Lawyers for the Council on American Islamic Relations are pitching a fit because FBI agents had the audacity to question Muslims about a rumored Al Qaeda threat this weekend. CAIR representatives in several states are ringing the alarm bells, telling anyone who will listen that it’s not fair for Muslims to be questioned about an impending terrorist attack.
From the Washington Post:
The individuals were asked a series of eight questions, including several specific to al-Qaeda, said Hassan Shibly, a lawyer and the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida.
He said his clients were asked if they knew the al-Qaeda leaders killed in U.S. military airstrikes last month, who U.S. officials believe were connected to the alleged plot, and if they knew of anyone who wished to cause harm to Americans at home or abroad.
Reuters and CBS reported on the threat last Friday as alerts went out to law enforcement officials in New York, Virginia, and Texas. Though unconfirmed by U.S. intelligence, the reports indicated that Al Qaeda was possibly planning a domestic attack for Monday, one day prior to the elections.
“To conduct a sweep of American Muslim leaders the weekend before the election is completely outrageous and borderline unconstitutional,” Shibly told the Washington Post. “That’s the equivalent of the FBI visiting churchgoing Christians because someone overseas was threatening to blow up an abortion clinic. It’s that preposterous and outrageous.”
Going by the article, it seems that FBI agents visited around 15 Muslims over the weekend as part of the investigation. That’s 15 Muslims out of 3.3 million. CAIR representatives admit that they don’t know why these particular Muslims were targeted for questioning, but we can probably guess that the FBI didn’t pick their names at random out of the phone book. The agency is well funded, but it’s not so well funded that agents can waste time interviewing whichever Mohammeds they come across first.
“When FBI agents show up at your door, people are terrified,” Shibly said. “It does more damage.”
Damage to Islam’s reputation? Is that what we’re talking about? Shibly, like most Muslim-American leaders, is confused about cause and effect. To whatever extent Muslims suffer from prejudice in this country, it has been brought about by the actions of Islamic radicals. It has been brought about by Muslims who – as it always turns out – do not bother to report suspicious activity to police in the days and weeks before catastrophe.
It has been brought about by groups like CAIR, which care only about Islam’s reputation and not at all about the violent strain of jihadism that runs rampant within the religion.