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Whitewashing Jihad: A Review of Showtime’s “American Jihad”

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The joint Showtime/60 Minutes production “American Jihad” basically threw Anwar Awlaki under the bus with pronouncements such as “Jihad has nothing to do with violence”; “people are being radicalized in their bedrooms”; and Al Awlaki had a “perverted, distorted view of Islam.”
Yet Awlaki did not invent concepts such as violent jihad; he popularized them and put them into the English language. “American Jihad” makes no mention of the jihadist family ties in the cases of the Boston Bombers, or Omar Mateen, because that might suggest that the problem is not a dead man or the Internet, but rather, Islam and Muslim culture.
“American Jihad” concludes by saying that people need to be involved and empowered. That’s true, but not in the way the show’s producers mean. We must fight the ideology and kill the message, not just the messenger. “American Jihad” comes to a gap that must be hurdled, but instead balks at the edge and advocates for the same old mistakes. Empowering the people does not mean creating a panel of experts (“carefully vetted, of course”), because those experts will include people such as ADAMS Center Imam Mohamed Magid, who is featured prominently in “American Jihad.”
“American Jihad” makes no mention of the fact that Magid’s ADAMS Center was raided in 2002 by federal agents in Operation Green Quest.
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“ . . . the largest investigation of terror-financing ever conducted anywhere in the world. Soon after the raids had been completed, Magid held a public meeting in the town of Sterling, where he encouraged “community building” among the groups that were being investigated. To this meeting, he invited such notables as Kit Gage of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom; Mahdi Bray, political advisor for the Muslim Public Affairs Council; and Nihad Awad, the pro-Hamas executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Awad told the outraged crowd: “This is a war against Islam and Muslims. Our administration [i.e., the Bush administration] has the burden of proving otherwise.”” http://www.discoverthenetwo…
Mohamed Magid was also part of the process of purging the FBI of all training about the Islamic threat doctrine.
Putting Mohamed Magid on a panel of experts advising public policy regarding jihad is not empowering the people. To conclude that Trump’s immigration ban is bad because ADAMS Center Imam Mohamed Magid is hurt is madness, and is continuing the failed policy of allowing the bad Muslims to hide among the good Muslims.
Empowering the public means letting the citizens of this country speak, or draw cartoons. It means enforcing the laws we already have. It means being willing to offend Muslims, and recognize that the problem is in Islam and Muslim culture, and not with Americans, Donald Trump, dead people, or inanimate objects such as the Internet. This is something that people such as the makers “American Jihad” cannot bring themselves to admit.

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