On Friday, KHOW’s radio talk show host Peter Boyles hosted Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer. In conversation, the two men agreed that the kind of extremist beliefs that lead to terrorist acts is actually mainstream for Muslims, given the radical politics they said defines Islam. Politically correct opinions of Islam that failed to accept this interpretation, they said, were putting national safety at risk.
The positions toward Islam that have shaped policy in the U.S. are fictions, said Spencer.
“[Islam] is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists.” A fiction. “The vast majority of peaceful Muslims are on our side.” Another fiction he said.
Boyles agreed, saying that both Presidents Obama and Bush refused to speak anything but politically correct platitudes.
The majority of Muslims believe in overtaking the U.S. political system, said Spencer. It is a mainstream political stance. Islamic terrorists are not extremists.
“I think we have to remember one thing mainly about them and that that is that they are not extremists,” Spencer said. “They are not a tiny minority that has twisted and hijacked the religion of peace. They are mainstream Muslims. The belief that they have acted on in a violent way are beliefs upon which not all Muslims are going to act upon violently, but they are mainstream Islamic beliefs.”
Spencer said that the PC line in the U.S. is not supported by data. But a 2008 Gallup poll, for example, found that only 7 percent of Muslims across ten countries considered themselves radical and of those many desired a democratic government with religious values, though not a theocracy.
According to Gallup, the line between radical Muslims and non-radicals is not about piety but about politics.
The Gallup data documents that “support for terrorism among Muslims is minimal. Not only are those who sympathize with terrorist acts a tiny minority but the most frequently cited aspect of the Muslim world that Muslims say they admire least is “narrow-minded fanaticism and violent extremism.”
From the March 19th broadcast of KHOW’s Peter Boyles Show:
PETER BOYLES: Every time this stuff happens I say well, I’ll make a stack of about 10 things and then ask Mr. Spencer onto the show to talk about what is going on. So first of all a little bit about your background and your organization so that people know who your are.
ROBERT SPENCER: Well I am the director of Jihad Watch, which is an organization that is dedicated to exposing the nature and goals of the jihad against the United States, which is something people ought to take for granted but is actually obscured and obfuscated in the mainstream media, and even government law enforcement much of the time. And we’re on the web at jihadwatch.org which is news and commentary about jihad activity updated many times daily.
BOYLES: What is your take in what we are watching. These are American citizens born and raised in this country, given everything that this country had to offer. Can you explain that Mr. Spencer?
SPENCER: Oh, sure. The problem is that most if not– many if not most of the Muslims in the United States– are taught that their first loyalty is not to the United States but to Islam. Now that in itself ought not to be a thing of concern and is why it has not gotten onto the radar of law enforcement so far. Because most of the time you have religions that say that kind of thing anyway. You know Christians will say that my first loyalty is to Christ and not to the United States and so on.
The problem is the nature of Islam when it comes down to that. Islam does have a political program, a political system, and it is something that is part of the Islamic faith to believe that the political system that Islam contains has a superiority over the American system and that Muslims must wage war, ultimately, whether that is a hot war or a war by other means, to replace the one system with the other.
BOYLES: And this is the part people really miss. It really is the war aim… having said that, the Islamic fanatics can give you in one sentence their aim, can they not?
SPENCER: Oh yeah. They are waging war, fighting–as a matter of fact I just had another posting, because people just refuse to believe this. I had another post on the website yesterday, an Arabic-language publication based in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and here is your one sentence: “The Muslims are commanded to fight not only those who fought against them but those who did not fight against them in order to establish the word of Allah.”
BOYLES: Now to establish the word of Allah, Western non-Muslims have to understand that that means to establish the Islamic state. Islamic law is the law of the land, replacing the U.S. constitution and other things like it and to subjugate non-Muslims in that state as inferiors under the rule of Islamic law.
SPENCER: Absolutely yes. And this is the problem. You are talking about being able to encapsulate the war aim in one sentence and one reason we can’t do that in the West is because not even our leaders Bush and Obama have been able to do that.
BOYLES: Because they can’t. And the reason they can’t is because they would break PC.
SPENCER: Yes, precisely– “That this is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists; that the vast majority of peaceful Muslims are on our side”– all of these pious fictions.
I am all for it.
BOYLES: I am too.
BOYLES: Now how does someone [David Headley] who grows up in this country, from what I have read about him, to get ready to speak to you. He admitted to making surveillance videos, conducted intelligence and said that he had met with these Pakistani leaders and he called these men his elders and said that he understood them to be leaders of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network urging swift action and attacking this newspaper and these cartoonists which had offended quote so many Muslims in 2005 by publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Mohamed. So he was arrested in December. He has a co-defendant who is Canadian who also lived in Chicago. What the hell are we supposed to think about these kinds of people, Mr. Spencer?
SPENCER: Well I think we have to remember one thing mainly about them and that that is they are not extremists. They are not a tiny minority that has twisted and hijacked the religion of peace. They are mainstream Muslims. The belief that they have acted on in a violent way are beliefs upon which not all Muslims are going to act upon violently, but they are mainstream Islamic beliefs– that it is a great insult to depict Mohamed, to make fun of Mohamed and so on and so forth. And so the problem is that we have to realize that it is not likely we are going to find a whole lot of people in any community that are willing to commit mass murder for any reason.
Nonetheless, the attitudes and assumptions that gave rise to the mass murder plot that David Headley got involved in and the other jihad plots we have seen in the United States, these views are widespread among Muslims in the U.S.
One thing that we can be certain of is that there are going to be more jihad plots among Muslims in the U.S. and the reason is that we are doing nothing to challenge the beliefs and assumptions that give rise to them.
BOYLES: Five young Americans, albeit Muslims, who last fall left their suburban homes to go into Pakistan and wage holy war against the country that gave them everything. What do we do with these guys and who are they?
SPENCER: Well, here we go again. These guys were born here but they grew up in Islamic schools, they grew up in Mosques understanding that non-Muslims have no right to rule and that the American system is not just corrupt but– that the American system is not just in need of reform but that the American system is evil in itself. And so that being the case, it is an extraordinary thing to think that we are not going to have guys like this.
BOYLES: Yeah, thank you. That is for real, too. Let that sink in you guys. If you don’t think it is true, then you have no idea who and what this nation is up against. Or what the West is up against. Is that fair, Mr. Spencer?… Yada yada yada.
SPENCER: And [you] can’t transgress against the [politically correct thinkers] even though there is zero evidence to back them up.
BOYLES: Do you want to go along with yada da yada da yada da?