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Interviewing Andrew McCarthy About Radical Islam

Posted on July 1 2010 8:00 pm

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National Review’s Andrew McCarthy is more familiar with radical Islam than your average person. He had to be. He was the lead attorney on the team that prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh,” way back in 1995.

McCarthy and I got together to talk about his new book, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.” What follows is a slightly edited transcript of our conversation.

After 9-11 there were a lot of people asking why we didn’t connect the dots. But, in the case of the Fort Hood shooting, for example, the military was given all the information it needed to be fully aware of the fact Nidal Malik Hasan was dangerous and they chose to do nothing about it. Do you think we’re too politically correct as a society to deal with this issue?

I don’t think that there’s any question that we’re too politically correct and that that’s a big part of our problem. If you think about it, twice as many people were killed in the Fort Hood attack as were killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Yet when that happened 17 years ago, there was no reluctance on anyone’s part to call it a jihadist attack once we understood that’s what it was. Here we are all these attacks later, post 9-11, and an atrocity like Fort Hood happens and we can’t even bring ourselves to call it a terrorist attack — much less a jihadist attack. That’s a good metric for how much inroad the political correctness has really made, much to our detriment, I’m afraid.

In Europe you see radical Muslims expertly bullying, threatening, and subverting the culture of nations over there while making pitch perfect claims that they’re really the ones who are the victims. Do you think that’s an accurate description and how do you think we should react to keep our own freedom, decency, and desire to be fair from being used against us?

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