Politics

DOJ: Watch what you say about Muslims on social media

DOJ: Watch what you say about Muslims on social media

The Tullahoma News announces an upcoming event in which top Justice Department officials will remind us that not all Muslims are terrorists:

A special meeting has been scheduled for the stated purpose of increasing awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social media and other circles.

“Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd.

Special speakers for the event will be Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.

Sponsor of the event is the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee — a 15-member board formed two years ago when the General Assembly was considering passing legislation that would restrict those who worship Sharia Law, which is followed by Muslims.

The American tradition isn’t really big on “worshiping” any body of law.  How was this Tennessee initiative going to “restrict those who worship Sharia Law?”  Prevent them from driving automobiles?  Make it illegal for them to purchase organic tomatoes?  That sort of thing would seem like a rather blatant violation of civil rights.  Or would it be more accurate to say that Tennessee was looking to restrict the imposition of sharia law in defiance of American law, or the U.S. Constitution?  Whether or not such an initiative was worthwhile, or the legislation well-crafted, it seems reasonable to ask even deeply skeptical news organizations to describe it honestly.

Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Well, this is the Obama era, so you just knew this meeting had to involve cracking down on freedom of speech.  Judicial Watch provides some background for the upcoming Tennessee event:

The move comes a few years after the administration became the first in history to dispatch a U.S. Attorney General to personally reassure Muslims that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is dedicated to protecting them. In the unprecedented event, Attorney General Eric Holder assured a San Francisco-based organization (Muslim Advocates) that urges members not to cooperate in federal terrorism investigations that the “us versus them” environment created by the U.S. government, law enforcement agents and fellow citizens is unacceptable and inconsistent with what America is all about.

“Muslims and Arab Americans have helped build and strengthen our nation,” Holder said after expressing that he is “grateful” to have Muslims as a partner in promoting tolerance, ensuring public safety and protecting civil rights. He also vowed to strengthen “crucial dialogue” between Muslim and Arab-American communities and law enforcement.

[...] Over the years the Obama administration has embarked on a fervent crusade to befriend Muslims by creating a variety of outreach programs at a number of key federal agencies. For instance the nation’s Homeland Security covertly met with a group of extremist Arab, Muslim and Sikh organizations to discuss national security matters and the State Department sent a controversial, anti-America Imam (Feisal Abdul Rauf) to the Middle East to foster greater understanding and outreach among Muslim majority communities.

The Obama Administration has also hired a special Homeland Security adviser (Mohamed Elibiary) who openly supports a radical Islamist theologian and renowned jihadist ideologue and a special Islam envoy that condemns U.S. prosecutions of terrorists as “politically motivated persecutions” and has close ties to radical extremist groups.

The president has even ordered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to shift its mission from space exploration to Muslim diplomacy and the government started a special service that delivers halal meals, prepared according to Islamic law, to home-bound seniors in Detroit. Who could forget Hillary Clinton’s special order allowing the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties have long banned them from the U.S.?

Back at the Tullahoma News, an example of some genuinely offensive and inflammatory social media posting – from a county official, no less – is provided:

Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”

Killian said he and Moore had discussed the issue.

“If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?” he said. “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”

I don’t know, Mr. Killian, what would have happened?  Public outcry, to be sure, but that is free speech responding to free speech, as would be calls for the resignation or firing of a hypothetical Muslim county commissioner who advocated winking at Christians by pointing a shotgun at them.  And in fact, that is what happened to Barry West – he formally apologized and offered to “study and talk with those of Muslim faith to learn more about their beliefs” after facing a storm of criticism.

How many civil-rights prosecutions are currently in progress against Muslims who say inflammatory things on social media?  Killian represents the same government that couldn’t even rouse itself to do anything about Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev before they cooked off their Boston Marathon bombs, despite a lively presence on Web sites that advocated doing a lot more than brandishing shotguns at enemies of the faith.

This is also the same government that flagrantly abused the power of the Internal Revenue Service, and other agencies, to oppress political dissidents.  There are a lot of Tea Party groups who wish the only thing they had to fear from Democrat politicians is offensive Facebook chatter.  No one in this government seems terribly concerned about protecting their hurt feelings, or encouraging the rest of the American public to treat them with dignity and respect.  On the contrary, they are routinely blamed for violence they had absolutely nothing to do with, right up to the Boston Marathon bombings.  Can we expect a federal prosecution of Salon lunatic David Sirota, who openly wished for the Boston bombers to be white American non-Muslims?  Or at least get a few Justice Department bigwigs to make menacing comments about how people like Sirota should reign in their bigotry, if they know what’s good for them?

Would anyone like to do a quick comparison between the amount of material routinely pumped through the mass media that deliberately offends Christian faith, or other religions, versus the amount considered blasphemous by Muslims?  I’ll give you a little hint to get you started: you won’t find much of anything considered blasphemy under Islam, because our courageous, irreverent, provocative, progressive media is afraid to run it.  They wouldn’t even reproduce the riot-inspiring cartoons depicting Mohammed when writing news stories about them.  Why do you suppose that is?  What do you imagine Christians could do to gain that level of delicate consideration from the media?

If anything, the rest of this Justice Department outreach to the Muslim community is even more wrongheaded than its offenses against free speech:

Killian said the presentation will also focus on Muslim culture and how, that although terrorist acts have been committed by some in the faith, they are no different from those in other religions.

He referred to the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing in which Timothy McVeigh, an American terrorist, detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attack killed 168 people and injured more than 800.

It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. Terry Nichols was also charged and incarcerated as a coconspirator.

Killian also referred to the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting on Aug. 5, 2012, when Wade Michael Page, an American white supremacist, fatally shot six people and wounded four others in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.

“Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were both Christians as was the guy who shot up the Sikh temple,” Killian said. “Sikhs are not Muslim, Many people think they are Muslim, but they split off with the Hindu religion.”

Oh, well, that brings everything nicely into balance, doesn’t it?  Sure, you’ve got that wave of Islamist violence around the world, recently leading up to the broad-daylight beheading of a British soldier by knife-wielding savages who spent twenty minutes explaining how the acted in the name of their faith to bystanders equipped with video cameras.  But Tim McVeigh and the sleazy nut who shot up the Sikh temple were Christian, so it’s all the same.

This is downright infantile, and both Muslim and non-Muslim Americans deserve better.  The desire of good Muslim citizens to separate themselves from violent elements is understandable and laudable, but it will not be furthered by pretending their situation is no different from, say, peace-loving Lutherans.  Zak Mohyuddin, a member of the Muslim Advisory Council sponsoring the Tennessee event, sounds like his heart is in the right place… but even at that, he said something worthy of response:

Mohyuddin said Muslims across the nation consistently issue press releases condemning terrorist acts, but the media usually does not pick up the information. He added that the apparent silence leaves the impression that Muslims do not condemn such acts.

Like Killian, Mohyuddin said word needs to be spread so more people understand the Muslim culture.

“It is in the self-interest of Muslims in the United States to counter violent extremism, because we and our children do not want to be viewed with suspicion,” Mohyuddin said. “The Muslim community is a vital resource in the fight against terrorism.”

Understanding other cultures is always a commendable pursuit, but peaceful co-existence does not require it.  Most Americans don’t know much about Mormons or Mennonites, but they get along just fine.  Granted, their history, demographics, and current relationship to world events is different from the Muslim experience… but isn’t the entire point of this seminar the assertion that they are not different in any meaningful way?

 

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