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September 22, 2020 (American Thinker) — The fact that there has been no 9/11-type attack in the U.S. for 19 years proves… what?  That Islamic terrorist groups are not capable of mounting another such attack?  That America’s security network is on much higher alert than in the innocent days before 9/11?

Maybe so.  But another, quite likely possibility is that Islamic radicals see no need for another large-scale attack.  Why bother with spectacular, violent acts of jihad when incremental, under-the-radar, cultural jihad will serve the same purpose?

Cultural jihad, which is also known as stealth jihad, is a long-term campaign to influence and even co-opt key social institutions such as schools, courts, media, political parties, and churches.  In what follows, I will use the terms “cultural jihad” and “stealth jihad” interchangeably.

Many Americans think that, as long as there are no major terror attacks, then all is well.  But what we need to worry about most are the day-to-day stealth attacks on our culture.  These “stealth” operations don’t even need to be particularly stealthy.  Americans tend to put the best possible interpretation on the activities of the multicultural “other.”  Thus, when in the days immediately following 9/11, various Islamic advocacy groups managed to convince President Bush that Islam means “peace,” and that terrorists were only a tiny minority who had “hijacked a great religion,” those who noticed assumed that the advocates were only being helpful. 

The 9/11 attacks ended on the same day they began, but stealth jihad influence operations didn’t stop for a minute.  The suit-and-tie jihadists were back at work on September 12, September 13, and September 14, and have been busily pursuing their subversive aims ever since.  That’s approximately 7,300 days of subversive activity — and most of it has gone unnoticed.

We have, of course, heard of the more publicized incidences of stealth jihad such as the infiltration of Fort Hood Army Base by Major Nidal Hasan, and the similar penetration of Pensacola Naval Air Station by a lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force.  But how many remember, or have ever heard of, the purge of training materials used by the FBI at the behest of Muslim activist groups in 2011-2012?  The aim was to eliminate any material that was offensive to Islam.  Rather than be thought “Islamophobic,” the FBI, along with more than a dozen other security agencies, meekly complied with Muslim demands, and replaced effective programs with a see-no-Islam policy.  Likewise, how many know about the Islamic influence operation on American universities?  According to a Clarion Project report, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have poured billions of dollars into dozens of major American universities in recent years.  The result?  Many of America’s academic experts on Islam have developed a financial interest in pedaling the politically correct view of Islam.   Meanwhile, students learn a whitewashed version of Islamic beliefs and history not unlike the Disneyfied version of communism they also acquire in college.

In short, radical Islamists quickly realized after 9/11 that spectacular attacks were counterproductive.  They had the effect of waking people up, when, as it turned out, it was more desirable to put them to sleep.

This is a lesson that leftists in America are just now learning.  The violence in the streets is waking up voters to the dangers of leftism and communism.  Many on the left have decided it is better instead to revert to the leftist version of cultural jihad, and double down on it.  Like Islamists, the left has for decades been engaging in a highly successful, Gramscian-type, long march through the institutions — schools, media, entertainment, political parties, even corporations.

In the current cultural revolution, the left may have shown its hand too soon — its violent hand, that is.  So, in the days ahead we can expect more emphasis to be placed on cultural intimidation — indoctrination in the classroom, self-criticism sessions at the office, re-education programs on race and privilege in government agencies, and fake narratives from the media.

The initial reaction to 9/11 was, indeed, one of heightened alertness and sudden awareness of the possibility that we were faced with a clash of civilizations.  The Islamists had played their hand too soon, and they quickly realized that it was not a good idea to wake a sleeping giant.

Thus, they resumed their cultural jihad.  It proved to be a highly successful program.  After 9/11, one would have expected that Islamic beliefs would have come under increased scrutiny.  Initially, that was the case.  But suspicion quickly gave way to affirmation as jihadists in business suits began a campaign to emphasize the kinder, gentler side of Islam.  They were particularly successful in converting American educators to the idea that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam.  Before long, schools were presenting Islam as a victim of hatred, discrimination, Western imperialism, and Islamophobia.  And not long after, any critique of Islam became strictly off-limits — even among members of our security establishment.

What’s next?  That’s difficult to say.  But one thing is certain.  As a result of the current leftist cultural revolution, cultural jihadists will have observed that Americans are far more submissive than anyone had previously supposed.  Many Americans have been schooled to be ashamed of their culture and their heritage.  They don’t see anything of value in it worth defending.  In short, they appear ready to submit to any powerful ideology that seems to offer an alternative.

Exactly how Islamists will take advantage of our lack of cultural confidence and our willingness to submit to intimidation is hard to say, but it’s almost certain that they will try.  After all, the word “Islam” means “submission.”

Don’t discount another 9/11 type attack.  But the more likely move is a ramping up of the daily efforts to hollow out our cultural confidence and sap our will to resist.

This article originally appeared in the September 15, 2020 edition of the American Thinker. It is published here with permission from William Kilpatrick. For more of Dr. Kilpatrick's recent articles, visit his website, turningpointproject.com.