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Hirsi Ali's Policy Recommendations for Trump Administration
Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes at the Hoover Insittute.
The recommendations made here to President Trump’s administration can be grouped under seven headings:
• The administration should acknowledge that combating political Islam by military means alone is not working.
• The administration should define the enemy more clearly: political Islam (Islamism) is not just a religion, but is also a political ideology.
• The administration should understand the significance of Islamist dawa, the subversive, indoctrinating precursor to jihad.
• The administration should ensure that key personnel in all relevant agencies understand the risk of Islamism, Islamist dawa activities, and militant jihad.
• The administration should choose its language carefully. Ideology is about persuasion. The administration must learn to persuade the leaders of the other branches of government,the American people, allied countries, and Muslims that Islamism is a hazard and poses risks to both national security and America’s constitutional order.
• The administration should recognize the diversity of Muslim citizens and support Islamic reformers here and around the world.
• In reaching out to the Muslim American community, the administration should ally itself with genuine Muslim moderates and reformers, not with “nonviolent” Islamists. Nonviolent Islamists are engaged in subversion: they seek to replace the US Constitution and rule of law with sharia, even when they refrain for tactical reasons from using or advocating violence.
• The administration should understand that the average American Muslim does cooperate with law enforcement, but does so against the advice of organizations such as CAIR.
• The administration should require the FBI to scrutinize the ideological background and nature of the Islamic organizations it engages with and partners with to ensure that they are genuinely moderate, that is, not committed to the Islamist agenda.
• The administration should instruct all agencies not to partner with nonviolent Islamist groups such as these:
• The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
• The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
• The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) • The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)
• The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) • The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
• The Islamic Society of Boston
• The current failing strategy known as “Countering Violent Extremism” is based on false premises and has empowered Islamists. It should be abandoned and replace with an effective strategy.
• The administration, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), should subject immigrants and refugees to ideological scrutiny, as happened during the Cold War.160 Individuals requesting temporary entry to the United States, permanent residency, or citizenship must be asked about their commitment to Islamism and related concepts such as the death penalty for apostasy and support for sharia law and the subjugation of women. If individuals are found to have lied in their immigration or citizenship applications about their commitment to the US Constitution by engaging in subversive dawa activities after establishing residency, their residency or citizenship must be revoked.
• The DHS should deny entry to foreign individuals involved with or supportive of Islamism and related groups and refuse permanent residency and naturalization to such individuals.
• The administration should reinstate the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) and consult with experts to maximize its effectiveness.
• The administration should prioritize entry to the United States of immigrants who have shown loyalty to the United States in a war setting, such as interpreters who risked their families’ lives to support US troops.
Law and the Justice System
• The administration should heed the lessons of the successful conviction of the “blind sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, for seditious conspiracy in the first World Trade Center bombing case.
• The secretary of state should designate the Egyptian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, just as Hamas has been outlawed in the United States for clear connections to terrorism.
• The administration should implement effective ideological screening of chaplains employed by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Defense (military chaplains), and the State Department. The Bureau of Prisons, the Department of State, various state correctional systems, and the Department of Defense must stop relying on the Islamic Leadership Council and the Islamic Society of North America for chaplain vetting.
• The administration should systematically map the infrastructure of subversive dawa activities around the world, in particular the connections of the global infrastructure to the United States: funds, individuals, institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and governmental support.
• The administration, with Congress, should grant the DHS and the FBI greater powers to gather exploratory intelligence on Islamist groups. Now they can act only when a conspiracy to commit violence arises or an actual violent act occurs.
• The administration should ensure reasonable surveillance of Islamic centers and mosques that are credibly suspected of engaging in subversive activities, such as the Islamic Society of Boston. In response to pressure by Islamic lobby groups, efforts to gather intelligence in New York mosques were shut down in 2015. Such programs should be relaunched as soon as possible.
• The administration, through the Internal Revenue Service, should revoke the tax-exempt status of organizations connected to subversive Islamist activities; the IRS division tasked with accrediting religious 501(c)3 groups should consider subversion of the US constitutional order as a disqualifying criterion in granting or extending tax-exempt status.
• The administration, with Congress, must require annual disclosure to the IRS of foreign contributions by tax-exempt religious associations.
• As a condition of US friendship, the administration should require foreign governments as well as Islamic NGOs to stop supporting and financing subversive Islamist activities in the United States. Of particular interest here are Qatari, Kuwaiti, and Saudi “philanthropic” foundations.This will require policy synchronization among the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council—and a great deal of persistence. Given the sensitivity of this issue, private requests are advisable first; if private requests are ineffective or ignored (as they have been since 9/11), appropriate public pressure must follow.
• The administration should firmly push back against the efforts of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to limit free speech by outlawing criticism of Islam. Such efforts are directed at the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and other international organizations.
• The administration should use broadcast institutions overseas (e.g., Voice of America) to fight the war of ideas by disseminating a counter-dawa message, highlighting the work of Muslim reformers and non-Islamist Muslims.
• If a country or NGO cannot show verifiable progress in curbing its support for subversive dawa activities in the United States, the administration should punish that country or NGO in concrete terms, for example by trade sanctions or cuts in aid payments.
• The administration should continue conventional military operations against jihadist organizations in order to capture or kill Islamist terrorists, deny them safe havens, and bolster the efforts of our allies against them.
• However, the administration also should wage cyber war on organizations engaged in dawa as well as those engaged in jihad.