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077. Jihad, Islamism, and U.S. Envoy to OIC
February 29, 2008

Jihad, Islamism, and U.S. Envoy to OIC

By Jeffrey Imm


In the global war against Jihad, America's recurring challenge is the unwillingness of its political leadership to confront the fact that political Islamism is an ideological basis for "Islamist terrorism", as defined in the 9/11 Commission Report. This week, while operational war tactics garnered most of the headlines, once again America's political leadership ignored the global challenge of political Islamism, and President Bush announced his selection of a new U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Mr. Sada Cumber of Texas.

The OIC remains the largest international Islamist organization in the world, and it is an organization that consistently leverages political Islamism to attack freedom of speech and press, to attack freedom of religion, to deny that Palestinian and Lebanese Jihadist groups are terrorists, and to promote the anti-freedom ideology of Islamism. In June 2007, when President Bush first indicated plans of such an envoy to the OIC, his plans were met with praise by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation/Hamas trial), and met with condemnation by counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson.

Since then, in December 2007, the OIC attempted to legitimize an anti-freedom Islamist approach towards "religious freedoms" by trying to put a Sharia spin on a UN Human Rights resolution that would have worded the UN resolution to suggest that individuals could rightly be denied the right to "change one's religion". In recent weeks, the OIC's Secretary General has made pronouncements that attack the Western free press in the Muhammad cartoon debate, suggesting that such cartoons will lead "towards a larger conflict... [that would make Muslims] hostages of their radicals".

President Bush seems blithely ignorant of this, and confident that Mr. Cumber's appointment as U.S. envoy to the OIC will help improve perceptions about America to Islamists. President Bush had the following remarks in announcing Mr. Cumber's appointment. "We just had a discussion about his mission, and the core of his mission is to explain to the Islamic world that America is a friend -- is a friend of freedom, is a friend of peace, that we value religion -- that, matter of fact, we value it to the point where we believe that anybody should be able to worship the way they see fit, and we respect that. And his is an important job. There's a lot of misperceptions about America, and Sada is going to be a part of our effort to explain the truth. And when people hear the truth about America, when they know that we're a land full of compassionate people and that we value other people's opinions, that they'll slowly but surely begin to better appreciate."

What President Bush fails to consider is that perhaps Islamists have the correct perceptions about America - that America is a nation that does not and will not tolerate terrorism, that America is a nation that supports freedom, that America is a nation that will not tolerate Islamist theocratic totalitarianism, that America is a nation that believes in freedom of religion, that America is a nation that believes in freedom of speech and a free press. The inconvenient truth is that political Islamism does not share these values with America. The inconvenient truth is that political Islamism is the ideological source for "Islamist terrorism" as defined in the 9/11 Commission Report. And most importantly, the inconvenient truth is that until American political leadership recognizes that Islamists do not and will not share these American values, we will have not started to defend America.

A Challenge to U.S. Envoy to OIC Sada Cumber

With the appointment of Mr. Sada Cumber as the U.S. Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) a reality, I offer him the following challenge to represent American values and to ask the OIC the following ten questions:

1. Will the OIC recognize that not all Muslims are required to accept Sharia law? This includes American Muslim organizations such as "Muslims Against Sharia".

2. Will the OIC recognize that Muslims and Non-Muslims deserve freedom of religion, including the right to change their religion, without threat of death as "apostates"? This includes Muslims in America who freely have the right to change their religion according to our Constitution and our American values.

3. Will the OIC recognize that Muslims and Non-Muslims deserve freedom of speech, including the Muslim tradition of ijtihad, of independent and critical thinking, without threat of death as "blasphemers"? Such freedom of speech is a fundamental American value, according to our Constitution and our values imbedded in our Declaration of Independence.

4. Will the OIC condemn nations like Saudi Arabia who fund Wahhabi Islamist efforts to distribute hate-mongering literature such as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in mosques around the United States and the world?

5. Will the OIC recognize that "Islamist terrorism" draws from the ideology of political "Islamism" as documented in the U.S. 9/11 Commission Report? And will the OIC recognize that the 9/11 attacks were drawn from such Islamist ideology, not (as stated by the OIC) because of "the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims' soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West"?

6. Will the OIC recognize that groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah are "Islamist terrorist" organizations, and are illegal Foreign Terrorist Organizations according to the United States Department of State?

7. Will the OIC condemn the terrorist actions of Hamas and Hezbollah as "Islamist terrorist" organizations?

8. Will the OIC finally condemn the words of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who at an August 2006 meeting of the OIC, called for the genocidal destruction of Israel - seeking "the elimination of the Zionist regime"?

9. Will the OIC finally condemn the efforts of Islamist nations such as Iran, who seek such genocide of American ally nations, to seek to obtain nuclear weapons?

10. Will the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu retract his veiled threats to the west regarding the reprinting of the Danish Muhammad cartoons as being responsible for causing "a larger conflict" and that the OIC can tolerate freedom of speech without being "hostages of their radicals"? This includes recognizing that American publications that honor such freedom of press are not worthy of being attacked by "Islamist terrorists".

Surely as an American Muslim and also as an American citizen who understands our values, laws, and government, Mr. Cumber can use his role as U.S. envoy to OIC to make certain that the OIC has no such "misperceptions" about America. Will he do so? I challenge him to raise these issues to the OIC and make the OIC understand that its political Islamism will be challenged by American values.



Will Anyone in American Political Leadership Listen?

The same month that President Bush announced this selection of a U.S. envoy to the OIC, he has ignored a message to him from Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Dr. Jasser implored President Bush in a column on February 1: "This tactic of terror we are fighting will continue to exponentially regenerate itself as long as its fuel remains. The fuel is political Islam - Islamism. Islamism is effectively incubated in a culture like ours in the United States which stubbornly (to our own detriment) refuses to engage political Islam because of its invocation of a faith. The American people need leadership that not only understands the need to bring freedom and liberty to the world, but leadership ready to confront our Islamist enemies with the pathologies of their own ideas - leadership which can separate personal spiritual Islam from political Islam and genuinely engage liberty-minded anti-Islamist Muslims."

With daily discussion on the search for the next American president, the largest issue that will face the next American president has not yet been debated, has not yet been addressed, and is not even distantly on the horizon of consideration by the American voting public. When will the person who seeks to be the next American president be willing to identify the enemy ideology behind Islamist terrorism and develop a strategy to deal with it in the United States and around the world? Or will American leadership wait until it is too late to identify the enemy and act strategically?

As America watches political primary elections, Islamist organizations (like the OIC) continue to attempt to influence the very meaning of freedom around the world. And our allies like the United Kingdom "fight" terrorism by teaching their police Sharia law.

It is past time for America and its allies to wake up.

Sources and Related Documents:

Organization of the Islamic Conference - Wikipedia
Organization of the Islamic Conference - Web Site (English)
August 5, 1990, Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, U.N. GAOR, World Conf. on Hum. Rts., 4th Sess., Agenda Item 5, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.18 (1993) [English translation].
Sharia - Wikipedia
February 28, 2008 - Associated Press: Bush names Texas entrepreneur as envoy to Islamic conference
February 27, 2008 - Remarks by the President After Meeting with the Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference
February 16, 2008 - Daily Star Lebanon: Reprinting of Prophet cartoons sparks outrage
February 16, 2008 - Arab News: OIC Warns of 'Bigger Conflict' Over Cartoon
February 12, 2008 - OIC: Secretary General of the OIC declares support to the Kosovo Independence
February 1, 2008 - Family Security Matters: In War against Islamism, We Must Listen to the Words of Our Enemies by M. Zuhdi Jasser
February 1, 2008 - Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations - The Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm
December 13, 2007 - A/HRC/6/L.49 Amendments to draft resolution L.15/Rev.1: Elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief -- by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
June 27, 2007 - CAIR Welcomes Announcement of U.S. Envoy to Islamic Conference
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, CR NO. 3:04-CR-240-G, Attachment A - List of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers
June 29, 2007 - National Review: Radical Outreach - Bush coddles American apologists for radical Islam - by Steve Emerson
June 28 2007 - Associated Press: Bush Will Appoint an Envoy To the Islamic Conference
August 3, 2006 - AP: Ahmadinejad's Mideast Solution: Destroy Israel
Freedom House report: "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques"
July 18, 2007 - Family Security Matters: "Preventing the West from Understanding Jihad" - Dr. Walid Phares
Islamism - Definition - Wikipedia
U.S. Final Report of the 9/11 Commission - Notes, Part 12, Note 3: "Islamism" (page 562)
-- Adobe Acrobat PDF format
U.S. Department of State Foreign Terrorist Organization Listing - April 30, 2007
Muslims Against Sharia
Apostasy in Islam - Wikipedia
February 28, 2008 - Der Spiegel: Iran to Punish Apostasy with Death
Blasphemy law in Pakistan - Wikipedia
Mission of Project Ijtihad
NewsLIB: Islamic Conference News
Collection of OIC-related Stories at LGF Blog
OIC Journal, Issue 1: Islamophobia - Looking at the causes and ways to tackle them
"The horrific, criminal and unjustified terrorist acts of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London violently expressed the frustration, disappointment and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims' soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed against them by the West."
September 17, 2003 - Asia Times: OIC must get serious against suicide terror
April 9, 2002 - Japan Times: The OIC's blind eye to terror
April 4, 2002 - The Statement on the Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers on Terrorism
April 2, 2002 - CNS News: Islamic States Can't Agree On Terror Definition
March 29, 2002 - CNS News: Muslim Summit Seeks To Dissociate Islam From Terrorism
October 10, 2001 - OIC Final Communique - 9th Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers
February 28, 2008 - Daily Mail: Bobbies will be taught sharia law and the Koran in 'secret' plan to counter terror at local level
October 26, 2007 - Jihad, Islamism, and the Challenge of Anti-Freedom Ideologies - The Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm