Norway. Ditto, the White House's reported decision to entrust to a deeply MB-penetrated Department of Homeland Security exclusive responsibility for determining who and what can be used to train local law enforcement and others charged with keeping us safe.
Here's the bottom line: America is under assault by those who see its Constitution and liberties as the ultimate impediment to the triumph of shariah worldwide. We will needlessly lose many more of our finest in Afghanistan, elsewhere around the world and ultimately here if we fail to recognize that it is crazy to believe and behave on any other basis.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Frank Gaffney's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.