March 18, 2010
Muslim Leader: Ohio Homeland Security publishing "classic Islamist propaganda"
Your taxpayer dollars hard at work alert.
A hearing yesterday House Homeland Security Subcommittee on "Working with Communities to Disrupt Terrorist Plots" featured Ohio Homeland Security Multicultural Affairs Director Omar Alomari. But Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, criticized the Ohio Homeland Security Department for materials authored by Alomari, which he described as "classic Islamist propaganda".
From the Investigative Project on Terrorism:
Witness Omar Alomari is the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Department of Homeland Security multicultural relations officer. Since taking the job in 2006, he wrote a 40-page Culture Guide related to Arabic and Islamic Culture. In this document, Alomari defined jihad as the benign pursuit of personal betterment. It may be applied to physical conflict for Muslims, but only in the arena of Muslims defending themselves when attacked or when attempting to overthrow oppression and occupation.
Jihad as a holy war is a European invention, spread in the West, he wrote.
Alomari also authored a two-page brochure called "Agents of Radicalization" for the Ohio Department of Homeland Security. In it, he lists several grievances driving terrorism in the Muslim world, including Israel's occupation and oppression of the Palestinians, U.S. support for Israel, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Muslim lands and support for repressive regimes. [i.e. it has nothing about Islamic ideology - B] Alomari goes on to explain that such terrorism also stems from the expected societal reaction of the once proud and thriving Arab/Muslim culture, now in decline and conflict because of the stronger and aggressive West.
Jasser describes the two publications as "full of factual inaccuracies" including the assertion that 66 percent of American Arabs are Muslim (close to three-fourths are Christian). Alomari also "misses the core problem: political Islam." Instead, he indulges in "bizarre revisionist history" which "seeks to portray Muslims as victims."
The United States is engaged in "a war of ideas" with radical Islam. Regarding jihadists, "you would hope that [Alomari] would say that these are corrupt thugs who have hijacked our faith," Jasser told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. But instead he "describes [terrorism] as a response to what the West has done."
The material Alomari's agency is putting out is "classic Islamist propaganda" which suggests that "these thugs who kill people in restaurants and shopping malls will stop if we solve the Arab-Israeli conflict," Jasser said. "In fact, they'll find another grievance in a year or two."
Alomari acknowledges that some Muslim communities do, in fact, provide support for the radical jihadists, who he labels "the opposition." He also describes Islam as a "politicized religion" in terms of terrorism and how "it's easier for extremists in Islam to convince youngsters to join in their extremist organizations."
But the brochure ends with a list of seven Muslim organizations the Ohio agency works with. All the groups have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or have their own history of extremist rhetoric. Click on the links for each group for examples:
Muslim American Society (MAS)
It bears mentioning that having Omar Alomari speaking on preventing terrorism is a bit like asking Emperor Nero to speak on fire prevention. Not only is Ohio one of the most active areas of jihadist and terrorist efforts in the country, but Columbus, where Alomari lives and does most of his work, has been the home of the largest known Al-Qaeda cell since the 9/11 attacks and is the focus of an ongoing FBI investigation into radicalization and terrorist recruitment by the Somali terror organization, Al-Shabaab. If disrupting terrorist plots is the aim of Congress (yes, an item still subject to debate), then from an empirical perspective Omar Alomari and his colleagues at Ohio Homeland Security are doing a seriously sh**ty job.
And the materials cited by Jasser defending the justifications of Islamic terror and featuring outright Islamic dawah authored by Alomari -- paid for by taxpayers -- not only helps encourage radicalization but clearly runs afoul of our First Amendment protections against an establishment of religion. That would certainly seem to be an open and shut legal case for any enterprising First Amendment public interest law firm.