Will we ever wake up to Islamic radical threat?
02:08 PM CST on Friday, November 13, 2009
Don't jump to conclusions about Islam's role in the Fort Hood massacre, the media warned. Who needed to jump? From almost the beginning, it was clear that Maj. Nidal Hasan was a homegrown jihadi.
Within hours of the attack, people who knew Hasan were telling reporters how openly pious he was and how he often expressed his opposition to U.S. war policy in religious terms favored by Islamic extremists. In fact, you had to strain hard not to see the role Islam played in this atrocity. But that's an exercise politically correct American elites – in the media, academia and government – are good at. They've
certainly had lots of practice since 9/11.
When it comes to investigating and exposing radical Islam in America, the media see their job as managing the story, not telling it. Six years ago, the then-head of the Islamic Society of North America came in for an editorial board meeting. He talked about peace, friendship and tolerance. But when I calmly asked him how he reconciled that rhetoric with the record of support for radical causes among ISNA board
members, he shook his fist at me and called me a Nazi.
That routine is, alas, not alien to American Muslim leaders with whom I've clashed since. They obfuscate what they really believe and try to intimidate critics into silence with accusations of bigotry. They cannily understand that's kryptonite to many journalists, who find Baptists scarier than Wahhabists.
In 2007, influential American Muslims convinced PBS to deep-six a documentary highlighting the lonely battle waged by Muslim patriots like Zuhdi Jasser, seeking to awaken Americans to the danger from political Islam. These Muslim outsiders point out that the leadership of most mosques and American Islamic institutions is hopelessly compromised by politicized radicals of the international Muslim Brotherhood.
But elites prefer to listen to their Muslim counterparts, who tell the incurious bien-pensants what they want to hear.
When anti-Semitic, anti-Christian hate literature is found at a mosque, or radical speakers give a program praising a Muslim fanatic, or Muslim children are taught the philosophy of the foremost philosopher of Islamist terror – all of which have happened in the Dallas area in recent years – few care to notice.
Do people think the Nidal Hasans come from nowhere? Immediately after 9/11, Virginia imam Anwar al-Awlaki was denouncing Islamic terrorism to admiring American reporters. Unnoticed by them, he was teaching radical Islam to his followers, including Nidal Hasan, whom Awlaki – now in Yemen and recruiting for al-Qaeda – last week hailed as a "hero."
Not even the Holy Land Foundation trial release of a captured Muslim Brotherhood planning memo directly linking top U.S. Muslim groups to a long-term plan for "civilizational jihad" against America was enough to attract the mainstream media's attention beyond The Dallas Morning News. The memo, seized during an FBI raid, outlined a plan for ISNA and others to establish themselves as respected civic
institutions – as they certainly have done, with the help of the media and the government, which grants respectability to these groups by embracing them.
Before the blood dried at Fort Hood, Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, agonized over the thought that the military's "diversity" might be a casualty. That attitude led to the 2008 dismissal of a top Joint Chiefs intelligence analyst, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, after he allegedly ran afoul of a Muslim adviser to then-Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.
Coughlin, an Islamic law expert, had been warning that the government was failing to grasp the significance of ideas in the war on Islamic terror. He also alerted officials that top U.S. Muslim organizations were front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood and advised Pentagon bigs
to cut off ties.
Coughlin was tagged an anti-Muslim hardliner and cashiered. Last week, speaking to a Washington-area private counterterrorism analyst, I brought up the Coughlin matter in relation to Casey's diversity remarks. The analyst replied that U.S. officials are dangerously in the dark about the true nature of the domestic radical Islamic threat because "all their advisers come from these organizations."
That elites dread "Islamophobia" more than radical Islam recalls how earlier generations of American liberals feared anti-communism more than communism.
In 1982, the leftist intellectual Susan Sontag caused a scandal by saying that someone who read only Reader's Digest would have been better informed about the realities of communism than someone who read only leading left-liberal magazines. Similarly, a contemporary American who gets his information about American Islam from a discerning read of the blogosphere will be better informed than the mainstream
Eventually that will be obvious, though one grieves to imagine the kind of bloody horror that will finally force the blind to see.
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