DHS May Ban “Religiously-Charged” Terms Jihad, Sharia to Avert “Us versus Them” in Anti-Terror Programs
Four years after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) purged anti-terrorism training material determined to be offensive to Muslims, its umbrella agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), may eliminate divisive Islamic terms like “jihad” and “sharia” in government programs targeting radicalization among youth.
It’s political correctness run amok and the Obama administration has played a central role in promoting it by caving in to the demands of various Muslim rights groups. In this latest case a Homeland Security Advisory Council is recommending that, to avoid “us versus them” when discussing extremism, certain “religiously-charged” terminology must be avoided. This includes using “American Muslim” rather than “Muslim American” and rejecting religious, legal and cultural terms like jihad, sharia, takfir and umma. Jihad is the holy war that propels Islamic terrorism. Sharia is the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists—including the world’s most violent groups such as Al Qaeda—and their jihadism. Takfir and umma are Arabic terms that mean apostasy and Muslim community.
In a report released this month the DHS panel, known as Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee, unanimously recommends that the agency dedicates $100 million to counter a new generation of threats involving “violent extremism.” The goal is to curb the spread of violent extremist ideology (read between the lines, Islamic terrorism) and the recruitment of American youth to extremist groups with DHS serving as a platform to leverage partnerships in technology, health, education, communications, cultural, philanthropic, financial and non-government sectors. To accomplish it the feds must “prioritize attention on efforts to counter the recruitment of youth to violent ideologies across race, religion, ethnicity, location, socioeconomic levels, and gender,” the report states. This clearly means to practice political correctness and not single out Muslims. “Often without knowing it, we have constructed language in daily use that promotes an “us and them” narrative of division,” the report says. DHS must ensure terminology is “properly calibrated to diminish the recruitment efforts of extremists who argue that the West is at war with Islam.”
This is part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to appease Muslim rights groups, especially the terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the force behind the FBI purging of anti-terrorism material. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal a few years ago and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. The FBI memos and other documents reveal that the agency purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined by an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) to be “offensive” to Muslims. The excised material included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying Al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that “young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best.” Last fall Judicial Watch published a special in-depth report on the unprecedented broad purging of FBI training material.
Just a few months ago the FBI again caved into the demands of Islamic activists, suspending a new internet program aimed at preventing the radicalization of youth. Muslim and Arab rights groups determined that the interactive website, created as a tool for the nation’s schools to prevent susceptible youth from getting recruited online by terrorists, discriminated against Muslims and would lead to bullying, bias and religious profiling of students. One of the groups behind the program’s demise, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, claimed the website improperly characterized Muslims as a suspect community with targeted focus and stereotypical depictions.
CAIR and its allies also got several police departments in President Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.” CAIR has flexed its muscle in a number of other cases during the Obama presidency, including blocking an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S. and pressuring the government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don’t accommodate Muslims in the workplace.