Spurious moral equivalence employed in order to divert attention from the real threat. My latest at The Geller Report:
It was reported Friday that “a trio of House Democrats say President Trump is making a mistake pushing for counter-extremism efforts to focus only on radical Islam….Friday’s letter was signed Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson (Md.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and John Conyers (Mich.).”
Thompson, Engel and Conyers wrote: “Such a move is wrongheaded insofar as persons who commit acts of violent extremism are inspired by diverse political, religious and philosophical beliefs, and are not limited to any single population or region.”
In reality, there have been over 30,000 murderous jihad terror attacks worldwide since 9/11. What other political, religious and philosophical beliefs have been responsible for any comparable number? A widely publicized study purporting to show that “right-wing extremists” have killed more people in the U.S. than Islamic jihadis, and thus pose a greater threat, has been debunked on many grounds.
These representatives also wrote: “Changing the name to ‘Countering Islamic Extremism’ or ‘Countering Radical Islamic Extremism’ would have damaging effects to our national security by feeding into the propaganda created by terrorist groups and child domestic and international diplomatic relations. Additionally, it could further alienate and create distrust with the Muslim-American communities when the program depends on close cooperation with law enforcement.”
Islamic jihadis routinely cite the texts and teachings of Islam to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims. The idea that Muslims who reject jihad terror will be enraged if the U.S. government takes note of this is absurd. If they reject jihad terror, they won’t embrace it because officials are saying things they don’t like; in fact, if they really reject it, they should welcome and cooperate with efforts to identify its causes and eradicate them. These Congressmen are recommending that we curtail our speech to avoid criticizing Islam, which is a Sharia blasphemy provision that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been trying to foist upon the U.S. by means of “hate speech” laws for years. That the statements of Thompson, Engel and Conyers are simply today’s conventional wisdom is one indication of how successful these efforts have been.
Critics of President Trump’s plan have complained: “The program, ‘Countering Violent Extremism,’ or CVE, would be changed to ‘Countering Islamic Extremism’ or ‘Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,’ the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.”
Indeed, but the white supremacist threat has been wildly exaggerated by Soros-funded groups (which exaggerations have been pushed by Soros-funded media) that downplay and deny the jihad threat. Reuters’ equivalence here also ignores the fact that the jihad is an international movement set on destroying the U.S. and found on every continent; white supremacism is not.
What Trump is really doing here is reversing Obama’s bow to Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in scrubbing counter-terror training materials of all mention of Islam and jihad. On October 19, 2011, Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates delivered a letter to John Brennan, who was then the assistant to the president on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism. The letter was signed by the leaders of virtually all significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Khera complained specifically about me, noting that my books could be found in “the FBI’s library at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia”; that a reading list accompanying a slide presentation by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Communications Unit recommended my book The Truth About Muhammad; that in July 2010 I “presented a two-hour seminar on ‘the belief system of Islamic jihadists’ to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Tidewater, Virginia”; and that I also “presented a similar lecture to the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, which is co-hosted by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office.”
These were supposed to be terrible materials because I was supposedly bigoted and hateful. However, many of the examples Khera adduced of “bigoted and distorted materials” involved statements that were simply accurate. The only distortion was Khera’s representation of them.
For instance, Khera stated:
A 2006 FBI intelligence report stating that individuals who convert to Islam are on the path to becoming “Homegrown Islamic Extremists,” if they exhibit any of the following behavior:
“Wearing traditional Muslim attire”
“Growing facial hair”
“Frequent attendance at a mosque or a prayer group”
“Travel to a Muslim country”
“Increased activity in a pro-Muslim social group or political cause”
The FBI intelligence report Khera purported to be describing didn’t actually say that. Rather, it included these behaviors among a list of fourteen indicators that could “identify an individual going through the radicalization process.” Other indicators included:
“Travel without obvious source of funds”
“Suspicious purchases of bomb making paraphernalia or weapons”
“Large transfer of funds, from or to overseas”
“Formation of operational cells”
Khera had selectively quoted the list to give the impression that the FBI was teaching that devout observance of Islam led inevitably and in every case to “extremism.”
Despite the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups signing the letter demanded that the task force, among other actions:
“Purge all federal government training materials of biased materials.”
“Implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training.”
They wished to ensure that all law enforcement officials ever learn about Islam and jihad would be what the signatories wanted them to learn — and Brennan was amenable to that. He took Khera’s complaints as his marching orders.
In a November 3, 2011, letter to Khera that — significantly — was written on White House stationery, Brennan accepted Khera’s criticisms without a murmur of protest and assured her of his readiness to comply. He detailed specific actions being undertaken, including “collecting all training materials that contain cultural or religious content, including information related to Islam or Muslims.” In reality, this material wouldn’t just be “collected”; it would be purged of anything that Farhana Khera and others like her found offensive. Honest, accurate discussion of how Islamic jihadists use Islamic teachings to justify violence would no longer be allowed.
The alacrity with which Brennan complied was unfortunate on many levels. Numerous books and presentations that gave a perfectly accurate view of Islam and jihad were purged. Brennan was complying with demands from quarters that could hardly be considered authentically moderate.
This Obama policy of the U.S. government ensured that numerous jihadists simply could not be identified as risks. The Obama administration was bound, as a matter of policy, to ignore what in saner times would be taken as warning signs. Now we can hope that Trump will reverse all that. Indeed, it is our only hope of defeating this scourge.