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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/9/15

American Muslims 14 years after 9/11

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- Three American-Muslim students - Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21 and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19 - were shot to death by Craig Stephen Hicks, an atheist and a gun enthusiast, near the University of North Carolina.

- Glendon Scott Crawford, a mechanic at General Electric, is convicted for constructing a "death X-ray machine" to kill Muslims in New York community near Saratoga Springs because he viewed them as the "enemies of Israel."

- Robert R. Doggart, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church and a former congressional candidate from Tennessee, planned a violent attack on Islamberg, a Muslim area in the state of New York and destroy a mosque.

- Michael Sibley, a Georgia man, plants a bomb in Roswell Park and leaves a bag with a Quran with the hope of convincing people that a Muslim had carried out the plot.

- The FBI warns that the so-called "militia extremists" are likely to begin targeting Muslim institutions, including mosques and other religious facilities.

These episodes best reflect the dilemma and predicament of seven-million American Muslims who remain the target of bigotry, hate crimes, discrimination and profiling 14 years after 9/11.

To borrow comedian and writer, Dean Obeidallah, "radical Americans" are plotting to kill Muslim Americans to stoke the flames of hate against the Muslims with the hope that others will be inspired to do just that.

Astonishingly, these acts of terrorism are not called terrorism and the perpetrators of these crimes are not called terrorists by authorities and media. Even these crimes against the Muslims are not given due importance and coverage in the mainstream media. In other words these stories are virtually ignored by the 'impartial' corporate mainstream media. Simply, the mainstream media is not interested in non-Muslim attackers.

Allow me to say that if the perpetrators of such crimes happened to be Muslims then there would have been international headlines immediately. As grave as these incidents were, they failed to grab headlines or the attention of cable news pundits for perhaps one simple reason: the attackers weren't Muslim.

Hence, Dylann Roof, 21, who murdered nine African Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 for racial ideological reasons and with the intention of starting a civil war, was identified by US media as a "racist," and not as a "terrorist." He is charged with hate crime and with 32 other federal charges.

When the three Muslim students of North Carolina University are assassinated in an execution-manner it is casually reported as a parking dispute. The perpetrator is not considered as terrorist by officials or media. It may be recalled the three young students were assassinated weeks after the release of the controversial movie American Sniper, when many tweeted hateful and deplorable messages demeaning to Muslims and Arabs.

Glendon Scott Crawford, 51, a professed member of the Ku Klux Klan, and his accomplices acquired an X-ray device that they planned to modify into a "death X-ray," and they successfully built and tested a trigger device that could have activated it. The goal: to kill "enemies of Israel," (i.e. Muslims) according to the indictment. He is convicted of trying to acquire a radiation weapon for mass destruction and not terrorism.

Robert R. Doggart, 63, was arrested for plotting to kill Muslims and destroy a mosque in Islamberg, a Muslim area in the state of New York. He had spoken about his plans to attack targets in Islamberg during phone calls and also on his Facebook page. He was release subject to multiple conditions, including electronic monitoring, no internet activity, posting a $30,000 unsecured bond and staying away from any of the victims or potential victims. Doggart does not face charges of a hate crime or terrorism. Not surprisingly, Doggart's story was virtually ignored by the mainstream corporate media. The Daily Beast wrote on May 18: "Have you heard about the Christian terrorist Robert Doggart, who was plotting a violent attack against a Muslim-American community in New York State? Probably not, because when U.S. law-enforcement officials arrest a Muslim for planning a violent assault, they issue a press release, however they didn't send out a press release or held a press conference publicizing Doggart's arrest.

Yet another anti-Muslim episode: 67-year-old Michael Sibley of Marietta, Georgia, left a backpack along a hiking trail in Roswell Park containing two partially-constructed pipe bombs. A Qur'an and a copy of the book The Rape of Kuwait was also found in the backpack. Sibley is being charged with conveying false or misleading information and maliciously intending to destroy federal property. He is not charged with terrorism.

Alarmingly, an intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI's Counterterrorism Division in May 2015 warns that the so-called "militia extremists" are likely to begin targeting Muslim institutions, including mosques and other religious facilities. The bulletin titled "Militia extremists expand target sets to include Muslims" says that militia extremists have been conducting surveillance of "diverse locations including Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Montana, New York, North and South Carolina, Utah, and Texas." The report indicates that extremists have often focused on targeting Islamic facilities, such as mosques or community centers, though some have discussed targeting individual Muslims within their community.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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