Andrew McCarthy credits Newt Gingrich with "dramatically refocusing our understanding of the threat to the West posed by Islamism," which he does, but he allows Newt to fall into and rot in the semantic quicksand of referring to what is essential (not "essentially") Islam with the misnomer "radical Islamism."
The existential threat facing Western Civilization and all non-Muslim societies is not "radical Islamism" -- or any other fact-denying, falsely-comforting, misleading euphemism you can conjure -- it is just plain, simple, everyday, historical, Qur'anic, traditional, Islam-as-Muhammad-practiced-it Islam.
When asked what is the greatest deed, Muhammad replied that to believe in Allah and his apostle is the greatest, and that jihad is second. And unlike Christianity, which promises eternal life to all who trust in the Son of God, in Islam, "paradise" (a cosmic brothel with dozens of perpetual virgins and boys "like pearls" waiting to satisfy the faithful Muslim) is promised to those who kill and are killed "fighting in Allah's cause" (Qur'an 9:111).
Those who doubt that Islam poses a threat to the non-Muslim world should consider Muhammad's own words and how Muslims have understood them traditionally. Consider this passage:
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter . . . " (Qur'an 5:33).Ibn Kathir, one of the most respected Qur'anic exegetes in Islam says of this verse: "'Wage war' mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil." So, Muhammad requires execution, crucifixion, or cutting off hands and feet from opposite sides for "disbelief."
Why is Muhammad's preaching and practice a problem for non-Muslims? If you are a faithful Muslim, you want to please Allah. Allah called Muhammad a "beautiful pattern of conduct" for those who want to please him. That means that the faithful Muslim will want to imitate Muhammad's conduct.
That this belief system is just plain Islam and not the aberration implied by the modifiers "radical," "fundamentalist," "extremist," and the suffix "-ism" is shown also by the authors' own words: If shari'a is "Islam's legal and political framework," and the movement to implement shari'a throughout the entire world is "mainstream," then it is not the "moderate" Muslim who recognizes individual liberty and a distinction between the political and religious realms who represents Islam, but the "radical Islamist" who seeks to establish Allah's rule over all humanity.
And that is just what Muhammad and his deity commanded their followers. In Surah 9, its last major revelation on offensive jihad, Muhammad's god commanded: "Fight those who disbelieve in Allah . . . nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians, primarily], until they pay the jizya [the oppressive Islamic poll tax imposed on conquered, "dhimmi" populations] with willing submission and feel subdued" (Qur'an 9:29). There's no "live and let live," with Islam. If you beg and plead and grovel and apologize, if you struggle desperately to make it love you, you'll only die frustrated.
There is good news: That Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are welcomed by Fox as legitimate voices in the public square, that Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin denounce the
And not a moment too soon, for Muhammad who boasted, "I have been made victorious with terror," demanded:
"Say to the Unbelievers . . . if they persist [in unbelief], the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole of the world) . . . " (Qur'an 8).We must defeat jihad, but we can't defeat an enemy we can't (or won't) name.