Muslim Antiterrorism

 

BOB ABERNETHY, host: Amid the continuing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, President Obama this week spoke of the threat of self-radicalized individuals here in the US and the difficulty of identifying them. He said his counterterrorism team has discussed ways it can engage communities where such radicalization can occur. In recent years, American Muslim groups have launched their own efforts to combat extremism.

For more on this, I’m joined by our managing editor, Kim Lawton, and Haris Tarin. He directs the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Haris, welcome. The president referred to self-radicalizing. What—how does that work, and what can the Muslim community do to prevent it?

Haris Tarin, MPAC

HARIS TARIN (Muslim Public Affairs Council): Well, the phenomenon of self-radicalization is where individuals who do not find a place in mainstream Muslim institutions, places like mosques and organizations, they don’t find a place for their fiery rhetoric, for their violent, extremist rhetoric, so they go online, and they listen to sermons, and they listen to individuals like Anwar al-Awlaki or Adam Gadahn or other folks who misinterpret the religion to give it a violent, violent ideology, and they fall prey to these individuals who are basically online predators, and they get influenced by these individuals to address their grievances through violence.

ABERNETHY: And then what can you do about it?

TARIN: I think what we can do, number one, is to ensure that there’s a counter-narrative, that there’s a narrative of life, of positivity, that even if you have a grievance or you have a disagreement on policy, whether domestic or international, you can address those policy grievances through civic and political engagement and change that— maybe not overnight, but eventually you have the power to change policy.

Managing editor Kim Lawton

KIM LAWTON: I know the Muslim community has been trying to offer these kinds of counter-narratives. Has that just not worked, or what do you need to do differently in order to combat this online issue?

TARIN: Well, I think, you know, I said before, I think to overwhelming extent the American Muslim community has not fallen prey to this. It’s individuals who are radicalized online, but I think what needs to happen is that we need to ensure that we have a narrative that goes viral. A lot of these videos, they are very emotive. These sermons they use violence and gruesome images to tug at the emotion of young people. And so we also need to ensure that when we put out the counter-narrative it’s as savvy, it goes as viral and addresses the same issues and that we’re not afraid to address some of the same policy grievances that they address, but to make sure that the outcome is positive and not negative.

LAWTON: And how do you deal with the perception that many outsiders have that the more religious someone, a Muslim, gets, the more prone he or she is to being violent or being an extremist?

TARIN: Well, I think that notion, fortunately, is false. There’s a notion that the more religious you get it leads to acts of violence. The studies have shown that when people go through rigorous religious training and understanding, they’re less prone to violence, but that people who skip that religious understanding part and have an awakening and then go straight to politics, that’s where they become more prone to violence and twisted ideologies and perverted interpretations of the religion.

ABERNETHY: Is there a special role here for young people? I mean, the perpetrators are young. Does that invite, then, or say that the people who can best correct that are young people?

TARIN: The first thing you have to understand is a lot of young American Muslims, they deal with everything else that all young Americans are dealing with—college tuition, jobs, but there is a place for them to ensure that their peers on college campuses and youth groups are having a conversation that’s positive, that when they see a negative conversation that they step in, and they interfere and ensure that they move the conversation towards a more positive aspect.

ABERNETHY: O.K. Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Kim Lawton, many thanks to you both.

TARIN: Thank you.

  • E.Patrick Mosman

    Who speaks for Islam?
    Not Mr Tarin, not one Muslim or Muslim organization speaks for Islam. Any Islamic mullah can issue a Fatwa, an Islamic license to kill, on anyone for any perceived slight of Islam, the Prophet or whatever reason he thinks justifies a death sentence. Any Islamic mullah can incite riots, violence and killing over any perceived offense to the religion In the real world, issuing an order to or soliciting for someone to kill another person or inciting violence are criminal offenses and subject to arrest and trial but political correctness allows Muslim clerics to order killings without fear of punishment and the Western world cringes at the idea that a fatwa or a threat might be issued for an author, comedy show, publisher, movie director, actor, historian, museum or even a University. The Metropolitan Museum in New York and Yale are examples along with Comedy Central that have practiced self-censorship and political correctness under or to avoid threat or actual attacks from Muslims.
    Until the first arrest order is issued for a mullah who declares a fatwa against anyone for any reason or incites violence, the rest of the world is under the control of radical Islam.
    Where are the peaceful “Muslims against sharia” protest groups, the “Muslims against fatwas” protest groups, the ‘Muslims against suicide bombers protest groups”, the “Muslims against car bombs in Times Square, in public markets, pressure cooker bombs in Boston, in assemblies of job seekers and other crowded places” protest groups around the world? Where are the “Muslims protests against
    the Islamist murderers killing of American diplomats and innocent workers”?
    The sound of silence is deafening.

  • Channah

    ”I think what we can do, number one, is to ensure that there’s a counter-narrative”
    ———————————————
    But, the counter-narrative is not making enough noise. With all the media anti-Islam, it is hard to stand up to them. And, after all, it is the sensationalism of this media that sells news.

    I wish there was much more reporting on the good of Islam and of the people who follow it.

  • E.Patrick Mosman

    Trying again.
    Who speaks for Islam?
    Not Mr.Tarin, not one Muslim or Muslim organization speaks for Islam. Any Islamic mullah can issue a Fatwa, an Islamic license to kill, on anyone for any perceived slight of Islam, the Prophet or whatever reason he thinks justifies a death sentence. Any Islamic mullah can incite riots, violence and killing over any perceived offense to the religion In the real world, issuing an order to or soliciting for someone to kill another person or inciting violence are criminal offenses and subject to arrest and trial but political correctness allows Muslim clerics to order killings without fear of punishment and the Western world cringes at the idea that a fatwa or a threat might be issued for an author, comedy show, publisher, movie director, actor, historian, museum or even a University. The Metropolitan Museum in New York and Yale are examples along with Comedy Central that have practiced self-censorship and political correctness under or to avoid threat or actual attacks from Muslims.
    Until the first arrest order is issued for a mullah who declares a fatwa against anyone for any reason or incites violence, the rest of the world is under the control of radical Islam.
    Where are the peaceful “Muslims against sharia” protest groups, the “Muslims against fatwas” protest groups, the ‘Muslims against suicide bombers protest groups”, the “Muslims against car bombs in Times Square, in public markets, pressure cooker bombs in Boston, in assemblies of job seekers and other crowded places” protest groups around the world? Where are the “Muslims protests against
    the Islamist murderers killing of American diplomats and innocent workers”?
    The sound of silence is deafening.

  • Channah

    I also feel the media is so much to blame for the ideas people have about Muslims. It is not sensationalism to tell of good things anyone does. Yet, to tell of the horrific things that are done, the media jumps all over it. And, to add the word that a Muslim did such and such is more eye grabbing. Do you ever see the title, ”Christian bombs a school”, etc.,? But you do see, ”Muslim does such and such”.

    There needs to be much more media coverage about the good that Muslims do. Then, would that sell to make a profit? Doubtful.

  • E.Patrick Mosman

    Maybe the third attempt is the charm and will not be censored.
    Who speaks for Islam?
    Not Mr.Tarin, not one Muslim or Muslim organization speaks for Islam. Any Islamic mullah can issue a Fatwa, an Islamic license to kill, on anyone for any perceived slight of Islam, the Prophet or whatever reason he thinks justifies a death sentence. Any Islamic mullah can incite riots, violence and killing over any perceived offense to the religion In the real world, issuing an order to or soliciting for someone to kill another person or inciting violence are criminal offenses and subject to arrest and trial but political correctness allows Muslim clerics to order killings without fear of punishment and the Western world cringes at the idea that a fatwa or a threat might be issued for an author, comedy show, publisher, movie director, actor, historian, museum or even a University. The Metropolitan Museum in New York and Yale are examples along with Comedy Central that have practiced self-censorship and political correctness under or to avoid threat or actual attacks from Muslims.
    Until the first arrest order is issued for a mullah who declares a fatwa against anyone for any reason or incites violence, the rest of the world is under the control of radical Islam.
    Where are the peaceful “Muslims against sharia” protest groups, the “Muslims against fatwas” protest groups, the ‘Muslims against suicide bombers protest groups”, the “Muslims against car bombs in Times Square, in public markets, pressure cooker bombs in Boston, in assemblies of job seekers and other crowded places” protest groups around the world? Where are the “Muslims protests against
    the Islamist murderers killing of American diplomats and innocent workers”?
    The sound of silence is deafening.

  • Channah

    ” ensure that there’s a counter-narrative”
    This counter-narrative should go for not only Muslims but for the general public. They get their opinion of Islam from the news media who pushes only the sensationalism of terrorism to sell news.

    The general public does not see much of the good side of Islam…..hardly any.

  • E.Patrick Mosman

    Here are several excerpts from a Powerline article entitled
    The Muslim War on Christianity
    Posted on May 12, 2013 by John Hinderaker in Islam
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/05/the-muslim-war-on-christianity.php
    Unfortunately Mr.Tarin was not asked about these atrocities.
    “The most widespread oppression in the world today is the oppression of Christians by Muslims. And yet, for some reason, the world’s foremost human rights crisis is rarely noticed, let alone opposed. Raymond Ibrahim, author of a new book titled Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, has tirelessly tried to draw attention to the catastrophe that has befallen Christians living in predominantly Muslim countries in recent years. Ibrahim offered an overview of the situation at the Middle East Forum:

    A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other. …
    The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”

    Most of what we now think of as the “Muslim world” was inhabited by Christians long before Islam came into being. Now, in one country after another, Christians are being exterminated. Syria is the most recent case in point:”………
    The examples continue in the article.