The recent terror attacks in Kenya thought to be committed by the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab are a stark reminder that not only is the battle against terrorism and Al Qaeda affiliates as dangerous as ever but homegrown Islamist radicals right here in the US can wreak havoc upon Americans and our allies both at home and abroad.
Only a few days after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) disseminated its so-called report on “Islamophobia” where they falsely and malignantly listed our Muslim group as “anti-Muslim,” the fact that American Muslims from Minnesota and Missouri have been identified among the militant Islamists responsible should be a clear reminder of how groups like CAIR both conceal and often facilitate the radicalization of American Muslims in the United States.
Representatives of CAIR, like Dawud Walid from their Michigan chapter are on record repeatedly when discussing al-Shabaab to American Muslims telling American Muslim youth for example that “9 out of 10 times the person trying to influence you over the internet is not even real…it’s someone with the government trying to set you up.”
He even casts doubt on whether Al-Shabaab is a terrorist organization. Yet when courageous American Muslims do speak out about radicalization in some mosques and among American Muslim groups, CAIR calls them “anti-Muslim”.
To that point, I testified to the House Committee on Homeland Security in March 2011 on American Muslim radicalization. I was proud to be joined by Abdirizak Bihi, a courageous American Muslim of Somali origin whose important testimony highlighted exactly the threat we again sadly realized this weekend.
As he testified back in 2011, his work with other reform minded American Muslim Somali organizations constantly strove to prevent the disappearance of Somali youth to the jihad in Somalia.
When Minnesotans learned of Minnesota Muslims missing in Somalia, he was targeted by CAIR who joined some local Imams in telling Muslims to remain silent and not rush to work with the FBI on cases of missing American Somalis. He called out Imams and Islamic centers which glorified the Al-Shabaab and the jihad in Somalia. In exchange for that tough love to Minnesota Muslims, groups like CAIR labeled him and his colleague in Minnesota Omar Jamal as “anti-Muslim.”
As the perpetrators of this weekend’s terror are brought to justice, I hope and pray the American public at the same time begins to remove the false veneer of victimization from groups like CAIR. Americans are beginning to realize the deep harm which CAIR’s denials about Islamism and false attacks upon other Muslims who care about our country and faith has upon our national security.
Also important to note here is that CAIR darling and fundraiser, Cong. Keith Ellison who testified at the same hearing in March 2011 has done virtually nothing to expose the radicalization of Muslims near his district in Minnesota while working with obstructionist American Islamists like CAIR.
In fact he ignored all of Abdirizak Bihi’s testimony and in fact pathetically smeared him by saying that his courageous testimony to congress was “only invited to testify because he’s willing to diss the Somali and Muslim community in Minneapolis.” One can’t help but ask today after this weekend’s horrific attacks at Westgate, who was more honest in their dedication to national security and faith Mr. Bihi or Mr. Ellison?”
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy, founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States as an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. He is the author of Battle for the Soul of Islam. Dr. Jasser served 11 years as a medical officer in the U. S. Navy and was Staff Internist for the Office of the Attending Physician to the U.S. Congress.