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IW News Brief: Erasing Jihad, U.S. Terror Divide, and More
by David J. Rusin • Jun 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Islamist Watch (IW) maintains an extensive archive of news items on nonviolent Islamism in the Western world. The complete collection can be found here; lists organized by topic are accessible on the right side of the IW homepage.
The following are some of the recent developments covered in the IW database:
Government pulls terrorism ads that offend Seattle Muslims
Ads that feature 16 wanted terrorists and publicize available rewards are being removed from Seattle buses after Congressman Jim McDermott complained to the FBI that displaying their photos is "offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities." The Democrat claimed that the local Joint Terrorism Task Force's campaign encourages bias by "representing terrorists … from only one ethnic or religious group." He asked why "individuals of other races and … other religions" on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists are not used in the ad. Actually, the faces are of many hues, but religious diversity is difficult to depict when Muslims comprise 30 of the FBI's 32 most wanted terrorists. Dropping the ads was "a result of our continued engagement with the community and the feedback we are getting," an FBI agent explained, but part of that feedback came from a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter, which Mayor Mike McGinn praised for leading the opposition. Ads without terrorists' faces will keep circulating.
Given their past purges of "offensive" internal documents on terrorism, nobody should be surprised to see the feds once again subordinating security to sensitivity. However, this may be a new low. If photos of wanted terrorists are deemed "Islamophobic" and worthy of rejection because so many terrorists happen to be Muslim, can any statement of fact be immune from such a fate? While jihadists wage war on the West, much of the West wages war on reality.
Americans split on Islam's role in terrorism
How have jihadists' ongoing attacks and elites' persistent efforts to becloud the issue shaped Americans' views on terror? A Pew survey indicates that the Boston bombings did little to sway opinion. While 42 percent said that Islam is more likely than other faiths to inspire violence, 46 percent stated that it is not; the numbers have hardly budged for a decade. A similar divide is seen in a Rasmussen poll asking voters to name the biggest terrorist threat to the U.S. Fifty-one percent chose radical Muslims, but some picked the Tea Party (13 percent), "other religious or political extremists" (13 percent), "local militia groups" (6 percent), and the Occupy movement (2 percent). Only 29 percent of President Obama's supporters selected radical Muslims.
The good news is that half of America has been paying attention. The bad news is that the other half remains sealed off from reality despite 9/11, the 21,000-plus global jihad attacks since that day, and the lengthy list of recent jihad plots against the U.S., one result of which is that "more than 80 percent of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11 involve defendants driven by a radical Islamist agenda," according to a 2011 review of U.S. data. If all this has not yet managed to open half the country's eyes to the unique dangers posed by Islamic terrorism, one shudders to contemplate what will.
"God of Death" charged after seeking U.S. defense job
"The FBI has arrested a San Antonio man on charges he lied to get into the United States and tried to get a sensitive Defense Department position," a May 24 Express-News article reveals. In secret recordings, Wissam Allouche "admitted … that he was a member of Amal," a Lebanese militia, "and that he was a commander of Hezbollah" in the 1980s, a prosecutor said at a bail hearing. Apparently "God of Death" is one of his former aliases. Allouche stands accused of misrepresenting his past while pursuing citizenship and applying for a security clearance. Adding to the intrigue, he reportedly was spotted at Fort Sam Houston chatting up women while wearing a uniform with special operations insignia. The FBI claims that he fabricated documents related to security clearances, defense intelligence units, and more. Allouche, who once worked in Iraq with a firm that "provides linguistic services for the U.S. military," has pleaded not guilty.
Preventing infiltration is a critical front of the shadow war. A 2012 IW article analyzes recent cases in which the U.S. government denied Muslims security clearances due to radical ties. See "Islamists Penetrate Western Security" by Daniel Pipes for a broader look at the problem and examples from across the West.
No more halal chicken at Dearborn McDonald's outlets
"In the wake of a lawsuit settlement, the only two McDonald's restaurants in the country that served halal chicken have stopped serving halal McChicken sandwiches and Chicken McNuggets," reports the Press and Guide of Dearborn, Michigan. "A sign on the door at the Michigan Avenue restaurant tells customers in English and Arabic that the halal chicken is no longer served there." As previously noted by IW, a Muslim man accused the Ford Road outlet in Dearborn of giving him a non-halal McChicken advertised as halal, sparking a class-action suit and a $700,000 settlement. "It's disappointing," his attorney said of the menu changes. "Our hope was that it wouldn't be the message a corporation like McDonald's would take out of this."
Though McDonald's and the Ford Road restaurant's franchise owner cite "efforts to focus on our national core menu" as the reason for the shift, one suspects that the lawsuit convinced them that some religious accommodation presents more risk and headaches than no accommodation at all. The lesson: pushing for greater adoption and enforcement of Islamic norms can lead to unexpected blowback — a ray of hope for those who combat creeping Shari'a.
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For additional news and analysis, please visit the IW website.