Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | ridicule | muslim | westerners | violence

Ex-DHS Official: 'Loser' Label Fits Lone-Wolf Terrorists

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 09:42 PM

A little ridicule could go a long way in discouraging Westerners from becoming motivated to kill in the name of Allah, says a former Department of Homeland Security official, outlining a cultural strategy for combating homegrown Islamic extremism.

After two deadly attacks this week in Canada, both reportedly carried out by young Muslim converts, former DHS assistant secretary for policy Stewart Baker told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday that it is time to start calling out violent radicalization as a last refuge of zeros.

"With the attacks of the kind that we're seeing now, I would spend a fair amount of time emphasizing what losers these guys are," said Baker, a Washington, D.C. lawyer and visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

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"They have been complete failures at life," Baker said of the two young men implicated in the killings of two soldiers in Canada. "They carried out attacks that were indistinguishable from the sorts of things an ordinary nutcase would carry out. A little bit of mockery is called for."

Canadian authorities said that Martin Couture-Roleau, 25, ran down two soldiers on Monday in Quebec, killing one, before he died in a shootout; and that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, killed a soldier on Wednesday before he died in a shootout inside the country's parliamentary headquarters in Ottawa.

Both had converted to Islam and become increasingly radicalized, and Canadian authorities had refused passports to both men, possibly on suspicion of attempting to join jihadist movements abroad, according to media reports.

Couture-Roleau had apparently lived quietly in Quebec, and ran his own pressure-washing business, but gravitated to Islam and renounced his old life, telling friends he hoped to die a martyr.

Zehaf-Bibeau once worked as a miner, had a rap sheet including a drug conviction and a robbery arrest, and was living at an Ottawa homeless shelter in recent weeks.

Baker said that people in the West are reluctant to marginalize would-be jihadis in their midst because they fear that other Muslims will take offense.

"One of the problems is that many of the Islamic groups like CAIR [Council on American Islamic Relations] have grabbed hold of the old civil rights doctrines, styles and ideologies to say, 'If you think we should be more respectful of the American way of life, you're an Islamophobe,' " said Baker.

"We shouldn't tolerate that," he said.

Another "MidPoint" guest, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, agreed that disaffected loners make up some of the pool of potential recruits to radical Islam, but he cautioned against stereotyping all of them as marginal.

"That's one small part of it," said Jasser. "But you've got the Aafia Siddiquis of the world — the 'Lady al-Qaeda' from M.I.T.," he said, referring to the young Pakistani woman who studied neurosurgery here and landed in prison as an al-Qaida associate.

"The Tsarnaevs — the Boston bombers — weren't exactly estranged," said Jasser. "And there are many that don't fit that profile that are part of an ideological movement."
Jasser said that censure should also fall on radical Muslim clerics who reside in the West while preaching anti-Westernism.

"We let these imams put forth ideologies in the mosques that are anti-American and we don't demand that they … give a narrative that says America defends Muslim freedoms," said Jasser. "They out give the opposite, which is saying that we're Islamophobic, and it pushes those youth away from America."

Baker said that as long as violent jihadism carries a kind of forbidden allure to some estranged Westerners, "We'll see lone wolves carrying out these kinds of attacks because they get off on the sense that they joined a movement that the rest of society is afraid of."

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A little ridicule could go a long way in discouraging Westerners from becoming motivated to kill in the name of Allah, says a former Department of Homeland Security official, outlining a cultural strategy for combating homegrown Islamic extremism.
ridicule, muslim, westerners, violence
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2014-42-23
Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 09:42 PM
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