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Americans Must Not Ignore the Jihadist’s Civilization Struggle

A flag of the Shiite Hezbollah militant group flutters over a mural depicting the emblem of the Islamic State, March 9, 2015. (Getty Images/Younis Al-Bayati/AFP)

By Ben Weingarten

A troubling mea culpa of sorts was issued in Great Britain recently of which Americans should take note: We were wrong about mass Islamic immigration - Muslims unwilling to assimilate pose a far greater threat to society than “Islamophobic” Britons.

That was the message delivered by former Chair of the United Kingdom’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, in the wake of a disturbing but unsurprising survey on Britain’s Muslims released almost 20 years after Phillips’ 1997 report warning of the scourge of Islamophobia.

Members of the Syrian army patrol the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on May 6, 2016, during a patriotic celebration put on by the Syrian regime at the UNESCO world heritage site, with flag-waving and military music in a place where just last year jihadists carried out mass executions. Syrian troops backed by Russian air strikes and special forces on the ground recaptured the UNESCO world heritage site from Islamic State group fighters in March. (Photo: LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The new analysis, highlighted in a television documentary titled “What British Muslims Really Think,” indicates that among other things, of Britain’s three million Muslims:

  • 52 percent believe homosexuality should be illegal
  • 39 percent believe a woman should always obey her husband
  • 23 percent support the introduction of Sharia law over the laws laid down by Parliament
  • 18 percent sympathize with those who take part in violence against those who mock Muhammad
  • 4 percent sympathize with those who take part in suicide bombings to fight “injustice”


Last but not least, as The Spectator’s James Delingpole notes, some two-thirds of Britain’s Muslims would not report it to the authorities if they knew someone was involved in supporting terrorism in Syria.

The documentary illustrates that Muslims are creating “nations within nations” in the West, consistent with the oft-dismissed “no-go” zones in locales such as Malmo, Sweden and France’s banlieues.

Phillips appears to genuinely regret the error of his focus on Islamophobia over Islamic supremacism, albeit two decades onward, stating “[W]e’ve repeatedly failed to spot the warning signs… Indeed, a significant minority of Britain’s three million Muslims consider us a nation of such low morals that they would rather live more separately from their non-Muslim countrymen, preferably under sharia law.”

Further, he dubs multiculturalism a “failed policy.” Were it only that Trevor Phillips had listened to Melanie Phillips, a fellow Briton whose 2006 book Londonistan foretold of these perils.

Why should Americans pay attention to the goings-on in Great Britain? Our political and national security leaders repeatedly tell us that we are not in a civilizational struggle. President Barack Obama laid out this message clearly in a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, in which he said “[W]hen we use loose language that appears to pose a civilization conflict between the West and Islam…then we make it harder, not easier…to resist and push back against the worst impulses in the Muslim world.”

Goldberg cites CIA director John Brennan in this same piece as telling him that “The goal is not to force a Huntington template onto this conflict,” invoking the political scientist Samuel Huntington who described the conflict between the jihadists and the West as a civilizational one.

Try though Obama and Brennan might to downplay what a jihadist enemy is telling us through blowing up and butchering people worldwide, while stating quite clearly that it seeks to make the infidel submit to Allah under the rule of Shariah, what is happening in liberal Great Britain and throughout the European continent lays bare that there is in fact a civilizational struggle underway. This conflict rages whether we like it or not because Islamic supremacism demands it.

Western civilization is stewing in self-loathing, impotence and appeasement. Islamic fundamentalism in the West alternatively is asserting itself forcefully. Support for Sharia is tantamount to seeking the overthrow of liberal Western laws because our political systems are incompatible. Assimilation is not even a dirty word; it is an ignored one in a multicultural society in which all peoples are equal, but some are more equal than others. To the degree to which demographic and more importantly ideological trends continue as they are in Europe, native Europeans will risk becoming foreigners in their own homes. But there will be no peaceful co-existence.

Indeed, as national security analyst Dr. Sebastian Gorka details in his new book Defeating Jihad, the global jihadist war is a zero sum game being fought with an enemy akin to the Communists during the Cold War, but in many ways more formidable and dangerous. Jihadists cannot be easily identified as an army in one or several nations. They use asymmetric warfare to terrorize us. They use the West’s values and principles – our tolerance, our belief in protection of peoples of all religions from persecution – against us by subverting our free societies by way of “stealth jihad” in order to “peacefully” advance totalitarianism wrapped in a religious cloak. The chilling of speech critical of Islam is just the tip of the sphere of de facto Sharia law enforcement in Western societies, and the enforcers worst of all are willing Westerners themselves, not least of which include the leading candidate for president on the Democratic side.

As the aforementioned Trevor Phillips now argues, “There is a life-and-death struggle for the soul of British Islam—and this is not a battle that the rest of us can afford to sit out. We need to take sides.”

I would suggest that it is not the West’s job to take sides in an intra-religious battle or opine on what is “true Islam” as our political figures are wont to do, so much as it is to defend itself against those who wish to destroy us. We must have the moral clarity to see our enemy forthrightly, know his goals, strategies and tactics and devise a comprehensive strategy to defeat him. Dr. Gorka recommends a new counterjihadist policy modeled on NSC-68, a 1950 document drafted during the Cold War whose relevance I have referenced at TheBlaze previously. And as I have also argued, Dr. Gorka suggests that describing our enemy openly and honestly is the first step towards being able to counter him.

Europe shows us the stakes of this civilization struggle. Will America take advantage of the lessons being laid out before us, or like Mr. Phillips, will we regret our ignorance and willful blindness as the jihadist cancer spreads?

Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) is frequent commentator on politics, economics and national security, and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media, a media consulting and publications firm whose clients include conservative individuals, organizations and institutions including Regnery, the publisher of Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s new book, Defeating Jihad. Ben contributes to publications such as TheBlaze, City Journal, The Federalist and PJ Media, and is a regular television contributor to Newsmax.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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