From 2008 to 2011, I was a guest lecturer at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (the primary DHS training facility, located in coastal Georgia) and at Joint Special Operations University (which brings foreign officers to learn of U.S. irregular warfare, located in Tampa). At both venues I was asked to lecture on the history of terrorism.
I did so in an even-handed and comprehensive manner, exploring the issue across place (Europe to East Asia), time (ancient Assyria to al-Qaeda), and ideology (religious: pagan, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim; and political: right-wing, left-wing, anarchist, environmentalist, etc.). Only 14 of the 44 PowerPoint screens in my presentation dealt with Islamic terrorism, although several of those actually mitigated against the concept.
Nonetheless, in June 2009 I was told that I could no longer lecture at FLETC, because the edict had come down from the new Obama administration that “no trainer who uses the term ‘jihad’ shall henceforth be used.” (This was over two years before the Obama administration was openly hostile to realistic training about Islam.)
JSOU continued to utilize me until late 2011, when I was told by the course instructor that Muslim student officers had complained that “I talked too much about Islamic terrorism.”
I was actually surprised that I had not been yanked the year before, when references to Islam and jihad were stricken from Obama’s kinder, gentler National Security Strategy document. That same year, noted Islamic studies expert Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that foiled Islamic suicide bombers in the U.S. were motivated by “Islam that is not consistent with” that religion’s “true teachings.”
Now, the Obama administration — led by Holder — has decided that Islam is a “race,” and therefore to examine or even to adduce a Muslim’s Islamic beliefs about jihad, beheading, violence against kuffar (“infidels”), or re-establishing a caliphate is tantamount to racism. This administration behavior is rationalized because “federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counter terrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.”
It is difficult to express just how willfully ignorant of reality these statements and accompanying policies are.
Per the immigration example: as over 80% of “undocumented aliens” are from Mexico or another Latin American country, it would be foolish, indeed delusionary, to ignore that fact. The same logic applies to directing extra scrutiny towards individuals who hold a set of beliefs that may predispose them to violence against others not of that belief system.
And that is the primary point: Islam is a belief system. Not a race.
Muslims can be of any skin, Bosnian or Turkish, Nigerian, Saudi, Chinese. If American, Muslims can perhaps be of several nationalities. This is equally if not more true of Christians, who can be white Finns, black Ethiopians, brown Lebanese, or Koreans, to name but a few examples. It is not possible to look at someone (sans distinctive clothing) and ascertain whether he or she is Muslim or Christian — or secularist, for that matter.
Advocacy groups and willing dupes in the media and Democrat Party — like Senator Dick Durbin — have foolishly yet successfully conflated race and ideology in the case of only one religion, Islam. They have made examining the latter tantamount to discrimination against the former. No one ever argues that singling out Christians for repression because they hold politically incorrect views about gay marriage or abortion amounts to “racism.”
Beyond the obvious fact that beliefs do not constitute a race, Holder et al. are massively wrong to deny the clear link between certain Islamic beliefs and terrorism.