Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Vijay Kumar, an emigre from India who is seeking the Republican nomination in a Tennessee primary Congressional race set for August. He is running on an anti-Sharia platform. Visit his website at kumarforcongress.com.
FP: Vijay Kumar, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Kumar: Thank you. It is a pleasure to speak with you.
FP: I would like to speak to you today about the anti-Sharia program you are running on. But first let’s begin with your background. Tell us about your life in India, your emigration to the United States, and how you came to your anti-Sharia views.
Kumar: I was born in Hyderabad, India, in 1954. I grew up there in India, in a conservative, middle-class family. I studied classics, political science, and philosophy. During the late 1970s, I was working in human resources for a European construction company, and that work took me to Iran. From 1977 to 1979 I witnessed, firsthand, the radical transformation of Iran from a modern nation to a repressed, fundamentalist state and it left a lasting impression on me. I suppose you could say that my anti-Sharia views began there.
The American way of life and its values resonated strongly with me. I emigrated here in 1979 and have been living in the Bellevue area of Nashville for twenty years. I’ve been raising a family and managing my own insurance business, and during it all I’ve been interested in politics.
Right now, our country is dealing with issues – issues like illegal immigration, healthcare reform, the War on Terror – that will shape our politics for the rest of this century. Like many Americans, I’ve grown to feel that the politicians of this country are simply not accomplishing anything on these fronts. As low as the President’s approval rating has gotten, the approval rating for Congress is even lower. So, as a concerned and informed citizen, I’ve decided to run for Congress and help put things on the right track. That’s what living in a democracy is all about.
FP: What has made you make an anti-Sharia platform the central tenet of your campaign?
Kumar: The main focus of my campaign is the War on Terror. What so many politicians do not seem to realize is that our struggle is against more than just “terror.” Terrorism is simply a method, not an end itself. Terrorism is just one tactic being used by Islamic extremists in their effort to force their way of life on the rest of the world. Ultimately, then, this is a struggle over whether the nations of this world will be ruled under Sharia law or not. As Omar Ahmad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.”
FP: What are your thoughts about CAIR?
Kumar: CAIR is a direct manifestation of Mohammed’s Sunna and jihad. CAIR is actually just one part of Islam’s strategy to annihilate the Western culture. It is far more dangerous than any Mohammed Atta or any other jihadists.
Lies and deceit are CAIR’s stock-in-trade. They claim to be akin to a “Muslim NAACP,” but everyone from the Department of Homeland Security, to FBI counterterrorism chiefs, to moderate American Muslims recognizes the extreme rhetoric that CAIR endorses. At least five of CAIR’s board members and employees have been linked to terrorism-related activities. They are fifth columnists, preying upon our values of tolerance and multiculturalism.
But CAIR is just one of an untold number of Islamic organizations in our government and university centers. People forget that Mohammed’s last words were to keep giving the money to kafir ambassadors and that is what Islam is doing in Washington, DC. Capitol Hill is awash in Saudi money and our dhimmi political types cannot get enough of it.
FP: What do you think it says about Islam that non-Muslims cannot enjoy the same freedoms in Muslim nations as Muslims enjoy in America and the West – and many countries around the world?
Kumar: This is proof of the legal inequalities that are built into Sharia law. Sharia is a set of laws designed to apply not just to Mulsims, but to non-Muslims as well. Everyone, believer and kafir alike, is supposed to live a life based upon Mohammed. However, kafirs – those who do not believe – are given distinctly different treatment than believers.
In America, we believe that all human beings are created equal, and that all human beings possess certain natural rights; our entire Constitution is just a logical extension of that one idea. To us, Muslims are humans just like everyone else, and therefore they should have the same legal rights as everyone else. Sharia law, on the other hand, is not based on logic or a belief in natural equality. It is based on religious customs, and part of its design is to elevate believers over non-believers.
Yet, we never bring up this inequality and lack of freedom under Muslim rule. We never point out Islam’s long history of destroying or oppressing other cultures. We never remember the suffering of non-Muslims in Muslim nations. We never teach that Turkey was once Christian, or that Islamic jihad has reduced Hindustani culture to half of what it once was. Muslim groups often like to point to Christians as aggressors, citing the Crusades of the Dark Ages, but the West remains silent about people being oppressed in the Middle East today, right now.FP: Why do you think there is such a silence in the West about Muslim tyranny? Why do you think the Left refuses to stand up for those who suffer under Islamic despotism?
Kumar: The Left and Islam share many of the same values. Both deny that individuals have a personal ethic. A central authority should control all things. Both insult and denigrate their opponents and see themselves as victors in the movement of history. Both hate the native cultures and individual efforts.
The mindset of the Leftist is one of deliberate ignorance. I was a Leftist, a bleeding heart liberal until a few years ago. I came from a Marxist family in India. The Left, by its silence on the issue of radical Islam, has betrayed its own professed ideals, if it has any.
The fight against Political Islam should have been led by the liberal intellectuals in our universities, but instead they deliberately and systematically support a seventh century totalitarian ideology that negates all forms of rational thinking, intellectual pursuit, and pluralism – the very ideals which are supposed to be central to the philosophy of the Left.
The Liberals have become the lackeys of Islamic imperialism in their words and deeds. They fail to mention the 1,400 years of Jihadists’ terror in this world. How can we cry for the genocide in Darfur and ignore the cause?
The media only has a concern for white oppression and white evil. If the source of evil is non-white and non-Christian, they don’t care. Our Leftist media is forcing us to fight this ideological struggle with both hands tied behind our backs. To them, saying anything negative about other countries or cultures is not telling the truth, it is racism. To them, portraying America’s values and accomplishments in a positive light is propaganda – and God forbid they indulge in anything so base as pro-American propaganda.
Another aspect of Leftist thought is that there is no absolute morality. Everything is relative, every kind of behavior and belief should be tolerated, and therefore the American system isn’t better than any other. How can we engage in a battle of ideologies when you see all ways of life – even those that preach an end to tolerance and an end to intellectual freedom – as acceptable? And as we can see in the Obama campaign, you can talk about change as long as you serve the same menu of old ideas with a new smile.
We cannot see what we do not understand. Our education system is bankrupt at all levels. Our universities do not prepare our young minds to see anything bad about Islam. Here in Nashville at Vanderbilt University you can get a degree in Islamic Studies and never read the life of Mohammed-and never read the entire Koran. You study Sufi poetry, Islamic art and Islamic history viewed as a glorious triumph. No kafirs suffer in this program and there is no history of Jew, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist suffering under Islamic rule for the past 1,400 years. A graduate from this program then goes out into the world professionally trained to be an apologist for Islam, a dhimmi. And this program is standard at all schools, not just Vanderbilt.
All of our textbooks teach a CAIR approved history and doctrine of Islam. All of the young minds are trained to never see any wrong in Islam and to blame all the faults of Islam on us.
FP: What should be done about Sharia law in America?
Kumar: First we have to understand that Sharia denies the values of our Constitutional government and that it has been the constant goal of radical Islam to make all peoples submit to Sharia. We must educate ourselves as to the actual nature of Sharia law and its history. Any American who is reasonably informed about Sharia law should recognize that it is incompatible with freedom and our way of life.
Sharia is the legal condensation of the Koran and the Sunna – the words and actions of Mohammed. Because it is based upon the political submission of everyone – Muslim and non-Muslim – to Islamic law, the Koran is a political document. Sharia dictates what literature and art must be. It dictates public behavior. It asserts that kafirs are legally inferior to Muslims. Sharia can’t be reformed, since it is based on religion and ideology. It is unchangeable and its laws can only be interpreted by select Islamic scholars. The heart of political Islam is that Sharia law must rule over everyone, not just those who choose to be Muslim. Sharia denies the Bill of Rights – it allows slavery; it asserts that women are legally inferior; it dictates cruel and unusual punishment, such as stoning or cutting off the offender’s hands and feet; it denies freedom of religion, freedom of the press, or freedom of expression. The goal of Islamic extremists is to see Sharia annihilate all other forms of law, including our Constitution.
Second, we must demand from any Muslim running for public office where they stand on the application of Sharia law in America. In fact, we should demand that all our politicians make their position on Sharia law clear. We must pass laws that ensure the brutality of Sharia law can never be applied to an American woman. Ultimately, it is vital that all of us understand that we are in a struggle of ideologies, with the ways of freedom, democracy, and human rights on one hand, and the ways of oppression, intolerance, and ignorance on the other.
FP: Are you optimistic that the West can prevail against Islamo-Fascism and that we will be able to defend ourselves against Sharia?
Kumar: No. Too many of our intellectuals do not recognize the threat of Islamo-Fascism. Our public is not being educated about the goals and beliefs of our enemies. Our government is trying to fight organizations, not the beliefs that give rise to them.
Terrorists are products of militant ideologies, not vice-versa. Unless we confront the ideology logically and persistently our efforts are futile. However, in the land of the brave and the home of the free we choke on the truth. Our culture is drowning in the growing cesspool of political correctness. The liberal left in the United States and Europe have become apologists for militant Islamic radicalism. They say that the terrorist attacks are the consequence of America’s foreign policy in the Middle East and its unconditional support for Israel rather than the continuation of 1,400 years of jihad. How does this explain Al-Qaeda’s attacks in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia? The Left fails to understand the fact that there are few Americans or Jews in India, Thailand, The Philippines, Bali, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia and host of other countries where Islamic radicalism has been waging a relentless campaign of terror.
It is a moral imperative to oppose the nations that practice Sharia Law. We must start scrutinizing way more carefully immigration from Sharia practicing nations. Why should we let on our shores those who want to install and live by Sharia? The progenitors of Sharia Law and Universal Jihad are Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia – the true Axis of Evil. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not our allies; they are our enemies. These outlaw nations must be demilitarized, secularized, and democratized. That should be the goal of our “War on Terror.” Make no mistake: unless these nations forego their fundamentalist and militarist theology and join the secular humanity there will not be a lasting peace in the world.
FP: Well, the idea of demilitarizing, secularizing and democratizing these regions all sounds good – to an extent. For instance, it has to be ascertained who exactly we are demilitarizing and the problems this may cause, as there are forces in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for instance, that are confronting Islamist terrorists. This doesn’t mean, of course, that those we think are our friends truly are our friends – many are our enemies and we have to become wiser about this. I am just saying there is a certain balancing act we have to shrewdly play. And how one goes about secularizing and democratizing the Muslim world with Muslim populations is a whole other story – and though it would be a providential godsend if this really did occur, it would be an “objective” on our part with huge complications and obstacles, and we’ll have to leave the discussion of this issue for another time and place.
Vijay Kumar, thank you for joining us.
Kumar: You’re welcome; it’s been a pleasure.
By Jamie Glazov
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at [email protected]