Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim activist who in April told conservatives that “Shariah is communism with a God,” has called on Congress in a Washington Times column to bring back the McCarthy-era House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). This time around, the infamous panel’s job will be to root out the Islamist operatives who, he claims, are well on their way to replacing America’s democracy with a Shariah-based caliphate.
Gaffney, who helms the Center for Security Policy, is fervent in his conviction that agents of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the government at all levels, intending to subvert U.S. institutions through “civilization jihad.” He laid out his “evidence” for infiltration into the U.S. government in April at “The Awakening 2011,” a conference at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University that brought together economic conservatives, national security hawks and stars of the Religious right to discuss the future of America.
“When it is impracticable to engage in violence, Shariah-adherent Muslims are still obliged to engage in jihad through stealthy techniques or, in the words of the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘civilization jihad,’” Gaffney told a rapt audience. “They are doing it through influence operations, the target set of which is comprehensive – government, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military, penal institutions, media think tanks, political entities, academic institutions. And they are very aggressively targeting non-Muslim religious communities in the name of ecumenicalism.”
Gaffney’s Center helped set off a Shariah panic on the far right last year with the September 2010 release of its report, “Shariah, the Threat to America,” which depicted Islamic Shariah law as a global threat comparable to Soviet communism a generation ago. “Shariah’s pursuit in the United States,” the report asserted, “is tantamount to sedition.”
Gaffney, who uses the terms “Islam” and “Shariah” as virtual synonyms, made no secret of his belief that it would be folly to extend the civil liberties enjoyed by all Americans to the putative enemy. “Shariah is not only un-American, it is anti-American. It is not only unconstitutional; it is anti-Constitutional,” he said at The Awakening. “Shariah is not a protected religious practice; it is a seditious religious program … and as a result it has to be prosecuted.”
If prosecution is what he’s after, HUAC would be the committee to do it. First established in 1938, the committee was charged with rooting out efforts to subvert the government by both communists and fascists. As relations with the Soviet Union went from cool to frigid in the aftermath of World War II, it shifted its attention almost exclusively to suspected communists. With the help of Red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy (who did not sit on the committee but whose vicious campaign against supposed Communists did much to make the era what it was), HUAC investigations devolved into witch-hunts that destroyed countless Americans’ lives. The committee was shut down in 1975, and is broadly considered to be one of the most shameful government undertakings of the 20th century.
Yet Gaffney is only the latest in a chorus of voices calling for a return to McCarthyism. Outstanding among these is the ever-execrable former Fox News Host Glenn Beck, who last year invited M. Stanton Evans, author of 2007’s Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, to join him on his radio show.
Evans was happy to educate Beck about America’s most unsung “hero.”
“[McCarthy] was right in general. There was a massive penetration of the government and … it was covered up and … he threatened that cover-up. And that is why he was isolated, demonized and destroyed,” he said. “I have something I call ‘Evans Law of Inadequate Paranoia,’ which says no matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it’s always worse.”
Gaffney obviously agrees. In fact, he cited Evans’ book in the Washington Times as a key “study” that “vindicated” HUAC, and asserted that all members of Congress and their staff should read it.
And fast. As Gaffney sees it, the Obama administration has already imperiled the country with “anti-American” conduct in activities ranging from international diplomacy to banking law to “letting Afghanistan think that we’re ready to fold up our tents and bug out,” as he put it in April.
“At best, [the administration is] acquiescing to far-reaching concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk,” he wrote Monday. “At worst, they are enabling the group's efforts to destroy the West from within.”