From 2008 to 2011, I was a guest lecturer at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (the primary DHS training facility, located in coastal Georgia) and at Joint Special Operations University (which brings foreign officers to learn of U.S. irregular warfare, located in Tampa). At both venues I was asked to lecture on the history of terrorism.
I did so in an even-handed and comprehensive manner, exploring the issue across place (Europe to East Asia), time (ancient Assyria to al-Qaeda), and ideology (religious: pagan, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim; and political: right-wing, left-wing, anarchist, environmentalist, etc.). Only 14 of the 44 PowerPoint screens in my presentation dealt with Islamic terrorism, although several of those actually mitigated against the concept.
Nonetheless, in June 2009 I was told that I could no longer lecture at FLETC, because the edict had come down from the new Obama administration that “no trainer who uses the term ‘jihad’ shall henceforth be used.” (This was over two years before the Obama administration was openly hostile to realistic training about Islam.)
JSOU continued to utilize me until late 2011, when I was told by the course instructor that Muslim student officers had complained that “I talked too much about Islamic terrorism.”
I was actually surprised that I had not been yanked the year before, when references to Islam and jihad were stricken from Obama’s kinder, gentler National Security Strategy document. That same year, noted Islamic studies expert Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that foiled Islamic suicide bombers in the U.S. were motivated by “Islam that is not consistent with” that religion’s “true teachings.”
Now, the Obama administration — led by Holder — has decided that Islam is a “race,” and therefore to examine or even to adduce a Muslim’s Islamic beliefs about jihad, beheading, violence against kuffar (“infidels”), or re-establishing a caliphate is tantamount to racism. This administration behavior is rationalized because “federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counter terrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.”
It is difficult to express just how willfully ignorant of reality these statements and accompanying policies are.
Per the immigration example: as over 80% of “undocumented aliens” are from Mexico or another Latin American country, it would be foolish, indeed delusionary, to ignore that fact. The same logic applies to directing extra scrutiny towards individuals who hold a set of beliefs that may predispose them to violence against others not of that belief system.
And that is the primary point: Islam is a belief system. Not a race.
Muslims can be of any skin, Bosnian or Turkish, Nigerian, Saudi, Chinese. If American, Muslims can perhaps be of several nationalities. This is equally if not more true of Christians, who can be white Finns, black Ethiopians, brown Lebanese, or Koreans, to name but a few examples. It is not possible to look at someone (sans distinctive clothing) and ascertain whether he or she is Muslim or Christian — or secularist, for that matter.
Advocacy groups and willing dupes in the media and Democrat Party — like Senator Dick Durbin — have foolishly yet successfully conflated race and ideology in the case of only one religion, Islam. They have made examining the latter tantamount to discrimination against the former. No one ever argues that singling out Christians for repression because they hold politically incorrect views about gay marriage or abortion amounts to “racism.”
Beyond the obvious fact that beliefs do not constitute a race, Holder et al. are massively wrong to deny the clear link between certain Islamic beliefs and terrorism.
Currently there are 57 groups on the U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization list; 38 of these are stridently Islamic in ideology and goals. Ten of these are secular/Leftist, six are nationalist, one is anarchist, and one each is Jewish and Christian. (The latter one — the Japanese, sarin gas-using Aum Shinrikyo — is at best only nominally Christian, and better described as generically apocalyptic.)
So: 67% of the world’s terrorist groups as recognized by the U.S. (more, actually, if State were honest and comprehensive; they should includee Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, etc.) are Muslim.
Since 9/11, 82% of U.S. Department of Justice terrorism convictions have been of Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims comprise less than 1% of the American population. (I accessed this data some time ago; it has since mysteriously disappeared from the DOJ website.)
The University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database tracks terrorism incidents from 1970 to today: search for “Islam” and you find almost 5,000 entries. Search for “Christianity” and you will find a grand total of 14.
The NSA could probably save a lot of money — as well as abide by the Constitution — if it simply acknowledged the following:
A person with neither a first nor a last Muslim name stood only a 1 in 500,000 chance of being a suspected terrorist. The likelihood for a person with a first or a last Muslim name was 1 in 30,000. For a person with first and last Muslim names, however, the likelihood jumped to 1 in 2,000 (Levitt & Dubner, Super Freakonomics, 2009, p. 93).
Clearly, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, Islam is the world’s major ideological motivator of terrorism and violence. (I have neither the time, nor the patience, to yet again demonstrate the legitimate Islamic roots of violence. Ray Ibrahim’s brilliant article should be all the proof needed for those able to handle the truth.) Yet Eric Holder and his boss would have the federal authorities most responsible for protecting the public — led by the FBI — pretend that up is down, freedom is slavery, and Islam is peaceful except when “twisted” by a “handful of extremists.”
Instead of ardent Islamic beliefs being treated as a clear marker for potential terrorism, they are now a talisman protecting the holder not just from scrutiny, but suspicion.
Obama and Holder are transforming the U.S. into a dhimmi nation: one that cowers before Islamic law and demands that its non-Muslim citizens — especially its 240 million Christians — meekly accept their second-class status and never broach the glaringly obvious fact of Islamic violence, even if this means making all non-Muslims less safe. The question for those of us in the majority, then: just how long will we put up with such a dangerous policy?