According to a couple of professors writing in the New York Times Tuesday, America’s greatest threat comes not from Islamic radicals but from homegrown “right wing extremists.” Charles Kurzman and David Schanzer believe that the public would be better off if law enforcement shifted resources away from Muslims and onto conservatives.
With a wave of their hand, the professors dismiss recent attacks such as the one in Garland, Texas. They downplay the bombing of the Boston Marathon. They can’t be bothered with the shooting at Ft. Hood or the “lone wolf” incidents in New York City and Oklahoma. Nor can they appreciate the many Islamic terror attacks that have been prevented in the years since 9/11 changed the country. No, they believe that we won’t really be safe until we leave poor Muslims alone and focus on “sovereign citizens.”
The biggest threats come from those who “fear that government will confiscate firearms,” they write. Or from those who believe “in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.” And while they bolster their claim by treating every incident of anti-government violence as part of the same broad movement, they still find themselves short on evidence.
To be sure, there are “right wing extremists” who must be monitored and watched carefully, just as there are wackos without any particular political alliance. In some ways, it’s ridiculous to say we should pay more attention to this group and less attention to another. If we’re serious about keeping America safe, we’ll use our resources to investigate any group that uses violence to get what they want.
But the professors – and they are not the only ones singing this tune – don’t care about preventing a terrorist attack. Their op-ed is not written from a position of authority on law enforcement. It’s written with a political agenda. Leave Muslims alone. They didn’t do anything to us. They are the victims here. That’s what this is about.
And who better to throw under the bus than conservatives? It’s a see-through strategy that would fail to fool even the dumbest 3rd grader. Hurr, let’s turn it around on them and see how they like it. But it’s not the same. Ask “right wing” Americans if they support what happened in Oklahoma City. Now ask Muslims if they support what happened on September 11th. A 2011 Pew Research poll showed that 8% of American Muslims support suicide bombings. That’s the problem.
With a savage army recruiting Americans and Arabs as they make their bloody march across Iraq, it’s irresponsible for us to take our eyes off the ball. Go make your plea for Muslim innocence somewhere else.