Recently, our Senate Homeland Security Dept. issued a bi-partisan report on the dangers of home-grown Islamic terrorism, identifying as did the NYPD of two years ago the fact that Salafi-jihadism is the driver of virtually all Islamic terrorism in the West. That high squealing noise that you hear is emenating from the major Salafist Groups in America who are doing all they can to stop this report's statement of the obvious from becoming accepted and known by the U.S. public. The voice of sanity that you hear comes from Muslim and former U.S. Navy Officer Zhudi Jasser who point out, "To deny that political Islam and its permutations on the internet from Wahhabism to salafism to Al Qaedism to run of the mill Islamism have nothing to do with homegrown terror is patently absurd." The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) announced today that it congratulates the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the release of its timely and insightful Report on "Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat. Well said, Dr. Jasser. Dr. Jasser's cause is an extremely worthy one, to take back his religion. When you hear someone ask "where are the moderate Muslims," point them to Dr. Jasser and ask them to give their full support, both in time and money. Better to give one's dollars to Dr. Jasser than to have it recycled through the oil wells of Saudi Arabia only to come back in support of CAIR and the cause of Salafi triumphalism.
It is no secret that Salafi-Jihadis want to see Western freedoms eroded and the triumph of Islam in the West through the imposition of Sharia law. Towards this end, these Salafist organizations whitewash Salafism and spend incredible sums of money lobbying Western governments to adopt the position, in whole contradiction to the tons of unambiguous evidence, that Salafism is not associated with terrorism and that terrorism itself is not associated with Islam.
Many in the West willingly drink that highly poisoned kool-aide, whether for votes (Pelosi/Conyers), money (academia), a "can't we all get along" fantasy (Homeland Security), a desire not to upset the Saudis who pump our oil (Bush), pure naivete (Pentagon/Hesham Islam), or simply out of marxian multicultural ethos that deems all cultures superior to our own and beyond judgment (Britain). Thank God for the few voices in government, such as Rep. Sue Myrick and Senator Joe Lieberman, and for the "moderate Muslim" stalwarts outside of government, such as Tawfiq Hamid, Zhuddi Jasser, Ibn Warraq and the Center For Islamic Pluralism, all of whom stand firmly and unflinchingly against this Salafi menace. And, of course, there is Dr. Bernard Lewis, the man who predicted the explosion of Salafi terrorism before 9-11, the man who coined the phrase "clash of civilizations" half a century ago, and the man who described the nature of Saudi Arabia's Salafism to America in his books by likening it to the most virulent sub-group within the KKK.
What set off the high squealing noise you hear was Sen. Joe Lieberman's release of a report by his committee on Homeland Security, Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat. The report relies heavily on a prior work by the NYPD which analyzed how terrorists are made in the West - i.e., a several step process, the common thread at each step being exposure to Salafist/jihadia philosophy and propaganda.
The Senate Report is a bland but fair examination of the problem and the heretofore uncoordinated efforts in America to address it. In acknowledging the role of Salafi Islam as being at the core of Islamic terrorism in the West, it does nothing more than state the obvious. But the obvious is a message the Salafist organizations do not want America to hear - and CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, joined by the rest of the usual Salafi suspects, is in high squeal mode. They have drafted a letter to Senator Lieberman, in essence equating following the evidence of terrorism back to Salafi Islam as being the equal of profiling. You can read the letter here, or you can just read the response of Zhudi Jasser, Chairman of AIFD. It is so eloquent and articulate, I include it here in its entirity:
"The report lays out insightful research of the majority and minority staff and clearly lays out the reality and the vulnerability of the United States to Homegrown Islamist Terrorism citing several credible examples. "
AIFD has previously not only agreed with the conclusions of the NYPD Report upon which this Senate Committee report builds, but AIFD has also previously called upon American Muslim organizations to begin the work of countering the ideologies which feed homegrown terrorism," M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D, founder and Chairman of the Board, The American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
The Senate Committee report cites many examples of homegrown terror threats. For example, AIFD has commented on the local Phoenix case of Hassan Abujihaad recently convicted of treason in federal court after a raid in London discovered that he was providing a terror cell with classified information on the whereabouts of his U.S. Navy ship to aid an act of terror against American troops.
The report's description of 'the path to radicalization', 'the terrorist internet campaign' and 'the virtual terrorist training camp' is an especially valuable contribution in the setting of mounting evidence of the threat of cyberjihad. The committee's investigation and identification of ways in which the Internet campaign can play a significant role- from 'pre-radicalization' to 'indoctrination' to 'jihadization' to 'the Lone Wolves' is also a particularly valuable contribution to the body of knowledge available today on this subject.
The report's description of the vulnerability of the U.S. and the potential of Islamists to "erode the effectiveness of our national defenses" should provide a particular warning to Americans to step-up our efforts at counter-radicalization.
AIFD would like to highlight the report's recognition of the need to coordinate a communications strategy against the homegrown threat- especially that flourishing on the internet. We would especially bring forward, the report's comment that "no longer is the threat just from abroad, as was the case with the attacks of 9-11; the threat is now increasingly from within, from homegrown terrorists who are inspired by violent Islamist ideology to plan and execute attacks where they live. One of the primary drivers of this new threat is the use of the internet to enlist individuals…"
AIFD is especially flabbergasted and chagrined as Americans and as Muslims by the scurrilous attacks upon this report and the Senate Committee under the leadership of Sens. Lieberman (CT) and Collins (ME) by the signatories to a letter of protest. This letter of protest does little other than expose the obstructionist techniques of the signatory organizations and their refusal to openly address necessary areas of ideological reform necessary in the Muslim community. If these Muslim organizations are unable to grasp the central ideological theological root causes of Islamist inspired terror, they are either participating in a grand denial, protecting the Islamist mindset, or simply obstructing the contest of ideas against political Islam.
Americans should ask - why isn't the work this committee completed not being done by Muslim NGO's? Rather than address the problems which reports like this address, many American Muslim and Arab organizations prefer to exaggerate their own victimization and ignore their own responsibility in countering the movements which this report fairly exposes.
It is particularly alarming that four of the largest Arab-American and Muslim-American advocacy organizations in the U.S (CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates) are discounting this valuable report and actually attempting to impede and delegitimize any honest attempt by Americans to dissect the 'real' causes and threats of homegrown Islamist terror. They cite the NYPD Report as "controversial" and "widely disputed" and "discredited" without any supporting evidence or credible sources for such an ad hominem assertion. By brushing off the N.Y.P.D. Report as "shoddy" and "now discredited" by "counter-terrorism experts and federal law enforcement officials … who have [privately} rejected the report's content and methodology" they operate in the typical Islamist fashion of using 'private' 'unnamed' unidentifiable sources with no substantive ideological counter arguments.
Where is the personal responsibility and regard for American security of these Muslim organizations that rather than focus their efforts on counterterrorism recklessly state: "so far … any potential terrorist threat involving Muslims has failed to materialize here in the United States …" They are entirely discounting the tireless and dedicated work of our intelligence and security agencies that have thwarted some thirty plus attacks against America. It seems that the facts in the report they criticize are of no use to them. If our Homeland Security had this type of lackadaisical attitude of denial, we would have most likely seen catastrophes greater than 9-11. When will Muslim organizations become part of the solution against militant Islamism rather than obstacles in any legitimate effort to study and understand its causes? To deny that political Islam and its permutations on the internet from Wahhabism to salafism to Al Qaedism to run of the mill Islamism have nothing to do with homegrown terror is patently absurd.
These four Arab and Muslim American advocacy organizations allege that there are sharp contrasts between integration and radicalization levels in the U.S. as opposed to Europe. Do they not realize how lack of integration and radicalization are gradual processes that take years to reach boiling points? While Muslims may be more integrated in the U.S., the growing examples of homegrown terrorism which continue to virally spread demonstrate that the only difference with Europe may be our trajectory toward radicalization. The end may be the same, but just delayed due to factors unique in America versus Europe.
How can studying a radical political ideology which cloaks itself in religion and which is separatist, violent, and theocratic be an act of discrimination? To us at AIFD, it's a noble necessary act of science, societal analysis, and of national security.
The N.Y.P.D. Report on Homegrown Terror before this Senate report was also a timely wake-up call to all Americans, and particularly to truly moderate Muslims who need to accept ownership and responsibility of this growing threat to Islam and to America.
Press releases and letters of complaint like that submitted by CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates on May 14, 2008, actually further the entrenchment of Islamist ideology on behalf of Muslims in the public square. Rather than distance themselves from Wahhabism, salafism, and other Islamist ideologies which feed the radicalism that this report illustrates, these organizations are acting in denial which only obstructs real reform and makes Muslims appear to be in support of these backward ideologies.
In their joint letter these organizations persist in their fear mongering, victimology, and divisiveness stating that the report is, "inaccurately labeling American Muslims as a suspect class …" when referring to the N.Y.P.D. Report's noble aims of protecting all Americans – Muslim and non-Muslim. In fact, if there is any appearance that Muslims are a suspect class, which has yet to be proven, it is most often because victim oriented organizations like CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates stay silent against the ideologies which threaten U.S. security. If Muslims were to lead the charge to reform our community and counter Islamist ideology no such label could ever stand in the court of public opinion.Rather than moving toward accepting Muslim responsibility and ownership of the issue, and becoming the Muslim frontline to terror, the focus of these four large Muslim organizations, within the Muslim community, is on stifling all criticism of political Islam, squelching all contradictory ideas, and most of all permitting no dissention. They prefer to label the critic of Islamist movements as outside what they set as the de-facto Muslim mainstream which in reality leaves them outside the American mainstream.The only area of agreement we have in their entire rant concerns American Muslim input into the Senate report. Certainly, it is also our hope that these types of investigations and reports solicit more Muslim input in order to get as many Arab and Muslim American organizations on record as possible about these central ideological issues. It is more important now than ever to get Muslim organizations on record regarding their stances on Wahhabism, Islamism, Salafism, governmental sharia and Caliphism, to name a few. "AIFD would also finally recommend that Muslim input to such investigations include anti-Islamist and anti-Wahhabi Muslims ready to ideologically counter the real sources of Islamist radicalism," adds Dr. Zuhdi Jasser.
For more information about the American Islamic Forum for Democracy please see http://www.aifdemocracy.org/null.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) announced today that it congratulates the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the release of its timely and insightful Report on "Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.
Well said, Dr. Jasser. Dr. Jasser's cause is an extremely worthy one, to take back his religion. When you hear someone ask "where are the moderate Muslims," point them to Dr. Jasser and ask them to give their full support, both in time and money. Better to give one's dollars to Dr. Jasser than to have it recycled through the oil wells of Saudi Arabia only to come back in support of CAIR and the cause of Salafi triumphalism.