Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington, Paul Sperry, Nelson Current, 2005, 360 pages, $24.99 U.S.
Paul Sperry’s shoe-leather investigative journalism is showcased to its fullest in Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington, in which he sets out to prove that, for the past thirty years, the burgeoning Muslim community’s representatives in the United States
have been working clandestinely to undermine America’s constitutional government and the Judeo-Christian ethics on which it was built. … Their goal, quite simply, is to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Qur’an, the Muslim sacred book, and turn America into an Islamic state.
Given the gravity of the claim, the prospective reader may rightly ask: Is this book just another conspiracy theory, akin to those who bang on about “Illuminati Jews From the Center of the Earth” and their manipulation of world affairs? Or has Sperry met his evidentiary obligations?
You bet he has. In fact, the mass of evidence Sperry provides is staggering. His findings are based on interviews with some two dozen law enforcement and intelligence officials from the FBI, the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, as well as local law enforcement—including the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia, the heart of the Wahhabi corridor in America. Some of these sources are cited in the book, while others have requested anonymity for fear of reprisals from headquarters for speaking out on classified cases.
In addition to these sources, Sperry cites more than fifty sensitive internal government documents, some classified, and many posted on the book’s companion Web site (sperryfiles.com). If the strength of ideas rests on their relationship to reality, then Sperry has struck a chord with the men in the trenches. Both the NYPD and the DOD have ordered copies of Infiltration for training field investigators charged with protecting U.S. military installations across the country. And after reading Infiltration, one senior member of the federal National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Va., who had investigated many of the key Saudi-connected cases along the Wahhabi corridor in the Washington suburbs, said: “Sperry has catalogued the last three years of our lives.”
Sperry’s most controversial claim is that the radical Islamist assault on the West is based not on some perverse interpretation of Islam, but is rooted in Islam itself. I happen to agree with him, while realizing that this point is subject to considerable debate. However, Sperry’s unmasking of radical Islamist subversion in America does not hinge on whether the militants constitute Islam’s fringe or its mainstream: either way, the threat they pose is ominous enough.
The book begins by exposing the countless U.S. Muslim leaders who masquerade as moderates, forswear terrorism, but then do what the Qur’an commands: “instill terror in the hearts of unbelievers” (Surah 8:12). Embraced by American Presidents, the likes of Sami Al-Arian, Abdurahman M. Alamoudi, and Muzammil H. Siddiqi—to name but a few—represent the crème de la crème of “moderate” Islam in America. Sperry traces the career trajectories of these (and other) faux moderates as they’ve gone from “the White House to the Big House”: the first was tried for heading the U.S branch of Islamic Jihad; the second “pleaded guilty of plotting terrorist acts with Libya”; the third, president of the Fiqh Council of North America and the flower of the flock, has confined himself mercifully to merely cussing the U.S.
Consider the “moderate” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—the media-savvy mouthpiece for militant Islam in America. One CAIR leader, Omar M. Ahmad, is quoted as saying that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran…should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.” Says Ibrahim Hooper, another low-key chap from CAIR: “I want to see the U.S become an Islamic nation.” This “mainstream” Islamic group has seen three of its top leaders—Ghassan Elashi, Bassem K. Khafagi, and Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer—convicted on terrorism-related charges.
Even more dispiriting, we learn that there is nothing extraordinary about the characters whose unpleasant acquaintance we make. When addressing gullible Americans and their votes-vying leaders, too many of America’s Imams are “the picture of piety,” observes Sperry. They talk a good game about Islam’s devotion to peace and co-existence and they’ve offered (sham) sympathies for 9/11. However, while whispering sweet nothings in naïve American ears, in private and from their pulpits, revered religious pillars of the Muslim community have been caught advocating violence, advising their followers to work to impose the strict Islamic code of shari’a in the U.S., and swearing allegiances to al-Qaeda’s capo di tutti capi.
Take Imams Siraj Wahhaj and Muzammil H. Siddiqi as examples. In 1992, a year after Wahhaj gave the invocation to Congress, no less, he “suggested to a Muslim audience in New Jersey that Muslims had the numbers to take control of the United States in a political coup.” For his part, Siddiqi was given the “solemn honor of representing the Muslim faith during the prayer service for [9/11] victims at the national Cathedral in Washington.” This, apparently, did nothing to detract from his desire to consolidate a caliphate. In a 2003 fatwa, he reminded the faithful that “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts lead to that direction.”
According to Sperry, such duplicity is in keeping with Taqiyya—the seldom-discussed Islamic practice of lying to non-Muslims in order to win political battles and protect Islam.
Thanks to multiculturalist efforts to appease the Islamist lobby, it has infiltrated deep into American society. A Muslim chaplain corps has been created in the U.S. military and a Saudi-based front for al-Qaeda employed to minister to the approximately twenty thousand Muslim soldiers. The same religious recruiters are active in penitentiaries, where there are two hundred thousand Muslim inmates. In fact, the prison system is now the top recruiting grounds for al-Qaeda in the U.S.
Then there are radical Islam’s apologists in academia. Leading the pack is Professor John Esposito, director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, who “argues American heritage can be more accurately defined as ‘Judeo-Christian-Islamic.'” Esposito’s well-funded, academically credentialed “interfaith phoniness,” as Sperry puts it, has gone a long way toward mainstreaming Islam. By sheer fluke, of course, Esposito also “lionizes Palestinian terrorists as leaders of a political movement and the late PLO chief Yasir [sic] Arafat as a statesman. And he urges Washington to distance itself from Israel.” Sperry traced Esposito’s backers through IRS tax records, and—wouldn’t you have guessed it? Esposito is in the pay of a wealthy Palestinian who hates Israel.
Objectivists, who don’t have a dog in the interfaith rivalry, will suppress a yawn as our deeply religious author attempts to show that Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians and Jews do—they do not believe Jesus is the son of God. We realize Sperry doesn’t write to please Objectivists. Still, had he placed a greater emphasis on philosophical rather than theological one-upmanship, he might have juxtaposed the significant ethical and philosophical differences between the Judeo-Christian and the Islamic traditions. For example: universal concepts of justice vs. ruthless particularism; the sanctity and rights of all human beings vs. dominance for some and dhimmitude for others, etc.
Courtesy of an administration that has anesthetized Americans to the essential Islam (and thus continued its predecessor’s multicultural mission), Muslims with ominous beliefs and agendas have managed to infiltrate every security agency, from the FBI to the Pentagon. Sperry warns that the FBI, freighted by anti-discrimination laws and pathological political correctness, now harbors Muslim translators with ties to “various foreign military and intelligence agencies in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey.” (Could this help explain why urgent intercepts are often left untranslated or are mistranslated?) Easily the most scandalous anecdote in the book is that of FBI agent Sibel Edmonds walking into the Washington field office after 9/11, to find the Middle Eastern linguists making merry—passing around date-stuffed cookies to celebrate the occasion on which America got its just deserts. Were they fired? Stripped of their top-secret security clearances? Au contraire! More of their ilk were hired. Meanwhile, Arabic-speaking Sephardic Jews have been rejected for the job. There were “loyalty concerns,” or so the bureau said.
Subversive Muslims and Arabs have also received top-secret clearances at the Homeland Security Department and even the White House, where, according to Sperry, they’ve “successfully run influence operations against our political system with the help of both Democrats and Republicans, not least in order to badger corporate boards into Islamizing the work place.”
So to the big question: What role does Islam itself play in this subversive effort? Sperry has read the CAIR-approved translation of the Qur’an, as well as the hadiths (“sacred supplements to the Quran”), and concludes—as have scholars such as Robert Spencer (author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)) and Serge Trifkovic (of The Sword of the Prophet fame)—that “sadly, much of western terrorism is simply Islam in practice, the text of the Qur’an in action.” Judging by the Qur’an, Islam is “an inherently violent and intolerant faith,” around which a politically correct mythology has been molded. Osama has heeded, not hijacked, Islam.
In the event that doubts linger, Infiltration’s “Top Ten Myths Of Islam” blows an even bigger hole in the heart of the Religion-of-Peace fable. Terrorism is an excrescence of Islam, Sperry argues, because while the murder of “innocents” might be prohibited, “orthodox Muslims do not consider Jews and Christians [much less Israeli civilians] necessarily innocent.” In other words, “What the public recognizes as murder, these Muslims recognize as justice.” The Qur’an, after all, doesn’t teach tolerance toward other faiths, but inveighs against the Jewish “apes and swine” and the Christian blasphemers. Sperry backs his debunking by quoting copiously from the Qur’an. Here a word about Qur’anic literalism might have been instructive. Unlike the Jewish and Christian holy texts, which have been reinterpreted by the sages over the centuries, Islam has changed little in 1,400 years—its decrees are not debatable and are taken very literally.
Well, then, what of moderate Muslim leaders and interpreters? Hasn’t Sperry given short shrift to the many who promote a more benign version of Islam? The Muslim community, he observes, is divided into Shiites, Sunnis, and more moderate Sufis. The reformers and the moderates come from the ranks of the Shiite and Sufi, but are
not considered part of the established Muslim leadership in America, and have only minor voices in the national debate. Why? Mainly because the vast majority of mosques in America practice Sunnism, Islam’s main sect, and as many as eight out of ten are under Saudi Wahhabi control.
The extent to which the community’s Wahhabi-dominated organizations coordinate their schemes is revealed in a chapter entitled “The Muslim Mafia.” Practically all Muslim groups in America are united under the umbrella of the American Muslim Political Coordinated Council, whose goal, in Sperry’s words, is “rolling back U.S. support for Israel and weakening U.S. anti-terrorism laws.” A CIA internal report that Sperry references reveals that “at least one-third of the fifty Islamic nongovernmental organizations in existence ‘support terrorist groups or employ individuals who are suspected of having terrorist connections.'” Further FBI investigations have unveiled organizations with “interlocking boards of directors,” and an elaborate maze of shell companies and fronts—religious charities and think tanks included—set up to launder terrorist-bound funds. The Holy Land Foundation, a façade for Hamas (recently catapulted into government power by the Palestinians) has since become a synonym for terrorism. Many of these groups’ leaders are under indictment, having pled guilty to ties to terrorists. Again, Sperry emphasizes that these leaders and their syndicates are not fringe elements, skulking on the outskirts of the American Islamic community, but are among “the best the Muslim community has to offer.”
So what is to be done? The book’s Afterword offers pragmatic recommendations that Sperry—a bare-knuckled but beguiling writer—prefaces with a call for us to better understand the nature of the threat:
America is a beautiful, fun, and vibrant place. Its people are friendly and hospitable. Why didn’t any of the hijackers have second thoughts? Why didn’t they say, ‘You know, this place isn’t so bad after all. Osama can go pound sand up his nightgown; we’re gonna chill here for a while’?
The short answer is a toxic yet intoxicating trinity: Allah, the Qur’an, and The Pearly Gates that beckon. Yet Washington refuses to grapple with the enemy’s inspirations and motives. Our ostensible protectors have not even read, let along understood, the founding document that fuels jihad. Coming to terms with the true Islam and with what drives its foot soldiers is imperative, insists Sperry.
Other more concrete recommendations include investing in mastering Arabic and cracking down on terrorism-supporting charities. The least promising of Sperry’s recommendations is the enforcement of the oath of allegiance. Given what our author has told us about deception vis-à-vis Taqiyya, it’s naïve to hope that prohibiting dual citizenship and enforcing an oath will dissolve the pledge of allegiance to Islam and the greater Ummah.
Then there’s the issue of “profiling.” Next time you shake in your socks on an American airplane as Middle Eastern men on a suspected dry run strut up and down the isles unhindered, duck into toilets with cell phones and cameras, flout flight rules, and intimidate terrified travelers with menacing gestures, thank the Muslim lobby groups for the experience. (This incident actually occurred last year on a Northwest Airlines flight.) However, you owe deeper gratitude to our elected representatives for legally prohibiting commonsense profiling and other “minimally observant” screening safeguards. After all, Muslim identity groups are not paid to protect Americans; the government is. Yet it appears stone deaf to our fate, while all ears to the bellyaching of resentful Muslim advocacy groups. Sperry, our epistolary Jack Bauer, exposes many former and present government officials, such as the FBI’s Robert Mueller, the CIA’s George Tenet, and Transportation’s Norman Mineta—all of whom opted for multicultural outreach and sensitivity training to the detriment of counterterrorism and counterintelligence. Considering the severity of their transgressions—and the stakes—the words “gullible” and “politically correct” do not begin to describe their dereliction.
In the final analysis, Sperry’s book constitutes a withering indictment of an administration that has not only failed in its constitutional duty to uproot America’s enemies on the home front, but has done its best to accommodate and appease them.
©2006 By Ilana Mercer
Reviewed in The New Individualist