Dinesh D’Souza, renowned author and speaker, recently came out with a book entitled, “The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11.” Since then he has been rightly bashed and rampantly berated throughout the Internet and blogosphere, as the theory he posits is preposterous.
There are three views as to why Islamic terrorists hate America. One view is that it is because of America’s foreign policies: U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, American support of Israel and our invasion of Iraq. The second view, set forth by D’Souza, is that the American left is provoking terrorism by its immorality. This argument sounds dangerously close to Jerry Falwell’s comment that God’s veil of protection came down on 9/11 due to America’s sins of homosexuality and abortion. But the truth lies in the third explanation: The actions of the martyrs of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks are rooted in a religious ideology and have a Quranic basis.
D’Souza’s argument that the “primary cause of the volcanic anger toward America” by those in the Islamic world is based on the left’s low morality, Hollywood culture and sexual immodesty is a good theory designed to sell books and create controversy, but it denies the facts. D’Souza seems oblivious to Islamic terrorism that occurred prior to 9/11, oblivious to Islamic terrorism worldwide – including countries that are not steeped in modern culture and the sexual revolution – and oblivious to Islamic terrorism against those of all other religions, including Buddhism, Christianity and even moderate Islam. Does he really believe that the Islamists are OK with the orthodox Jews who share their conservative anti-abortion views, dress modestly and theoretically even worship the same God? Perhaps D’Souza does not understand the religious ideological roots of Islamic terrorism because in India, his country of origin, radical Islam is actually outlawed –something the Islamists are working on “correcting.”
His book’s preview reads: “It’s only by curtailing the left’s attack on religion, family and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in his own country.” Yet, it is the left that wants to give a pass to Muslims, even if they are terrorists or exhibit suspicious behavior. It is the ACLU that is in bed with CAIR, the Council on Islamic Relations, a Hamas front group, giving it awards for great “civil rights” work.
It is leftist judges who say there is no separation of church and state issue when public schools use taxpayer dollars to send children to mosques to “pretend” to be Muslim for weeks at a time, but object when we say “one nation, under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. It is the left that opposes the Patriot Act, the surveillance program and interrogation techniques that will save us from future terrorist attacks. And, though there are some unfortunate exceptions on the right, those who are most sympathetic to Muslim front groups and take money from their members in political campaigns are overwhelmingly from the left. (See Rep. John Conyers’ resolution on religious intolerance and my column about Rep. Keith Ellison.) In effect, the left wants Muslims to be exempt from the laws to which all other citizens are held. Moreover, they have no apprehension about singling them out to give them special privileges.
In blaming the left for 9/11, perhaps D’Souza did not notice that Middle East media prior to the 2006 elections urged people to encourage their U.S. friends and relatives to vote Democrat, and then celebrated in victory when the Democrats won in a landslide.
We are at a critical juncture in our history. If America and the Free World are to survive, we will have to defeat our enemy – but we cannot begin to strategize and implement our plans for the ideological war we are in if the identity of our enemy remains blurry, and D’Souza’s book has helped to obscure that identity, in effect aiding the enemy itself. If we can’t name our enemies, we can’t defeat them. Contrary to D’Souza’s commentary, radical Islam is not at war with the cultural left. Rather, they are in bed together. As David Horowitz has noted, they have formed an unholy alliance.
I pray that the superficial and inaccurate ideas set forth by D’Souza are taken for the folly that they are. D’Souza is right about one thing: We must win over the hearts and minds of the radical left in this country if we are to defeat our ultimate enemy abroad. The only way we can lose the real war on terror is if we lose it in the minds of our countrymen first. But our immediate goal for victory over Islamic radicalism should not be to convince men to stop having consensual sex or to persuade young women of the virtues of being stay-at-home moms. Instead, we should unite with those with who have differing views on domestic policy. We must convince the homosexual community, the pro-abortionists, the anti-Bush crowd and the peaceniks of America that Shariah law is dangerous to their health, their freedom and their values, and that the danger is real. Political correctness is obstructing our ability to call the enemy by name – Islamic fundamentalism. It is by this sin that the left enables and supports terrorism, and not by the sin of sexual immorality.
In effect, D’Souza states that if liberals exercise their freedoms in a way that proves unfavorable to Islamic radicals, then the terrorists cannot be held responsible for the way they respond. By attributing the behavior of terrorists to the acts of liberals, D’Souza engages in the behavior he criticizes: He is still blaming America. When the left blames Islamic terrorism on America, they mean on conservative American policies. Now, D’Souza blames liberal American behavior. So much for the conservative ideal of personal responsibility. But, more important, D’Souza ignores this critical fact – we are all infidels: Jew and Christian, liberal and conservative, immoral and ultra-moral. Those who hijacked the planes and crashed into the twin towers on 9/11 made no distinction. Nor should we.
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Deborah Weiss is an attorney and senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. She was formerly a counsel for the Committee for House Oversight in Congress, worked in the Forbes for President campaign, and served as an attorney under the Giuliani mayoral administration. Her articles have been published in the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, National Review Online, Human Events and others. Deborah is a survivor of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City.