One would have thought that the Vast Majority of loyal, patriotic American Muslims would celebrate Mahmoud Omar as a hero. Why don’t they? Why does a man who helped the FBI against jihadists say, “I lost my people. I lost my religion”? And why don’t authorities ask that question, and seek answers to it? “From star FBI witness to ostracism, loss,” by George Anastasia for the Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27 (thanks to all who sent this in):
This is not the way Mahmoud Omar thought things would play out.
Omar, the Egyptian-born FBI informant who was the key prosecution witness in the Fort Dix terrorism trial, is sitting at the kitchen table in his two-bedroom apartment trying to make sense of what has happened to him.
He has an eviction notice for overdue rent, an application for welfare, a foundering export business, and an uncertain immigration status.
The South Jersey apartment is sparsely furnished. There is little food in the refrigerator.
Omar is living week to week, sometimes day to day, with his American-born wife, Jessica, who grew up in Maple Shade, and their two children, a daughter, 6, and a son, 3.
“How can this be?” he asks, his eyes flashing anger, dismay, and disappointment. “It was a good case. I help. Now I have what?”
His heavily accented voice trails off. “Nothing.”
Chain-smoking cigarettes, Omar, 41, was talking publicly for the first time about his experience as an informant enlisted by the FBI as its point man in the Fort Dix investigation, and about the impact the case and its aftermath have had on his life.
Eighteen months after a federal jury in Camden convicted all five defendants, the star witness is unsure of his future and has doubts about his past. […]
“I lost my people,” Omar said during one in a series of rambling interviews over the last month. “I lost my religion. And I can do nothing about it.”
Unless you come from his culture, he said, it is almost impossible to understand what that means.
For Omar, his ability to function in America was built around a network of friends, relatives, and associates in the Muslim community.
That network, he said, no longer exists for him.
He has been ostracized because of what he did.
No matter, he said, that the five men he helped convict were accused of plotting to kill American soldiers. In a twisted way, he said, their actions are understandable in the Muslim community.
“For Muslims, we are all brothers, and I betrayed a brother,” he said.
Omar does not go to a mosque anymore, he said, because he knows he will not be welcome.
No one had told him that. But, he said, touching his chest, “I know in here.”
“Muslim people don’t believe these kids did anything,” he said. “And they are never going to believe it. They don’t want to believe it.” […]
To many of them, he said, he is a traitor.
Back in this country, relatives and former business associates want nothing to do with him.
“The people I did business with are gone,” he said. “They say, ‘You made your choice. You helped the American government. Why should we help you? Let the American government help you.’ ” […]
The Inquirer hauls out a dhimmi professor who blames the U.S. for Omar’s ostracism by the Muslims:
William Granara, a professor of Arabic studies at Harvard University, said it appeared Omar was experiencing a “conflict of loyalties” not uncommon in the immigrant experience.
But for many Muslim immigrants, it is intensified because of “the sense of disempowerment and alienation” that the community feels.
That, Granara added, might explain how some Muslims would look at Omar and say, “How can you do this at a time when America is treating us this way?” […]
What way, exactly? At a time when America is making you freer, more prosperous, and safe from physical danger than you would be in virtually any Muslim country on earth?