Maundy Thursday: Muslims cooperate. Politico editor Michael Hirsh praised the cooperation between intelligence agencies and Moslem informants, which ignorant Republicans upset, he said, by publicly noticing the correlation between Islam, the religion, and terrorism, the international crime. He wrote:
“[There is] deep embedding of…intelligence-gathering efforts in Muslim communities….less driven by “patrolling” and surveillance than by using sophisticated…outreach and informant programs. The result, U.S. officials say, is that Muslim neighborhoods here are cooperating against Islamist terrorists….”
Good Friday: Muslim cooperation Collapses. National Memo writer Joe Conanson said Donald Trump “wants to bring back torture” and “would bar any Muslim from entering the United States”, while Senator Ted Cruz “hopes to bomb indiscriminately until the desert glows” and “would dispatch special police patrols into Muslim neighborhoods. Both eagerly stigmatize Muslims in America and worldwide”.
“Our success in defeating Daesh [the Arabic acronym for IS] depends on…winning the cooperation of the great majority of Islam’s believers. Despite the rash of bigotry and violence encouraged by Islamophobic demagogues like Trump, the Muslims who live here remain as stable, patriotic, and peaceful as they have been for many, many years….American law enforcement officials are appalled by the aggressive, Muslim-baiting rhetoric emanating from Trump and Cruz….”
Saturday, Holy Week: Moslems cancel cooperation. The Daily Caller reported Saturday that a Muslim anti-discrimination group emailed supporters that the FBI’s new informant program should be canceled because it targets the religion and uses bribes to get Muslims to inform on each other “who do not represent the interests of the [Muslim] community”. What are “the interests of the community” that preclude the reporting of terror indicators and the prevention of radicalization?
“The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee demands that the FBI cancel the launch of its controversial ‘Shared Responsibility Committee’ program….which is part of the government’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program….[It] continues to target Arabs and Muslims, and turns our religious leaders, mental health professionals, teachers and dedicated community members into informants for the FBI….The FBI has relied on fringe groups from within the community. These groups are recipients of government grants used to implement such programs and do not work in the best interest of the community.”
The article described how Muslim complaints gutted an earlier informant program. The FBI’s website for kids, “Don’t be a Puppet [of terrorists]”, was delayed in November when Muslims complained that it approached “violent extremism….through the lens of Islam and will lead to profiling of Muslim youth.” (Washington Post, November, 2015) When it finally went online in February, not only was there no “lens of Islam”, there was no mention of Islam at all. The only “terrorists” kids are now being told not to become “puppets” of are animal rights activists, white supremacists, and other “violent extremists”.
The FBI is the puppet, complains Former CIA officer Clare Lopez, a foreign policy adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz. Pamela Geller called the intelligence operations “toothless and silly”. “When have you ever seen a Muslim group come out for any counter-terrorism program?”
Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Cruz clarifies his patrols; Geller blasts “eye for an eye”.
Senator Ted Cruz said that in calling for stepped-up policing in Muslim neighborhoods he meant addressing problems by using “every tool” including law enforcement, the military abroad and the country’s national security and intelligence communities.
Also on Sunday, New York’s police commissioner said they will not patrol based on religion.
“Nor will we use the police and an occupying force to intimidate a populace or a religion to appease the provocative chatter of politicians seeking to exploit fear. We already patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods, the same way we patrol and secure other neighborhoods.”
Also on Sunday, New York City’s Pamella Geller commented on a sentence of Iran’s Supreme Court that a man who blinded another in a fight should himself be blinded in one eye. Geller said, quoting Surah 5:45, “It’s in the Quran”, meaning we need to blame the Quran itself for such barbarity. “And Obama is enabling and enriching these savages.”
But it’s the Bible’s model of justice too: Exodus 21:23-25, Leviticus 24:19-20, although Jesus pleads not to sue for perfect justice in Matthew 5:38-40. How does she justify the Bible, and vilify the Quran, for saying the same thing?
“Spare me about how this is in the Hebrew Bible also. Where do you see Jews or Christians putting out people’s eyes? Only in Islamic states such as Iran does this kind of thing happen.”
Well, OK, but surely there is a better explanation of what makes the principle barbaric in the Quran but benevolent in the Bible than that Muslims actually obey their scriptures while Jews and Christians don’t! (More later.)
Tuesday, March 29, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, apparently trying to reassure potential tourists that the specter of terrorism in Egypt is overblown, said this was not an act of terror at all. The man is merely an “idiot”. He is “stupid”. Cyprus officials were gentler, calling him “unstable” – certainly not a terrorist.
Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades has confirmed that the hijacking was not an act of terrorism.
“He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement to a Cairo-based journalist quoted by Reuters. “Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.” Fox News [After all, he was not only a lawyer, but a university professor.]
An official from the Cyprus Foreign Ministry said the hijacking incident did not appear to be related to terrorism, but the official added Seif Eldin Mustafa appears to be unstable. (RT News)
News media enthusiastically passed on the joyful news that Seif Eldin Mustafa was not a terrorist. But by what measure is hijacking a plane not an act of terror? Do officials and reporters only recognize it as “terror” when the Quran is quoted, or “Allahu Akbar” shouted? We should feel relieved – our feeling of terror should give way to relief if not levity – to discover the crime was not Islamic after all but was “merely” psychotic?
The rationale for profiling Muslims is the theory that belief in Scary Surahs which command international crimes tends to cause believers to commit them. The theory is made more compelling by criminal believers showing us the Surahs that command their crimes, and it turns out they really do.
But one reason to dismiss the correlation is made equally compelling by the fact that it is virtually unanswered: we don’t profile Bible believers even though the Bible has verses almost as scary – as measured by Google, which awards 618,000 hits to “Scary Surahs” and 600,000 to “Scary Verses”.
Don’t Christians need to establish a profound difference between the Bible and the Quran before they can expect the world to share their alarm over only the latter? Don’t we Christians have to get over our embarrassment about quoting the Bible in public before we can expect a proper identification of and response to terror, and effective immunization of our own children from radicalization?