In other words, despite incidents such as this, and this, and this, and despite the fact that hatred and Islamic supremacism are taught in a number of mosques in the U.S., he wants law enforcement officials to turn a blind eye to the possibility of jihadist activity in mosques. And meanwhile, he also wants to take the Qur’an off the table — that is, he wants no investigation of the stated motives and goals of the jihad terrorists themselves. Apparently he would prefer that we remain in the dark about them.
Which side is he on again?
“Some influential Muslim groups question FBI’s actions,” by Paloma Esquivel for the Los Angeles Times, April 20 (thanks to Chris):
As they sipped tea and nibbled on dates, more than 100 men and women listened to a litany of speakers sounding the same message: The FBI is not your friend.
“We’re here today to say our mosques are off limits,” Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Greater Los Angeles, told the crowd last month at an Anaheim mosque.
“Our Koran is off limits,” Ayloush said. “Our youth, who they try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, ‘We’re not going to let this happen anymore.’ ”
Such strong words from a man who once was a vocal advocate of ties with federal law enforcement was yet one more signal that the fragile relationship between Muslim American groups and the FBI is being tested.
In the months and years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, FBI officials met privately with Muslim leaders, assuring them that a spate of hate crimes would be vigorously investigated and at the same time asking for help in the campaign against terrorism. Local leaders promised to encourage cooperation.
Many of those reported hate crimes were trumped up. And remember: the perpetrators of 9/11 were Islamic jihadists. In the wake of those attacks, Muslim groups should have been assuring the FBI they would cooperate with anti-terror efforts, not the FBI reassuring Muslim groups.
But even as relations warmed, a series of revelations — including allegations that the FBI sent an informant into a mosque in Orange County, surveilled community leaders and sent an agent to UC Irvine — caused some to begin questioning the FBI’s real intentions.
Now, the leaders of several Muslim organizations say they feel betrayed. Because Orange County has been at the center of many of the revelations, local leaders have taken a lead in challenging the FBI, but the issues are resonating nationwide.
On Sunday, a coalition of the nation’s largest Muslim organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America, issued a statement demanding that the Obama administration address FBI actions, including what they describe as the “infiltration of mosques,” the use of “agent provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth” and the “deliberate vilification” of the council.
The LA Times actually mentions, a little ways below, the fact that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas jihad terror funding case. It doesn’t mention the fact that ISNA was as well. And MPAC? See here.
“It reached a level where we felt we had to do something,” said Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections. “The FBI is doing things which are not healthy. They are creating divisions and conflict, creating a totally negative, Islamophobic image of Muslims in America.”…
In 2004, the FBI and immigration officials arrested the popular head of an Anaheim mosque; he was held on immigration-related charges for two years until a judge ordered his release pending deportation. In 2006, an FBI agent was quoted as telling a business group in Newport Beach that the agency was monitoring Muslims at local universities. A year later, UC Irvine students said an FBI agent conducting an investigation at the school assaulted a Muslim student with his car near the site of a demonstration.
On a national level, there was the disclosure that FBI agents had been secretly monitoring radiation levels at mosques in search of radioactive bombs. More troubling were news reports that Muslims had been asked to become informants or face deportation.
The breaking point came in February with the revelation that the FBI had sent an informant to an Irvine mosque to collect evidence of jihadist rhetoric and other allegedly extremist acts by a Tustin man who attended prayers there.
To some, the incidents added up to this conclusion: The government was targeting all Muslims.
How on earth does that follow?
Miller strongly disputes that contention, saying that the agency does not go on “fishing expeditions.”
“What we investigate is people,” he said. “If we develop information on a person, that investigation may take us different places — to their home, their place of business . . . and yes, if . . . they go to a mosque, the investigation may take us to the mosque. That is part of what we do.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations was named in 2007, along with hundreds of other organizations and individuals, as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, which the government accused of funneling money to terrorists.
As a result, the FBI suspended relations with the council this year.
“That is not to suggest that anyone or everyone associated with CAIR has any kind of taint,” Miller said, adding that “there are some issues we would like to know more about from the leaders at CAIR’s headquarters.”
So would we all!
But at the recent meeting at the Anaheim mosque, the tone was one of frustration and anger.
Speakers suggested that ordinary Muslim Americans need to protect themselves from overzealous FBI agents.
“You don’t get brownie points for speaking to them,” said Ameena Qazi, a lawyer for the council. “They don’t go back to the office and check off your civic engagement or your patriotism. . . . We are a very open and hospitable community, but we shouldn’t be naive.”
Attendees applauded Qazi’s statement, but it was a mea culpa that most moved them.
“We goofed up, guys,” said Shakeel Syed, head of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. “We brought them here. We brought them to our mosques, to our meetings. . . . We have to hold ourselves responsible. That’s why it’s so important to dig our heels into the ground and say we’re not going to take this lying down, we’re going to fight.”
He got the loudest applause of the night.
Read that again. Bear in mind that Shakeel Syed is not talking about Islamic jihadists, but about the FBI.