So I was buying lunch at Bagelmania today when a headline in the latest issue of The New Mexico Jewish Link
grabbed my attention: "Sharia is America's Single Biggest Threat
It was a good thing I hadn't yet gotten my food and started eating, or I might've spit it out in surprise, like so many cartoon characters do when suddenly faced with improbable new information.
, of course, is the religious law of Islam. Interpretations vary
. To call it—and not, say, Al Qaeda—"America's Single Biggest Threat" would've been quite a stretch even at the height of post-9/11 panic. I understand why Americans bought into a "war on terror." I doubt they would've gone for a "war on Sharia."
The source of this anonymous "Link Staff Report" was one Frank Gaffney Jr, a man whose extreme views are all the more dangerous, considering how close his fingers have been to The Button. Gaffney, as the article notes, served high up in the Pentagon, including as "Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under Richard Perle," aka "The Prince of Darkness
." These days, he's a glorified freelance columnist
with his own "think tank
Gaffney was speaking in Albuquerque after meeting with lawmakers in Utah. According to the article, he fears Americans “cannot bring ourselves to identify the enemy"; and while he doesn't go so far as to explicitly name them, he gets the point across when he warns, “We have to take the chance of being accused of being a bigot, racist, or Islamaphobic."
Is he saying Muslims are "the enemy"? It sure sounds that way.
The Jewish Link reprints unchallenged Gaffney's dubious assertion that "80 percent of American mosques have Saudi funding," whatever that means. (Seventy-nine percent of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, but we invaded Iraq anyway, thanks in part to Gaffney's old boss
.) Gaffney also perpetuates a conspiracy theory called "Stealth Jihad
," with echoes of Joe McCarthy and The Manchurian Candidate, which imagines "Islamist organizations"—such as CAIR
, which is not, by the way, an "Islamist
" group—"penetrating government agencies for nefarious purposes
This is creepy stuff, coming from a guy who wrote a whole column
arguing that "Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president," and who—remember—was partly responsible for the US nuclear arsenal. You could also call it, to borrow Gaffney's phrase, bigoted, racist and Islamophobic