America’s See-No-Islam Problem Exposed With Boston Jihadism
By: Benjamin Weingarten
The Boston Globe published a column in the wake of the shooting of an Islamic State-linked jihadist from Rosindale, Massachusetts that is a quintessential example of why the West is losing to Islamic supremacists.
In “Are Boston terrorism cases a trend?” two Globe authors reach out to several “antiterrorism specialists” and ask why it is that Boston appears to be so “vulnerable to violent extremism.”
Some submit that Boston’s “emergence as an international hub may leave it exposed to strains of radicalized behavior.”
Others find the existence of Boston-based jihadists curious given these jihadists “cannot be traced to one network, and individuals and groups do not appear to be connected.”
One such expert who has written on the Islamic State, J.M. Berger, acknowledges that “There is some degree of social network here that seems to be involved in radical thought.”
Halfway through the Globe article, the reader is left utterly unaware of any link between Boston jihadists and…jihadism. In fact, readers will not find the word “jihadist” in the column.
What readers do see is the lexicon of our see-no-Islam national security establishment, including euphemisms such as “violent extremism,” “homegrown terrorist,” and “radical presence.”
Somewhat closer to the mark are comments of James Forest, director of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, who says: “The ideology that motivates these kind of attacks, there are no geographical boundaries.”
What this “ideology” is, the reader is left to guess.
Next quoted in the piece is Farah Pandith, the first special representative to Muslim communities in then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Pandith asserts that Muslim millennials are “asking questions that parents aren’t answering. The loudest voices seducing these kids are extremists.”
Pandith notes that “extremism” is not so much a matter of geography as “what’s happening in virtual space around the world.”
As for the “seductive” “extremist” voices and the impact of social networks, of course the young and impressionable can be brainwashed, but what are they being brainwashed in, and who is doing the brainwashing? Should not these millennials and their parents be both rejecting as well as rooting out this ideology from their communities altogether?
Some experts seem to recognize an ideological component to what we have seen in Boston – an Islamic supremacist ideology that can proliferate wherever computers or cell phones are found, that thrives especially in tight-knit Muslim communities in free Western countries — yet they cannot bring themselves to define this ideology.
Juliette Kayyem, another Obama administration official who served as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security, is next given the floor.
Kayyem believes that Boston — which the columnists describe as a “global city that is diverse, tolerant, and welcomes immigrants and students” – is “a breeding ground for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide.”
Kayyem asserts that “We are going to see this kind of radicalization in any urban area globally.”
But do global cities become “breeding grounds[s] for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide” in a vacuum?
Throughout world history, international locales have been free of the scourge of “violent extremism,” a politically correct term used to avoid offending Muslims while simultaneously drawing moral equivalence with and thereby smearing “right-wing” Americans.
One would think that modern, cosmopolitan, liberal urban areas by their very nature would consist of modern, cosmopolitan, liberal people.
Only to the degree to which these global cities invite in people with retrograde views antithetical to these ideals does their diversity and tolerance make them “breeding grounds” for jihadism.
It is hard to fault the piece’s authors for quoting “mainstream” “antiterror experts.” Yet these “experts” all seem to subscribe to the very see-no-Islam philosophy that paralyzes our national security establishment more broadly, rendering us unable to defeat our enemy.
Parenthetically, the idea of an “antiterror” expert should itself draw our ire, given that terror is a tactic, not the name of an ideologically-driven enemy. After all, during the Second World War we didn’t call upon anti-Blitzkrieg experts to define our enemies. We understood and were able to articulate that we were at war with a foe, not a fighting method.
Meanwhile, today there is nary a mention of Islamic religious tenets like jihad, abrogation and taqqiya, nor a discussion of Islam’s ultimate goal to create a global Ummah under which all submit to Shariah law.
This is not an issue of semantics. If we fail to be precise in how we describe our enemy and its ideology, it will defeat us.
How did we get to a point over a decade after Sept. 11, 2001 when columnists writing about Boston jihadists dance on egg shells around the Islamic supremacist ideology that by the jihadists’ own admission animates them?
While Nazism and Communism were political ideologies, jihadists subscribe to a theo-political ideology based in Islam’s core texts and modeled on the behaviors of Muhammad.
This offends the sensibilities of Americans either ignorant of Islam or uncomfortable with the idea that religion could be used to justify the slow motion worldwide slaughter of Jews, Christians, Hindus, infidel Muslims, gays, women, apostates, cartoonists and others.
In the case of the recently killed would-be jihadist Usamma Rahim, a simple set of Google searches regarding Rahim and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) might have provided the Globe columnists and the antiterror experts they quote an illuminating fact pattern worth investigating in response to their question, “Is Boston more vulnerable to violent extremism than other parts of the country?”
Below are some of those relevant data points:
- Usamma Rahim had been a security guard at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury, Massachusetts, an affiliate of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB)
- The ISB’s executive director pulled the ISBCC out of President Barack Obama’s own Countering Violent Extremism Summit, essentially deeming the program Islamaphobic
- Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev prayed at the ISB’s Cambridge, Massachusetts mosque
- Notwithstanding ISB denials, Tsarnaev had been the latest in a long line of jihadists linked to the organization:
- The ISB was founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah currently serving a 23 year prison sentence on terrorism charges
- ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim American Society
According to Discover the Networks, among other revelations:
- “FBI surveillance documents show that two days before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Suhaib Webb, Imam of ISB’s Boston mosque, joined al-Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki in headlining a fundraiser on behalf of the Atlanta-based Muslim extremist Jamil al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), who had recently murdered two police officers in Georgia.”
- “Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans to carry out a chemical attack in New York City. Siddiqui subsequently tried to gun down some U.S. military officers and FBI agents, and is now serving an 86-year prison sentence for that offense.”
- “Tarek Mehanna, who worshipped at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, received terrorist training in Yemen and plotted to use automatic weapons to inflict mass casualties in a suburban shopping mall just outside of Boston. In 2012 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid Al Qaeda.”
- “Yasir Qadhi, who lectured at ISB’s Boston mosque in 2009 and again in 2012, advocates replacing American democracy with Sharia Law; characterizes Christians as “filthy” polytheists whose “life and prosperity … holds no value in the state of Jihad”; and accuses Jews of plotting to destroy Muslim peoples and societies. Further, Qadhi is an acolyte of Ali al-Timimi, a Virginia-based Imam who is currently serving life in prison for inciting jihad against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.”
The Boston Globe article is instructive because it represents the very line of thinking and questioning that is mandated in the halls of America’s national security institutions.
It is also instructive — in light of the facts about the ISB — that a see-no-Islam national security stance leads us to ignore the threats hiding in plain sight, to America’s great detriment.
Those who ignore the nature of the Islamic supremacist threat we face are doomed to submit to it.