A new FBI anti-radicalization website, aimed at giving teachers and community leaders tools to identify individuals who may be heading down the path to terrorism, is notable for its lack of warnings about radical Islam. The website program, called “Don’t Be a Puppet,” has been changed dramatically following protests from Muslim groups that said the original version was biased against their religion.
The Obama administration’s original plan for the site focused, naturally, on Islamic extremism, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups objected to the content. They claimed that the material would lead to bullying and suspicion of Muslims, and they demanded that the FBI scrap the site and remake it with their editorial input.
Instead of telling these groups to take a hike, the feds did as their Islamic overlords demanded. The new “Don’t Be a Puppet” site debuted last week, whitewashed of any specific reference to Islamists. Instead, the site warns about less controversial (and considerably less important) forms of extremism like right-wing militias, white supremacy, and environmental terrorism.
“No single reason explains why people become violent extremists, but it often happens when someone is trying to fill a deep personal need,” says the website. “For example, a person may feel alone or lack meaning and purpose in life. Those who are emotionally upset after a stressful event also may be vulnerable to recruitment. Some people also become violent extremists because they disagree with government policy, hate certain types of people, don’t feel valued or appreciated by society, or think they have limited chances to succeed.”
While the site does not tackle the growing threat of Islamic terrorism, it does go out of its way to defend the good name of the religion. In its section on violent extremist groups, the FBI points out that the term “Islamic State” is a misnomer:
The group calls itself the “Islamic State,” but its members follow an extreme, fringe interpretation of Islamic law. They do not represent mainstream Islam, and the vast majority of Muslims are horrified by their actions.
Meanwhile, a section on “Abortion extremists” makes no effort to separate non-violent pro-life activism from the (extremely rare) incidents of “murder, bombings, assault, vandalism, kidnapping, and arson.”
A website dedicated to profiling the behaviors associated with radicalism is a damn good idea, but it is completely worthless in its current iteration. As has been said a million times, you cannot confront an enemy without naming it. Any American with half a brain knows that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to our national and global security. If it didn’t exist, neither would this FBI website. Unfortunately, political correctness has made a good idea obsolete right out of the gate.