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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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For starters, much media attention followed — attention that would never have been if not for CAIR’s howling — including a featured story for MSNBC on whether Islam is a “Terror threat or peaceful religion?” The over 3,000 comments on this report alone reveal that, as “leftist” as MSNBC is, many of its readers are aware of the Islamist agenda; others wonder why CAIR is so scared of free speech.

Moreover, that CAIR cried wolf yet again — and was ignored — not only embarrassed but publicly belittled CAIR’s influence. A community college defying Islamist threats and intimidation must surely shine as an example for other institutions that may actually be interested in promoting diversity of views —institutions that would never have even known that bullies like CAIR could be so easily ignored, if not for all the attention CAIR itself created.

In short, politically active Islamists must walk a fine line, must choose their fights carefully: if they scream bloody murder to silence free speech — scream “racist,” “hater,” “Islamophobe” — they risk bringing unwanted attention that backfires on them; yet if they sit back and do nothing, they risk having more and more people speak up and expose them.

Either way — whether CAIR or its un-stifled opponents make the noise — the result is the same: Americans, wondering why Islam is always in the spotlight, begin inquiring; some become acquainted with reality, and go on to discuss it with friends and family.

The cycle of slow but steady awareness that first began when 9/11 got the world’s attention continues.

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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