The West is making a mistake with its obsession with terror. A bigger threat is Dawa and the ideology behind it, warns Ayaan Hirsi Ali (I’ve written about Hirsi’s noble efforts before, such as here, and here), a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Ms. Hirsi Ali implores the West to look at Islam with new eyes and view Islam “not just as a religion, but also as a political ideology,” and warns that if America continues to regard Islam merely as a faith, as it would Christianity or Buddhism, America runs the risk of ignoring dawa. “The activities carried out by Islamists to Muslims energized by a campaign to impose Shariah law on all societies—including countries of the West.” It is a display of “intellectual laziness,” says Ms. Hirsi Ali. “We’re dealing here with a lethal ideological movement and all we are using is surveillance and military means? We have to grasp the gravity of dawa. Jihad is an extension of dawa. For some, in fact, it is dawa by other means.”
In the WSJ, Tunku Varadarajan, a research fellow Hoover, writes about his meeting with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and what her solution might be.
Congress must give the president—this year, because there’s no time to lose—the tools he needs to dismantle the infrastructure of dawa in the U.S.” Dawa has become an existential menace to the West, she adds, because its practitioners are “working overtime to prevent the assimilation of Muslims into Western societies. It is assimilation versus dawa. There is a notion of ‘cocooning,’ by which Islamists tell Muslim families to cocoon their children from Western society. This can’t be allowed to happen.
Ms. Hirsi Ali warns that America needs to be on full alert against political Islam because “its program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution”—with religious pluralism, the equality of men and women, and other fundamental rights, including the toleration of different sexual orientations. “When we say the Islamists are homophobic,” she observes, “we don’t mean that they don’t like gay marriage. We mean that they want gays put to death.” Read more here.
In July 2010 Andrew C. McCarthy, senior fellow at National Review, wrote about dawa:
The purpose of dawa, like the purpose of jihad, is to implement, spread, and defend sharia. Scholar Robert Spencer incisively refers to dawa practices as “stealth jihad,” the advancement of the sharia agenda through means other than violence and agents other than terrorists. These include extortion, cultivation of sympathizers in the media and the universities, exploitation of our legal system and tradition of religious liberty, infiltration of our political system, and fundraising. This is why Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the world’s most influential Islamic cleric, boldly promises that Islam will “conquer America” and “conquer Europe” through dawa.
McCarthy quotes a memorandum written by Mohamed Akram, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American leadership where he states that the Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
McCarthy goes on:
America already has thousands of mosques and Islamic centers, including scores in the New York area —even though Islam does not allow non-Muslims even to enter its crown-jewel cities of Mecca and Medina, much less to build churches or synagogues.
Read more here.