Sunday, April 13, 2008

CAIR Seeks Repudiation of NYPD Report Tying Terrorism to Salafism

Most of the allegedly "mainstream" Muslim organizations that the average person will have heard of are anything but mainstream. They are not representative of the typical Muslim in America. Instead, they are organizations that are largely, if not wholly, funded from the coffers of Saudi Arabian billionaires, the Muslim Brotherhood or other foreign radical organizations or individuals. Their mission is to further the political goals in the West of the radical ideologies they both represent and misrepresent. The latest effort comes from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and their target is the NYPD, who last year identified Wahhabi / Salafi Islam as the driving force behind radicalization and terrorism by Sunni Muslims.

Some time ago, the intelligence division of the NYPD published a document called Radicalization in the West. If you have not read it, you should do so. You can find it here. The document was notable for being the first governmental publication to my knowledge to fully document the relationship between Wahhabi/Salafi Islam and terrorism. The NYPD authors merely looked to prior terrorist attacks in the West and found Wahhabi Salafi dogma - and indoctronation in that dogma - to be the common thread. This was merely stating the obvious to anyone familiar with Islam's history over the past century.

This finding, documented by the NYPD, is so clear as to be beyond any reasonable argument. Indeed, for but one other example, I would recommend that you read, in conjunction with the NYPD document, this autobiographical skectch from Tawfiq Hamid, a former terrorist in an al Qaeda type organization, who details how he was seduced by Salafi Islam into becoming a terrorist. If you have not read it, do so. His concluding paragraph is an appropriate warning on this issue of identifying the cause of terrorism:

The civilized world ought to recognize the immense danger that Salafi Islam poses; it must become informed, courageous and united if it is to protect both a generation of young Muslims and the rest of humanity from the disastrous consequences of this militant ideology.

I have also posted repeatedly on the critical importance of shining a bright light on Wahhabi / Salafi Islam, such as here, as have various "moderate Muslims, including the head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Zhudi Jasser (see the video of his recent debate with a Salafi imam), terrorism expert Walid Phares (see his interview here), and Stepehn Suliman Schwartz, head of the Center for Islamic Pluralism - an organization whose site contains a dedicated "Wahhabi Watch." Their voices are clear - but nowhere near as loud as those many organizations funded by billions in petrodollars and tasked specifically to muddy the waters and further the political goals of the Salafists in the West. Zhudi Jasser explains the situation in his essay that I have blogged below:

“[P]olitical imams” (imams who use their pulpit to preach an Islamist domestic and foreign policy agenda) . . . are apparently a majority of imams in mosques around the U.S. Not only are political imams in the majority of mosques but the salafist orientation seems to predominate mosques also. This is augmented in the public place with their supporting and collaborating Islamist organizations which include ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), MAS (Muslim American Society), ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), MSA (Muslim Students Association), the North American Imams Federation, The Assembly of American Muslim Jurists, and the MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) to name a few. . . .

The entirety of mosques and Islamist and anti-Islamist Muslim organizations do not represent all American Muslims. Most American Muslims are actually unaffiliated with any element of the organized Muslim community. Some, if not most, are unaffiliated simply because they separate religion and politics. In fact, statistics would show that only a small minority of American Muslims maintain membership in any “Muslim” organizations. . . .

Read the essay here.

The degree of infiltration of these Salafi organizations in the West is significant. Equally concerning is their effectiveness in misrepresenting Salafism in the West and their resort to claims of Islamaphobia or some other sort of improper act whenever a light is shown upon their bloody, violent and highly racist version of Islam. The latest is CAIR's attempt to squelch the NYPD's report, "Radicalization in the West." They must not be allowed to succeed.

This from Stephen Suliman Schwartz writing in the Daily Standard:

LAST YEAR THE New York Police Department (NYPD) issued a clear-sighted and path-breaking document titled Radicalization in the West: The Home-Grown Threat. Prepared by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt of the NYPD Intelligence Division, the report was serious, well-researched, and articulate. It traced radical Sunni Muslim activities in non-Muslim countries to the "jihadi-Salafi" ideology, better known as Wahhabism, created in Saudi Arabia and supported by major extremist resources in Pakistan (the jihadist movement of Mawdudi) and Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood). It was posted on the internet by Republican congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan . . .

Radicalization in the West met with enthusiastic approval from anti-extremist, moderate Muslims, but with predictable condemnation from the "Wahhabi lobby" represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies. On November 23, 2007, as disclosed in documents made available to me, a statement was composed, in the name of the "Muslim community," protesting against the NYPD's release of the report. Employing the typically arrogant, peremptory, and militant idiom of the Islamist movements, the statement called on New York police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly:

* "To cease distribution of the report to other jurisdictions' law enforcement agencies while the NYPD carefully responds to and corrects the report's misconceptions and errors;

* "To clarify what policies have been adopted by the NYPD as a consequence of the report, and in particular respond to concerns expressed in [a] Community Statement submitted by diverse Muslim community representatives;

* "To issue a public statement to the effect that the NYPD is working with members of the Muslim community of New York on developing a sound, rights-respecting policy on 'radicalization' that will not lead to religious or racial profiling;

* "To commit NYPD to a regular schedule of ongoing dialogue to address the issues."

The Wahhabi lobby activists in New York then completed their "Community Statement." It consists of little more than nitpicking over the sources and conclusions of the NYPD report, notably rejecting any association of Wahhabi "Salafism" with jihadism. But more important, the defenders of Wahhabism arrogated to themselves the right to decide what the city's police should do in response to the challenge of radical Islam. The extremists would set the NYPD's overall agenda, forcing Commissioner Kelly and his personnel to work according to Wahhabi guidelines and at the Wahhabis' convenience.

The radical Muslim response to the NYPD report predictably employed the pretexts of alleged "profiling" and "inappropriate" criteria. But the report did not embody "profiling;" rather, it was an academic-style work based on open source documents and serious expertise, and utilized a case study approach drawing on terrorism incidents abroad. These included the March 2004 Madrid metro massacre, in which 191 people died and some 2,000 were injured, the November 2004 murder of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam, the July 2005 London transport attacks, with 52 commuters killed and 700 hurt, and thwarted conspiracies in Australia and Canada.

But for Islamists in America, charges of "profiling" and "inappropriate" methods are the preferred reply to critical discussion of almost all significant matters. Those who investigate Wahhabism are accused of "profiling" Saudis, even though numerous Saudi subjects hate and reject Wahhabism. Questioners about radicalism in Islam are alleged to "profile" all Muslims, notwithstanding the recognition and repudiation of extremism by millions of ordinary Muhammadan believers. According to the radicals, they themselves represent the Muslim mainstream, their practices and beliefs are harmless, and any questioning of them amounts to persecution. Unfortunately for the extremists, many Muslims disagree with them, considering them a deviant phenomenon, their habits and views distorted, and their worldwide quest for domination worthy of decided opposition.

This month, the Wahhabi lobby plans to drop its manifesto of grievances on Commissioner Kelly, on April 17. In minutes of a meeting held in New York on March 3, officials of CAIR present included Faiza Ali, Aliya Latif, and Omar Mohammadi, joined by Islamist agitator Syed Z. Sayeed, religious adviser to the Saudi-backed Muslim Students Association at Columbia University. They noted that the NYPD had asked for a detailed reply to the report. The participants at the March 3 get-together also observed that while they would prepare such a response, CAIR itself has financed and is working on a more thorough text designated its "long-term analysis/alternative model of radicalization." . . .

Here is a preferred outcome for this absurd contretemps:

* The New York Police Department should be congratulated, not assailed, for publishing a serious analysis of radical Islam in the West.

* The Islamist organizations should accept that if they disagree with the views in the NYPD document they should do so in a polite, respectful manner, without issuing self-righteous demands or irresponsible charges. Of course, they won't agree to such a thing. One might even argue that the NYPD and the anti-Islamists, not the Islamists, have been "profiled"--by the radicals. . . .

* And, finally, New York police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly should inform the aggrieved extremists, with maximum politeness, that he will spend a minimum of time listening to them. He should then file their laborious plea in favor of extremist ideology where it belongs.

Read the entire article. There are many people who are unable to differentiate between the vast majority of Muslims and those Muslims who are imbued by the Salafi ideology and its variants in Pakistan - and Iran, for that matter. But such differentiation is necessary if we are ever to win the war of ideas for the heart and soul of Islam. And the first step along that road is to educate the populace as to the nature of the beast. That is what the NYPD did with their report. And this is why CAIR and other Salafi Islamists want to see the report repudiated.

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