Of course, Muslims are debating about how much to cooperate with law enforcement, and no one bats an eye. But imagine if it were any other group mulling over whether or not they should obey the laws of the state. And of course, CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case, is behind it, smarting over having been unmasked at last.
“U.S. Muslims debate how much to help FBI,” by Matthai Kuruvila for the San Francisco Chronicle, April 6 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A petition organized by a Newark nonprofit urging Muslims to limit social outreach with the FBI has provoked a national debate within the Muslim community about how to deal with law enforcement.
The curb proposed by the petitioners – eliminating joint FBI town halls and other meet-and-greet events – is largely a response to the FBI’s restricting its work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group.
The petitioners say their stand on behalf of CAIR, which has an extensive presence around the country and in the Bay Area, has larger meaning for all Muslim institutions.
“We’re fighting against being relegated to second-class citizenship,” said Agha Saeed, chairman of the Newark-based American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, the coalition of national Muslim organizations that issued the March 17 petition.
Second-class citizenship, eh, Saeed? How terrible! I suppose you are referring to new laws disallowing Muslims from holding authority over non-Muslims, forbidding them to build new mosques or repair old ones, mandating that they step off the sidewalk to let non-Muslims pass, forbidding Muslim men from marrying non-Muslim women but allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, etc.
Oh, no, wait — those are all part of the Sharia provisions for non-Muslims living under Muslim rule. There’s your second-class citizenship.
The tensions with the FBI come as the agency insists that it wants better relations with Muslims.
“Oftentimes, the communities from which we need the most help are those who trust us the least,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Feb. 23 in Washington. “But it is in these communities that we … must redouble our efforts.”
Why not call them to account and ask them to redouble their efforts to be loyal citizens?
The social interactions at the root of the debate played a critical role in building relationships between Muslims and law enforcement since the terror attacks of Sept. 11. CAIR, for example, organized a meeting with the FBI and nearly every major Bay Area Muslim group at a Santa Clara mosque in the wake of the attacks.
“CAIR was a pioneer,” said Mohamad Rajabally, former president of the Islamic Society of the East Bay, a Fremont mosque….
CAIR was a pioneer: that tells you a great deal right there.
Later on the whining begins about the unindicted co-conspirator status:
The current situation has its origin in the 2008 trial and convictions of five leaders of a Texas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The men were convicted in November of 108 criminal counts, including support of terrorism, money laundering and tax fraud. The group was accused of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, which the government declared a terrorist group in 1995.
As part of the trial, the government labeled roughly 300 different individuals and groups as “unindicted co-conspirators.” The label does not affect anyone’s rights, but Muslims complain it functions as a public smear. A federal official speaking on condition of anonymity told The Chronicle that the FBI is limiting its contact with CAIR because one of its founders was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator.”
Muslim leaders also complain the label does not identify what crime has been committed, and that once someone is labeled as an un-indicted co-conspirator there is no opportunity to clear their name.
“In the common perception, unindicted becomes indicted and indicted becomes convicted – which are really three totally different categories,” said Saeed.
Others go further.
Day in court
“If CAIR has done something wrong, they should be tried in a court of law,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, a coalition of 70 mosques. The group collectively issued a statement on Feb. 11 saying it would stop doing social outreach with the FBI because of the agency’s new policies toward CAIR.
“All of us are equally accountable to the law,” said Syed.
The Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust, the two most prominent organizations listed as “unindicted co-conspirators,” have filed briefs over the past eight months in federal court and as recently as Feb. 25, asking for an opportunity to clear their names.
Other FBI actions have made Muslims even more suspicious. For several years, the FBI has planted informants in mosques who pose as radicals, spout anti-American rhetoric, or even offer to provide weapons or supplies – acts that have been revealed in federal terrorism trials….
If someone showed up at my local church or synagogue or Rotary Club spouting such things, would I begin plotting with him? I would not. Would you? Why then do people in mosques consider this offensive? If you’re not doing anything wrong, what’s the problem?