The Not-So-Veiled Threat to Non-Muslims in Tennessee
By Janet Levy
The attempted snow job by the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) of Tennessee which sponsored the joint Department of Justice/FBI event, “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” Tuesday night in Manchester, Tennessee, did not work with the 2,000 attendees. Claims that American Muslims are loyal citizens, partners in counterterrorism investigations, part of radicalization prevention efforts, and an integral part of American society for centuries fell flat, especially coming from the host organization that was formed only two years ago in response to anti-shariah legislation in the Volunteer State.
A well-informed crowd responded with calls of “taqiyyah” when members of AMAC, a group that bills itself as “a bridge between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” touted Muslim contributions to U.S. society and their dedication to upholding American values. (Taqiyyah doctrine obligates Muslims to deceive infidels as part the required effort or jihad to institute Islamic doctrine or shariah). In actuality, Muslim organizations have specifically instructed Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement and have demanded that all counterterrorism-training materials be expunged of critical references to Islam and Muslims, as well the training instructors fired or retrained who fail to follow along.
When it became clear at Tuesday’s event that the promulgation of lies was falling on deaf ears, one AMAC speaker resorted to shaming the audience for their alleged rudeness and intolerance. In the crowd’s defense, the passionate response was one of righteous anger against a doctrine that increasingly threatens Western civilization and values in the wake of the Boston bombings and the murder and beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby. That indignation was also a response to the hypocrisy of a program designed to falsely portray Muslims as victims of prejudice in dire need of special civil rights protection from hate crimes. No mention was made of jihadist acts, honor killings, demands for special accommodations, and the Muslim disinclination to assimilate to American cultural norms.
To further insult the crowd, the AMAC speaker showed a condensed version of the video “Welcome to Shelbyville” in which Tennesseans were portrayed as ignorant, bigoted rednecks. The rejection of the Muslim presence in Tennessee was explained away by previous resistance to integrating blacks and Hispanics. The situation was addressed as one of racism and fear of the unknown rather than a very real fear of what Islamic doctrine requires Muslims to do. This was an educated crowd well aware that Islamic doctrine clearly states that Muslims must not befriend non-Muslims and are required to wage jihad to establish a global Islamic government under shariah. Attendees appeared very familiar with the enemy threat doctrine, Muslim aspirations to replace the Constitution with shariah, and ubiquitous calls from Muslims for “death to America” and “death to Christians and Jews.”
It is particularly telling that no other group in the United States has been the focus of such a degree of attention and outreach, although FBI religious hate crime statistics from 2009 indicate that Jews are more than eight times more likely to be victims of religious hate crimes than Muslims. Yet there is no special protection afforded to Jews, no events announcing the prosecution of individuals who post material offensive to Jews, nor outreach programs to the American Jewish community to better serve their interests. When it comes to Jews and Christians, offensive remarks and portrayals are permitted under the First Amendment.
It is truly remarkable that the mission of an entire government agency, NASA, was reconfigured from space exploration and aerospace technology to Muslim outreach by the Obama administration in 2009. At that time, Obama required NASA to reach out to Muslims and help them “feel good about their historic contributions to science, math, and engineering.”
Recently, Obama announced that he was launching the Muslim Outreach Summit to elicit feedback from American Muslims on how the government can better serve them. It is unprecedented for any group in the U.S. to receive this level of special consideration.
Following the Benghazi attack, Obama went to the UN and announced, “The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” and that “Intolerance is a form of violence.” He didn’t reference the desecrations of images of Jesus Christ and churches or voice concern about Holocaust denial. He mentioned only the criticism of Islam as a cause for concern and a reason to curtail free speech rights. Let us not forget that in the “Audacity of Hope,” Obama avowed, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
DOJ attorney Bill Killian addressed the crowd by reading statutes verbatim from PowerPoint slides that defined hate crimes, civil rights violations, and federally prescribed violations and penalties. Prior to the event, he had released this statement: “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion…. This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.” However, the DOJ and FBI have not scheduled meetings addressing the concerns of any other group but Muslims. Twelve such outreach sessions are planned for Tennessee alone.
FBI Special Agent Kenneth Moore ridiculed the idea that the evening was intended to threaten citizens with the possibility of prosecution and imprisonment for offending Muslims. He pointed out that despite the raucous conduct exhibited during the event and the protests, no one would be arrested that evening as evidence of the government’s commitment to the First Amendment. However, the crowd remained unconvinced that their free speech rights were not in jeopardy at some future point as part of the government’s program to accommodate the demands of Muslim and Islamic doctrine.
The event presented messages on two levels. Overtly, Muslims attempted to airbrush their image in America as having nothing to do with supremacy, triumphalism, and terrorism. A few hijabed members of the AMAC even sported T-shirts with messages supporting the First Amendment to apocryphally showcase their dedication to American principles and laws.
As for government officials, they ostensibly conducted an informational session on legal statutes related to offensive statements and reassured the crowd that arrests would not take place. But the covert message was clear: This event was held to reinforce the supremacy of Muslims and their civil rights as no other group has been afforded this level of deference or accommodation. It was a veiled threat to non-Muslims that Muslims and Muslims alone will receive special protection by the government and hate crime prosecutions are on the table at some future point. Americans beware.