I like listening to NPR to and from work, if only because, 1) I’m a bit of a news junkie, and b) shouting at the radio is about the only aerobic exercise I’m getting these days. Yesterday’s program had one of those “human interest” stories that clearly attempt to prepare the ground for the post-war guilt culture waiting to envelop us. Some time soon, after 2014 perhaps when our last troops come home from Afghanistan – a place that will then, like Somalia after 1993, suddenly become non-newsworthy – we will wake up from our “national hangover” and be told about the wild and crazy things we did while “drunk with power” in the middle east. Little if anything will be said about 9/11, except for some ruminations about how we probably had it coming to us.
The first step in our pathway of national penance will be to reflect on all the evil that we have done to innocents here at home. NPR gently nudged us down that path on yesterday’s news show, in an investigative story about the unfair targeting of 59-year-old Jordanian-American Omar al-Omari in a lecture to the Columbus police department:
Bill Braniff, who is in charge of the training program at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, sees what happened in Ohio as part of a larger problem.
“I think this is something that happens across the nation fairly consistently,” he said. “No one is tracking this with numbers, but anecdotally we are hearing about it all the time. The Muslim-American community is being preyed upon from two different directions. One, the jihadist recruitment and radicalization that is actively preying on their sons and daughters; and two, the elevated levels of Islamophobia — Islamophobia at worst and distrust and alienation at best.”
That distrust had real consequences in Columbus. Omari lost his job with the state of Ohio, though not because of claims that he had ties to terrorism. After that training session, officials began digging into Omari’s past, and they eventually found something: They discovered that his employment application was incomplete. He hadn’t listed all of the schools where he had worked before taking the job with the state of Ohio. Omari says he just listed places where he had taught relevant courses — courses that touched on Middle Eastern studies. But he was fired anyway — some six months after the training session.
Federal officials familiar with the case say Omari was singled out because he distinguished between extremist Muslims and mainstream Muslims in his outreach and training programs. Guandolo, the trainer, had a different view. When he talked to me about Muslim groups in the U.S., he spoke in terms of whether or not Muslims were patriotic.
Can’t you just smell the fascism in the air, comrades? Long-time residents are subjected to “patriotism tests,” and if they have bad associations in their past, further investigations into their backgrounds are done until something turns up. Something always turns up.
It’s the 21st Century’s version of McCarthyism.
Over a the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney presents a side of the story that NPR either chose not to reveal, or didn’t bother researching:
(Muslim President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Zuhdi) Jasser describes the two (Omari) publications as “full of factual inaccuracies” including the assertion that 66 percent of American Arabs are Muslim (close to three-fourths are Christian). Alomari also “misses the core problem: political Islam.” Instead, he indulges in “bizarre revisionist history” which “seeks to portray Muslims as victims.”
The United States is engaged in “a war of ideas” with radical Islam. Regarding jihadists, “you would hope that [Alomari] would say that these are corrupt thugs who have hijacked our faith,” Jasser told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. But instead he “describes [terrorism] as a response to what the West has done.”
The material Alomari’s agency is putting out is “classic Islamist propaganda” which suggests that “these thugs who kill people in restaurants and shopping malls will stop if we solve the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Jasser said. “In fact, they’ll find another grievance in a year or two.”
And the job that Omari was black-listed from? The truth is a little more nuanced:
Omari was fired not only for failing to list his prior employment at Columbus State Community College, “where he was fired after an improper consensual sexual affair with a student,” according to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper but also for failing to disclose his prior work for the Jordanian Minister of Labor and for lying to investigators, also reported by FOX News and first published at the online investigative journalism website My Pet Jawa.
According to reports, Omari sued the female student who had reported his illicit activities as sexual harassment to higher-ups, claiming the woman had defamed him. He lost.
Didn’t fit the narrative.
From the left/liberal perspective of Public Radio’s editorial staff, the Global War on Terror will not be over once the troops come home. It will continue until the American people are properly penitent about the sins they have committed here at home and overseas. And as before, there will be no propitiation of those sins: They will only serve to remind you that you are a sinner, no better – if not actually worse – than those who flew airplanes into the twin towers in New York and at the Pentagon.
The wars do not end in 2014: They will come home, in one way or another. And you will be on the front lines.