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The Myth of Muslim Radicalization

After some of its quarter of a million Muslims headed to join ISIS, Quebec decided the answer was a $2 million anti-radicalization center headed by a specialist in cultural sensitivity. But if you’re about to be beheaded by a masked ISIS Jihadist, a specialist in cultural sensitivity isn’t going to help you much.

Western governments nevertheless keep rolling out their culturally sensitive approaches to fighting ISIS.

The key element in Obama’s strategy for fighting ISIS isn’t the F-15E Strike Eagle, it’s a Twitter account run by a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer which claims to “Counter Violent Extremism” by presenting moderate Islamists like Al Qaeda as positive role models for the Islamic State’s social media supporters.

So far 75% of planes flown on combat missions against ISIS return without engaging the enemy, but the culturally sensitive State Department Twitter account has racked up over 5,000 tweets and zero kills.

Cultural sensitivity hasn’t exactly set Iraq on fire in fighting ISIS and deradicalization programs here start from the false premise that there is a wide gap between a moderate and extremist Islam. Smiling news anchors daily recite new stories about a teenager from Kentucky, Boston or Manchester getting “radicalized” and joining ISIS to the bafflement of his parents, mosque and community.

And who is to blame for all this mysterious radicalization? It’s not the parents. It certainly can’t be the moderate local mosque with its stock of Jihadist CDs and DVDs being dispensed from under the table.

The attorney for the family of Usaama Rahim, the Muslim terrorist who plotted to behead Pamela Geller, claims that his radicalization came as a “complete shock” to them.

It must have come as a truly great shock to his brother Imam Ibrahim Rahim who claimed that his brother was shot in the back and that the Garland cartoon attack had been staged by the government.

It must have come as an even bigger shock to Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, the Imam linked to Usaama Rahim and his fellow terrorist conspirators, as well as the Tsarnaev brothers, who had urged Muslims to “grab onto the gun and the sword.” The culturally insensitive truth about Islamic ‘radicalization’ is that it is incremental.

There is no peaceful Islam. Instead of two sharply divided groups, peaceful Islam and extremist Islam, there is a spectrum of acceptable terrorism.

Muslim institutions have different places on that spectrum depending on their allegiances and tactics, but the process of radicalization is rarely a sharp break from the past for any except converts to Islam.

The latest tragic victim of radicalization is Munther Omar Saleh; a Muslim man living in New York City who allegedly plotted to use a Tsarnaev-style pressure cooker bomb in a major landmark such as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Saleh claimed to be following orders from ISIS.

Media coverage of the Saleh arrest drags out the old clichés about how unexpected this sudden radicalization was, but what appears to be his father’s social media account shows support for Hamas.

Likewise one of Usaama Rahim’s fellow mosque attendees said that Rahim and another conspirator had initially followed the “teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood” but that he had been forced to cut ties with them when they moved past the Brotherhood and became “extreme”.



 

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