Terrorist attacks that involve bombings and shootings are just one component of the jihad, or holy war, that Islamists are actively waging against infidels all over the world. Another component of that jihad consists of nonviolent initiatives which can be classified as stealth (or "soft”) jihad, whose goal is the imposition of Islamic law, Sharia, over every region of the earth by non-confrontational means. Under the banners of "tolerance" and "civil rights," stealth jihadists introduce, in piecemeal fashion, elements of Sharia into Western societies and then demand that non-Muslims make allowance for those elements. Moreover, stealth jihadists smear those who dare to discuss the negative aspects of Sharia (and Islam) as "racists" and "Islamophobes."
Some examples of how stealth jihad has made inroads into U.S. and Western culture include the following:
- Ever since 9/11, political leaders, educators, and media personnel -- bowing to pressure from Muslim advocacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- have gone to great lengths to emphasize the notion that Islam itself is a "religion of peace" and tolerance; that jihad in its truest sense is nothing more than an inward quest for spiritual tranquility and moral purity; and that those who promote violence in the name of Islam are merely fringe extremists who have "hijacked" an otherwise peaceful faith.
- In recent years the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada has led a movement to push for the installation -- in the rest rooms of universities and colleges nationwide -- of foot baths for Muslim students who wish to practice the ritual washing of their feet before praying on campus. As of July 2007, at least 17 universities already had installed, or were in the process of installing, such foot baths.
- Contending that American Muslims are victims of wholesale repression, advocacy groups like CAIR have conducted sensitivity-training programs for police departments across the United States, instructing law officers in the art of dealing with Muslims respectfully.
- A highly vocal Islamic group in England has demanded that British public schools reshape entire curricular and extra-curricular structure to conform to Islamic beliefs and attitudes, so that Muslim students will feel comfortable. Among the demands are that schools should be required to have separate swimming times for boys and girls; that the children should be required to wear swimsuits covering from the neck to the knee; that certain sports (such as tennis) and other recreational activities that are alien to many Islamic countries should be prohibited; that time should be set aside for Muslim students to pray each day; that designated Islamic prayer rooms should be constructed on campus; that no meat should be served in school lunchrooms during the month of Ramadan; and that pork should be banned from the menu throughout the entire school year.
- In February 2008, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that the adoption of some aspects of Sharia law in Britain "seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of Sharia are already recognized in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system." Advocating "plural jurisdiction" (where different subsets of the population would be governed by different sets of laws), Rowan added: "There is a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law as we already do with aspects of other kinds of religious law.... In some cultural and religious settings they would seem more appropriate."
- As of June 2009, at least 85 Sharia courts were operating in Britain.â€¨â€¨
- Hani Ramadan, a prominent Muslim leader in Switzerland, was dismissed from a teaching position in Geneva after publishing an article in the French journal Le Monde in September 2002, defending stoning as punishment for adultery. After his dismissal, Swiss courts, swayed by arguments about “democratic pluralism,” ruled twice in Ramadan’s favor.
- Stealth jihadists seek to transform Western economies by promoting the spread of Islamic banking systems that are consistent with the principles of Sharia, which forbids the payment or acceptance of interest fees for money loans, and prohibits investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles. According to a 2008 International Monetary Fund report, Sharia-compliant financial institutions in non-Muslim countries (including the United States) have been proliferating at an annual rate of 10 to 15 percent in recent years. A 2009 report in The Banker estimated that Sharia-compliant assets worldwide had grown by 29 percent over the preceding year, to $822 billion.
Ultimately, stealth jihadists seek -- by exploiting the West’s respect for minority rights and cultures -- to transform pluralistic societies into Islamic states and to gradually sweep away Western notions of legal equality, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and more. Giuseppe Bernardini, a Roman Catholic Archbishop in Turkey, notes that Saudi “petro-dollars” have been used "not to create work in the poor North African or Middle Eastern countries, but to build mosques and cultural centers in Christian countries with Islamic immigration." This "program of expansion and re-conquest," says Bernardini, was given voice by a Muslim leader who had candidly told him: "Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you."
The stealth jihad plan for the West was enunciated by a top Muslim Brotherhood operative in the United States, Mohamed Akram, who explained that the Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”â€¨ â€¨Akram’s directive came in a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum from May 22, 1991, entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” In that document, Akram laid out a plan to conquer and Islamize the United States -- as a stepping stone toward the larger goal of ultimately establishing “the global Islamic state.”
In America, Akram explained, it would be extremely difficult to promote Islam by means of terror attacks. Thus the Brotherhood’s priority would be to "settle" Islam and the Brotherhood movement in the United States -- by way of Islamic organizations posing as civil-rights groups -- so that the Muslim faith would be incrementally accepted and "enabled within the souls, minds and the lives of the people of the country."
Adapted from "Stealth Jihad," Jamie Glazov's interview with Robert Spencer (December 2, 2008), and "What Americans Need to Know about Jihad," by Robert Spencer (2007).