The line between the protection of civil liberties and domestic security has been and continues to be blurred by the role of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic defense group in the United States.
Most recently CAIR came to the defense of a soi-disant suicide terrorist in Tampa who admitted that he was plotting an attack and made a martyrdom video. He is currently facing charges based on the attempted use of weapons of mass destruction. However, despite overwhelming evidence and an admission, the executive director of CAIR in San Francisco proceeded to call the arrest a “scam.”
Other CAIR executives claimed the entire episode was orchestrated by the FBI or, at the very least, had the elements of “entrapment.”
Although CAIR defenders alleged that this plot was hatched by an unstable man, the planning for the violence was intricate and the adherence to Islamic principles consistent, i.e., Muslim blood is more valuable than that of disbelievers.
Yet what this incident reaffirms is the CAIR defense strategy even in the face of overwhelming evidence. As CAIR officials see it, the FBI and law enforcement agencies are the enemy. Those who promote violence do so out of justifiable motives and are in all cases the genuine victims.
If one were to accept this proposition, it leads inexorably to the conclusion that there aren’t any real homegrown terrorists and security elements in the U.S. are suffering from self imposed paranoia.
How then can the FBI provide for “domestic tranquility”? At another time in the nation’s history this question would be perceived as absurd, but now we find ourselves in a moral quagmire.
Despite a declaration of war against the U.S., despite a belief that radical Islam must punish Americans for what is considered a misguided foreign policy, there are elites in the U.S. who put a priority on the civil rights of those who want to harm innocent individuals and undermine the legitimacy of the government.
Richard Weaver, the political theorist, noted: “Every man participating in a culture has three level of conscious reflection: his specific ideas about things; his general beliefs or convictions; and his metaphorical dreams.” For many in CAIR and the radical camp metaphorical dreams trump all other considerations.
When the bomb plotter who is 25, was asked if he wanted to marry and have a family instead of killing himself, he said there is time to build a family in paradise.
Similarly the dream persists in some Muslim quarters that a caliphate will be established across the globe giving Islam ascendency as a religion and a way of life. That this dream is inconsistent with the foundations of liberal democracies is seemingly irrelevant for the Muslim true believers.
Yet so devoted are some civil libertarians to their metaphorical dream of “protective rights” that they are willing to allow despoilers of our system to exploit the laws of the land for their own defense. What appears to be lacking or insufficiently defined is moral clarity. If someone wants to kill you or destroy your system of law, you have every right to defend yourself. That is not merely a Constitutional provision; it is the law of common sense.
A French verse “cet animal est très méchant/Quand on l’attaque, il se defend” (this animal is very naughty; when it attacked it defends itself) summarizes what we as a people should think and do. Americans do not have to apologize for protecting themselves. That is common sensical.
However, common sense is in short supply, as is an effective counter-scenario for the CAIR officials who are more concerned with the defense of Islamic terrorists than the promotion of internal harmony and security.
If the U.S. will prosper as a nation and withstand the endogenous and external threats, it must be clear about what we are defending, why we do so and what is at stake for our future.
Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book Decline and Revival in Higher Education (Transaction Books). Read more reports from Herbert London — Click Here Now.
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