Anybody can go to any of the holy books and as a friend of mine said, each religion has its issues, and pick out selectively different verses and try to make them sound horrible. In Numbers, for example, we read in, in Verse 31, “Behold, these call the sons of Israel through the counsel of [UNCLEAR] to trespass against the Lord to the matter of [UNCLEAR] the plague was among the congregation. Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known men intimately, spare them. Spare it for yourselves.” And again, in Joshua, we read, in Verse 21, “They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey with the edge of a sword.” And of course, the Bible, the Old Testament is replete with verses that, in some cases explicitly, are very violent and some would say exhort the followers of either faith to violence.
The verses that Frank points out in the Koran, first of all, as he noted by his own chart, were during a time of war, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, was commanding his followers, in a time of war for those that were making war on Muslims to defend themselves. That was very specific to a specific timeframe. It was not that all Muslims should kill all Christians and Jews or all pagans or whatever religion there might be.
If that were the case, when India was ruled by Muslim rulers for centuries, then you would have had all the Hindus and all the Christians there killed, which they weren’t. India, still to this day remains, a predominately Hindu country and the Muslims are in the minority. So either they weren’t going to Sunday school or that is not the case when it comes to Islam and its treatment of other Muslims.
Now, are there some extremists who believe that theory? Yes, and we need to defeat them. We need to stop them. But generally speaking, the vast number of mainstream Muslims do not subscribe to any type of belief like that. Because when they read the Koran, like I do, you read the entire context and you know those verses were specific to a time of war.
Secondly, when it comes to Shariah, Frank called it a black box, which somehow some mysterious scholars out there who are trying to define Islam for everybody else and [make] people, whether they’re Muslim or otherwise, follow it blindly. That’s not the case. Shariah means “the way” in Arabic. And it’s an interpretive law that governs the protection of religion, life and property for Muslims. And it’s specific to Muslims. There is no strict static set of laws in Shariah. Sharia is a system of law that is interpretive. And my friends in the Jewish community will appreciate this because, much as in the Jewish faith, you have an interpretive law, there’s the old saying, that when you have two rabbis, you have three scholars, you have three opinions. Well, the same thing goes for imams.
For example, Islamic finance. The experts on Shariah who do know about Islam and Shariah got together in the United States and said Muslims can buy their homes with interest, no problem, because you need, you need to buy a home to live in. You need something, you need to put a roof over your heads for your family, and the American society is based on interest and so it’s, therefore, we have no problem with that. Interpretive law. Not the draconian type of law part, that interpretation of law that Frank wants to make it out to be. Now are there people in Afghanistan who do that? Absolutely, and we need to stop them. But that, I would argue, is the minority. The vast majority of the world’s billion Muslims who live peaceably, live peaceably with their neighbors, whether Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, do not subscribe to these violent precepts or beliefs.
The [Muslim] people who know their religion are against terrorism. And terms like jihadist or Islamist only validate the actions of the terrorists. And they do not in any way describe the religion. And that’s why the President and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and people in the military stand against using terms like Islamist or jihadist because they don’t want to validate the enemy – like bin Laden wants us to do. So that’s why we call terrorists, terrorists or murderers because that’s exactly what they are. I don’t want to give one inch of my religion to people that murder in the name of faith. And no one else should. Thank you.
The focus of the soft jihad being perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood has three purposes. [The first] is to dominate the Muslim population. Particularly in societies like America where, as Suhail says, most Muslims do not want to live under Shariah, do not want to have to live under the repressive, brutal regime that’s imposed upon Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran. And the Sudan. And in the Taliban’s Afghanistan.
The strategy is to segregate the Muslims; to promote a sense of victimhood — this idea, as Suhail said, that there are many of them [in America] that are being attacked – [is] a laughable proposition; radicalize them; and recruit them to jihad. [It’s] a classic totalitarian strategy [that] is being promulgated in; mosques; prisons; the military; schools and campuses; unions – [Suhail] mentioned switching out Labor Day for Eid in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a hotbed of Muslim activism; our government; and most recently what’s left of Wall Street. There are serious questions about Shariah-compliant finance, because I believe this is very much part of the stealth jihad [the Islamists] wage against our country.
A second focus is intimidating opponents. We’ve heard much about bigotry and racism. There’s not been a single rebuttal [tonight] of the scholarly work that Robert Spencer has done. There hasn’t even been a rebuttal of what I’ve just said. Except to suggest that [Suhail] knows more about his religion than somebody who is serious about it and has worked hard to understand it using the recognized authorities and their texts. Which [Suhail] has not done. Because if he had, he would be laughed out of your average mosque – even the non-Wahhabi ones – when he purports to say nobody believes in this abrogation principle. That’s simply preposterous. Simply preposterous.
And I would ask anyone, our friends in al-Jazeera most especially, who is interested in getting to the bottom of this, to check out the Reliance of the Traveler, for example. One of the most authoritative, if not the most authoritative reference work on the Muslim faith. There’s no question about my being correct on this and him being wrong.
Thirdly, the idea, the objective here of these Brotherhood types in America and in other Western societies is to create parallel societies. [Their] society, for example, that would have its own set of laws, [namely,] Sharia. Notwithstanding the Constitution of the United States. Notwithstanding [the] solemn requirement [in] Article 6 that it [is] the supreme, the only law of the land.
This is done through establishing preferential arrangements for Muslims in the name of religious accommodations: a [separate] legal code [and] courts, territorial no-go zones and political benefits. None of which in the beginning seem terribly dramatic. [For example,] we’ve got a Muslim dress code – pantsuits for TSA. Who could object to that? Except that it’s about Shariah, folks. It’s about insinuating Shariah by creating separate arrangements, which then are extended inexorably as their beachheads grow further and further.
This is, in short, utterly at odds, with the Constitution of the United States, its precepts, freedoms, and institutions. The good news is that most Muslims, at least here, still don’t want to go there. But they are being inexorably encouraged, and in some cases intimidated, into following the line of the Brotherhood. And to the extent that we have government officials who have taken a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, some of whom are Muslims, I submit they have a special responsibility to reject Shariah and the Muslim Brotherhood organizations [that are] stealthily trying to impose it on all of us. To do otherwise, to fail, to act in the face of seditious behavior
We need the help of all patriotic, law-abiding, tolerant Americans who are Muslims in fighting our mutual enemy, Shariah-adherent Islamists in this country and elsewhere. A key test of which camp they are in is whether they acknowledge the true nature of authoritative Islam Shariah and the threat it represents to our country and Constitution and work against, not with, the groups seeking to impose it, this seditious agenda, on us and undoing our Constitution. Thank you.
All right, first of all, by a show of hands, who anticipates or would like to ask a question? See that makes my job easy. Cause I have a whole list of questions I don’t need to go to. So
why don’t I go ahead and start off if you raise your hands and remember my rules – I want to see a thought bubble over your heads with no more than two sentences and question mark at the end or else we’re going to move on. So I’ll start off up front.
Okay. Do you want me to come up there, Mark, or–
MARK HYMAN: Or just, you can stand up, we can, just speak loud.
WOMAN: I have a, a question for Frank. Talking about numbers. And I’m bad at math, too. Could you help me out here?
FRANK GAFFNEY: [UNCLEAR]
WOMAN: That’s exactly right. So if there are roughly four to six million Muslims in our country, arguably, let’s just pretend that’s a good number and twenty-five percent of those are African-America, roughly thirty percent are Asians, so you end up with about twenty-five percent Arab in our, in Muslims. Most of them go to mosques. So we’re talking about eight hundred thousand people. If they’re all, you mentioned the [Muslim] Brotherhood, the other organizations, where are these guys? I mean, how come we’ve not been blown up here? How come we haven’t had, if there are that many of them and they’re that angry and they’re that anti-American, where are they all?
And, and my other question is, you did a study on, you looked at a hundred mosques out of the two thousand, which is roughly five percent. Extrapolated that three quarters of the people were what you would term as Islamists. How do you get to that number? I mean, did you go into the mosque and ask them? I mean, how do you come up with this number of this many people that you claim have this attitude? So number one, you know, where are they and why aren’t they doing anything? And number two, how could you, how does anybody possibly know what’s in their heads and how did you get that information for your report?
FRANK GAFFNEY: Thank you. Good questions both. Could everybody hear them?
MARK HYMAN: Cause we’re not repeating that question. [LAUGHTER]
FRANK GAFFNEY: If I’m right, and first of all, that’s ridiculous that there’s six million Muslims in America. I don’t believe that for a moment. I think it’s, by the census, probably [closer to] 2 million. So your numbers shrink even further from what you suggested. The problem is, those of us who live in this corridor of the United States may remember what two guys with a sniper rifle and a weird car did to millions of Americans.
If you want to do harm here, if you want to blow things up, we are the most open, the most vulnerable society in the world. So your question is a good one. Why haven’t more things been blown up since 9/11?
Well, in fact, there have been a number of efforts to do that. Fortunately, the government has, using powers that were generally resisted by the Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, been able to stop them. I suggest something else is at work here, though. Robert Spencer, who has been mentioned here several times by Suhail in a very defamatory way and by me in a complimentary way, has a new book coming out shortly called Stealth Jihad, which I hope everyone will read. Whether you’re on Suhail’s side or on my side, it’s a very important insight into why the Brotherhood [believes] that they can, for the moment, make more progress using stealthy techniques, soft jihad techniques, than they can by blowing things up. They blow things up here, we tend to blow things up over there. That’s netted out not-positive for a lot of these bad guys. So that’s my answer to the first question.
On the mosques, the report that you refer to has not been fully and finally released. It’s still a work in progress. There have been about two hundred of these mosques that have had on-site inspections done. The advantage of using the methodology that’s been used is, if you’re looking for Shariah adherence, it’s very evident. People dress in a certain way, people carry themselves with their beards and their jewelry, and their clothes in a certain way. They follow, in other words, what is a very strict regimen – though Suhail doesn’t seem to be familiar with it – a very strict regimen that is being [followed] in approximately seventy-five percent of the mosques in the United States, based on this sample. More are being investigated every day. We hope to have an even more full sample set. But let’s just say that it’s off by a factor of two. It’s only thirty-five percent of the mosques in America that are practicing a virulent form of Shariah and seem to have a pretty high correlation – as Shariah dictates – of support for jihad. That’s a problem all by itself. And it [gets back] ultimately to the [first] part of your question which is, at some point, the stealth jihad gets sufficiently far advanced that violence is accepted as workable again. And that’s what we need to prevent from happening.
MARK HYMAN: Can you stand up please?
WOMAN: Okay. You were saying that we shouldn’t use the words like jihad, too different, I’m not a, I’m not an Islamic scholar and, no offense, but I’m not really particularly interested in the proper interpretation of Islam or any other religion, to tell you the truth. I really, you know, the 9-11 survivors that [UNCLEAR] blowing things up–
SUHAIL KHAN: Absolutely.
WOMAN: And all that kind of thing, but I wanted to know if you’re saying Islam is [never] a religion of peace, because I’m not going to doubt that. But if you’re saying that it [always] is, it seems to me that the terrorists who are claiming to use your faith to support their acts – even if they’re doing it wrongly – the people who are using the words are just doing it to acknowledge that this is happening and it sounds like you’re suggesting that we not use any words, saying like “Islamic terrorism” and then we see no connection. We see no connection
MARK HYMAN: And your question
WOMAN: like it’s all random.
MARK HYMAN: Your question is?
WOMAN: Can you acknowledge a) that it sometimes is not a religion of peace and b) when people [UNCLEAR] use it for violence, I mean, don’t you think that the people you should be criticizing are the Muslims doing that and not the people making the observations? Those are my questions.
SUHAIL KHAN: Okay, okay, I got it. [A] couple of comments. First, I would never say that some have not misinterpreted Islam in the call for violence. Absolutely. The terrorists are doing that right now. The terrorists who attacked us on 9-11, they attacked all of us. They attacked me. I was in the White House that day, they attacked my country. I stand against that. But I don’t want to give them my religion. Just as terrorists in the past have attacked in the name of other faiths, whether they be Christian or Jewish or whomever, I don’t want to give them [my] faith. Faith is something that is interpreted by their followers and my argument is that the vast majority of mainstream Muslims in the United States and in the world, do not follow that extreme interpretation of Islam that bin Laden and his cohorts do. They are the extremists. They are the minority.
But the vast majority of Muslims that Frank conflates as engaging in this soft jihad, uh, just because they want to wear a headscarf or dress in traditional clothing or want to go to church on Friday just as people go to synagogue on Saturday and church on Sunday, that somehow because they’re strict in the adherence to their faith, that that somehow makes them suspect. That is what I call anti-Semitism with training wheels. Because really what they’re saying is that anybody who practices their faith is, is suspect. And in this case, today it’s Muslims. Yesterday it was Jews. The day before that it was Catholics. Right here I have a whole book, published in 1950, about the plan for the Catholic takeover of our country. It’s a very well-written book. Very reasonable, smart guy, Paul Blanchard, he spends a lot of time saying he’s not a bigot. I bet most Catholics are good people. But he spends a lot of time in the book saying that Catholics have a secret pernicious plan to take over our country through the banks and the school educational, uh, system, etceteras. And now this is laughable. And a few years from now, Frank’s theory about the soft jihad and the vast majority of Muslims that live in this country who have peaceably served their country like Jamal in the back there are not engaged in a soft jihad. They’re living their life under the Constitution like all of us.
WOMAN: But the word, my question was about the word–
MARK HYMAN: No, no, we’ll, actually I’m a practicing Roman Catholic, I’d like to borrow the book afterwards. [LAUGHTER] Uh, can we get some geographic diversity here? Uh, uh, looking for another question for Frank. You had a question? All the way in the back, yes sir?
MARK HYMAN: Please.
MAN: Hi, my question is, if Shariah is so contrary to the Constitution cause it supplants the law of the land, do you share, do you also believe that the Catholic ecclesiastical courts, the Jewish courts, and even the Methodist ecclesiastical courts are also contrary to the Constitution cause they’re [UNCLEAR] contrary [UNCLEAR]
FRANK GAFFNEY: This is one of the efforts at moral equivalence that we often hear from apologists for Shariah. I think there’s no equivalence, to be perfectly honest with you. Catholics, whenever the defamation of them in the past, Jews, Methodists, Baptists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, I believe without exception, acknowledge that there is a supreme authority, a national authority within which they practice their faiths. That is not true of Sharia.
And I just have to say that this isn’t a matter of conflating. There is a tradition within Islam – authoritative Islam. And when you hear Suhail continue to say things that are simply not true, [about] his faith, it raises the question of whether he simply doesn’t know his faith as he professes to do and I have to assume he’s studied it seriously, but none of what he’s just said is true. The recognized authorities of Islam, all of the schools, all of the schools – he may find a person in this country who has no standing within the community. [But] his father, for example, would not have said what he just said.
SUHAIL KAHN: Thanks, Frank.
FRANK GAFFNEY: His father’s successor in [their] Wahhabi mosque out in California would not have said what he just said. They understand the authoritative teachings of the faith [that] involve supplanting any laws other than Islam. They involve placing a religious authority the world-over. Now, I can’t be accused of defaming the faith if this is what the faith says itself. It’s not bigotry to point it out. It’s taqiyaa to suggest it is bigotry. And I submit to you that we’ve got to have in this country at least [the latitude to discuss this]. It’s going away in Britain, it’s going away in France, it’s going away elsewhere in the world under the Brotherhood’s efforts, the Organization of Islamic Conference’s efforts, to ban free speech whenever a guy like, well, maybe Suhail, takes offense at what is said about Islam. That would be the end of the Constitution of the United States. Certainly it’s freedom of speech protections on which I think everything else is built. And I personally am not going to go quietly if they’re going to try to impose that upon us in this country. Especially under excuses that this is in fact just sort of like Jewish courts and Catholic ecclesiastical law. It’s simply not.
MARK HYMAN: Question for Suhail? Hands. Gentlemen standing all the way in the back.
MAN: This is for Suhail. My question is this. The questions being asked are asked as if they are [subjective] when the fact is these are issues of fact. Almost all Islamic law is translated into English for over thirty years and all you’ve ever had to do was read it. Would you suggest that you were basically saying [UNCLEAR] written by Muslims or are you [UNCLEAR] get it anywhere, in any mosque, go get them and go read them and find out what the answer is. My question is, do you think that’s a fair thing to do? Seven years into the war on terror, asking questions, they are simply an indication of mindless institutional endeavor, seven years into it decided [UNCLEAR]
SUHAIL KAHN: Yeah. No, that’s a good, that’s a good question. To answer your question, if you were to read a text on Islamic law, it’s an interpretive law. So if, [UNCLEAR] if you read a text on Islamic law, I think that’s a great idea. People should do it, just as you would read a text on Christian law or Jewish law to learn. But you would never have a definitive answer on Islamic law as you would on Christian law or Jewish law because it’s, it’s interpretive. It’s interpretive.
So for example, if you read a book on medieval Christian law, you would probably take umbrage at some of the things said in that book. Likewise if you read, because it’s contextual. It’s contextual. Islamic law is interpretive. And if you, if you, as you do have Muslim scholars in this country who interpret the law, they interpret it for the land that you live in. Now, you have to remember that having said that, that Islamic law in any way, shape or form, whether it’s for buying your home, or what you’re going to wear, when you, you know, when you go to church or things like that, that’s going to apply to people in their personal lives.
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme land of our country. And we have an establishment clause that clearly says the U.S. government will never establish any one faith over the other. That is the protection. So that’s what we need to remember, that, as Americans, we don’t want to establish any one faith. At different times, at different times in history, Judaism was interpreted violently, Christianity was interpreted violently, the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers who engage in suicide bombing interpret their faith against majorities in Sri Lanka in a violent way.
It’s sad that God has been called down in every side of a fight and I’m sure God wearies of it. But we as human beings should remember that we live in a country of laws under the U.S. Constitution where no religion or religious law is going to take precedence over another.
Number two, the last thing I want to say [is] about taqiyaa. Taqiyaa is brought up by people who want to say basically that Muslims can say anything they want in defense of their religion, even if they have to lie. Taqiyaa was not a principle that is accepted by all Muslim scholars, number one, definitely not by all Muslim schools of thought. Taqiyaa was a concept that was developed by Shia scholars which are the vast [minority] of the Muslim faith because of the persecution they faced at the hands of the majority Sunnis. And they said that you can’t, if you’re being persecuted, at times of death, you can say I’m not a Muslim, I’m not a Shia, whatever to defend yourself. That same principle was also espoused by Mamonides in Spain. When Jews were being persecuted by the Christians, he had the concept of a Jewish taqiyaa, the same type of concept that, if you’re Jewish and you’re going to be put to death because you’re Jewish, by Christian inquisitors, you can say, I’m not Jewish. God knows the truth. And that was a very limited type of response for people that are being persecuted and Islam is not unique, even the minority opinion to have that type of theology.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Well, this is not a matter of interpretation. This again suggests either an ignorance of the faith or the practice of taqiyaa and I’d like to [note Suhail’s] acknowledge[ment] that at least it is an accepted practice by some in the faith. I believe it is an accepted practice by Sunnis, as well as Shia. It’s certainly being practiced. But the point is, the interpretation of this faith stopped about twelve hundred years ago. There was a consensus of the scholars, the “gates of ijthahad” are closed. And I don’t know where you’ve been, but that’s the authoritative view. I’ve got to stop reading your faith’s authoritative texts. That’s what you’re suggesting. Believe me, I appear to have read more than you have, Suhail, and that’s what really is astonishing to me.
SUHAIL KHAN: [OVERLAP] –Frank.
FRANK GAFFNEY: I’ve got to get on The Reliance of the Traveler, which is recognized as an authoritative text by al-Azhar and the Saudi clerics and many of the Brotherhood organizations that [Suhail has] been associated with for many years. This isn’t me making it up. This is [what] was mentioned by the questioner, [things] anybody can get their hands on, anytime they want to. And the people who keep telling you otherwise, don’t want you to know the truth.
I’m not going to assign any particular motivation to that, maybe [Suhail] can clarify it. But all I’m telling you is, when you hear that this is “interpretive,” and it’s all sort of special cases depending on the nation and its rules, [that’s] simply not true.
Under Islam, the beauty of Shariah, the beauty of [its] program is that [it is] going to be a source of world peace because it is absolutely monolithic. It is going to be imposed and everyone will submit to it either by becoming practitioners of the faith if they choose to or by having to accept a “Dhimmi” status, or by dying. Those are the three choices that all of the schools [endorse] and that’s where this leads us if we don’t recognize it as such and counter [it].
[One] last point. The establishment clause is just one of the pieces of the Constitution that clearly is incompatible with Shariah. My point is they’re trying to impose Shariah in a way that is inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States. Don’t tell me the Constitution is going to protect us against it unless we actually use it to protect us against it – and prevent this seditious program from being insinuated in our country.
MARK HYMAN: Amazingly, Frank and Suhail actually carpooled together. [LAUGHTER]
SUHAIL KHAN: That’s why we were late.
MARK HYMAN: Actually, this gentlemen’s been so patient here. Question for. . .?
MAN: I’m not an expert in the Koran either but I’ve spoken with a number of theologians and missionaries who are and they seemed in agreement, at least the ones I’ve spoken with, the passages you labeled as latter Meccan are actually –
FRANK GAFFNEY: Medina.
MAN: Medina, I’m sorry – are actually denouncements of sort of a quasi-Christian cult known as the [UNCLEAR] and that the interpretation that you’re reading becomes not so much from the Koran but from [UNCLEAR] and the Wahabbi doctrine. With that in mind, don’t you at least see a glimmer of hope that the recent announcement that the Turkish scholars are going to be editing the Medina?
FRANK GAFFNEY: Look, I can find hope in all kinds of things. But I’m reluctant to find hope in the suspension of fact and its pursuit. And I don’t believe for a moment – and Suhail continues to insist, as do most people who are promoting this lie – that it’s just al-Qaeda and minority [of Muslims] on a tear. That they’ve got this whacked interpretation of a religion and there’s no talking to them because they’re crazy and they’re terrorists and we don’t want to complete them, as you say, with having something to do with Islam.
But what I’m telling you – and he’s not – is that they are actually reflecting authoritative Islam. The people who are the guys who run the faith, who run its institutions, who hold sacred its interpretations, its texts, its practices are indistinguishable from the people that he’s describing now as terrorists who somehow have some lunatic ideas [about] Islam. With the greatest of respect for the interfaith dialogers, and their numbers are legion, I don’t believe they are studying up on this either. And to the extent that they’re seeking desperately to find some ray of hope in the gloom of the factual evidence that I’m talking about here, I think they’re mistaken and frankly they’re misleading you.
MARK HYMAN: We’re running out of time here. But we have a question over here for Suhail. Gentleman on the left.
MAN: I think that the question should be just a little bit different. Instead of “Is Islam a religion of peace?”, the question should be: “Is Islam possibly compatible with the modern world?” It’s not just the Christians and Jews, there is nowhere in the world that you can reconcile Islam with modern practices and modern lives there. And this is leading to what’s really a clash of civilizations. And short of complete separation, I mean apartheid; you’re going to have war.
SUHAIL KHAN: I would agree with that. I don’t agree that there’s a clash of civilizations, I believe that it’s a clash of civilization with those against civilization. The terrorists are against civilization. Malaysia is a majority Muslim country. In Malaysia, women are equal to men and they are practicing Muslims. The women wear their headscarves, they go to the mosque, but they are the most educated, even better than men, in Malaysia. When I was in Malaysia, they complained that the men tend to be a little lazy. Women are leading institutions.
In the Muslim world, we’ve had three, at least three Muslim countries that have elected Muslim women leaders. Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan. So there are countries that have medieval interpretations of their faith, including Afghanistan. But the vast majority of Muslims again are very compatible with modernism and with democracy. Iraq, for example, is a predominately Muslim country that instituted Shariah law there, even though the U.S. is there. But that’s what that means. Shariah law means that they [UNCLEAR] for people to eat kosher-types of food, what we call halal, women can wear scarves in public, etceteras. They don’t have a draconian interpretation of Islamic law like say Afghanistan does. There they have integrated their Islamic principles with democracy. They have a parliament, they have a president, they have a prime minister. And it’s completely cohesive, it’s completely cohesive. The same goes for Malaysia, the same goes for other countries.
So Shariah itself is not antithetical to democracy or modernism, because, again, it’s interpretive. Frank seems to be reading all these whack-job websites put up by terrorists and/or people who hate Muslims, saying this is what Muslims are saying. and no matter how much Muslims like me say that’s not the truth, he says, I don’t know my faith. Or he seems to say that my dad, you know, would know better. Who, my dad, a high-tech engineer, very modern, came to this country with his freedom, well, of course, Frank decided he must be a Wahhabi because he goes to mosque, God forbid, on Friday.
And I promised I would answer the issue about terminology. I said about terminology that to call terrorists, because they do something in the name of their faith, it only validates them, I think is wrong, it’s because it gives them the religion that we don’t want to give them. And we’ve heard it before, remember when people were against communism in the 20s and 30s, many misguidedly called it Jewish bolshevism. Winston Churchill called it Jewish bolshevism in order to conflate Judaism with communism. He was wrong then and those that say Islamic terrorists now are Jihadists are wrong now. That’s the simple answer there. That they are doing it in the name of their faith, we shouldn’t give it to them because they are not manifesting true religious belief.
MARK HYMAN: Now, I’m told we’re running out of time, but I’m a dangerous man. I’m a television personality with a microphone. So I’m going to squeeze in one more question for each of our guests. And this gentlemen is about to explode. Okay, your question is for, for. . .?
MAN: Suhail. Very short question. Telling people that Shariah law is peaceful, I believe, the only way to do that is to provide one example [that clearly and unambiguously of Shariah law text for Islam that clearly and unambiguously stands against any of the following concepts: a) death for apostates, b) beating women and stoning them to death, c) calling Jews pigs and monkeys and d) declaring jihad or wars against non-Muslims to subjugate them to Islam, e) enslavement of female war prisoners and raping them as in Darfur, f) fighting Jews before the end-days and killing of all of them and g) killing gays. Provide one single evidence, by one single book, not two, believe me, one single Shariah book that stands clearly and unambiguously against these concepts, I will come with you and say Shariah law is peaceful.
SUHAIL KHAN: Absolutely. Absolutely. Let me comment. There are, there are several Islamic scholars, first of all, you’re a little [UNCLEAR] again, these medieval interpretations of [OVERLAPPING VOICES] Absolutely, absolutely. And there are modern ones: Khaled Abou el-Fadl, a graduate of Yale University, University of Pennsylvania Law School and a PhD. graduate of Princeton University, currently at UCLA, is developing a book on Shariah. And Sheik Hamza Yusef, whom Frank called a Wahabbi. He is developing a book on Shariah and he also has a seminary —
SUHAIL KHAN: They do exist. And they have Shariah and they have developed Shariah specific to the American context. They are graduates of the schools in the Muslim world and they’re graduates of schools here in the United States. And just as I said, they have taken the interpretation of Islamic texts, the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, and they have integrated that into a Shariah-compliant, constitutionally compliant program for American Muslims to live their lives under the Constitution, in no way abrogating the Constitution, and in no way running up against the Constitution, but just living their lives under the free principle that all of us Americans can do to practice our faith freely. That is what their principles are.
I always want to remember that you can always take negative quotes from the Koran and put, the quotation that Frank, you know, when I went to Sunday school I would see them there every weekend, we learned do not contend with the People of the Book, Christians and Jews, except in the fairest way. Those are the controlling verses. “Be they Muslims, Jews, Christians, those who believe in God in the last day and who do good deeds have their reward with the Lord. They have nothing to fear and they will not sorrow.” Which is why, when the Jews are being persecuted in Spain at the hands of the Catholic church at the time, where did they go? Muslim countries, Morocco, Iran. And to this day, there are Jewish communities living in those countries. Now, have they been persecuted subsequently? Absolutely. In the name of politics. People might use religion to do it, but again, it’s not something that represents the faith, it represents the ugliness of politics.
FRANK GAFFNEY: None of the people you mentioned have any standing.
SUHAIL KHAN: They absolutely do.
FRANK GAFFNEY: They turn to the authoritative practices of the faith. They do. If what you say is true – and these are books that haven’t been written yet.
SUHAIL KHAN: They have been written. They have been written.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Well, they haven’t been published yet. They haven’t been authoritatively affirmed yet.
SUHAIL KHAN: They have.
FRANK GAFFNEY: They are not going to be anything other than apostates if they actually –
SUHAIL KHAN: To you, to you they will be.
FRANK GAFFNEY: [are exposed] within your Muslim
SUHAIL KHAN: Look, al Qaeda maybe. But not to everybody else.
FRANK GAFFNEY: I’m talking about Al Azhar in Egypt. I’m talking about the grand muftis of Palestine. I’m talking about the Wahabbis in [Saudi Arabia]. And, by the way, just so we’re clear. It is absolutely the case that there are lots of Muslims, I said it in my remarks, who don’t want to live under Shariah. Many of them are lucky enough to live in places where the Arab influence has not yet become dominant.
But you look at Malaysia. It is in the throes of being taken over by the Wahhabis. And it will be the case when that happens, as it is happening in Turkey, as it is happening in Indonesia, as it is happening in the Philippines – [where] the moderate practice of the faith, which bears some resemblance to what he’s talking about, not any resemblance to the authoritative practice, but nonetheless the way hundreds of millions of Muslims have practiced the faith – it will be extinguished. Because it is not consistent with Shariah and when the Wahhabis are done with [them], and the Brotherhood is done with them, they will all be compliant with Shariah.
MARK HYMAN: Methinks it’s going to be a really quiet car ride home for the guys [LAUGHTER] And I need one more question to balance it out for Mr. Gaffney. Yes, please sir.
MAN: Yeah, Frank, I mean, dialing back to this issue, and I promise, Mark, I will make it very quick and there is a question here. You know, it just seems to me that there’s a flaw in your logic inasmuch as, you know, you equate the extreme views of certain scholars with their approach to religion with pushing out the moderates in that religion. I mean, according to my own faith, I’m not really Jewish because I don’t practice the same way as the Lubavichers in New York. And so I want you to comment on that aspect of it which is the fact that there are extremists in any faith who study the faith quite a bit more than anybody else, but they’re not controlling everybody else. And I wonder how you sort of equate that. Number two, jumping back to this issue of constitutionality, again there are extremists in every faith who would do things that would subvert, there are extremist evangelicals who would subvert what the high court has said is a fourth amendment right to privacy in terms of blowing up abortion clinics. Do you think that they’re – the Evangelical Christians who want to blow up abortion clinics – are subverting the constitution?
FRANK GAFFNEY: Well, there you go again. [LAUGHTER] The moral equivalence between lunatics who are blowing up big abortion clinics in the name of their faith and a faith that is waging jihad against the world, I mean, it’s not even apples and oranges. [OVERLAPPING VOICES]
SUHAIL KHAN: Cause you’re not, Frank. In the end, your, cause they would say, the people who are blowing up these clinics would say that it is their faith and they are being taught, by, by certain scholars who know more about the Bible than you and I do. Who are interpreting this – wait, that’s what you’re getting at here. That’s the —
FRANK GAFFNEY: No. The reason I would be able to answer your question, and then you tell me whether I am or not is, I disagree with your proposition. You’re suggesting, as Suhail is doing, as in fact Islamists do all over the world, that for the purposes of waging soft jihad, it’s just extremists. You don’t need to worry about the mainstream. But what I’m saying to you, and I apologize that this hasn’t been sufficiently clear, what I’m saying to you is the “mainstream” adheres to these views. It is the authoritative version of the faith. And you can listen to Brotherhood folks, you can listen to pathologists, you can listen to interfaith dialogers till the cows come home. And it doesn’t alter the very fundamental fact that the gentlemen at the back of the room pointed out and that is, this is something that lends itself to absolute proof. Just look at the authoritative texts.
Don’t take [Suhail’s] word for it, because either he’s dissembling or he doesn’t know. And I’ll let you be the judge. And I’m telling you, not on the basis of some whack-job’s website but on the basis of his faith’s authoritative texts. And authoritative practices as they have been settled in all of the schools. I don’t know if this means anything to the non-Muslims in the room, but these are the guys who determine the faith in all of the schools of Sunni Islam and all of the schools of Shia Islam.
SUHAIL KHAN: Not so.
FRANK GAFFNEY: So, when he says not true.
SUHAIL KHAN: It’s not true.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Again, find out, folks. You can do this. And I’m simply saying to you, your country is on the line. If you don’t do it and you listen to this siren song, you will wake up some fine day and discover that you’re a dhimmi. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll have the chance to convert. Or worse, you’ll just be dead. And that’s not a pretty picture and I’m not a racist or a bigot for saying it, though he and his friends have often said so.
MARK HYMAN: All right, we’re going to wrap it up with five minute closing comments. We’ll start off with Suhail.
SUHAIL KHAN: Thank you, Mark. Basically what you’ve heard tonight is that there are two world views.
Resembling two world views, and you have a choice to decide which world view you want to follow. One wishes to protect America, her people, her values, her land, her Constitution, her reason for being. Those of us who adhere to that world view, we have opposed any and all attacks on America and Americans and we will defend our country to the death. We defend Americans of all faiths for their freedom, in their freedom. We oppose murderers who attack us and whatever, whatever their claimed religions or reasons they might have, we will defend our country. That’s one world view.
And there’s another world view. A different world view. That’s bin Laden’s. He wants to divide America and the Muslim world. He believes America and Islam should be at war. There is a fifth column in the United States that agrees with bin-Laden. They share this world view. They join in this unholy desire to foster hatred between Muslims and all Americans. We must stand united against bin-Laden, as I said, and we need to stand against the racists who share that same world view. They are wrong and they will be defeated.
There’s a book I’ll recommend. Who Speaks For Islam? Frank seems to be the one who wants to interpret who that is. Let’s, let’s read the people who’ve actually done the study. There was an extensive Gallup poll throughout the Muslim world and they pointed out that for Muslims overseas who support violence, they do so for secular or political reasons. The vast majority, over 91%. Those Muslims most opposed to violence and terror cite their faith as the reason for opposing violence. It is religion that is the answer, not the problem.
Robert Pate in his study of terrorism in the world, Dying To Win: the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, the central fact is that overwhelmingly, suicide terrorist attacks, he cites ninety-five percent are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective to compel the withdrawal of military forces from a territory. He cites Lebanon, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Chechnya and the West Bank. Years ago, we saw the kamikaze pilots. It’s politics people, not faith.
These facts are known to the United States government and this is why our president and military leaders opposed confusing fighting a political foe with promoting hatred for an entire faith. These facts are known to the bigots. And they have their own agenda which does not include protecting or strengthening America.
Americans of all faiths, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, bring strength to America and are protected by our constitution, included in our national fabric. The historian Gerald Early once said that there are three things that are uniquely American: Jazz, the Constitution and baseball. Well, baseball is a great metaphor for what we’re talking about today.
Our national pastime only truly became so when all Americans regardless of race or faith were allowed to participate freely. Hank Greenberg, in 1930, began playing for the Detroit Tigers. And despite virulent anti-Semitism from other players and fans, he became one of the game’s all-time greats and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. And on April 15th, 1947, Jackie Robinson, the grandson of slaves, stood on the shoulders of greats like Greenberg and broke the color barrier when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. That evening, at 1574 50th Street, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, a family gathered for the seder, a feast of Passover, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” asked the youngest male in the centuries old tradition. And before the father could respond, the boy answered his own question. Because a black man is in the major leagues.
Today, I tell you we are at a similar crossroad. We’ll continue to be a shining city on a hill as Ronald Reagan called us when all Americans may feely – freely – participate in our democracy. And I’m confident [UNCLEAR] will prevail. Why? Because America is a great nation. We’re a beacon of hope. And time and time again, we’ve overcome hate and ignorance to welcome new Americans into our great national fabric. And despite the organized campaign of hate, I’m proud the same is happening for Muslim-Americans everyday.
MARK HYMAN: One minute, please.
SUHAIL KAHN: Even after 9/11 and all the lies and hysteria, true Muslims have been elected by their fellow Americans to serve in Congress, both from majority non-Muslim districts. President Bush appointed Americans like me and, despite all the lying and the shameful attacks, the president has stood with me and not with the racists who attacked me.
I’m an American, an American who is optimistic, Frank, about our future. A future where all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic origin and faith – or no faith at all – can join and work together to promote our right of free expression, a political vision of shared concern and of personal faith. Our forefathers boldly proclaimed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As people of faith, Jews, Christians, Muslims, as Americans, we should join together to promote life and liberty – political, religious, economic liberty – for all people.
This is what I had hoped Mr. [UNCLEAR] would have discussed when he was here and those of us who wish us harm must be defeated, no doubt about it. But in doing so, we should work with all freedom-loving people in this important cause. Likewise, we should resist the call to respond to the hate of our enemies with the bigoted hatred of our own making. We are Americans and we take great pride in the fact that regardless of ethnic or religious heritage, we stand united as one people. As Americans. As Americans, we are united in defending our cherished liberty in the many long days ahead. Thank you.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Well, that’s a very elegant closing comment, And I actually agree with much of it.
I agree that we are in fact confronting, in the form bin Laden and his ilk, a radical, a totalitarian, a
dangerous ideology that is bent on our destruction.
I agree that there a Fifth Column, Suhail’s term, inside the United States, [only it’s] working to advance exactly that agenda.
I agree that they must be fought ruthlessly and successfully because everything we hold dear, and I take Suhail at his word that he holds dear all the things that I hold dear, we ought to want to see survive.
And that won’t survive if this ideology, which embraces explicitly, by its terms – not mine, not Robert Spencer’s, not whack-job websites’ – by its terms, Shariah law and accepts as its express purpose establishing that law over the whole world. Not just here. Not just in Malaysia or Indonesia or the Philippines or Western Europe. But the whole world.
Don’t take my word for it, that’s what they say. And it’s not just bin Laden who says it.
And I must say, I would feel infinitely better about our conversation tonight, infinitely more encouraged by particularly that wonderful rousing patriotic, love-America closing if Suhail hadn’t spent the entire evening denying what I am saying about Shariah.
Because that’s kind of a test, folks. If you don’t acknowledge what this Fifth Column is animated by, if you don’t recognize that it’s not just bin Laden and whack jobs on that side, terrorists who don’t really, according to Suhail, have anything to do with Islam – except they have everything to do with Islam. They wrap themselves in the mantle of Islam. And rightly or wrongly, so do the authoritative interpreters and practitioners of this faith.
Now there are many in this room, I recognize them from past associations, who have developed a friendship for Suhail. And he’s a likable fellow. He articulates beautifully what we all hope to see and obtain from patriotic, law-abiding, tolerant Muslims in this country. But you will not find such people denying the reality of Shariah as defined by the authorities, and practiced, sadly, by millions of their co-religionists. Not all of them. Certainly not all of them in this country.
And as I said in my opening remarks, our only hope – especially if this gentleman [in the audience] is correct that we’re in a clash of civilizations – our only hope is that we are able to enlist those Muslims who are genuinely tolerant or genuinely law-abiding, who genuinely want to live side-by-side with People of the Book, who genuinely appreciate the uniqueness, the extraordinariness of our Constitution, and the form of government and the opportunities that it has presented us. [We need] those Muslims [to] join us in defending everything we hold dear, against those who adhere to Shariah and who have stated in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 directive, in al-Banna’s writings and in the authoritative texts that their duty, their obligation as Muslims is to destroy everything that I’ve just talked about.
MARK HYMAN: One minute, please.
FRANK GAFFNEY: So you, ladies and gentlemen, have troubled yourself to come out and listen to this. You can walk out of here tonight saying, well, the guy who was Muslim says the guy who wasn’t is all wet. And you can let it go at that. Or you can do what al-Jazeera may do and you can take my quotes and you can [construe me as] some sort of rabid hatemonger.
Or you can go do what your civic duty requires. And that is to go study up on this. Go expose yourself to these facts, which are knowable, which are readily available. If you want to, get them from Robert Spencer, because he’s [readily accessible]. If you don’t, go to the [Islamic authorities], go to the texts that they themselves use, translated conveniently, by the Saudi government, into English. For your edification. Actually, for your submission.
But this is the moment, ladies and gentlemen, because the soft jihad is progressing inexorably. And it can be dismissed and people like me who are pointing it out can be called racists and bigots. But it’s up to you to decide. It is your civic duty, if you love this Constitution, as I’m sure you do, if you care enough about finding out what the truth is to not only bestir yourself to get out to wherever the hell it is we are today, [LAUGHTER] but to find out what the truth is, then I urge you to do so. And if you do, I will bet you dollars to donuts, you will come out recognizing that I’m right and [Suhail’s] wrong. Thank you.
This much I can promise you. Tonight’s presidential debate will be anticlimactic in contrast to what we have witnessed tonight. Please give a round of applause to both of our debaters. [APPLAUSE] I’d like to thank Suhail Kahn and Frank Gaffney for their participation not only in their remarks, but also in the Q and A session. I’d like to thank the Harbour League for hosting such an important event. I’d like to remind all of you, again, the Harbour League would love to have you as members, certainly welcome your tax-deductible contribution. The web address is theharbourleague.org
. And on behalf of the Harbour League, thanks for coming this evening. Have a good night. And please travel safely. Thank you.