// American jihad: Facing up to homegrown militancy
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BrKhalid
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« on: Apr 19, 2011 11:10 AM »



Asalaamu Alaikum bro

Besides the whole 'terrorist' angle to this story, there is probably a lesson here on how to educate our children such that they do not have an 'identity crisis'




American jihad: Facing up to homegrown militancy

In the years after 9/11 the threat to America from Islamist militants seemed to come exclusively from abroad, but recent events have disproved that assumption - and posed the question how to prevent the radicalisation of Muslim immigrants.

The town of Daphne in the state of Alabama is one of the last places you would associate with violent jihad.

It is a place of ease and comfort, tidy and prosperous. Large houses sit well back from the road, sprawling lazily in the trees in the warm spring sunshine. In front of many homes and shops the Stars and Stripes hangs, barely moving in the late afternoon stillness.

Here Omar Hammami grew up, an all-American boy, baptised and church-going.

Here he discarded his upbringing and religion and turned to an ever more orthodox Islam.

And here he began a journey that has taken him to the wilds of Somalia, and a high profile position in al-Shabab, the brutal Islamist insurgent group.


Syria visit
 
Few would have predicted it.

"His dad is Syrian, a Sunni Muslim, his mom's a Southern Baptist, from a little tiny town down here. His mom would take him to church and stuff like that," his schoolfriend, James Culveyhouse, explains.

Omar Hammami was popular at school, quick witted and charismatic, elected president of his school year.



"When he went on vacation he started to realise, I'm not just American, I've got this other side to me. He read more and more and by the time he was 15 he was like, 'I wanna be a Muslim,'" Culveyhouse says.

Over the years Omar Hammami became an adherent of stricter and stricter Islam - turning far more orthodox than his father.

Eventually both Hammami and Culveyhouse moved to Toronto, which has a large Somali community.

There, says Culveyhouse, Omar Hammami's Islam became powerfully politicised
.

What happened to Omar Hammami is important because homegrown jihad is becoming a problem for the US.

For years Americans believed themselves isolated from what seemed, in the West, a European problem.

But there have been a number of cases that show this is no longer so:

Dozens of young men have left the Somali community in Minnesota to wage war in Somalia

Adam Gadahn grew up in California, converted to Islam and now speaks for al-Qaeda in Pakistan

Faisal Shahzad lived in the US for a decade before attempting to bomb Times Square in New York City

And Major Nidal Hassan, born in the state of Virginia, became a doctor and a US soldier - now he stands accused of killing 13 people and wounding 29 others in a shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas
Muslim diversity
 
"Al-Qaeda until now used to be a foreign threat," says Peter Neumann, the director of the International Centre for Radicalisation at Kings College London, currently in Washington DC.

 James Culveyhouse saw the gradual change in his friend Omar Hammami "Now that al-Qaeda threat has become more homegrown, it raises questions about how to deal with certain communities. Americans are not used to that."

The experiences of American Muslims - an estimated 1% of the population - are wildly different.

Mia Bloom, a fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State University gives the contrasting examples of Somali refugees and Pakistani immigrants in the US.

Immigrants from Pakistan to New Jersey often join an existing community that helps them to integrate, she explains, whereas "refugees, especially refugees from war-torn areas like Somalia, have a very different kind of assimilation process".

The debate about Muslim immigration and radicalisation has been rumbling for some time now in the US.

The strong reactions to a proposed Islamic centre and mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York City were one manifestation of Americans' concern over Islam within US borders.

More directly the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives has been holding hearings into Islamic radicalisation in America - and, more contentiously, asking whether Muslim leaders are co-operating fully with US law enforcement authorities.

Identity crisis
 
But not much of the debate so far has directly tackled why, in a society famous for its ability to integrate, some shuck off their American identity with such vigour, and to such a violent end.

James Culveyhouse - who converted to Islam himself - has some ideas about where to start looking for home-grown jihadis.

"It's not first generation immigrants," he says, "they are not going off (to fight)." Nor he says, is it the children of religious immigrants.

Instead he says, look to those who are brought up in secular or non-practising households. An identity crisis comes at some point.


"It's like a rubber band," he says. "You pull far enough in on direction and you've got to let it go sometime."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13068133

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« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2011 12:54 PM »

ws,

I have so many problems with the way this article is written!! I want to write more but have to go, but especially the tone it takes that "American Jihad" is such a huge problem and the implication that the more "orthodox" you get the more you become likely to be a terrorist. The major problem with this kind of article/analysis is that it comes from outside of our community and blames islam or a "type of islam" ie good muslims vs bad muslims to be the problem and ignores all over factors. Being "extremely religious" or being "political" or being a "political Muslim" does not equal terrorist. This is why they are never able to catch real terrorists and they keep putting the wrong ppl in jail! Their profile is completely wrong. iA will write more later...
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 19, 2011 02:37 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Quote
Being "extremely religious" or being "political" or being a "political Muslim" does not equal terrorist



Indeed and how exactly do non Muslims define Islamic orthodoxy?


I would suggest very different from how we would define an 'orthodox' Muslim.



PS This story comes on the back of a BBC3 programme recently 'My Brother the Islamist' which traced the progress of two stepbrothers and their relationship as one became more 'Muslim'. Unfortunately, I didn't catch it but, if anyone did, it would be interesting to hear what you thought.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010758h

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 20, 2011 04:46 AM »

Salam,

OK back to this article. Besides the way it is framed, it's definitions, the implications, conclusions it makes...well what else is there? It's just a horrible article with no basis.

Out of the millions of American Muslims living in the US, the majority are not immigrants. I'd say they are children of immigrants, but there are also African-Americans, converts, second, third generation Muslims, etc. American Muslims are normal people who have jobs, kids, (islamic) mortgages and what not! They are busy trying to raise their kids well and putting the halal bacon on the table! This articles makes it seem like these foreign immigrants are in danger of being brainwashed into being terrorists as they become more "Islamic". So not true. I would even say that Americans are being "brainwashed" because of this tripe all over the media.

Yes there are some weirdos, and they are usually young impressionable guys that have a lot of strange issues in their background. And they never get "radicalized" or whatever in the US. Also, I would even question whether this boy they are mentioning is a terrorist. We know that of all the cases the US gov't brings up 99% are a miscarriage of justice. Just check out the Project Salam database which details all of these cases against innocent Muslims. The other 1% are the crazy things you hear in the media like Faisal Shahzad and Ft. Hood etc. No one has access to them to know the real story. And even if they are wack who cares.

This kind of propaganda just instills fear in people. This is why they're afraid of Mosques, of immigrants, of Muslims. This is totally unfair and unfair to the American people. They are living in fear because of the media and gov't when they could be living in a society of understanding and working to right the wrongs in the world which cause these bad apples to crop up anyway.

And again this article just implies the more Muslim "religious" you are the more wack you become. Again, untrue. You'll never find anyone well versed in Islam committing a terrorist act, because they know better! They know it's not part of Islam and that it causes more harm than good.

Anyhow, the sad thing is people read this and think this is from a legitimate news source so it must be true!! Blech.
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