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Anti-Muslim loons riling up jihadis

Anti-Muslim rhetoric is feeding jihadis overseas

These two are a match made in heaven – the anti-Muslim bigots in the West and the Muslim extremists in the East. The only problem is that the rest of humanity is stuck between the two of these loony (and dangerous) groups. They both feed each others hysteria, rhetoric and violence.

As many of our readers know, American actions overseas (two wars in the Muslim world along with unconditional support for Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian land) has led to increasing levels of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. This is a direct and obvious repercussion of what the U.S. government decides to do through its foreign policy. But add now the increasing levels of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam activity occurring all over the United States and that is only adding to the problem. The anti-Muslim pundits and their followers claim to be fighting against terrorism and extremism, but all they are doing is putting the country they say they love in harms way.

Protests, Rhetoric Feed Jihadists’ Fire

By Jonathan Weisman

Islamic radicals are seizing on protests against a planned Islamic community center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero and anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere as a propaganda opportunity and are stepping up anti-U.S. chatter and threats on their websites.

One jihadist site vowed to conduct suicide bombings in Florida to avenge a threatened Koran burning, while others predicted an increase in terrorist recruits as a result of such actions.

“By Allah, the wars are heated and you Americans are the ones who…enflamed it,” says one such posting. “By Allah you will be the first to taste its flames.”

White House homeland security adviser John Brennan told reporters Friday that he had seen no evidence that the debate over the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, other mosque protests or the planned Koran burning had affected U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

A White House official on Sunday stressed that Mr. Brennan was addressing the narrow question of whether the debates in the U.S. over Islam were having an impact on U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and that Mr. Brennan specifically declined to address whether those debates were energizing the jihadists.

A U.S. official on Sunday said the administration was taking the upswing in anti-U.S. chatter seriously. “Terrorists like al-Qaeda and its violent allies are motivated already to try to attack the United States, but when it comes to propaganda, extremists are pure opportunists. They’ll use whatever they can,” the official said.

Many opponents of the planned Muslim community center say they have no bias against Muslims but that putting the building so close to Ground Zero shows an insensitivity toward the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Controversy over the community center, which will contain a mosque and other facilities, has helped fan anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. far from Lower Manhattan in recent weeks.

Jarret Brachman, director of Cronus Global, a security consulting firm, and author of the book Global Jihadism, said al Qaeda and other groups have long used imagery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to recruit new members. But the U.S. position has been that those wars are not against Islam and that the U.S. has Muslim allies in the fight.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S is different, since jihadists can use Americans’ words to make the case that the U.S. is indeed at war with Islam. The violent postings are not just on al Qaeda-linked websites but on prominent, mainstream Muslim chat forums, Mr. Brachman said.

“We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup,” with the Islamic-center controversy, said Evan Kohlmann, an independent terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners who monitors jihadist websites.

Critics of the proposed Islamic center said their right to speak out shouldn’t be influenced by the possibility of jihadist threats. “We will never win a war when we are afraid to even name our enemies,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an e-mail Sunday.

The most violent threats stem not from the debate over the Islamic center but more fringe issues, such as a declaration by Terry Jones, pastor at the Dove World Outreach Center, a mega-church in Gainesville, Fla., that Sept. 11 be an “International Burn a Koran Day.”

In an interview Sunday, Mr. Jones said he planned to go ahead with the Koran burning on the evening of Sept. 11, despite the local fire department denying a permit for the event. He said the jihadist threats only confirmed his views of Muslims.

“I can understand that they would be offended. I think their reactions—violence, threats, murders terrorist attacks—that only reveals the true nature of Islam which needs to be revealed,” he said.

Threats have been posted on Jihadist web sites in response to such planned actions as Mr. Jones’s Koran burning. “Now, I wish to bomb myself in this church as revenge for the sake of Allah’s talk. And here I register my name here that I want to be an intended-martyr,” wrote a poster identifying himself as “Abu Dujanah.”

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  • Nullifidian

    This article, despite its ostensible criticism of the anti-Muslim hate that’s washing over the US, has the same problem of failing to treat Muslims like real human beings. Perhaps somewhere there is some shadowy figure licking his lips at the propaganda coup, but for the most part Muslims, like anyone else, do not spend their entire lives looking for an angle. The uptick in anti-US rhetoric is simply due to the fact that people are pissed off. And rightly so. The failure to understand that Muslims can react to news independently of any propaganda outlet telling them what to think is going to cause more wasted time, money, and effort.

    This is the same thing as when all the anti-war pundits were fretting about the US army bursting in on homes, holding automatic weapons at the heads of civilians, and handcuffing them with zip cuffs in front of their houses, saying that this would “radicalize” the Iraqis. Wanting an invading army to get the hell out of your country is NOT a radical position. Pathologizing Muslim grievances, however sympathetic one may intend to be while doing so, is simply bigotry in action, and it’s a sad commentary that this is the often the only lens through which our opinion-makers in the media see the Muslim world.

  • Justin

    This is a very important point: Islamophobes are undermining the US troops overseas. Alliances with Muslim nations are essential for US success.

  • saeed

    Of course Jihadists are being radacalised by the foreign and domestic policy of the western powers. For the past thirty years or so the west has fought wars either by proxy or openly in mainly Muslim countries, when they are not attacking or invading a country they are supporting the most reprehensible regimes under the guise of democracy i.e egypt where Mubarak some how manages to win every election with over 95% support , yet we hear little in the west about rigged elections as he is who they want in power at the moment. The same was with saddam, there was no condemnation when he gassed the Kurds but when America decided his time was up thats all we heard about. The double standards are astounding, drop bombs from a plane and you are delivering freedom, plant a bomb on a street and you are a terrorist, even though the out come is exactly the same, both are acts of terrorism.Sadly the western powers thrive on conflict and make an abundance of money in arms,i.e expanding the percieved threat posed by Iran and flooding the middle east with more arms, UAE being the latest country to buy six billion dollars worth of american weapons. There can never be peace as too many people will lose out, with the so called communist threat over it is in the interests of certain countries (America and Britain are number one and number four in countries who produce and sell the most arms around the world) to create a threat and to instill in their populace a sense of threat around every corner, that is what we are seeing today with Muslims. Since 2000 just under 3300 people have been killed in the west i.e 9/11, london , madrid as a result of terrorism, during that same period well over two hundred thousand have been killed in wars by those very countries. Since 2000 the LRA ( Lords resistance army, a Christian terrorist organisation) has killed close to seven thousand people (U.N figures) with next to no condemnation or reporting. There are of course problems in Muslim countries and these do need to be addressed, but they need to be addressed without interference or we will find many more young men radacalised by the west!

  • JihadBob

    ***with unconditional support for Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian land***

    As opposed to the Soviet Union’s unconditional support for the Arab nations ?

  • mindy1

    Arrgghhh this rhetoric is making things worse STOP THE HATE!!!

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