When jihad came to U.S. on 9/11, we knew almost nothing about Islam. Our teachers, law enforcement, media, and military knew nothing about Islamic doctrine, except at the National Geographic level.
Those who were supposed to be the educational pillars of our civilization, the professors and intellectuals, told us that Islam was the religion of peace and that we were the problem. The classical scholars were apologists for Islam.
Then a revolution happened. Self-taught scholars began to write books and blogs. This new knowledge had a novel feature: their books were written for the common man to read. Previous scholarship from the academy was written for other tenured professors to read.
There was another new feature of the self-taught scholarship—it was about the foundations of Islam—the Koran and the Sunna of Mohammed. Academic scholarship about Islam is based on opinions from complex experts that make watching paint dry seem exciting.
This is a second self-taught revolution that is comparable to the first self-taught scholarship that gave us classical physics and chemistry. Newton did not learn calculus and classical mechanics at school. No, he created the concepts. He was self-taught. All discoveries and creations are self-taught. No one taught Benjamin Franklin that lightning was electricity, he was self-taught by doing experiments.
So the intellectual push back against political Islam did not come from professionals, but self-taught amateurs. Another analogy about these self-taught scholars is that they are like intellectual guerilla fighters.
Today, if Trump understood the self-taught revolution against Sharia, he would harness the talent that has withstood the onslaught of the Muslim Brotherhood, without any support from government. Think of what could happen if people such as Robert Spencer and other warrior scholars were given access to federal law enforcement, military, State Department, and intelligence agencies.