, by Abul Kalam
The Muslims in America are frantically making efforts to "build bridges" some four decades late. The daily dose of Islamic terrorism fed to them by the President down the pulpit and the media has convinced the public that Islam is terror.
New York Police Department’s recently released report not only emphasises the undercurrent of the present policy-makers’ thinking that "every Muslim in America is a potential terrorist" but explores the ways to single out the homegrown terrorists and closely monitor the behaviour patterns of the Muslim youth.
The NYPD study asserts that unassimilated Muslims in the United States are vulnerable to extremism, based on expert studies of 11 cases from the past six years. Their 90-page report highlighted how ordinary people in Western countries, with unremarkable jobs and with little or no criminal histories, sometimes come to adopt a terrorist ideology.
The report identified four steps in the process of radicalisation: pre-radicalisation, self-identification, indoctrination and jihadisation. Pre-radicalisation, it said, "describes an individual’s world – his or her pedigree, lifestyle, religion, social status, neighbourhood and education – just prior to the start of their journey down the path of radicalisation." Self-identification, it said, marks the point where people begin to explore militant Islam "while slowly migrating away from their former identity." Personal crises – such as losing a job or suffering from racism – can serve as a catalyst for this "religious seeking," the report said. While people can move gradually through the early phases, over two or three years, they can pivot quickly toward violence, the report said. The Internet, it said, can enable them...
The "sweeping generalisations" of the report cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim population. The report includes among the signs of radicalisation some changes in personal behaviour such as giving up smoking, drinking and gambling, wearing Islamic clothing or growing a beard.
WIDER SPYING UNDER NEW LAW
Almost all Muslim institutions and mosques in the US are under surveillance and recently the US Justice Department has named many national Muslim organisations, including ISNA, CAIR, etc. as "unedited co-conspirators" in a terrorism trial case. The Muslims hoped that the new Democrats-controlled Congress would loosen the stranglehold of the Patriot Acts. Instead it has approved wider spying power for the government.
In a frenetic scramble, not to be blamed for being soft in the US war on Islamic terror, Congress approved more surveillance powers than the Bush administration sought. Broad new surveillance powers could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include – without court approval – certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans’ business records.
Jose Padilla was convicted of federal terrorism support charges after being held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant in a case that came to symbolise the Bush administration’s zeal to stop homegrown Islamic terror. Padilla and co-defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi were convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas.
Padilla was detained in 2002 before 9/11 tragic event on much more sensational accusations. The Bush administration portrayed Padilla, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, as a committed terrorist who was part of an al-Qaida plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the U.S. The administration called his detention an important victory in the war against terrorism, not long after the Sept. 11 attacks. However, the charges brought in civilian court in Miami were a pale shadow of those initial claims.
Padilla’s attorneys fought for years to get his case into federal court. He was finally added to the Miami terrorism support indictment in late 2005 just as the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to consider President Bush’s authority to continue detaining him. Padilla had lived in South Florida in the 1990s and was supposedly recruited by Hassoun at a mosque to become a mujahedeen fighter.
Central to the investigation were some 300,000 FBI wiretap intercepts collected from 1993 to 2001, mainly involving Padilla’s co-defendants Hassoun and Jayyousi and others. Most of the conversations were in Arabic and purportedly used code such as "tourism" and "football" for violent jihad or "zucchini" and "eggplant" instead of military weapons or ammunition.
The bulk of these conversations and other evidence concerned efforts in the 1990s by Hassoun and Jayyousi, both 45, to assist Muslims in conflict zones such as Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Lebanon.
Prosecutors didn’t present any direct evidence, such as an eyewitness, to prove Padilla actually attended al Qaeda’s training camp in Afghanistan. So, they called a convicted terrorist to testify that he filled out the same mujahedeen application and completed the terror group’s training camp – one year after Padilla allegedly committed the same crime.
Although Padilla’s mujahedeen form itself appears to be solid, the overall case against him is riddled with circumstantial evidence. In other words, there’s no proverbial smoking gun. His relationship with two AQ recruiters plus the mujahedeen application form he filled out added up to the jury "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that he intended to kill. There’s no dirty bomb charge, even though that’s what he’s famous for.
Recent turmoil in the world financial markets forced frantic intervention by the Bank of Japan, European Union, and the US Federal Reserve.
All of the old-timers knew that sub-prime mortgages were what we called neutron loans – they killed the people and left the houses. The deals made in 2005 and 2006 were going to run into trouble because the credit pendulum at the time was stuck at easy.
Mortgage banking firms trapped the low and modest income borrowers with zero% or low percentage loans for the first few years. When these loans adjusted to higher percentage almost all of the borrowers defaulted. The banks were left with no choice but to re-possess the homes. However, they could not sell the homes for half the money that they had loaned to the homeowners, and many mortgage institutions went bankrupt.
Apart from financial losses running into billions of dollars, the impact on the world economy has jolted almost every individual and it would be felt for years.
IMPORTED CHURCH LEADERS
The Muslims in North America imported "Imams" from Middle East and the Indian sub-continent for decades. Now the US government blames many of them for radicalising the Muslims in North America, refused landing rights at the airports to some last Ramadan, and deported some on the evidence of their Friday sermons videotaped decades ago.
The Christian churches were also importing their church leaders but nobody has looked into how the imported leaders have kept churches into the forefront of the American policies in Sudan, Philippines, etc.
Rev. Zachariah Jok Char preaches most Sundays in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His Grace Episcopal Church here is about 7,000 miles separate from the small town of Duk Padiet in Sudan, where he was born. About 21 years ago, when Mr. Char was five years old the militias backed by the Sudanese government attacked his town during the civil war in the south. He saw the explosions from the field where he was playing, and he fled. He met other boys who had escaped similar attacks. The orphans, mostly boys, walked more than 1,000 miles to Ethiopia from Sudan over three months. Later, they were forced to walk to Kenya. Thousands died.
Those boys are men now, and here in cities like Atlanta and Burlington, Vt., the 3,800 who were resettled in the United States beginning in 2001 are trying to keep the passion for an independent Dinka Christian state alive. The war in southern Sudan lasted more than 40 years, killing an estimated 2 million people and displacing millions of others. In 2005, the government in Khartoum and the leaders of rebel movements in the south agreed to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which has proven tenuous. About 28 Sudanese Episcopal congregations dot the United States.