Some Muslims pretty "irritated" at being asked to help root out extremism

Turns out that in the wake of the recent attacks in California, there are some in the Muslim community who are pretty angry at that politician who is calling them out, making demands and associating them with extremism. No, not Trump. That other guy. What was his name again? Oh, that’s right… Barack Obama. (NPR)

President Obama’s request that Muslim Americans help “root out” and confront extremist ideology in their communities is getting mixed reactions. Muslim leaders say they want to help, but some are not happy that they are being singled out.

“We would never ask any other faith community to stand up and condemn acts of violence committed by people within their groups,” said Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour, who has worked extensively with the Black Lives Matter movement and other minority groups. “The fact that this is only directed at the Muslim community is something that I personally can’t accept.”

I’d love to get Ms. Sarsour on Politinerds one of these days for a chat because this line of “thinking” is pretty amazing. Which other “faith communities” is she talking about here? As we’ve said many times here, the only Christian one that leaps to mind is Westboro Baptist, but pretty much the entire conservative establishment as well as the rest of the normal Christian churches have universally condemned them. If she’s wondering why anyone is focusing on that community it’s probably because none of the others are producing ties to extremist killers and monstrous terrorists at even a tenth of a percent of the rate that hers is. But if she knows of any dark ring of Jewish temples around the nation that have gone into the bomb making business we’ll be happy to check it out.

She wasn’t the only one piping up in the NPR story.

“We’re not law-enforcement officials,” said Shahed Amanullah, a Washington, D.C.-based Muslim American entrepreneur with Silicon Valley connections. He has worked with the U.S. government on combating online extremism, but he said it’s unrealistic to expect Muslim Americans to confront violent people in their midst.

“We’re community members and Americans like everybody else,” he said, “and we should have the same relationship with law enforcement that everybody else has. To expect us to be on the front lines without having the capacity or the support would not be [productive]. It wouldn’t be productive with any community.”

I realize that our President isn’t the most cracker-jack communicator on the planet, Mr. Amanullah, but you do realize that he’s not asking you to go out there and strap up like Rambo and begin shooting up the congregation, right? (Do they call it a congregation in a mosque?) All we’re asking is that if you hear one of your fellow community members chatting about jihad or purchasing weapons or leafing through the latest copy of Dabiq Magazine, that you quietly slip off to a private place later on and place a call to the FBI. They’re in the phone book. Heck, let me save you a search. The number is 1-855-TELL-FBI and they won’t even charge you for the call. (Standard data and messaging rates may apply.) That’s all we’re asking, buddy. You don’t need to break into the guy’s apartment on your own.

Nobody has a better chance of gleaning some information about a potentially hidden terrorist than the ones closest to them. If you’re really a moderate and reject terrorism in all its forms and you seriously consider yourself an American first, help us out here. Don’t be irritated or offended when the President or anyone else asks. If you know something and aren’t saying anything you are just as guilty as the guy with the bombs.

Jazz Shaw May 16, 2022 12:41 PM ET