Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shariah: The Threat to America

This lengthy report is the product of the Center for Security Policy. You may buy the book form of this at Amazon or you can download the PDF for free. - Reggie

I N T R O D U C T I O N

In 1976, the then-Director of Central Intelligence, George H. W. Bush, commissioned an “Experiment in Competitive Analysis.” Its purpose was to expose to critical scrutiny the assumptions and factual basis underpinning the official assessment of the totalitarian ideology that confronted America at the time: Soviet Communism. That official assessment was rooted in the belief that, through a policy of engagement known as détente, the United States and the USSR could not only avoid horrifically destructive conflicts, but could peacefully coexist permanently.

DCI Bush invited a group of known skeptics about détente to review the classified National Intelligence Estimates and other data concerning Soviet objectives, intentions and present and future military capabilities. The object was to provide an informed second opinion on the U.S. policy toward the Kremlin that was, ostensibly, warranted in light of such information. The conclusions of this experimental initiative – which came to be known popularly as the “Team B” study – differed sharply from those of “Team A”: the Ford Administration and the intelligence community.

Team B found that the Soviet Union was, pursuant to its ideology, determined to secure the defeat of the United States and its allies and the realization of the worldwide triumph of Soviet Communism. As a result Team B found that not only was détente unlikely to succeed the way the U.S. government had envisioned, but the U.S. national security posture and policies undertaken in its pursuit were exposing the nation to grave danger.

The effect of this authoritative alternative view was profound. Among others, former California Governor Ronald Reagan used the thrust of its findings to challenge détente and those in public office who supported this doctrine. Drawing on the thinking of Team B with regard to national security issues, Reagan nearly defeated President Gerald Ford’s bid for reelection in the 1976 primaries. Four years later, Reagan successfully opposed President Jimmy Carter, with their disagreement over the latter’s détentist foreign and defense policies towards Moscow featuring prominently in the former’s victory.

Most importantly, as President, Ronald Reagan drew on the work of Team B as an intellectual foundation for his strategy for destroying the Soviet Union and discrediting its ideology – a feat begun during his tenure and finally accomplished, thanks to his implementation of that strategy, several years after he left office.

THE CONTEMPORARY THREAT

Today, the United States faces what is, if anything, an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls shariah. Translated as “the path,” shariah is a comprehensive legal and political framework. Though it certainly has spiritual elements, it would be a mistake to think of shariah as a “religious” code in the Western sense because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere – economic, social, military, legal and political.

Shariah is the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle. On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates – figures like Abdurrahman Wahid, the late president of Indonesia and leader of the world’s largest libertarian Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama – whose members espouse the Enlightenment’s embrace of reason and, in particular, its separation of the spiritual and secular realms. On this side of the divide, shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.

By contrast, the other side of the divide is dominated by Muslim supremacists, often called Islamists. Like erstwhile proponents of Communism and Nazism, these supremacists – some terrorists, others employing stealthier means – seek to impose a totalitarian regime: a global totalitarian system cloaked as an Islamic State and called a caliphate. On that side of the divide, which is the focus of the present study, shariah is an immutable, compulsory system that Muslims are obliged to install and the world required to adopt, the failure to do so being deemed a damnable offence against Allah. For these ideologues, shariah is not a private matter. Adherents see the West as an obstacle to be overcome, not a culture and civilization to be embraced, or at least tolerated. It is impossible, they maintain, for alternative legal systems and forms of governments peacefully to coexist with the end-state they seek.

THE TEAM B II CONSENSUS

Read the rest of the report or download it here.

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