Article courtesy of National Review, written by Andrew C. McCarthy.
There is apparently consternation in the usual places — including CAIR, it should go without saying — regarding remarks by Ted Cruz in the aftermath of the jihadist attack in Brussels, in which at least 30 were killed and 180 wounded. Senator Cruz (on whose national-security advisory team I serve) argued, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
This is clearly true. I addressed the same considerations in a column posted this afternoon on the homepage:
We know, nearly a quarter century after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, that jihadist cells arise and thrive in ideological enclaves; that is where the radicalization, recruitment, fundraising, plotting, and injection and protection of jihadist immigrants occurs. We cannot deny reality by rationalizing that if we admit the truth we will be misunderstood as being “at war with Islam” – as in all Muslims.
What we like to think of as “radical Islam” is actually a legitimate and rabidly anti-Western interpretation of Islam that is followed by millions of Muslims. It is irrelevant to non-Muslims in the West whether theirs is a correct or incorrect construction of Muslim scripture. The remorseless fact remains that its adherents believe it — with a fervor that inspires the kinds of attacks we’ve seen today and have seen over and over again. Those adherents include Muslims who lack the commitment to carry out attacks themselves but nevertheless provide moral (and other) support to those who do, and who populate the Western immigrant enclaves in which the ideology thrives.
It’s a welcome fact that there are other ways of interpreting Islam that do not endorse war and hostility against the West; those who offer these interpretations are our allies, and we should be encouraging them rather than turning to enemies such as the Muslim Brotherhood to help us conduct “community outreach.” Still, the fact that there are pro-Western Muslims and authentically tolerant interpretations of Islam does not — and cannot be allowed to — obscure the fact that Islamic supremacism is a mainstream construction of Islam. It is not “false” Islam, or “anti-Islam.” It is Islam that competes, violently, with other constructions of Islam.
In the Obama years, there has been a shift away from post-9/11 prevention-first counterterrorism, which relied on our police, federal law-enforcement and domestic-security agents to gather intelligence about potential threats in the Muslim communities where Islamic supremacism is endorsed — meaning, of course, with cooperation from non-supremacist Muslims living in those communities who are just as threatened as the rest of us are.