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Is Simple Attention the Islamists’ Greatest Enemy?

CAIR's extremism makes Americans care about jihadism.

by
Raymond Ibrahim

Bio

July 8, 2011 - 12:00 am
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In a world paralyzed by political correctness and warped philosophies, attention is proving to be one of the greatest enemies of Islamist encroachment.

Consider the difference between pre- and post-September 11: A decade after the 9/11 jihad got the West’s attention, many people — perhaps not unlike yourself — have become aware of Islam and its doctrines, especially the “anti-infidel” ones, certainly many more people than before Sept. 11, 2001.

The result is that today, even nonviolent effronteries like the Ground Zero mosque – called by Newt Gingrich “an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization” — create a stir, though they once would have passed unnoticed.

Here’s another, more personal, anecdote of how attention can backfire on Islamists (complete details here). After Seattle’s Everett Community College invited me to come and speak on May 5, one Jaffar (“Jeff”) Siddiqui, who has a long history of trying to quash free speech on Islam, began pressuring the college to cancel my talk, including by writing a letter — titled “Don’t Invite Bigots!” — to its president.

Likewise, the director of the radical Council on American-Islamic Relations Washington chapter, Arsalan Bukhari, asserted that “[i]nviting Raymond Ibrahim to give an alternative viewpoint on being Muslim is like inviting the KKK to speak about African American history.”

Then, the day before my talk, this same Bukhari wrote an op-ed in Seattle’s Herald arguing that “by inviting a known conspiracy theorist with a history of making unfounded claims about Islam, the college is doing a disservice to the public and risks creating a hostile learning environment for its students.”  Also the day before the talk CAIR’s main headquarters issued a particularly nasty and accusatory press release that culminated as follows:

By issuing Mr. Ibrahim an invitation, giving him an audience, and in any way providing him a platform, Everett Community College is complicit in inflaming a tinder box of hate and violence against Islam and Muslims, and is abusing its public trust as a federally funded educational institution. Therefore, we urge the College to cease its promotion of bigotry and hate speech by rescinding its invitation to Raymond Ibrahim to speak on campus.

To CAIR’S chagrin, the college refused to cave in, pointing out that my appearance was “consistent with the belief that students be exposed to a variety of views.”

Now, consider how CAIR caused an otherwise local event to snowball into something detrimental to its cause — simply by complaining about it, that is, drawing attention to it:

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