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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Islamically correct counterterrorism

By Deborah Weiss

The Department of Justice and the FBI are revising their counterterrorism training material to remove “inaccurate and biased information” at the direction of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. The Department of Homeland Security, which uses the most funding for counterterrorism training, recently issued new guidelines on “countering violent extremism.” Why the sudden need for drastic change?

On Nov. 15, 2011, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National launched a coordinated campaign across the country, with its various chapters requesting records from local, state and federal agencies on their use of taxpayer dollars to fund “Islamophobic training.” The campaign involves 87 filings for records requests across 15 cities nationwide.

CAIR-Michigan’s civil rights director claims CAIR wants these records to ensure that law enforcement is using trainers who provide “objective and unbiased information” to protect Americans from “violent extremists.” CAIR expressed particular concern that tax dollars are being “wasted” on “agenda-driven, inaccurate, or Islamophobic” training and materials.

For years, CAIR has led an aggressive campaign against “Islamophobia.” In the past, its targets have included individuals and corporations whose words, actions or package designs smack of insults to Muslims, as seen through the eyes of CAIR.

Now CAIR’s target is national security. CAIR’s professed goal is to wipe out bigotry, insensitivity and “unfair” bias. So what’s wrong with that?

CAIR, which presents itself as the country’s leading American-Muslim civil rights organization, is, in fact, a radical Islamist organization that is extreme in its goals and tactics. It was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror-funding trial in the history of the United States.

Though it is expert in public relations, it cannot escape the fact that its roots stem from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Association of Palestine and that it has close ties to Hamas. Several of its former leadership members have been arrested and convicted on terrorism-related charges or other felonies, and numerous others are being monitored by the FBI. Despite its claims of representing “mainstream Muslim Americans,” the FBI finally has wised up and cut all ties with CAIR.

One of CAIR’s main goals is to “protect Islam” from “defamation,” using, of course, the Islamic definition of defamation rather than that of American constitutional law.

American law allows free speech, with certain limited exceptions. One cannot incite imminent violence, shout “fire” in a crowded theater unless there’s a fire, or spew forth defamatory comments about others.

Defamation in American law consists of a false statement of fact made with negligent or reckless disregard for the truth, which results in a pecuniary harm or harm to one’s reputation.

By contrast, defamation under Islamic law is not limited to people, but is applied to the religion of Islam as well. In other words, it gives protection normally afforded only to people to a religion - in this case, Islam. Furthermore, the criticism doesn’t have to be a false statement. It can be any true statement that is critical of Islam or any Islam-related topic. This includes, but is not limited to, the topics of gender apartheid, forced marriages of young girls, human rights violations under Shariah law, and Islamic terrorism.

Under the threat doctrine, famously set forth in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” in order to win a war, it is imperative to know one’s enemy, be able to name him, and to know oneself. The absence of any of these elements drastically increases the odds that one will lose the war. Further, to understand the enemy, it is critical to understand his goals, ideology and tactics.

Though America claims it is in a war on terror, this is a misnomer. Terrorism is a tactic; it fails to state who the enemy is. Moreover, it is but one tactic out of many designed to achieve the same goal.

In total contravention to the constitutional understanding of free speech, CAIR has used numerous tactics to pressure others to comply with the Islamic notion of free speech, which excludes any expression critical of Islam, even if true.

CAIR has employed a wide repertoire of methods to force such compliance, including, but not limited to letter-writing campaigns, negative publicity, protests, lawsuits and boycotts. Now, CAIR’s document requests and demands for “investigations” not only pressure conformance in wiping out alleged “Islamophobia,” but hinder national security procedures. The document reproduction, litigation preparation, replies to letter and phone campaigns, and constant barrage of pressure constitute the true waste of taxpayer resources.

Whether out of political correctness or this administration’s love affair with political-Islamist organizations, a multitude of government agencies across the country on local, state and federal levels is cleansing themselves of any mention of Islamic terrorism.

Expert trainers in counterterrorism who have worked for years with the CIA, FBI, National Counterterrorism Center and local police departments are suddenly being told to stay home. Counterterrorism training material is being rewritten, as are the underlying facts.

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Although mention of Islamic terrorism should not serve to indict all Muslims, it is equally false to believe that Islamic terrorism is nonexistent.

It is somewhat understandable that individuals and corporations have capitulated to CAIR in the face of severe financial or existential threats, but there is no excuse for the government to succumb. To pretend that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all playing an equal role in the global terrorist network and the movement to undermine Western freedom from within does not constitute “fairness.” Rather, it’s flat-out false. What’s fair is placing fault where it belongs. To do otherwise is not only foolhardy, it constitutes a national security threat.

The most recent moves by this administration seemingly in capitulation to a terror-affiliated entity are unprecedented and must be stopped. Those who truly care about national security should keep these facts in mind when election time rolls around in November.

Deborah Weiss is a freelance writer and co-author of “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

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