(FinalCall.com) – In the face of famously Orwellian contradictions to the oft-repeated declarations of lofty U.S. principles respecting free speech and the free exercise of religion, public officials from the pulpit to the Pentagon have all but openly declared war on Muslims inside this country as well as abroad.
Since September 2001, U.S. officials claim to have thwarted dozens of planned “terrorist attacks,” most ironically hatched by Muslims. None of the alleged plots resulted in any loss of life or damage to property. Many involved prosecution of Muslims for acts that are ostensibly “legal” for non-Muslims. Christian zealots have targeted and murdered doctors, nurses, and even innocent patients at abortion clinics during the same time frame without any witch hunt to root out Christian extremists or fanatics.
Despite a conspicuous lack of means or opportunities to carry out the plots of which these Muslim defendants have been accused, and despite what should be the disqualifying involvement of paid FBI undercover agents in these incidents, many of the accused men have been convicted, with much attendant fanfare and Islam-bashing publicity.
The latest canard is to label Muslims “homegrown terrorists.”
A half century ago, the tactic was to describe Muslims as “Un-American.”
In 2009, Islamophobia has become a new cottage industry where–as in 1959–its practitioners need only make accusations–no proof required–and they are able to cast suspicion on mosques and the imams who lead them, as well as to undermine the praiseworthy efforts of human redemption, rehabilitation, and reform carried out by Muslim teachers inside the prisons of this country. This in a country that jails more of its citizens and at a higher percentage of its population than any nation on earth!
In an interview Dec. 10 on CNN the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of world renowned pastor to U.S. Presidents, the late Billy Graham, reiterated a screed he first repeated in 2002, stating in part: “…we have many Muslims that live in this country. But true Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can’t beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they’ve committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries … I don’t agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion.”
In 2007, a report published by the Heritage Foundation, said that the FBI had thwarted 19 “terrorist attacks against the U.S. since 9/11.”
In 2002, the Rev. Graham said terrorism is part of “mainstream” Islam and claimed the Holy Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, “preaches violence,” according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In 2001, Mr. Graham stood by remarks he made about Islam at the dedication of a chapel in North Carolina. At that event, he said: “We’re not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He’s not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It’s a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion.”
We ask again: “Are Muslims Un-American?” A better question might be “What is un-American?” One dictionary definition of un-American says it means: “One that is not American, not characteristic or proper to America, foreign or opposed to the American character, usages, standards, etc.”
Are Muslims un-American, or merely victims of anti-Islamic hysteria?
The open bashing of Muslims and Islam is nothing new in this country. A California State Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities, in its Eleventh Report to the 1961 California Legislature charged the Nation of Islam–then called “The Negro Muslims” in the report–with being un-American because the Muslims operated a school. It was said then that the school was “for the indoctrination of young Negroes with race hatred.”
That charge was and is untrue. Similarly today, the curriculum at the Saudi Islamic Academy, operated by the Saudi Arabian government in a suburb near Washington, D.C. has come under attack for teaching Islamic values labeled as hatred.
“It is written in the scriptures of truth that the devils would put out such evil and false accusations against the Messenger of Allah and his followers in these last days of their evil, bloody world,” the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote in Message to the Blackman in America, nearly 50 years ago. “I think Allah (God) will not allow falsehood to triumph over truth in His days.”
In what would be considered a joke were it not a life and death matter, a group of 11 men were arrested in 2003. The group was accused of using paintball games played in the woods near Fredericksburg, Va. in 2000 and 2001 as military training in preparation for holy war around the globe. Playing paintball games is not illegal in the state of Virginia, and ironically, neither is shooting legally registered guns (as theirs were), even using lethal ammunition.
According to a report in a June 28, 2003 Washington Post article, Michael E. Rolince, in charge of the Washington FBI field office, conceded that the government had no evidence of specific plots against U.S. targets at home or abroad in the so-called “Paintball Terrorist” case. “A lot of this is about preemption,” he said.
Attorney Bernie Grimm, who represented convicted defendant Masoud Khan, said the paintball case was the result of “9-11 hysteria.” “If I thought Mr. Khan had any role in aligning himself with Islamic extremists, I never would have represented him,” Mr. Grimm told reporters in April 2004 at the end of the trial.
“This has to do with (U.S. Attorney General) John Ashcroft, with George Bush getting re-elected … Today I’m embarrassed to be an American.”
What is un-American? Are Muslims un-American?
Mr. Khan, his lawyers said, never intended to join the Taliban when he traveled to his native Pakistan before his indictment, but rather to handle legal matters related to his father’s death there.
“You know it is absolutely false to accuse us of violence or preparing for violence,” Mr. Muhammad wrote in Message to the Blackman. “Allah (God) forbids us to do such a thing. He is the One who will do our fighting for us against you, as Jehovah did for Moses and Israel; only Allah is a little more angry with you for the evils done to us than Jehovah was with Pharaoh, as Jehovah only wanted to set a sign for you of what you may expect today, and Israel was not the real people of Allah.”
Then, as now, the slander against Muslims was intended to put fear of Muslims in the American public. Still, today despite the tireless opposition, Islam is the fastest growing religion in this country. Are Muslims un-American? Or is America hostile to Islam and to Muslims?
“The entire Federal Government is against Freedom, Justice and Equality and total separation of the so-called Negroes in a state or states to ourselves,” Mr. Muhammad wrote in 1961. “They call the truth and salvation of Allah that He has brought to us false and ‘trouble making.’ They call in both men and women who believe for questioning just for the sole purpose of trying to frighten them away.”
In another improbable-to-execute plot, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Kashmir was arrested in 2003 for conspiring to commit a terrorist act. He was accused of planning to use blowtorches to collapse the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 2006, seven men–the “Liberty City Seven”–were arrested in Miami and Atlanta for allegedly being in the early stages of a plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, as well as the FBI offices and other buildings. Those arrests resulted from an investigation involving a paid FBI informant.
“We the Muslims (Nation of Islam) prohibit the carrying of arms but yet are accused of planning to overthrow the government by force. No Negro leader has been successful in helping his people to freedom, justice and equality who was not opposed by both his own people and the merciless, wicked White Americans,” Mr. Muhammad wrote in Message to the Blackman.
Are Muslims un-American? Or is America hostile to Islam and to Muslims?
After the latest slander against Muslims by the Rev. Graham, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called for dialogue and understanding. Earlier this year CAIR itself was the subject of an exposÃ¨ called “Muslim Mafia,” after the son of a Christian zealot posing as a Muslim convert infiltrated the group when he became an intern. In a letter to Mr. Graham, Mr. Awad expressed hope that a face-to-face meeting could offer Christian opponents of Muslims “accurate and balanced information about Islam.”
“I believe your views on Islam are unworthy of a respected religious leader and are based on misinformation and misconceptions that could be cleared up in a face-to-face meeting with representatives of the American Muslim community,” Mr. Awad wrote Dec. 11.
In his letter, Mr. Awad quoted the Holy Quran, which states: “Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.” (16:125)