It has been a long time coming, but the Obama Administration has now officially banned the truth. Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared Wednesday at a conference in Washington that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” will remove all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity. The Obama Administration has now placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists.
Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasizedthat training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”
Holton said that he had spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI training materials that Holton claimed were “egregiously false,” and that Holder “is firmly committed to making sure that this is over….we’re going to fix it.” Holton said that this “fix” was particularly urgent because the rejected training materials “pose a significant threat to national security, because they play into the false narrative propagated by terrorists that the United States is at war with Islam.”
Cole suggested that these training materials had done damage domestically as well: “One of the many, tragic legacies of 9/11 has been an increase in prejudice, discrimination and hatred directed against persons of the Muslim and Sikh faiths and those who are, or who are mistakenly perceived to be, of Arab or South Asian descent. Some have wrongly sought to blame the horror of 9/11 on Arab-American, Muslim American, Sikh-American and South Asian American communities. It has led to attacks against places of worship and other hate crimes, to job discrimination, and to the tragic harassment of children in our schools.”
After sketching out this horror tale, Cole declared: “We must never allow our sorrow and anger at the senseless attack of 9/11 to blind us to the great gift of our diversity.” And this, he said, must involve a rejection of the stereotyping of Muslims: “All of us must reject any suggestion that every Muslim is a terrorist or that every terrorist is a Muslim. As we have seen time and again – from the Oklahoma City bombing to the recent attacks in Oslo, Norway – no religion or ethnicity has a monopoly on terror.” It was George Bush, he said, who after 9/11 “made clear to the nation that these terrorist acts were committed by individuals who distort the peaceful religion of Islam,” and now all government analysis of jihad terror would reflect that perspective.
Of course, the controversial training materials did not really claim that all Muslims are terrorists or that all terrorists are Muslims, and it is noteworthy that Cole had to resort to dismissive caricatures to make his point. For in taking this course, the Obama Administration is bowing to pressure from the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamic advocacy groups. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed that appeared on the same day as the conference in Washington, Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) roundly criticized existing training materials about jihad terror and demanded that the FBI and the Justice Department “issue a clear and unequivocal apology to the Muslim American community; establish a thorough and transparent vetting process in selecting its trainers and materials; invite experts who have no animosity toward any religion to conduct training about any religious community to law enforcement.”
Al-Marayati complained that training materials reflected “bigoted and inflammatory views on Muslims, including claims that ‘devout’ Muslims are more prone toward violence, that Islam aims to ‘transform a country’s culture into 7th century Arabian ways,’ that Islamic charitable giving is a ‘funding mechanism for combat’ and that the prophet Muhammad was a ‘violent cult leader.’”
In this al-Marayati was simply repeating talking points from an “expose” of FBI training materials by hard-Left journalist Spencer Ackerman in Wired, who has been conducting a campaign for some time to get the bureau to purge its terrorism training seminars of any hint of the truth about the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. Yet like virtually all Leftist and Islamic supremacist critics of anti-jihad and anti-terror material, Ackerman and al-Marayati take for granted that such assertions are false, without bothering to explain how or why. Apparently they believe that their falsity is so self-evident as to require no demonstration; unfortunately, however, there is considerable evidence that they are true, and that in banning such materials, the Obama Administration has essentially banned the truth.
Are “‘devout’ Muslims are more prone toward violence”? While certainly not all devout Muslims are terrorists, virtually all Islamic terrorists are devout Muslims. In recent years, not only Osama bin Laden but also devout Muslims such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would-be Times Square bomber Feisal Shahzad, Arkansas jihad murderer Abdulhakim Muhammad, and other jihad terror plotters such asKhalid Aldawsari, Baitullah Mehsud, and Roshonara Choudhry, among many others, reference Islamic teachings to justify violence against unbelievers. Just recently, Detroit underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab declared in court that Muslims should only be judged by the Qur’an.
Is the “Islamic charitable giving” a “‘funding mechanism for combat’”? If not, one wonders why so many Islamic charities in the United States and around the world have been shut down for funding terrorism, including what was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), as well as the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), and many others.
Was Muhammad a “violent cult leader”? Certainly one definition of a cult is that members are not free to opt out if they choose to do so – and it was Muhammad who enunciated Islam’s notorious death penalty for apostasy by saying, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Bukhari 9.84.57). Also, there are several celebrated incidents in which Muhammad lashed out violently against his opponents, ordering the murder of several people for the crime of making fun of him — including the poet Abu Afak, who was over one hundred years old, and the poetess Asma bint Marwan. Abu Afak was killed in his sleep, in response to Muhammad’s question, “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” Similarly, Muhammad on another occasion cried out, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of his followers, Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: “You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr!” (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676).
Al-Marayati’s demand that the FBI and Justice Department “invite experts who have no animosity toward any religion to conduct training about any religious community to law enforcement” is at the heart of this entire affair, and illustrates the assumptions upon which the Obama Administration is now proceeding. For years Islamic advocacy groups like MPAC and Hamas-linked CAIR have asserted loudly and often that telling the truth about Islam’s doctrines of jihad warfare and supremacism constituted “hatred,” and endangered innocent Muslims. Hamas-linked CAIR has trumpeted and even fabricated hate crimes against Muslims in order to exaggerate this perception of Muslim victim-hood.
The entire premise of all this, however, is false. The now-banned FBI training materials were not written out of hatred for Muslims. They were put together in order to give agents an accurate picture of the beliefs and perspectives of jihad terrorists. It is unfortunate but true that the Qur’an and Sunnah do contain doctrines of warfare and exhortations to make war against and subjugate infidels (cf. Qur’an 2:191; 4:89; 9:5; 9:29; 47:4, etc.), and it is not an act of “hatred” to point this out, or even to scrutinize the Muslim community in the U.S. in order to try to determine its view of these texts and teachings. The only people who are genuinely threatened by such scrutiny are those who wish jihad terrorism to be able to proceed unhindered.
And there’s the rub:in banning the truth about Islam and jihad, the Obama Administration has opened the door for increased jihad terror activity in the United States. Agents who do not understand the threat they face and are constantly surprised by the places where that threat is coming from will be powerless to stop this jihad activity. And the nation will reap the whirlwind.
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Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of ten books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran (Regnery), and he is coauthor (with Pamela Geller) of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (Simon and Schuster).