I wrote in my previous post about the importance of being unapologetic. The Islamists understand this. Reuters reports on the war in Syria. “Conflict in Syria kills hundreds of thousands of people and spreads unrest across the Middle East. Iranian forces battle anti-Shi’ite fighters in Damascus, and the region braces for an ultimate showdown. If the scenario sounds familiar to an anxious world watching Syria’s devastating civil war, it resonates even more with Sunni and Shi’ite fighters on the frontlines – who believe it was all foretold in 7th Century prophecies. From the first outbreak of the crisis in the southern city of Deraa to apocalyptic forecasts of a Middle East soaked in blood, many combatants on both sides of the conflict say its path was set 1,400 years ago in the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers.” Sound familiar? See previous post.
Terrorism-Linked CAIR Forces U.S. Army War College to Capitulate on my Islam Lecture, by Raymond Ibrahim.
The U.S. Army War College (USAWC) has just surrendered to the demands of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—an “unindicted co-conspirator,” to quote the U.S. Dept. of Justice, in the largest terror funding case in American history, and a designated “terrorist organization” for nations such as the UAE. The June 19 planned lecture on my book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, was canceled due to a CAIR-induced hysteria that focused on presenting me—a native Arabic speaker of Egyptian/Middle Eastern descent—as a “racist” and “white nationalist” who is out to incite American soldiers to murder Muslims.
Although the USAWC claims that the event has been “postponed”—and that CAIR’s smear campaign has nothing to do with its decision—what really happened, along with the troubling lessons learned along the way, follow: On January 4, 2019, I received an email, portions of which follow: Mr. Ibrahim: “On behalf of the Director and Staff of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), I am honored to invite you to speak as part of the USAHEC’s 2019 Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series. We would like you to speak about your new book, “Sword and Scimitar.” The Perspectives series attracts a wide audience including the U.S. Army War College students, faculty, and staff, ROTC cadets, Soldiers from regional military bases, university students and faculty, and the general public. “On a personal note,” the author of the email added, “I think your new book, and a lecture based on it, will resound very well with the primary audience of our lecture programs—the students and faculty of the U.S. Army War College.”
After I accepted the invitation, my USAWC contact reiterated: “I am excited to book you, I think your topic will be perfect for my audience.” Aside from a few more exchanges on dates and logistics, that was that—until CAIR got wind of the event. I’ve already discussed what initially happened: how the leadership of CAIR’s Pennsylvania chapter sent a letter on May 28, 2019, to USAWC Commandant Gen. John Kem and Provost Dr. James Breckenridge, urging them to cancel my event because “Raymond Ibrahim’s book … advances a simplistic, inaccurate and often prejudicial view of the long history of Muslim-West relations which we ﬁnd deeply troubling”; and how CAIR did not once cite a single sentence from my 352-page book to support their accusation that it “is based on poor research.”
After media outlets began reporting on CAIR’s displeasure with the USAWC, the latter called and assured me that the event was still on. I also received a June 5 email from my USAWC contact saying, “We are good to go for the lecture.” Then CAIR and allies took off their gloves and got nasty. If a formal, ostensibly rational sounding letter of “concern” would not suffice, then hysteria would have to do.
On the very next day, June 6, CAIR issued a number of screeds, including a press release and a petition addressed to the USAWC by Linda Sarsour’s Islamist group, MPower Change. The overall theme is that, if the USAWC goes ahead with my planned lecture, the “racist” military will get so riled that American soldiers will randomly begin to massacre Muslims at home and abroad. The following excerpts from the MPower petition are typical; note especially the last paragraph (bold and underlining in the original): The U.S. Army War College invited Raymond Ibrahim—a well-known Islamophobe and disseminator of inaccurate, ahistorical, anti-Muslim rhetoric—to speak at their upcoming 50th Annual Lecture Series on June 19th. In a time of rising white nationalism, Islamophobia, and horrific violence stemming from these ideologies, the College is endorsing and fostering anti-Muslim hate within the military by inviting Ibrahim….Ibrahim’s rhetoric … normalizes and justifies violence against Muslims, which is already a burgeoning problem for the military….. Let’s tell the U.S. Army War College: If you don’t rescind Ibrahim’s invitation and denounce his Islamophobic rhetoric, you’re not only endorsing anti-Muslim hate, but dangerously nurturing Islamophobia and white nationalism within the military.
In the midst of their lies, CAIR and MPower repeatedly present me—an Arab-American whose parents immigrated from Egypt to evade Islamic oppression—as a “racist” associated with “white nationalism.” But as the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which maintains a comprehensive dossier on CAIR’s shady and terrorist links, observes: Being a “white nationalist” doesn’t mean having European ancestry in Linda Sarsour’s world. Her group, MPower Change, joined the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Philadelphia chapter in charging that Raymond Ibrahim, an American Copt of Egyptian ancestry, whose people have been severely discriminated against under Islamic rule for centuries, is a “white nationalist.”…. To classify Ibrahim in the same category as white supremacists who hate Muslims for being non-white is to show ignorance of the severe persecution and discrimination faced by the Coptic people under nearly 14 centuries of Islamic rule. Copts face constant discrimination and persecution at the hands of their Muslim neighbors … [including] Jim Crow-style conditions in their homeland.
On June 10, the U.S. Army War College caved in to their demands and canceled the event. In my last phone call with the USAWC on that same day, I suggested a compromise: turn my lecture into a debate, and pit me against any academic of CAIR’s choosing. Even though I was under no obligation to make such a concession, it still wasn’t good enough for the USAWC. Perhaps the most dishonorable aspect of this entire fiasco is that, in a vain effort to save face and pretend that the prestigious United States Army War College is not surrendering to the demands of a notorious Islamist organization—whose deceptive tactics and terroristic ties are well documented (here, here, here, and here)—the USAWC’s official story is that my lecture has only been “postponed,” and not because of CAIR’s demands. As a June 10 report notes, the USAWC’s decision to “postpone” the event “comes in the wake of strong opposition from the Muslim community to the previously scheduled appearance of author Raymond Ibrahim.
Reality is clear enough: for the USAWC suddenly to postpone a long-planned event only nine days before scheduled—and just a handful of days after CAIR’s smear campaign—is not a “coincidence”; it is a clear message for all. Incidentally, the USAWC is now learning that once you give CAIR an inch, like all bullies it will demand a mile. Consider: in CAIR’s original letter, Jacob Bender, its Philadelphia executive director, actually conceded to my lecture, with one caveat, which he requested in all politeness: “We would ask that if Mr. Ibrahim delivers his talk that we be allowed the same format to put forth counterpoints to his arguments.” Even though the USAWC completely acquiesced by canceling the event altogether, CAIR—having smelled blood—has since become more aggressive and abusive to the military. After gloating over the USAWC’s capitulation, the same Jacob Bender who would’ve been grateful just to have the opportunity to “put forth counterpoints” to me (though only after I was gone and no longer there to respond), is now asserting: The statement [to “postpone” the lecture] by the College spokeswoman falls short of repudiating Mr. Ibrahim’s racist views. A postponement is not enough—the college should reject hate. We will continue to advocate for … [the] exclusion of anti-Muslim racist theories in the college’s programming…. [W]e are ready to provide an alternative viewpoint and suggest a pool of academic analysts who can provide an objective assessment of military and historical perspectives to the US Army War College community.
In other words, if the USAWC really wants CAIR to stop verbally terrorizing it, canceling my lecture is only the first step; the USAWC must next invite a Muslim apologist to come and present a history opposite to the one I was going to present—that is, the usual pseudo-history of an “evil” West that has long victimized a “progressive” Islam, hence “why they hate us,” and why we—in this case, the USAWC—have to appease them, etc., etc.
The grand lesson of this entire debacle should be disheartening for all who care about this nation. If an ethnic Egyptian and native speaker of Arabic, with verifiable credentials, whose extended relatives continue to be persecuted because they are Christian, can be characterized by Islamist groups with terror links as a “racist” and “white nationalist”; and if, of all places, the U.S. Army War College, as opposed to the average “liberal” college, can so easily capitulate to such patently deceptive tactics—the true motives of which are to keep the actual and troubling history between Islam and the West concealed from the military—know that the hour is late indeed.
I say not everyone is as craven as we are, or rather know they can’t afford to be. Eastern Europe has not been very welcoming to Islamic
invaders immigrants. As Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán once explained: “We don’t want to criticize France, Belgium, any other country, but we think all countries have a right to decide whether they want to have a large number of Muslims in their countries. If they want to live together with them, they can. We don’t want to and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country. We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see…. I have to say that when it comes to living together with Muslim communities, we are the only ones who have experience because we had the possibility to go through that experience for 150 years.” And those years—1541 to 1699, when the Islamic Ottoman Empire occupied Hungary—are replete with the massacre, enslavement, and rape of Hungarians. My next post will continue this theme and deal with the question, “what about all the peaceful Muslims?”