Obama administration, Muslim Americans grappling with sporadic homegrown jihad

Posted By: Nairita Das
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New York, July 8 (ANI): A Muslim American author has claimed that the Obama administration is grappling with a difficult task of ascertaining whether the country's greater law-abiding Muslim population is being compromised by a few bad apples, or some sort of radical form of Islam is making inroads.

According to a Christian Science Monitor report, if the administration, for some reason, decides there isn't a problem, it may miss future terrorists.

According to Asra Nomani, the author of the book "Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam," the Obama administration also faces the problem that if it decides to neutralize this radical form of Islam, it runs the risk of provoking millions of peaceful Muslims.

Nomani says: "There is this tug of war inside ourselves of trying to reconcile Islam and being an American."

The hearts and minds of some of these young people could be an easy target for radical Muslims who use YouTube and other websites to post inflammatory rhetoric. Such rhetoric can be appealing to the young, she adds.

"My awakening came after 9/11 and my friend [and Wall Street Journal reporter] Daniel Pearl's kidnapping. And I realized we are asleep at the wheel here, and we have to be honest about the fact we have a problem inside our community," she says.

Other Muslim commentators, however, say their community does not endorse radicalism.

The Muslim community has condemned Times Square bomber Shahzad's action, says Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News in Dearborn, Michigan.

"This is an exception, not the rule. I have assured many people from the younger generation: There is a way to express yourself in a democracy ... even with a decision made in the White House," he adds.

Some mainstream Islamic groups say that Shahzad's comments and acceptance of his role in the foiled attack are similar to the rhetoric emanating from radical groups for years.

"The only difference is this took place in an American courtroom instead of on a video from some cave in Afghanistan," says Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.

"I don't think it will resonate," he adds.

The official view of the US government seems to meld perspectives.

The 2010 Annual Threat Assessment, written by Dennis Blair, then director of national intelligence, says that violence from homegrown jihadists will persist, but will be sporadic.

"A handful of individuals and small discrete cells will seek to mount attacks each year, with only a small portion of that activity materializing into violence against the Homeland," the assessment said.

It does require walking a tightrope, says Michael P. Jackson, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration. (ANI)

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