Last Friday around 500 Muslims in New York marched to NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan to protest police infiltration of mosques and surveillance in Muslim areas. It is noteworthy that we have never, in 10 years since 9/11, seen Muslims anywhere in the U.S. mount a demonstration of comparable size against Islamic jihad terrorism and the supposed “hijacking” of Islam by terrorists. Even worse, the protesters failed to explain how they would propose to stop Islamic jihad terrorism in the U.S. without this kind of vigilance.
One protester asserted: “Had this been happening to any other religious group, all of America would be outraged.” That is probably true, because no other religious group has provided any cause for such surveillance. If any group did so, then it would be incumbent upon the NYPD and all other law enforcement bodies to do the same things they have done in reaction to Islamic jihad terrorism, while of course ending immediately any surveillance or other procedure that violates constitutional protections.
For these protesters to have behaved as if the surveillance of their mosques and communities was motivated by simple “racism” and “Islamophobia” required them to ignore a particularly significant elephant in the room: the ongoing and increasingly common reality of jihad terror plots in the United States. And ignore it they did: “We’re peaceful people. We don’t deserve to be under surveillance,” said one protester. Another complained: “They think that all Muslims are criminals, and it’s not right.”
Those words recalled a prominent Muslim saying in 2010 that he wanted to combat “Islamophobia” 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?”
Those were the words of Naser Abdo, a Muslim soldier in the U.S. Army who was granted conscientious objector status because he did not want to fight against his fellow Muslims in Afghanistan. After gaining this status, Abdo found a novel way to put a “positive spin out there,” and show that “we’re not all terrorists.” He began plotting to construct bombs and detonate them in a crowded restaurant full of soldiers from Fort Hood, where another Muslim, U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan, murdered 13 Americans in a jihad attack in November 2009. Abdo defiantly admitted his guilt in court, and even cried out, “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009.”
Abdo’s case doesn’t mean that every self-described believer in Islam as a “good, peaceful religion” is a murderous liar as he was, but it does illustrate the fact that assurances are not enough from peaceful Muslims—and protests against law enforcement certainly aren’t any help, either.
If Muslims in the U.S. want to prove that law enforcement has nothing to be concerned about when it comes to them, they will need to do much more to cooperate with anti-terror efforts than they ever have done. But 10 years after 9/11, nothing seems much less likely to materialize than a significant group of anti-terror Muslims who cooperate wholeheartedly with the police and the FBI, and work to eradicate jihadist and Islamic supremacist sentiments from their communities.
Instead, in recent years we have seen Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Tex.; Muhammad Hussein, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; and Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer;
These and many other Muslims explicitly acted in the name of Islam. Shahzad, for example, said in a video he made shortly before he tried to kill thousands in Times Square that “jihad, holy fighting in Allah’s course, with full force of numbers and weaponry, is given the utmost importance in Islam. … By jihad, Islam is established … Islam will spread on the whole world. And the democracy will be defeated … Muslims are gonna do that.”
The Muslims protesting the NYPD would have done better to fight such beliefs in their own community rather than pretend that they’re being unfairly victimized.