If our Muslim community is as beneficial to our counterterrorism program as the White House says, why are the president and his attorney general, FBI director and homeland security chief all begging it to cooperate?
Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson on Monday visited a Washington-area mosque and implored: “Now, I have to ask. It is an ask of the people in this room and all Muslims across this country. Help us to help you stop this.”
In a switch, Obama himself is pleading with Muslim leaders to do more to root out terrorists. “There have been times where there has not been enough pushback against extremism,” he said last month.
The president is less convinced than he makes it seem that the broader Muslim community is on our side, that it shuns the violence committed by, as he is wont to say, “a handful” of individual extremists.
On Sunday, Obama sounded the same frustrations. After acknowledging “an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities,” he scolded those communities for not doing more to deracinate it.
“This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse,” he asserted, adding: “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism, we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies.”
So why is it so hard to draft them? Why can’t public officials get moderate Muslims to speak out more against the blood-thirsty radicals committing terrorism in the name of their religion?
Reason: The Muslim community, by and large, has little interest in helping. This was demonstrated by one reluctant Muslim leader and cleric after another in media interviews this week.
All said they are irritated at being asked to call out extremists in their midst, when nobody asks Christians to speak out against violence done in their name. And they say they refuse to cooperate with FBI investigations that target Muslims in their community.
“We would never ask any other faith community to stand up and condemn acts of violence committed by people within their groups,” said Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association.
Imam Moustafa Kamel of the West Coast Islamic Center complained that it’s “unfair” to burden the Muslim community with such responsibility.
“I don’t see Obama talking to the Christian communities about them. It’s insulting he would say that,” another center official said, adding that leaders of the community are hesitant to cooperate with the FBI because “there is not trust of the FBI here; they spy on us.”
“Asking Muslims to do this is offensive,” huffed Shakeel Syed, director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California .
Thanks for nothing.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim-rights group covering for the family of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook, has advised Muslims “Don’t Talk to the FBI” in website postings.
“CAIR held meetings for some members of the community and told them not to talk to the FBI” investigating Somali terrorists in Minneapolis, a local witness testified recently.
A national IBD/TIPP poll taken in February found that 74% of Americans agree that Muslims need to be more vocal against terror. Even Democrats are troubled by the deafening silence from the Muslim community. Nearly two-thirds — 65% — of those surveyed said they’d like to hear more public denouncing and condemning of jihadi violence from adherents of the Islamic faith.
Until American Muslims police and expose extremism in their own communities, until they universally denounce violence jihad, the American public will continue to sense betrayal.
If you are indeed our ally, then start acting like one.