Friday, February 19, 2010
A stirring event
This morning I attended the Freedom Defense Initiative’s inaugural event at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Held in tandem with the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, this event was arranged by Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer, Islam’s most trenchant contemporary critic, and Pamela Geller, compiler of the outstanding Atlas Shrugs blog.
This was a stirring event with dynamic speakers, each with a compelling story. Former Defense Department analyst Stephen Coughlin was exceedingly informative, and his point that official American self-censorship regarding Islam and jihad has given the enemy a "decisive victory in the information battlespace" was truly chilling. Coughlin, whose perceptions got him crosswise with Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England’s Muslim sidekick Hesham Islam and later excluded from the DoD, insisted that those entrusted with protecting Americans from Islamic terrorism have a “professional duty to know” about the roots of said terrorism’s doctrine in Islamic scripture and tradition. After all, he pointed out, the murderous rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, by Muslim U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan had a “doctrinal driver,” as evinced by Hasan’s own presentation to his Army medical colleagues calling for Muslim service personnel to be accorded conscientious objector status lest “adverse events” occur. The enemy, Coughlin observed, has stated his doctrine. Can we, he enquired, be politically correct and threat-focused at the same time? No way – because, he concluded, “You cannot defeat an enemy you will not define.” Coughlin's thesis on jihad doctrine may be accessed here. It is lengthy but gripping, and is a must-read.
Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan, a native of Syria and now an American, gave a ringing indictment of Islam – a creed, she declared, that is “not merely a religion but an extremely dangerous adversary that aspires to world domination.” Sultan, who had the grit to take on a Muslim cleric in his own Arabic tongue on Al-Jazeera TV, pointed out that the Islamic teachings cited by Muslims who demand an exemption for their co-religionists from new airport scanning techniques are the very teachings that motivated 19 Muslims to fly airliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon on 9/11, thus necessitating the scanning in the first place. This she characterized as “absolutely outrageous.” She concluded by quoting Thomas Paine in her exhortation to resist Islam "now - right now!" Sultan has written a book about her experiences, titled “A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam” (St. Martin’s Press).
Simon Deng, African-born and now an American, appeared, he said, as "a voice for those who have no voice," remaining as they do under Islam's yoke in his native Sudan. He told of being captured by Arab bands as a child and enslaved for three years. But today, he declared, “I stand before you as a free man in a free nation.” He warned Americans against complacency in the face of the international jihad. Anders Gravers of Denmark, leader of SIOE (Stop the Islamisation of Europe) and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff of Austria, who is facing spurious “hate speech” charges in her native country, spoke eloquently about the grim situation regarding Islam and free speech in Europe. And Allen West, a retired U.S. Army light colonel and a candidate for Congress in the 22nd District of Florida, referred in his talk to the Treaty of Hudibayah and Muhammad's letter to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, showing that he has read into the history of Islamic imperialism (truly a rarity among politicians). “Sharia (Islamic law) is incompatible with who we are,” he declared, pointedly adding that “I’m not living as a dhimmi (Islamic subject).” He concluded by quoting Ronald Reagan’s succinct policy - “We win, they lose!” – in which the crowd joined in, giving him a thunderous ovation afterwards.
This event was a great lift. Listening to these brave leaders gave me hope and rekindled my own resolve. Kudos to Robert and Pamela for getting them together and ensuring they were heard.
Photo credit: Pamela Geller