Radicalizing the ‘Homeland’

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“We’re talking about a radicalization in this country that is linked to an overseas enemy,” insists former IRA fundraiser and current head of the House Homeland Security Committee Pete King, in defense of his planned hearings into terrorist recruitment among American Muslims. A recent incident here in Idaho illustrates the connection King is talking about, albeit not in the way he intended.

Shortly before last Christmas, a resident of Twin Falls, Idaho was accosted by a stranger at a local Wal-Mart, who threatened to kill her. That threat was made credible by the fact that the snarling would-be assailant was armed and had killed people overseas during an armed conflict in the Middle East.

The terrorized victim is a law-abiding American citizen whose only offense was to commit an act of peaceful commerce while wearing a head covering attesting to her Muslim faith. The aggressor, John C. Larsen, is a veteran of Washington’s illegal war against Iraq.

“My friends were killed by you!” Larsen reportedly screamed at the woman, who was accompanied by two small children. “I was blown up by you!” At some point in his tirade, Larsen also told the woman that she “didn’t belong in the U.S.” Leaving aside the fact that the target of his rancor was a U.S. citizen who had as much right to be here as he does, it apparently never occurred to Larsen that he and his gun-toting friends had no legitimate business being in Iraq.

A 2006 National Intelligence Estimate acknowledged that the Iraq War increased the terrorist threat, rather than abating it. This is understandable, given the hatred and resentment that are the predictable by-products of a war of aggression against people who never harmed or threatened us in any way.

People who are “blown up” by foreign invaders, and who see their friends and family slaughtered by them, often find themselves irresistibly tempted to kill others in retaliation — at the price of their own lives, if necessary.

The episode in Twin Falls illustrates a largely unrecognized form of potential “blowback” from the Regime’s ongoing wars: The creation of a large population of traumatized combat veterans, some of whom are prone to criminal violence. Although at this point he has yet to be convicted of a criminal offense, Larsen was undeniably “radicalized” by his experience overseas, and it’s difficult to describe his alleged actions as anything other than a form of terrorism — albeit not of a kind Peter King would condescend to recognize.

The New York Daily News reports that King believes that American Muslims have a “misguided” belief “that they were victimized by a backlash of hatred after the Sept. 11 attacks,” that the “hate they feel is imagined, and [that] Muslims need to put aside any fears they have towards official America and police.”

“I think a lot of that is a self-imposed fear they have, and that seemed to put them underground in a sense of non-cooperation,” suggests King, who maintains that the purpose of his hearings is to entice reluctant Muslims to “cooperate.”

A few weeks before King made those remarks, Muslims who assembled at a charity benefit in Yorba Linda, California experienced a remarkable group hallucination: Their imaginations, propelled by unreasonable, self-inflicted fear, conjured up a demented fantasy in which they had to walk through a vituperative mob that flung profane abuse at them and their children.

One feature common to this shared illusion was a speech by Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, who boasted that she knows “quite a few Marines who would be happy to send these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” Also playing a role in this common fever dream was Republican Congressman Ed Royce, who assailed the gathered Muslims — not the mob, mind you, but the people quietly attending the charity event — as “brutal, primitive, and barbaric,” and expressed approval of King’s impending hearings.

So strong was this entirely concocted persecution fantasy, in fact, that it somehow managed to impress itself on neutral recording media, leaving a video document of what certainly appears — to those less perceptive than Rep. King, of course — to be something perilously close to a pogrom.

This incident happened in Orange County, where a few years ago the FBI targeted a local mosque for an infiltration/provocation op called “Operation Flex.” The Bureau recruited a career criminal named Craig Monteilh, who (according to an affidavit he filed late last year) was instructed “to advance an agenda that involved organizing terrorist activities, making reference to ‘jihad’ (Holy War) and organizing terrorist plots and activities.” Accordingly, under the pseudonym “Farouk,” Monteilh hung around the mosque and tried to chat up anyone who would listen about the supposed merits of waging violent jihad.

In the world as depicted by Pamela Geller and her ilk, “Farouk’s” incitement to violence should have attracted an immediate and devoted following. Rather than attracting recruits, however, Monteilh repelled worshipers. Eventually, several members of the congregation were driven to obtain a restraining order to keep “Farouk” away from their house of worship.

Two members of the mosque, alarmed over the possibility that an authentic radicalized Muslim was in their midst, approached Hussam Ayloush, director of the Southern California Chapter of the Committee on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

As everybody guided by Glenn Beck’s prophetic wisdom knows, CAIR is no commonplace ethno-religious pressure group. As the infallible Frank Gaffney insists, CAIR is nothing less than the operational directorate for the North American Branch of the Global Jihad, and Ayloush — covert Islamofascist that he is — did the predictable thing: He called the FBI, with whom he had been cooperating since immediately following 9/11. J. Stephen Tidwell, assistant Director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, wasn’t surprised to learn of “Farouk’s” dealings, since he was the one cutting the provocateur’s paychecks.

This was precisely the kind of cooperation by Muslim religious and civic leaders that, according to King, doesn’t exist. The FBI rewarded this patriotic action by framing one of the Muslims who had dropped a dime on their informant on entirely spurious charges (that were dropped last fall) in a transparent attempt to blackmail him into becoming a replacement asset. None of this was legitimate persecution, mind you — merely the insubstantial musings of unreasonable minds freighted with entirely unfounded fears.

So potent are the unreasonable Muslim fears of persecution that they conjured into existence an entirely confected incident near Sacramento, California in which two elderly, turban-wearing men were gunned down, one of them fatally. Oh, but here’s the technicality upon which King could triumphantly seize: Neither of the victims, 67-year-old Surinder Singh, who was murdered, and 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal, were Sikhs, not Muslims, so this likely case of mistaken identity wouldn’t count.

The same would be true of another incident in Sacramento last November in which 56-year-old Sikh immigrant Harhajan Singh, a cab driver, was beaten and robbed by two young men who “shouted expletives and called him Osama bin Laden,” presumably because Singh, like most Sikh men, wears a turban.

“He says, ‘I’ll kill you,’” a brutalized Singh later told the press. “I say, ‘I’m not Muslim. Please.”

Incidents of this kind are uncommon, but hardly unheard of. Four days after the 9/11 attacks, a Sikh immigrant named Balbir Singh Sodi was the victim of a fatal drive-by shooting at his Mesa, Arizona gas station. Frank Roque, who was convicted of murdering Sodi, took potshots at two other targets during his shooting spree — a Lebanese-American clerk at a Mesa convenience store, and a local Afghan family.

Joliet, Illinois resident Kuldip Singh Nag wasn’t shot. However, he was pepper-sprayed and severely beaten on the morning of March 11, 2007 by a police officer named Ben Grant, who materialized on his doorstep to announce that he was going to tow away a van that was sitting immobile in Nag’s driveway because the vehicle had an expired license tag.

When Nag objected to the impending auto theft, Grant attacked him, threw him to the ground, and beat him severely in front of his horrified wife and children while befouling the air with obscene — and ignorant — racial invective: “You f*****g Arab! You f*****g immigrant, go back to your country before I kill you!”

Nag, a Navy veteran who received the Bronze Star for his service in the first Gulf War, was already residing in his country. Granted, he had difficulty recognizing it after being severely beaten on his own property by an armed, tax-devouring bully — and then being charged with “aggravated assault” for the supposed crime of trying to cover his head while Grant was repeatedly striking him with a baton.

“I was just trying to cover up with my arms,” Nag testified during his trial two years later. “He kept telling me ‘Go home’ and ‘[expletive] Arab.’ I’m not Muslim, but if I was, is that a crime in America?”

Well, in contemporary America — as Nag discovered — it is considered a form of “aggravated assault” to impede, in any way, the trajectory of a cranium-bound baton wielded by a foul-mouthed bigot in a government-issued costume. And for an increasing number of people whose bearings on reality are defined by the War Party’s merry troupe of truth-twisters, it is not only a crime to be a Muslim, but even to resemble one.

This variety of radicalization, which is likely to be a prelude to profound and pervasive ugliness as the economy continues to sicken, and the price tag of the Regime’s overseas misadventures expands, is one Peter King eagerly abets.

William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.

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