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Jewish World Review May 20, 2003 / 18 Iyar, 5763

Cal Thomas

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The threat among us

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Government officials warn that America remains in danger from Al Qaeda and other terrorist operatives who wish to destroy us. This is not a one-front war, because we also face dangers from within our democratic institutions.

Suppose our enemies have invaded the United States through immigration for the express purpose of organizing themselves politically? Suppose they present themselves as benign and seek to register voters, becoming politically active in order to elect their people to office and change U.S. policy in the Middle East? What if their intentions are the eventual destruction of this nation through its democratic processes and the imposition of a theocratic state? Would that be enough to get our attention?

In at least 16 states, Muslim groups, by their own admission, are organizing voter-registration drives and political consciousness-raising events for this express purpose. One of the advantages the United States has had over its enemies is that that they openly state their goals. One of the advantages our enemies have over the United States is that too many Americans don't take them seriously. We prefer the short-term comfort that denial brings. We fear being labeled "bigots" more than we fear the intentions of those who hate us, and so we are reluctant to speak ill of another person's faith, unless it is the majority faith.

Last Saturday (May 17), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) opened its newest office in Columbia, S.C., a Southern city with strong Christian roots. The stated purpose of organizers was to discuss "the obligation of Muslims to participate in public affairs, CAIR's achievements and future goals of the organization."

Among those "future goals," according to a CAIR press release, is the elimination of references to "Judeo-Christian" when describing the heritage of the United States. Instead, CAIR and other Muslim groups prefer "Judeo-Christian-Islamic" or "Abrahamic." CAIR wants this new phrase used "in all venues where we normally talk about Judeo-Christian values, starting with the media, academia, statements by politicians and comments made in churches, synagogues and other places." Notice the absence of the word "mosques "in this statement. Muslim groups want Jews and Christians to tolerate them, but there is not a similar call for mosques to include Jewish and Christian beliefs.

You do not have to believe in conspiracies or be a bigot to realize something important is happening with this statement and in these political meetings. As Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, wrote last month in JWR: "(CAIR is) on the wrong side in the war on terrorism," consistently defending militant Islamic groups and dictators, while "denouncing" terrorist acts. Pipes refers to a story reported in the San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Herald about CAIR Chairman Omar M. Ahmad, who told a crowd of California Muslims in July, 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

In Canada, census figures released last week show that for the first time Muslims now outnumber Jews. The Canadian Muslim population increased 128.9 percent in the decade beginning in 1991, making Islam the fastest-growing faith in Canada. Muslims now make up 2 percent of the Canadian population, while Jews have declined from 1.2 to 1.1 percent, according to census data.

You don't have to be paranoid to fear where this can lead in Canada and in the United States -where immigration and births are dramatically increasing the Muslim population. Vote-hungry politicians might easily bow to the political objectives of Muslim voters, many of whom have agendas outside this country and, in fact, outside this world. When Muslims gain political power, the historical and contemporary record is not encouraging for people who hold democratic values and are of the "Judeo-Christian" persuasion.

If politicians succumb to pressure from Muslim activist groups and equate Islam with the religious and political heritage of this country, we will know that an important beachhead has been attained by our enemies. From their behavior in other parts of the world, one can safely predict they will use this beachhead to advance their cause.

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JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.

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