Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
Council on American Islamic Relations Director Nihad Awad
In my past postings on Ft Hood, I have tried to be cautious in my feelings and responses. As I said, I don't want to say anything that would aggravate an already delicate situation in the wake of this latest massacre. I have posted the initial statements by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which were appropriate. Yet, there is much more that must be said-in as responsible a manner as is possible- but must be said.
First of all, the mainstream media cannot continue to describe Nidal Malik Hasan simply as a man who snapped in the face of the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To describe this as a case of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome -or even Pre-traumatic Stress Syndrome (if that is possible) is absurd on its face. This was a case of an angry Muslim who was carrying out a pre-meditated act of terror under the banner of Islam (at least in his mind). It was an act of Jihad, albeit by a lone individual (apparently). To deny that Major Hasan's religion was a major factor-the major factor- is to deny reality itself.
As for the statements of CAIR and ISNA, while condemning the action of the shooter is commendable, they simply don't go far enough. Nihad Awad, the head of CAIR, has now stated that Islam had nothing to do with the incident, Islam is a religion of "peace, harmony and co-existence", and that CAIR will not tolerate any backlash against Muslims in America. This is just the prelude to CAIR shifting from its initial condemnation of terrorism into a defensive mode-and offensive mode- against anyone who dares question Islam itself.
How many more terrorist attacks must we endure before we say to Mr Awad that it is high time for he and his colleagues to demonstrate that Islam is, indeed, a religion of "peace, harmony and co-existence"?. Just in recent months in the US, we have witnessed not just Ft Hood, but plots broken up in New York and Chicago, as well as so called "honor-killings in Arizona and Buffalo, NY. We have had the shootout in Dearborn with a black separatist Muslim leader. In addition to Ft Hood, we also know that Ft Dix, NJ was also recently a target of a Jihadist attack. Can any serious person now doubt that future attacks are on the way?
I am afraid that it is unavoidable for all Americans to start asking the hard questions about Islam itself. Most of us have tried to separate the Jihadists and fanatics from innocent, law-abiding Muslims. Some, like the media, have gone to embarrassing lengths to avoid the hard questions, as evidenced by their performance in this latest incident.
We in America have a pretty good record-with a few exceptions- of religious tolerance. We have welcomed Muslim Americans to this country in the past decades, allowed them to build their mosques and schools and worship freely. It has blown up in our faces. Many of these mosques and schools have been shown to be places of hatred of America and downright sedition.
Yet, we have tried to be accommodating. After all, what is not to admire about people who pray five times a day? What is not to admire about people who make God the central focus of their lives? What is not to admire about women who dress modestly and lead moral lives? What is not to admire about a religion that places so much emphasis on charity? What is not to admire about a people who eschew alcohol? What is not to admire about Arabs whose very language is infused with references to God and peace?
On the other hand, after 9-11, after witnessing the never-ending violence around the world, the beheadings, the stonings, the riots, the hateful declarations, the persecutions of non-Muslims in Muslim countries, the calls for revolution in countries like the UK and calls for the imposition of Shariah law in the UK by fanatics like Anjem Choudary, should we not be asking ourselves questions-openly and honestly? The truth is there is a dark strain in Islam that is anything but "peace, harmony and co-existence". It is rather about hate and violence. It must be purged, and it must be purged by Muslims themselves.
Mr Awad talks about peace. Is he talking about peace with Israel? Is he talking about peace between Sunnis and Shi'a? Mr Awad talks about harmony and co-existence. What about the constant references in the Koran about non-believers burning in Hell? (That is also a tenet of Christianity, but you don't see in page after page in the Bible.) What about the infamous Hadith that talks of rocks and bushes calling out to Muslims to "kill the Jew hiding behind me"? What kind of co-existence is that? Mr Awed would have us believe that "Jihad" refers only to the inner struggle of Muslims to be better Muslims and live good lives. He won't admit (to us) the part of about the violent aspect of Jihad.
Mr Awad now tells us that Islam had nothing to do with Hasan's actions this week in Texas. Then why did Hasan yell, "Allahu Akbar" as he began shooting? Why is it that so many terrorists yell the same thing as they begin their actions? Assuming Hasan survives, I have a feeling he will tell the world openly why he acted. What will Mr Awad say then?
Mr Awad and his organization can sue the whole world if they want, but CAIR cannot force people to ignore these events and not draw their conclusions. If Mr Awad and CAIR truly want to act in the interests of Muslims and Islam, then they must truly rise up and assist the authorities in rooting out the last Jihadist on our soil. And make no mistake, they are among us. Instead CAIR makes its obligatory statements of condemnation, then circles the wagons looking for somebody that needs to be silenced or sued. Instead, they act as a buffer between the police/FBI and those citizens or residents the FBI and other agencies seek to interview. They tell people that they don't have to talk to the authorities. They complain about surveillance of mosques-even though some of these mosques are preaching hate and sedition against the US.
Of course, those of us who care to know the facts, know that CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the recent Holy Land Foundation (charities) trial in Dallas, and that some of these Islamic charities are fronts for funneling money to terrorist organizations overseas-like Hamas. In addition, why has CAIR contributed to the legal defense fund of cop-killer Jamil al Amin (H Rap Brown)? What is CAIR's position and relationship to radical black separatist Muslims like Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who just died in a shootout with FBI agents in Dearborn?
Mr Awad, his colleagues at CAIR, ISNA, US imams and all Muslims also need to understand that this country will never submit to Islamic shariah law-which is indeed the goal of many of these leaders. There are millions of Americans-like me-who will fight that to the death. We will never accept Islam as a political ideology that would govern our lives and take away our freedoms. It is antithetical to our ideas of a free and open society. To any Muslim who thinks Shariah rules should apply in America instead of American values and the Constitution, I say you should return to your land of origin.
So-called "honor killings" will never be tolerated in America and must be punished to the full extent of the law. The penalty for one renouncing Islam and leaving the religion is not death-not in our country. That is a religious freedom we guarantee. Why is it that courageous people like ex-Muslims Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish have to be accompanied by bodyguards in our country because they live under the threat of death? In addition, we must not allow a resurgence of anti-Semitism in this country directed toward our Jewish citizens. Why all the hatred toward Jews, Mr Awad?
Mr Awad says he is concerned about a backlash against innocent Muslims. So am I. Yet, in my opinion, even after 9-11, we have shown ourselves to be remarkably tolerant with few exceptions. It must be understood by all, however, that the 9-11s, Ft Hoods, the foiled terrorist plots, the intolerant messages of hate spouting from the mouths of many Muslim religious leaders will one day reach the boiling point, which I think is fast approaching. It has become all too clear that we are now simply waiting for the next Ft Hood, the next Mumbai, the next 9-11. The anger among Americans is once again growing.
As one who is actively fighting anti-Semitism, the last thing I want to do is propagate hate against another minority population in this country. I still want to believe in my heart of hearts that the vast majority of Muslims in America are simply trying to live good, peaceful lives. I wish them no harm whatsoever. I have never agreed with those who have stated that Islam and the Koran should be banned from the US. But CAIR has to understand that Americans have every right to be drawing some pretty ugly conclusions. We are up to here with the acts of terror.
And as for you, Mr Awad; I don't trust you, CAIR and ISNA as far as I could throw you.