RADICAL MUSLIMS IN AMERICA:
All the Benefits & Still Turning to Jihad
By Raymond Ibrahim
Holder noted that, while he was confident in the United States' counterterrorism efforts, Americans "have to be prepared for potentially bad news . The terrorists only have to be successful once."
Holder's assertion that "the terrorists only have to be successful once" has important implications: aside from the obvious that it only takes one strike to create devastation on U.S. soil it is also a reminder that when people argue that most American Muslims are moderate, and only a few are radical, it does not help our internal security. It took nineteen to commit 9/11; and we have already seen that some American Muslims are radical. According to Holder, in the last two years, 50 of the 126 people charged with terrorism were U.S. citizens.
Conversely, Holder's point that "You didn't worry about this even two years ago about individuals, about Americans, to the extent that we now do," is odd. Why should Americans not have been worrying two years ago? Anyone even moderately familiar with Islamist ideology knows that it allows for absolutely no national allegiance. The notion that some American Muslims could become radicalized should have been a concern since 9/11 nearly a decade ago, not two years ago. It should have been a concern when it became obvious that American Muslims like John Walker Lindh, Gregory Patterson, Levar Washington, Kevin James, Christopher Paul, and Jose Padilla were turning to violent jihad.
More significantly, the fact that Americans are being radicalized not only bodes ill for U.S. internal security; it also suggests that American efforts in the Muslim world are doomed to failure. Consider: if American Muslims, who enjoy Western benefits including constitutional democracy, liberty, prosperity, and freedom of expression are still being radicalized, why then do we insist that importing these same benefits to the Muslim world will eliminate its even more ingrained form of "radicalization"?
After all, the mainstream position, the only one evoked by politicians, Democrats as well as Republicans, is that all the sacrifices America makes in the Muslim world (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), will pay off, once Muslims discover how wonderful Western ways are, and happily slough off their Islamist veneer, which, as the theory goes, is a product of you guessed it a lack of constitutional democracy, liberty, prosperity, and freedom of expression. Yet, here are American Muslims, immersed in the bounties of the West and still do they turn to violent jihad.
In short, America needs to rethink its strategy for the war on Islamist terrorism both at home and abroad. Domestically, this means cracking down without compunction on anything that smacks of Islamist activity, without fear of being "politically incorrect;" it means better monitoring of jihadist websites which play a major role in radicalizing American Muslims, such as Inspire (which was started by a North Carolina Muslim); and it means exercising prudence when granting visas to people from dubious backgrounds. Internationally, it means understanding that the one solution promoted by most Western politicians spreading Western values and ways of governance as the means of solving the problem of Islamic warfare, of Islamist jihadism is no solution at all.
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
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Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
American Foreign Policy -- Constitutional Democracy:
U.S. Promotion of Constitutional Democracy in Foreign Countries
American Foreign Policy -- Political & Psychological Warfare
International Politics & World Disorder:
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
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Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is the Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida and implacable enemies of the U.S.A. and the West.
The foregoing article by Raymond Ibrahim was originally published in Hudson New York, January 12, 2011, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-ΰ-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/2818/radical-muslims-in-america)
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