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Tuesday November 10, 2009

When Political Correctness Kills

It's a terrible thing when planes are hijacked but it's even worse when a religion is hijacked by its leaders for their own self-interests. It's been said that while all Muslims are not terrorists, the majority of terrorists are Muslim. It's very important, however, that we distinguish the difference between devout and fanatical Muslims.

By Alicia Colon

One would hope that common sense would prevail in perilous times, but that's not the case since political correctness reared its ugly head. It's my belief that P.C. advocates are basically cowards who fear that those offended will resort to lawsuits or violence. What other explanation can explain how Major Nidal Malik Hasan didn't raise the "potential terrorist" antennae of the authorities at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military base in the world?

According to statements by his colleagues, Maj. Hasan, a 39-year-old U.S. Army psychiatrist, was very vocal about his opposition to the war and his feeling that Muslims in the military were being persecuted. In addition, his discontent was evident all over the Internet to any cursory investigation that should have warranted his discharge. This would not be the first time that an aggrieved Muslim has been involved in terrorist activities (e.g., Ahmad Al-Halabi, Ali Mohamed, Ryan Anderson, Semi Osman, John A. Muhammad, and Jeffrey Leon Battle) so why weren't they on guard that such an incident could be repeated?

It's alleged that Maj. Hasan, the U.S.-born son of Palestinian parents, shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) before his murderous rampage, but almost immediately Muslim spokespersons spoke to the media insisting that this incident has nothing to do with his Muslim faith. In fact, relatives are trying to depict him as a victim of harassment by fellow soldiers. P.C. media journalists are also stepping very carefully to avoid any various defamation charges.

The prayer leader at the mosque that Maj. Hasan attended regularly, Imam Mohammed Abdullahi, said that Islam is not "responsible."

In one sense, the imam is correct because all the acts of terrorism made in the name of Allah are not permitted in the Koran. It's forbidden to attack the innocent who've offered no offense. It's forbidden to kill women and children. It's forbidden to take hostages and it's forbidden to mistreat, torture or kill prisoners.

It's a terrible thing when planes are hijacked but it's even worse when a religion is hijacked by its leaders for their own self-interests. It's been said that while all Muslims are not terrorists, the majority of terrorists are Muslim. It's very important, however, that we distinguish the difference between devout and fanatical Muslims. Al Qaeda has invented new rules for a holy war and used false preachers and imams to trick the recruits. We've been calling these evildoers "jihadists," but, strictly speaking, a true jihad can only be declared by a legitimate Koranic authority with a proven and accepted authority.

Political correctness has allowed the blurring of these lines and given legitimacy to anyone claiming to speak for the Muslim community. These self-appointed and illegitimate Islamic theologians have managed to easily incite violence and hysteria among their followers. These are the rabble-rousers who increase their influence by insinuating insults by non-believers against the prophet Mohammed or the Koran. Well, we all know that such a response likely would occur if even a rumor of such an incident had occurred. In 2005, Newsweek published an incorrect report on Gitmo that alleged desecration of the Koran. That false report triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which 15 people died.

Hollywood has become the Mecca of P.C. behavior. In HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," creator Larry David accidentally splashed his urine on a picture of Jesus Christ hanging above a toilet. Christian critics have complained that he wouldn't dare do something like that to the Koran. Probably not, but the question I had about the episode was "What was a picture of Christ doing in the bathroom?" In La-La land, mocking Islam is definitely a no-no.

In a recent interview with the director of the upcoming disaster film "2012," Roland Emmerich, an avowed atheist who loathes religion, was asked why he showed the destruction of Rome and the Vatican but left Mecca unharmed. Mr. Emmerich, the coward, said, "Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit, but my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right."

There are very few heroes left in Hollywood and plenty of craven individuals, so it's not surprising that their careers come before integrity. They certainly don't wish to go into exile like Salman Rushdie. But it's criminal and dangerous when our military and law enforcement personnel fall into the same gutless category.

I once attended the Libel Tourism Conference held at the Princeton Club given by very brave writers and journalists trying to battle the encroaching legal power waged against free speech. Conservative columnist and author Mark Steyn was the keynote speaker, and he charmed us with his characteristic blend of humor and insight in his luncheon talk, "The Dimming of Liberty: Legal Jihad and the Criminalization of Resistance." The Canadian Islamic Congress had denounced his best-selling book, "America Alone," as flagrantly Islamophobic, and, before you knew it, the Canadian Human Rights Commission had agreed. The commission cited passages in Mr. Steyn's book as inflammatory and Islamophobic when, in fact, Mr. Steyn was merely quoting remarks made by Muslims. Free speech should be exactly that, Mr. Steyn said, adding, "The problem with those Holocaust-denial laws is that they gave everyone the right to be offended."

I wrote an article for The New Individualist magazine about my own experience addressing a controversial Arab public school here in New York City, which resulted in unbelievable vitriolic mail from "offended Muslims." What I wrote 2 years ago is even more relevant today:

"I found particularly chilling remarks made by Steven Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. He reported that a program operating out of Northeastern University and funded by George Soros has been contracted by the FBI to teach agents that the greatest danger since 9/11 is not Islamic terrorism but Islamophobia. If the FBI is accommodating radical Islamists with Political Correctness and tolerance, what hope is there?"

Terrorists depend on the political-correctness crowd to dull surveillance of their deadly intentions. No legitimate religion, including Islam, advocates mass murder, and it's high time that the proponents of such deadly dogma be identified and treated as threats to our nation's security. At the very least, they should all have their tax-exempt status nullified by the I.R.S.

Alicia Colon lives in New York City and can be reached at aliciav.colon@gmail.com and at www.aliciacolon.com

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