In the wake of the most recent terrorist attack by radical Islamists, who killed our U.S. Ambassador and three other American personnel in Libya, we have to ask the question — why aren’t American Muslims rising up against this evil menace that stains their community?
Unless we learn from history we are condemned to repeat it.
|Fritz Kuhn is pictured at a 1939 meeting of the German American Bund in Madison Square Garden.
During the rise of Nazi Germany, German-Americans failed to stand up in great numbers to the menace of their time. Instead, America faced an internal threat from the German American Bund, also known then as the German American Foundation. The goal of this 1930s organization was to promote a favorable attitude toward the growing Nazi scourge.
The German-American Bund’s end game was the subversion, destabilization, overthrow, and collapse of the United States government — with an ultimate vision of an American fuehrer answerable to Adolph Hitler.
By 1938, American Bund members exceeded 100,000 and the organization took in $1 million a year in dues from its huge membership, answering directly to Berlin.
Seeing a clear and present danger to America, the FBI, targeted the American Bund with investigations and intelligence gathering counter measures that eventually crushed the organization.
American Germans did not destroy the American Bund. The U.S. government did along with a declaration of war against Nazi Germany.
Today, Americans face a different evil, and not unlike Nazi Germany, radical Islamists seek the destruction, subversion, destabilization, and collapse of the U.S. government to be replaced by an Islamic republic.
These Islamists carry out their deeds in the name of Islam — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama bin Laden, and clerics throughout the Middle East, Indonesia, and elsewhere. They see “non-believers” as “infidels” who do not deserve to live. They preach and encourage violence through Jihad and press for western democracies to accept sharia law in the name of tolerance.
Today the FBI, CIA, NSA, Pentagon, INTERPOL, and a host of other domestic and international agencies are working hard to prevent radical Islamists inside America and other places from carrying out their short- and long-term goals and objectives. While terror plots have been routinely foiled and disrupted, government authorities cannot be everywhere.
American Muslims must stand up too. Their silence is deafening when it comes to denouncing radical Islam. They sit back in silence while a minority hijacks their religion and paints all Muslims with the brush of radicalism.
Edmund Burke, who is remembered by a Washington, D.C. statue, penned in 1770, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
American Muslims who believe in the secular values of the Constitution and rule of law practice their faith pursuant to Ijtihad, which is the opposite of Jihad.
Ijtihad holds that believers can use independent reasoning to articulate Islamic law on issues where textual sources are silent. For mainstream Muslims it is a way of life, which allows Islam to reign supreme in their hearts while their minds are free to experience unfettered freedom of thought and life.
A Muslim who practices a liberal Ijtihad, is one who cherishes freedom of thought while at the same time recognizing the need for faith and adherence to God. These Muslims aspire for a society that treats all people with dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. There is no room for political or social intimidation.
For Muslims who practice Ijtihad, social and political change comes through the process of governing by the rule of secular law. Military Jihad is not an option.
Now is the time for good and decent Muslims to practice what they preach.
The silence of moderate Muslims can be seen as concurrence with the words and deeds of radical Islamists. If that were not the case, surely moderates would denounce and beat back this blight and scourge.
America is as much at war with radical Islam as it was with Nazi Germany. The difference is that back in 1939 we could readily identify our enemies by the countries they came from. Today, many incorrectly see our enemy as an entire religion gone wrong.
Like the Nazi movement of the 1930s, radical Islamists seek to use America’s own laws and freedoms to gain power and influence. They use the very freedoms they seek to oppress in support of their radical ideology.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, was right to hold a hearing called, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."
It's not the first time Congress has tackled the subject of homegrown terror. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., held 14 such hearings between 2006 and 2009, and former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., held six.
While leaders in the House and Senate have been outspoken and vigilant with regard to radical Islam, the same cannot be said about President Obama and his administration.
The Obama administration has clearly made it a matter of policy to not “inflame” the international Muslim community. It has engaged in a policy of apology and appeasement that has only emboldened radical Islam.
Today, Iran is closer to obtaining nuclear weapons and al-Qaida is on the rise in numerous countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
According to a recent New York Times poll, 43 percent of Americans view Muslims in a negative light.
King essentially acknowledged that American Muslims are not doing enough for their community.
"The threat analysis is that the danger comes from this small segment within the Muslim-American community," the congressman told an interviewer. "And unfortunately, not enough leaders in the Muslim community are willing to face up to that, as is evidenced by their irresponsible conduct over the last several months."
It is unconscionable for moderate Muslims in America and around the World to remain silent. They are victims too.
Now is the time for all good, decent and law-abiding Muslims at home and abroad to come to the aid of their faith.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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