Yet another jihad mass murder at Fort Hood in Texas was narrowly averted last week, and its perpetrator, a Muslim soldier in the U.S. Army named Naser Abdo, was defiant. Accused of plotting to construct bombs and detonate them in a crowded restaurant full of soldiers from Fort Hood, Abdo admitted his guilt in court last Friday and cried out “Iraq 2006” and “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009”—name-dropping the Islamic jihadist who murdered 13 Americans at Fort Hood in November of that year. The most significant aspect of Abdo’s attempt to emulate Hasan’s jihad murders was the one (not surprisingly) most overlooked by the mainstream media: Abdo was a well-known self-described moderate Muslim.
Abdo, a Private First Class, shot to fame in June 2010 when he applied for conscientious objector status, saying that as a Muslim he could not fight against other Muslims in Afghanistan. And indeed, that is forbidden in Islamic law, although obviously that is a law often honored in the breach. Abdo was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky at that time, and his superiors denied his application for objector status, but in a decision fraught with unexamined implications for Muslims in the U.S. military, the assistant deputy secretary of the Army’s review board quickly overturned that ruling.
The implications of the granting of conscientious objector status to Abdo were enormous. Was the Army saying that a Muslim soldier could not be understood as owing his primary allegiance to the United States, and would be expected to side with America’s enemies if those enemies were Muslim? Such questions were left unexplored of course, and during the controversy, Abdo sounded all the right moderate Muslim notes, saying: “Only when the military and America can disassociate Muslims from terror can we move onto a brighter future of religious collaboration and dialogue that defines America and makes me proud to be an American.”
Once he gained his conscientious objector status, Abdo vowed to dedicate his time to furthering the cause of Islamic moderation and to fighting that omnipresent phantom bogey, “Islamophobia.” He declared: “I want to use my experience to show Muslims how we can lead our lives, and to try and put a good positive spin out there that Islam is a good, peaceful religion. We’re not all terrorists, you know?”
Indeed not, but Abdo was. The contrast between his words in 2010 and his deeds in 2011 couldn’t be starker, and it raises legitimate questions about the intentions of self-proclaimed moderate Muslims in the U.S. Obviously not all of them are secret jihadist sympathizers and would-be terrorists like Abdo, but what are law enforcement and government authorities to think when a leading putatively moderate group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), publicizes a poster exhorting Muslims not to talk to the FBI?
With his soothing words about promoting Islam as a “peaceful religion,” Abdo was clearly following his prophet Muhammad’s dictum, “War is deceit.” But all too often, U.S. officials don’t need anyone to deceive them, as they do such a fine job of it all by themselves. Usually any Muslim who condemns an undefined “terrorism” and declares himself to be “moderate” is assumed at the highest levels of government to accept principles that are denied by Islamic law, such as the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. This is dangerously naïve, as a Muslim could still be committed to the goal of advancing acceptance of Islamic law in the West without resorting to terrorist means to do so, or even supporting those who do resort to such means.
The Muslim Brotherhood, after all, is dedicated in America, in its own words, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” The deceptive Pfc. Abdo has one way of achieving this goal. The many Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States, which include most mainstream Muslim organizations, have another. Both hope to assert and ultimately to establish the principle that Americans must always change their laws, customs and practices in order to accommodate Islamic law, and that Muslims by right should enjoy privileges and rights that non-Muslims do not enjoy.
That was the goal of Osama bin Laden and Naser Abdo. It is the goal also of numerous Muslims who would never commit a terrorist act. U.S. officials ignore or deny that fact at their own risk, and ours.