Another “Muslims fear backlash” story. “Muslims fear backlash from Fort Dix attack plot,” by Wayne Parry for Associated Press, with thanks to all who sent this in:
FORT DIX, N.J. — Authorities’ description of six suspects charged with plotting an attack on Fort Dix as “Islamic militants” is causing renewed worry among New Jersey’s Muslim community.
Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained by authorities in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but none were connected to that plot.
Now, Muslims fear a resurgence of anti-Islamic sentiment and incidents of bias.
“If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented scores of detainees after the 2001 attacks. “But when the government says ‘Islamic militants,’ it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous. Don’t equate actions with religion.”
Now wait a minute, Mr. Mohammed. These guys had video of men firing rifles while calling for jihad and shouting “Allahu akbar.” They had video of Osama bin Laden and others who couch all their actions in the language of Islamic jihad. One of them said, “I’m doing it in the name of Allah.” And now you, Mr. Mohammed, are warning officials not to call them “Islamic militants”? Shouldn’t you be working within the Islamic community to create a wider separation between Islam and militancy, instead of pretending that it is American law enforcement officials who are arbitrarily making this equation? It was the Duka brothers and the other Fort Dix jihadists who made the equation. They are the ones who have suggested that Islam has something to do with terrorism, and they (and all the others like them) are responsible for the equation. The officials are just noting the manifest fact. Would you prefer they ignore unpleasant or inconvenient facts?
The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s New Jersey chapter participated in a conference call Tuesday with FBI officials to discuss security matters.
“What we’re all afraid of is a new backlash,” said Hesham Mahmoud, a spokesman for the group.
A new one? When was the old one?
Anyway, CAIR actually condemned this one:
…”It seems clear that a potentially deadly attack has been averted,” the group said. “We applaud the FBI for its efforts and repeat the American Muslim community’s condemnation and repudiation of all those who would plan or carry out acts of terror while falsely claiming their actions have religious justification.”
Meanwhile, here is a New Jersey Muslim leader suggesting that unless U.S. foreign policy starts toeing the Islamic line, we will see more such jihad plots:
Yaser El-Menshawy, chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura of New Jersey, the state’s council of mosques, condemned the plot and said he is glad it was not carried out. But he said the motivation of people who plot against the government “cannot be stopped simply by law enforcement or military means alone.”
He said U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, among other issues, needs to be examined dispassionately.
“We are going to have to take a look at it and see where we are right and where we are not right,” El-Menshawy said. “If that’s not the case, then I fear we are in for a very long and difficult period.”
Is that a threat?