"Hate crime" or domestic terrorism?

Yesterday, a self—proclaimed "Muslim American, angry at Israel" forced his way into a Jewish community center in Seattle, Washington, pulled out a gun, and opened fire.  Six people were wounded, one fatally.  The five others are hospitalized.  The reaction by local authorities to this blatant act of domestic terrorism speaks volumes about America's deeply misguided approach to Islamic terrorism.

According to the Associated Press,

the gunman was Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, who witnesses heard saying "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel" before he started "randomly shooting at everyone."  When asked if the gunman was Muslim, however, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske —— obviously trying to downplay the connection between Islam and terror —— only commented that "you could infer that that was his background."  Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels quickly added that "as far as we know" Haq was "acting on his own."

In other words, even before an investigation has been started, local political and law enforcement authorities are signaling their intention to treat this incident as an individual "hate crime" rather than an act of domestic terrorism. 

I hope the FBI is not so obtuse.  I hope the FBI investigates the mosque where Haq most likely prayed and was inculcated with violent anti—Jewish and Anti—American propaganda.

To add to the willful absurdity of the official reponse to this incident, local police were ordered to protect not just synagogues but also mosques throughout the city.  According to Chief Kerlikowske, the police were protecting mosques "because there's always the concern of retaliatory crime."  Really?  When's the last time a Jewish American terrorist attacked a mosque, or forced his way into an Islamic community center shooting people randomly?

No, the Seattle police were not concerned about the risk of "retaliatory crime" against Muslims —— they were concerned about appearing to "take sides" or otherwise acknowledging that in the current worldwide conflict Muslims are the terrorists and Jews and westerners are the victims.  This self—inflicted blindness — a form of appeasement born of moral and physical cowardice —— only empowers the terrorists further and emboldens them to attack again.

At some point, the American people are going to have to start demanding that Muslims living in this country conform themselves to the principles and values of our society.  For several decades, Americans have worked together to marginalize and stamp out the advocates of white racism, including the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.  It is time to treat militant Islam in the United States with the same unyielding disdain, suspicion, and aggressive law enforcement tactics.

Steven M. Warshawsky     7 29 06

Yesterday, a self—proclaimed "Muslim American, angry at Israel" forced his way into a Jewish community center in Seattle, Washington, pulled out a gun, and opened fire.  Six people were wounded, one fatally.  The five others are hospitalized.  The reaction by local authorities to this blatant act of domestic terrorism speaks volumes about America's deeply misguided approach to Islamic terrorism.

According to the Associated Press,

the gunman was Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, who witnesses heard saying "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel" before he started "randomly shooting at everyone."  When asked if the gunman was Muslim, however, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske —— obviously trying to downplay the connection between Islam and terror —— only commented that "you could infer that that was his background."  Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels quickly added that "as far as we know" Haq was "acting on his own."

In other words, even before an investigation has been started, local political and law enforcement authorities are signaling their intention to treat this incident as an individual "hate crime" rather than an act of domestic terrorism. 

I hope the FBI is not so obtuse.  I hope the FBI investigates the mosque where Haq most likely prayed and was inculcated with violent anti—Jewish and Anti—American propaganda.

To add to the willful absurdity of the official reponse to this incident, local police were ordered to protect not just synagogues but also mosques throughout the city.  According to Chief Kerlikowske, the police were protecting mosques "because there's always the concern of retaliatory crime."  Really?  When's the last time a Jewish American terrorist attacked a mosque, or forced his way into an Islamic community center shooting people randomly?

No, the Seattle police were not concerned about the risk of "retaliatory crime" against Muslims —— they were concerned about appearing to "take sides" or otherwise acknowledging that in the current worldwide conflict Muslims are the terrorists and Jews and westerners are the victims.  This self—inflicted blindness — a form of appeasement born of moral and physical cowardice —— only empowers the terrorists further and emboldens them to attack again.

At some point, the American people are going to have to start demanding that Muslims living in this country conform themselves to the principles and values of our society.  For several decades, Americans have worked together to marginalize and stamp out the advocates of white racism, including the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.  It is time to treat militant Islam in the United States with the same unyielding disdain, suspicion, and aggressive law enforcement tactics.

Steven M. Warshawsky     7 29 06