Monday, November 10, 2008

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.



Frank Gaffney at the National Press Club last week

Senator Barack Obama became President-elect on the uplifting, if inexact, slogan, “Yes, we can.”  This week, there is growing evidence that people who have in mind doing away with the presidency of the United States – and all other aspects of our secular, democratic and constitutional form of government – are similarly convinced of their inevitable success. Judging by the sheer audacity of their agenda, “Yes, they can” would appear an apt description of the prospects for the Saudis and other champions of the totalitarian program they call Shariah. 

In the run-up to an emergency summit outgoing President George Bush has called to address the now-global financial crisis, the oil-rich Islamists of the Persian Gulf led by Saudi Arabia have not only established that their petrodollars are indispensable to any solution. They also seem to have secured the Bush Administration’s acquiescence to the sinister strings attached to any bail-out of the West in which they might participate.  

Specifically, the Saudis and their friends want the United States to join those, particularly in Europe, who have accommodated themselves to Shariah.  No, we are assured, they aren’t taking about the brutal theo-political-legal code that features such barbaric practices as beheadings, floggings, stonings, amputations, female genital mutilation and mysogeny more generally. 

All they want, those in the know insist, is for Washington to encourage Wall Street – more and more of which is owned by the U.S. government – to embrace Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF). A Treasury Department seminar convened last week depicted SCF as nothing more than a kind of socially responsible investing vehicle that respects Muslim religious beliefs by eschewing interest-bearing transactions and those involving pork and “sin” stocks. So, what’s the big deal? The Catholics, Methodists and Jews have their funds, why not the Muslims?

What makes the Shariah-Compliant Finance gambit both a big and troublesome “deal” is that, unlike these other religious traditions, Shariah’s adherents are pursuing a global theocracy. They believe they must impose their agenda on everybody else, religious and secular alike, using violence if necessary. And SCF is explicitly described by leading practitioners as a complement to violent holy war: “financial jihad” and “jihad with money.”

In other words, there is no such thing as free-standing Shariah-Compliant Finance. According to all of the recognized authorities and institutions of Islam, Shariah is a unified, indivisible program to which all faithful Muslims must adhere comprehensively.  

Not surprisingly, therefore, the Saudis & Co. are not simply seeking to insinuate Shariah-Compliant Finance into our capital markets. They are also advancing the creation of a parallel Shariah-governed society through various other means. 

One of these techniques will be in evidence when the Saudi monarch himself convenes a meeting in New York City in the hope of imposing Shariah blasphemy laws worldwide. In light of the stated, and seemingly benign, purpose of the so-called “Culture of Peace” event hosted by King Abdullah at the United Nations – namely, promoting interfaith understanding and tolerance, numerous world leaders, including President Bush, will be present. Never mind that Saudi Arabia is arguably the most intolerant nation on earth, a fact even some in the Bush administration have acknowledged.

The real reason attendance at the King’s séance is going to be impressive, of course, has more to do with the hope that petro-largesse will flow to those who ingratiate themselves to the House of Saud. Abdullah appears confidently to have signaled that, if the West plays ball on the “Culture of Peace” agenda, the Saudis and their fellow Islamists will be constructive at what might be called the subsequent “Culture of Money” meeting in Washington.    

What will the answer be when the Islamists insist that free speech must not allow the slander, libel or defamation of Shariah, or other aspects of their faith?  If the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Council have already accommodated themselves to this demand, why should we object?  So what if, by so doing, we would effectively thereby be precluded from talking about – or even understanding – the Islamist threat we face, to say nothing of eviscerating the First Amendment?  As the Treasury Department can attest, we need the money.

Unfortunately, this is no time for us to be diminishing awareness throughout the Free World of the various, grave dangers we face from adherents to Shariah’s seditious program. London’s Sunday Telegraph reported this weekend that a classified British government assessment has concluded that there are “some thousands of extremists in the U.K. committed to supporting Jihadi activities, either in the U.K. or abroad.”

Such extremists are said to be engaged in attack planning in the United Kingdom “either under the direction of al-Qaeda, or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology of global Jihad” (read, Shariah).  They may inflict “mass casualties” and constitute a “severe” threat to the Government Security Zone (including the Houses of Parliament and key executive offices) in the heart of London.

At such a moment, a federal judge in Oregon has held the law criminalizing material support for terror is unconstitutionally “vague.” Taken together with the other manifestations of our capitulation, is it any wonder the champions of Shariah are convinced that “yes, they can” have their way with us?  Who will disabuse them of this terrifying notion?  We can, but will President-elect Obama lead the way?

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy and a founding member of the Coalition to Stop Shariah (


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