The massive surveillance apparatus that exists under Obama to combat "terrorism" seems to have one massive, gaping hole - it does not include mosques. This from IBD:
The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.
That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel's formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
. . . This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.
What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?
Religious freedom is at the heart of our "civil rights," as set forth in the Bill of Rights. Our nation was founded on religious tolerance in the decades after the bloody European religious wars. But at that time, our nation was almost wholly sects of Christianity and Judaism.
Our only relationship to Islam at around the time of the founding was external. The merchant ships of our newly formed nation was under sustained attack the "Barbary pirates" - North African Islamic groups that justified their war on us on the basis of their religion, Islam. In a 1796 meeting of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams with an envoy from the pirates:
. . . [Adams and Jefferson] ‘took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury.’ The ambassador [from the Barbary States] replied that it was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave.” He claimed every one of their guys who was “slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.
An argument can be made that at the time of the crafting of the Bill of Rights, Islam was beyond the consideration of the drafters. Moreover, there is no corresponding doctrine of conquest and enslavement of non-believers in either Christianity or Judaism. Indeed, because of these and other related doctrines, Islam is as much a political system as it is a set of religious beliefs. While virtually everyone in this country would agree that there should be no compulsion as to religious beliefs, that alone should not in any way protect Muslims or mosques from full and unfettered surveillance and, where warranted, police action. Arguments to the contrary wrongly conflate Islam wholly with religion - and for many if not most sects of Islam, it is far more than just that.