By: Benjamin Weingarten
Former federal prosecutor and current National Review contributor Andrew McCarthy has published a slender but substantive new book coincidentally released eerily close to the recent Garland jihadist attack titled “Islam and Free Speech.”
We had the chance to sit down with McCarthy to discuss a variety of topics relating to his new book including a broader question that America has been grappling with for over a decade since Sept. 11, 2001: How can a free and pluralistic society built on protecting liberty including specifically religious liberty adequately counter a theopolitical Islamic supremacist ideology that seeks to use our freedoms and tolerance to undermine us.
Here is how McCarthy responded to the question:
The doctrine of Soviet Communism was … ultimately not just the complete and extensive undermining of [the U.S.], but when and if or if and when finally necessary, the violent overthrow of the United States, or the United States government.
So it’s not like this is the first time that we’ve dealt with a conquest ideology that seeks … to supplant the West with its own vision of what society should be. We’ve had this kind of a problem before.
The difference is, Soviet ideology never traveled under the banner of religious liberty, and there was never the kind of squeamishness about examining it that we have now. And … the best way to combat it is to get over that squeamishness.
Title: Islam and Free Speech (Encounter Broadside)
Author: Andrew C McCarthy
Purchase this book
What we have to understand is that there is a difference between what we ought to regard as Islam the religion … which is something that is adhered to by, you know, many many many patriotic American Muslims, who have no desire whatsoever to have a United States that’s structured like the totalitarian societies that a lot of them either left or reject for their own reasons.
So we have to distinguish that from this political Islamist ideology that is rooted in Islamic doctrine, and a very literal interpretation of it, and that rejects a division between church and state, or between mosque and state.
That ideology is — it has a religious component — but it’s a political ideology overwhelmingly. And it ought to be dealt with as one. And we should stop — you know our public officials should stop trying to label it as something it isn’t. It’s a political, totalitarian conquest ideology that has certain religious elements to it.
But the important thing from our perspective is it’s like every other political ideology that competes and has animus towards the west. And we have to see ourselves as in competition with it and needing to defeat it, rather than trying to figure out how we can accommodate it under the auspices of our commitment to religious liberty, because overwhelmingly it’s not a religious doctrine. The political element of it is overwhelmingly a totalitarian political doctrine. And we shouldn’t, just because it has a few religious elements to it, lose sight of the bigger picture.
You can listen to our interview in full below, or keep scrolling to listen to select clips on topics ranging from the ignored totalitarian nature of Shariah speech prohibitions to McCarthy’s defense of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and why McCarthy believes that conservative Americans frightened of a government that has targeted them through the IRS should be trusted with such powers.
The Clash of Civilizations Between Islam and the West
The Ignored Totalitarian Nature of Shariah Speech Prohibitions
McCarthy’s Defense of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and Why We Should Trust Our Government With Such Power
What is In America’s National Interest in the Middle East, and How Should We Pursue It?