Despite impressive efforts by the local news media to keep it a secret, Steve Emerson, a leading authoritiy on Islamic extremism spoke at an event in Rancho Mirage, California Sunday evening. Once the dinner event had sold out, The Desert Sun inserted a brilliantly crafted piece in the B Section, guaranteed to generate plenty of buzz: "Not everyone has the same values. Some values are a direct threat to the American way of life. That's the take-away Steven Emerson hopes to impart as the featured speaker for Sunday's World Affairs Council of the Desert Distinguished Speakers Series."
With that kind of promo, it was a profile in courage to be among the fortunate 250 or so concerned citizens who managed to peacefully storm their way into the ballroom to listen to Emerson.
Steve Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, an independent, non-profit organization. Which means Emerson is not beholden to the government nor hamstrung by the lethal political correctness that has infected media and government. Emerson does, however, provide briefings to US government and law enforcement agencies as well as congress. The lack of bureaucratic baggage allows Emerson and his organization to infiltrate and gather intelligence that the government isn't getting.
Having accumulated approximately 2500 hours of data, Emerson is putting a documentary together describing the great deception being perpetrated on the West by Islamic extremists and an apologetic media. Emerson's research has uncovered a troubling narrative currently running: the radical groups cry Islamophobia at any attempt to examine or criticize terrorism. The goal is to convince us that our thinking about Islam as a motivator for terrorism is irrational and extreme. We are already seeing this in Europe with rapid movement toward criminalizing critical statements about Islam. Among the top leaders of this Islamic terrorism apologist movement is, according to Emerson: The New York Times.
Emerson did address the endless caterwauling about the Moderate Muslim Majority. But, we need to clarify the terms. The media prattles constantly about "mainstream" Islam which is meant to convince us that mainstream equals moderate. No, according to Emerson mainstream means no more than "average". Which is consistent with Mark Steyn's observation that a moderate Muslim is one who can't be bothered to fly a plane into a building, but thinks Sharia law is a good idea.
Emerson is quick to point out that certainly not all Muslims support jihad. But the Muslims with the most influence in the mosques, the community and schools are working toward worldwide jihad. The "moderate" Muslim claims that Christianity and Judaism are "false religions". The mission to force Islam on the world is part of the moderate's agenda. Emerson also points out that nobody "converts" to Islam. We can only "re-convert" back to Islam which, according to Islam, is the only real truth.
While our new administration is busy ignoring violent jihad, we should be paying some attention to the phenomenon of cultural jihad, which is accomplished by Islamic infiltration into our mainstream; including into all levels of government. The cultural Jihadi won't carry out the violence but will actively support the efforts. One of the most influential, dangerous and powerful cultural al Qaeda operatives, Abdulrahman Alamoudi was all but a Clinton cabinet member. Admired, awarded, accepted, wined and dined like the head of a legitimate state, Alamoudi was the Clinton's favorite Muslim for eight years. He was finally arrested, but Emerson warns that nobody at this time has any idea how much information Alamoudi was able to accumulate during his eight year Friend of Bill tour and what it will cost us.
To give credit where due, let's not forget it was former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice who adopted the official NYT policy outlawing the use of the words "terror" and "Islam" together to avoid any suggestion that Islam and terrorism could have some, however tenuous, connection. Emerson acknowledged that when it comes to terrorism, Islam is entitled to claim the number one position: the current ratio of terror attacks perpetrated by radical Muslims outnumbers those by other groups by 1000:1.
Apparently, Jihadi recruitment efforts in the US have been remarkably successful. The FBI is doing a good job of stopping actual attacks in the planning stages, but have no real ability to address the larger phenomenon of cultural jihad due to the constraints of the PC Police. The current group of new Jihadi recruits in the US have no prior history of radical behaviors, strongly suggesting extremists are indoctrinating terrorists' right in our backyards.
During Q and A, Emerson was asked about Obama's newly announced policy of having a chat with the Taliban : "I am not a fan of Kumbaya tactics". Talking with terror groups, like the Taliban, legitimizes them and shows a willingness to forgive past sins.
On its steady march towards the Pulitzer, the local paper covered the Emerson event the following day by getting input from Tim Wassil, executive director of the Coachella Valley Islamic Society, who did not attend the speech. Honestly, why don't reporters just carry the pro Islam talking points around they way police carry little Miranda cards? "Islam does not preach violence". "Extremists are just a small minority". "You have the right to remain silent."
In a related development, The Desert Sun announced this morning that one of its local bureaus would be closing as of March 30, 2009.