Sledgehammer is exactly right the right word. That is the effect the plan to build a mosque next to Ground Zero has had on me.
RUSH: Well, we’re happy to welcome back to the program a good friend of mine, Andy McCarthy, who has a terrific new book out, the title of which is: The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. Andy, welcome back. Great to have you here, buddy.
MCCARTHY: Rush, it’s an honor to be here. How are you?
RUSH: I’m very well. Now, let’s do some biographical stuff on you for people who didn’t hear you the last time because I want to get your bona fides out on this. Describe for people very briefly your resume with the Southern District in Manhattan, your trial and your work prosecuting the blind sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman.
MCCARTHY: Right. I was a federal prosecutor for close to 20 years. Back in 1995 I was the lead prosecutor on one of our first big terrorism cases in Manhattan federal court. That was the case against the blind sheik and 11 other jihadists, who not only had carried out the bombing of the World Trade Center but also were plotting something even more ambitious, a simultaneous attack on New York City landmarks—The Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters, and the United Nations—and you should know, Rush, in the events that people don’t think terrorists are irrational, the reason that they wanted to take out the UN was because, as we all know, it’s a great tool of American foreign policy in the world.
RUSH: (chuckles) Yeah, right. So, now Mr. McCarthy, ladies and gentlemen, has made the study of jihad, militant Islamism almost a life’s work, and this book—The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America—that’s a provocative title, lumping the left with Islam.
MCCARTHY: Yeah. Well, you know, there are so many historical examples, Rush, of leftists and Islamists working together, and there are so many current examples. You look at the Al-Qaeda and the litigation that’s gone on since 9/11. Who’s their lawyer in most of those cases? Well, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is a leftist radical organization started by Bill Kunstler back in the sixties. You look at the ACLU’s litigations against the Patriot Act and other national security measures, and they’re frequently joined by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. If we look at the health care debate, one of the organizations that was front and center championing Obamacare was the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which is another Islamist organization. So we see this. It’s not just, you know, there was some Khomeini working with communists to overthrow the Shah. It’s not as if that happened and that’s all there’s been. We’ve had numerous historical and present examples, and my book really sort of tries to explain why that should be taken as a given and then tries to examine why it happens, why it’s true.
RUSH: I read an interview you gave to Michael Walsh on Big Journalism. I like this first question. After he asked you why you wrote the book, he said, “Surely, you’re overstating the threat to the American way of life from radical Islam.” You know, a lot of people think that, that there’s a little bit too much alarmism here.
MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think they do and, you know, look: To this extent I think that’s a fair criticism. If somebody said to me, “On a scale of one to ten, what is the threat?” I’d have to answer that it’s not going to happen tomorrow. This is a very gradual campaign, but it’s a very comprehensive campaign, it’s a well thought out one. And what I want people to get out of the book is that it’s about a whole lot more than terrorism. It’s really an assault on the freedom culture on a variety of fronts: legal, social. The terrorism is part of it, but it’s only one part of the equation.
RUSH: Well, jihad is about much more than terrorism. Most people think jihad is just about war. What is the real objective of jihad?
MCCARTHY: Well, jihad is always and everywhere about Sharia law: The implementation of it, the establishment of it, the defending of it, the vindicating of it. Sharia law is the Islamic legal code. It’s about a lot more than just spiritual elements or elements that we in the West would recognize as religious. Islam and its law are a comprehensive political, social, and economic program. Sharia law is thought in Islamist ideology to be indivisible. It’s a full service legal code to govern all of those matters, and the reason that jihad is committed, whether it’s done by violence or done by other means, is to install Sharia. And the reason that’s important is, in Islamist ideology, Sharia is thought to be the necessary precondition to “Islami-sizing” a society. As the Muslim Brotherhood theorists say, “It’s what opens a person’s mind and heart so that he can receive the truth” that they regard Islam to be.
RUSH: All right. So it sounds to me like, then, the inspiration, the motivation these people have in targeting the United States is our culture. It’s not the fact that we support Israel. That may be a factor. It’s not that we’ve stolen from the world as Obama would like to have everybody believe, that we have plundered the world’s resources and made everybody poor. These people are true believers.
RUSH: They want to conquer system continents as they can. Not just us but we’re included?
MCCARTHY: Yeah, we’re included and we are at the top of the list because we’re the biggest obstacle but what they aim at and what they think they are divinely commanded to do is nothing less than a global caliphate. Now, that sounds fantastical to us but I imagine if somebody had called us the day before the World Trade Center got bombed in 1993 and said, “You know, a bunch of knuckleheads from Jersey City are going to blow up that building tomorrow,” we’d have probably said, “Yeah, sure, right, whatever,” and now here we are down the road, and a lot of things that seem fantastical have come true, not the least of which is the destruction of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Twin Towers, an attack on the Pentagon. So I sort of think we ought to take this pretty seriously.
RUSH: Why is it that … ? In your opinion, why is it that this is so obvious to some and yet at the highest levels of our government, it doesn’t appear to be obvious or if it is they are trying to pretend it isn’t? Why? You know, Obama bows to the king, Obama bows to every king, the king of Saudi Arabia. We can’t use the word “terrorism” in describing what these people do. How is it they missed the threat? Why are they so eager to appear sympathetic with these people?
MCCARTHY: Well, Rush, I put it in two different categories. There are well meaning people who miss the threat for what I think is analytical mistake. They think that if they acknowledge what should be undeniable, which is there is a nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims and the wider “civilizational” threat to the West. If they acknowledge that nexus, that necessarily means we have to be, as they put it, “at war with Islam,” that we actually have to be in almost a shooting war with 1.4 billion people. Now, that seems like an absurdly irrational overreaction to me, but I do think that a lot of people believe that in good faith. Then there’s another category of people who I think are mainly leftists, and for them, denying the connection between Islamist ideology and terrorism and the broader threat to the West is strategic. If you take out what really causes terrorism and the threat, then they can say that it’s a policy problem. It’s the American policy in the Middle East, it’s Israel, it’s Gitmo, it’s cartoons, it’s whatever it is. But usually—not usually, always—the policies that they identify just happen to be the policies that the left most despises. So for them I think it’s a strategic thing.
RUSH: Andy McCarthy is our guest. He’s the author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. Looking at the flotilla, this controversy now that has enveloped Israel—which is a typically fabricated controversy, something planned to achieve this exact result. Doesn’t that kind of make your point—look at the people who are funding people on that flotilla—as to demonstrate the ties the left has with Islam?
MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think it does. To me it’s the—I write about the flying imams incident in the book. This is like the flying imams writ large, or the international version of the flying imams. This seems like it was an obviously premeditated provocation. It’s orchestrated by an outfit that has been basically a designated terrorist organization under American law since 2008, and it’s done on behalf of a designated terrorist organization since 1995—Hamas—which exists solely for the purpose of destroying Israel. And that’s not me inferring that. That’s me simply reading the Hamas charter. So this is obviously, I think, an orchestrated incident such that the media really had the narrative out there almost before the incident was completed.
RUSH: Well, obviously because this fits. It’s a story line, it’s a narrative, it’s a template. The whole thing was organized to achieve precisely this result because they’re well aware that the press will follow along like lapdogs, much like the Photoshopped pictures of the rockets coming out of Israel, the damage they were doing in Lebanon back during that war. Look, Andy, the question I’ve always wondered about: We have leaders in this country and throughout the world who refer to Islam as a “religion of peace.” Yet you talk about jihad and Sharia law which makes it seem that their central purpose is a war to make the whole world Islamic. So I’m personally confused over this. Are there divisions of Islam or is it all one thing oriented toward the same objective?
MCCARTHY: Yeah. Islam, Rush, I think is very diverse. What we need to understand is the movement that I’m talking about, Islamist ideology, is much more mainstream than we’d like to think. You actually have to, I think, go along a trajectory of different questions. If the question is put to the Muslim world, “Do you think it’s okay to kill even Muslims who don’t subscribe to our construction of Islam?” that is a fringe position in the Muslim world, and that’s a big part of Al-Qaeda ideology, and it’s a big part of why people are able to sort of marginalize them as violent extremists. But let’s change the question a little bit. If you ask, “Would you like to live under a strict Sharia code? Do you think the United States Constitution should be replaced by Sharia? Do you think it’s okay to attack Americans operating inside Islamic countries even if they think they’re on a humanitarian mission?” or, “Do you think Israel should be destroyed?” the percentages, when you look at those questions—and this is polling that was done in 2007, which is pretty expansive across the Islamic world—those aren’t 10% positions. Those are like 60, 70, 80% positions—
MCCARTHY:—depending on which country you ask the question in.
RUSH: Sixty to 70%?
MCCARTHY: Right. For example, 80% of people in Pakistan said in a 2007 poll that they would like to see a strict imposition of Sharia law and that they thought the world should live under a global caliphate. That’s a mainstream position in Sunni Islam.
RUSH: I have to take a break here but I want you to repeat for people something you’ve told me often. During your defense of the blind sheik you became an expert in Islam, and you were a little shocked and surprised at what you found. We gotta take a break. Andy McCarthy, The Grand Jihad is the book, and we’ll be right back with more right after this.
RUSH: Rush Limbaugh, with Andy McCarthy and his new book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. I remember you telling me you were prosecuting the blind sheik and you’ve described all of the plans that he had. You were searching for any evidence that the guy was a fringe radical.
RUSH: And he wasn’t.
MCCARTHY: Right. As a government, we were saying at the time that, you know, he was representative of a false Islam, that he was lying about Islam, that he was perverting the doctrine, and I sort of felt that—you know, I’m an Irish guy from the Bronx, so I was not gonna get myself in a theological debate with a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence graduated from al-Azhar University, but I did think that if what we were saying was true there had to be two or three or four places where I could really nail him on saying, “You say this, X, but the doctrine says Y.” And the problem is that when you comb through his statements, every time he quoted from the Koran or some other source of scripture, it turned out that he was quoting it accurately. Now, the Koran says a lot of other things, too, and it’s a fair argument—I don’t think it’s a particularly persuasive one—but it’s a fair argument that you could say he took things out of context or that, you know, there are other verses that he omitted that need to be considered in conjunction with what he did say. But that aside, when he quoted the scripture, he quoted it absolutely accurately.
RUSH: Now, let’s tie it all back together with your point here in the new book, which is that there is an alliance, either by accident or by design, militant Islam with the left, not just in America but around the world. I read the other day an article in the UK Guardian, there are more than 85 Sharia courts already in the United Kingdom, in Great Britain.
RUSH: So it’s real, it is something that’s happening. Andy, during the campaign of 2008 I was struck. I listened to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad practically parrot Democrat Party talking points about George W. Bush and the Republicans. And I think you nailed it earlier, people just don’t think this can happen to us.
MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think that’s right, and it is happening. It’s actually a strategy that Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood came up with in the twenties and has been refined by other Islamist thinkers over the years. Some call it voluntarily apartheid. But the idea is that you basically have Muslims who move into enclaves in areas which are not Islamic countries. And what they try to do either by persuasion, extortion, sometimes by terrorism is persuade the authorities that they should be able to conduct some of their affairs at least, say domestic relations, property transactions and the like, under Sharia law. So they take over territories physically and they get Sharia at least in part legitimized in the legal code, and then they build out from there. Banna’s movement was very much a ground up movement. It started with the Muslim individual, moved out to the family, the community, the town, et cetera. But the idea is always and everywhere to spread the influence of Islam by spreading Sharia.
RUSH: Now, is our strategy, say, in Afghanistan and/or Iraq in your estimation an effective way of fighting this?
MCCARTHY: Well, it depends on what part of it. I think that we absolutely have to kill or capture terrorists who are trying to project power against us. And, you know, on that score I have to tip my hat to Obama. He’s obviously conducted at least the drone war against Al-Qaeda effectively.
RUSH: We will edit out this praise of Obama in the replay of this program this afternoon.
MCCARTHY: (laughing) Well, I think that’s part of—you know, the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to throw Al-Qaeda overboard, too. This is actually I think a pretty sophisticated strategy. Obama has domestic political reasons to want to go after Al-Qaeda aggressively and he’s not going to lose any props in the Islamic world by—
RUSH: Really, okay, that’s interesting.
MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think that what you’re seeing, Rush, is the vibrant debate in the Muslim world now among Islamists is whether terrorists have outlived their usefulness, at least in attacking the United States.
RUSH: They might be running out of suicide bombers. It’s a weapon you can only use once.
MCCARTHY: Well, there is that, although the most effective ones always want to live to fight another day. But I do think that in Muslim Brotherhood circles, what they would argue is they’re making so much progress marching through our institutions much like the left did, that they get a blow back when there’s a terrorist attack against the United States that’s counterproductive. So, you know, I think Obama who’s a shrewd guy sees that the Islamists in some ways are ready to throw Al-Qaeda overboard, at least some of the time it seems that way. And it’s a good strategy for him, because, you know, if he can get Bin Laden, for example, that might change his electoral fortunes.
RUSH: So you’ve written the book obviously with the thought that there’s still time to stop this. What’s your remedy, what’s your recipe, what would you suggest the best way to go about it?
MCCARTHY: Well, I think the first thing that has to happen is we have to realize that it’s going on, we have to see it’s happening to us. This is not something I’m making up. They’re telling us they have a civilizational struggle, strategy, they’re telling us that they’re engaged in, as they put it, a grand jihad to sabotage the United States and the left from within. People need to know that’s going on. I think right now they don’t. We won’t even acknowledge that that’s the cause of terrorism, let alone this broader threat. I think with respect to the terrorists, we have to continue to go after them aggressively, but with respect to this broader and more insidious challenge, we have to be ready to use every means at our disposal, whether it’s legal means, social, political, just persuasion and pressure to recognize that we’re under a threat and make it okay again to argue for a freedom culture, which is what makes us America.
RUSH: Andy McCarthy, and the book is The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. I’ve got about 30 seconds. Have you gotten any threats or any sort of negative reaction, anybody trying to intimidate you yet?
MCCARTHY: No. There’s negative reaction to the book. I didn’t exactly write the left and the Islamics a love letter so you sort of expect that, and as for the rest of it that die was cast long ago in my case so I don’t really pay it much case.
RUSH: That’s true. I mean when you prosecute the blind sheik, you can’t go much farther than that. Well, Andy, thanks very much and good luck with this. It’s great that you did the work and I know that your family is going to be extremely proud of you.
MCCARTHY: Thank you so much, Rush.
RUSH: Your son will grow up reading this book. It’s a great work, folks, and it’s well worth your time. Andy, thanks for yours.
RUSH: I just was reminded of something that I was remiss in not getting Andy McCarthy to expound upon. Maybe we can get him back for this. We’ve got his phone number and I think this would be a good question. I’ll wait ‘til we can get him be back. I want to ask him about something going on in New York. It does not illustrate exactly what he was talking about. While Snerdley tries to reestablish contact with Andy, I have to tell you during the break I watched Benjamin Netanyahu. He just concluded addressing the media about the circumstances of the past three or four days with this so-called peace-loving Love Boat flotilla, and he just kicked butt in this speech. It was just dramatically great. He said, “Israel is presumed guilty until proven guilty.” He said he asked the world leaders that he’s spoken to, “What would you do if your cities were being daily rained on with rockets? What would you do? Why are you holding us to a different standard?” They all know the truth.
We’ve got Andy back. Andy, I shoulda asked you this. I’m glad I was reminded of this. They’re building a mosque near the site of 9/11.
RUSH: A giant mosque. In the shadows of 9/11. That mosque might be built before the World Trade Center is rebuilt. Now, everybody associated with the mosque says, “No, no, no, this is not about anything but good will and outreach.” What’s your take on this mosque? What if the purpose of this mosque is indeed to get a foothold of Sharia in New York City right there near Ground Zero? Is it possible?
MCCARTHY: Yeah. Rush, I think this has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It’s supposed to be named The Cordoba Islamic Center, as I understand it. Cordoba was the name of the caliphate that conquered Spain and ruled it, often brutally, for about half a millennium—actually longer than that. The guy behind the project is someone who has said that he would like to see Sharia law more insinuated into American law. The Islamist strategy is largely a propaganda strategy at this stage. The thought of having a mosque erected over the ruins of two of the great pillars of the Western economy and Western Civilization would be an enormous propaganda victory—and the most perverse thing of all is, the thought that it’s being done in the name of tolerance. You know, “We have to have the mosque because otherwise we’re intolerant.” We have 2300-plus mosques in the United States. There are probably a couple of hundred in the New York area. If you went to Mecca and Medina, you not only wouldn’t see a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue, you wouldn’t see a non-Muslim. They’re closed cities. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter. Yet we’re told that we have to have this mosque in this place where Muslim terrorists relying on a construction of the Koran, mass murdered thousands of Americans. It’s an affront not only to common sense, but it would be a major victory for the enemy in a an ongoing war—and, you know, we ought to remind people we’re still at war.
RUSH: All right, now, something that always fascinates me in monitoring and studying the left is motivation. I’ve had a lot of people say, “It doesn’t matter, Rush. They gotta be stopped no matter where they’re doing it.” I’m still fascinated by it. In New York some city counsel or some regional part of the downtown council or whatever, the vote was almost unanimous to allow this to happen, I think it was 40 to 1 or 49 to 1, whatever it was. How does this happen? What … ? Is there a guilt complex that has overtaken these people? Is it fear? Or do they actually buy into this notion that, “Hey, you know, this might actually bring peace between our peoples”?
MCCARTHY: I think what you have there, Rush—and we don’t know who are behind these community board members. I think the vote was 29-1.
RUSH: 29 to1, okay.
MCCARTHY: But it was not reflective of what the actual feeling of the rank-and-file in the community is. And I think this is being driven by leftists, by Islamists—and frankly, by useful idiots who, you know, whether we had 2300 or 23,000 mosques in the United States, if we said that you couldn’t build a single one on that site, they would say we were intolerant. As far as I’m concerned, with those people, why bother? They’re just not … They’re beyond convincing, so what’s the point.
RUSH: And this is a huge mosque, right? This is not just some neighborhood mosque.
MCCARTHY: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Absolutely. I think the site was a Burlington Coat Factory and now they’re planning to turn it into a mega-mosque.
RUSH: Fifteen stories high this thing is going to be, I think I read.
MCCARTHY: Yes. And you’re quite right to say that it would be built before the Trade Center is rebuilt. The Trade Center is still a big old hole in the ground.
MCCARTHY: They expect to get this thing up and running on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
RUSH: This is mind-boggling. It’s like so much of everything else the left is doing in this country: They’re telegraphing it, they’re telling us what they’re going to do, they’re showing us what they are doing and people still have their heads in the sand over it. This, though, takes the cake.
MCCARTHY: I think so. I can’t imagine something more reprehensible. I think this is even offensive in many ways to well-meaning Muslims who don’t want this problem. You know, they see in common sense—
MCCARTHY:—that that’s not a good spot for a mosque.
RUSH: Andy, thank you again. I’m glad you were still by the phone when we reached out for a second time. This, by the way, is unprecedented. We have never gone back and asked a guest to come back immediately concluding the interview for an additional question.
MCCARTHY: Heh. I’m at your service, sir.
RUSH: All right. Andy McCarthy, The Grand Jihad is the book, and thanks once again.