Osama bin Laden Strikes Again

“Osama bin Laden has a victory that we have given him. Our panicked reaction to his 9/11 attacks has undermined our constitutional rights, drained our treasury, killed thousands of our military men and women, and compromised our ethics. We have allowed him to change us from what we should be, to what we have become — fair-weather Americans who abandon our principles, surrender our rights and diminish our freedom for government’s tenuous promise of physical safety.” – Randy Alcorn

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We’re all familiar by now with Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Muslim youth in an Irving, Texas high school who was arrested after he showed one of his teachers a clock he had made of cardboard and clock parts he salvaged.  It was a device he put together to impress his engineering teacher, something he wanted to demonstrate his acumen in the sciences with.  His brown skin and Muslim-sounding name however sparked alarm in one teacher and the police were called, arresting Ahmed and hauling him out of class in handcuffs.

Screen shot 2015-09-19 at 10.21.41 AM Those who defend this action because of “the times we live in today” have little to defend when we realize that actions were not taken that indicated they actually felt there was a serious threat. The school wasn’t evacuated, the bomb squad wasn’t called in and Ahmed was taken away in a squad car along with his feared “bomb”.

But are the teacher and police who over reacted –  supposedly just doing their jobs – at fault?  One Muslim group doesn’t think so.

Khalid Hamideh of the Islamic Association of North Texas blamed political leaders for espousing inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and creating a “climate of fear.”
“We’re not pointing a finger at the school district or the police department,” Hamideh said. “Under the current climate that exists in this country, you can’t really blame them because when they see something like that, they have to react.”           SOURCE

They may well be right.  To make this case, shortly after this incident at a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire this “climate of fear” was exhibited when The Donald was asked by a white male audience participant, “When can we get rid of ‘em?”, meaning all American Muslims.

Rather than show offense at the casual suggestion of cultural genocide Trump merely replied that “We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people saying that”.   Clearly Trump was not espousing inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric but by his failure to quell this man’s irrational sense of America’s “Muslim problem,” Trump added to the climate of fear that Mr. Hamideh referenced in his statement.

Though it bothers me as it should any civilized person that such racists comments still exists toward Muslims following the 9/11 tragedy it doesn’t surprise me.  But it strikes me that what may be occurring that raises the ire of such neanderthals at the Trump rallies around the country is that their own actions are likely responsible for the fear they have ginned up over the years toward Islam and American Muslims.

Take just a few moments and reflect how the effects of being bullied and isolated by peer groups has had devastating effects on suicide rates in our culture.  If the victims of such damaging behavior don’t commit suicide then they develop a hate that starts to fester and could possibly lead to retaliatory action not unlike what happened when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 21 others before they took their own life.

This scenario has replicated itself numerous times since then and usually from kids who were made to feel unwelcome. Now carry that over to a Muslim child who has experienced that hate from one or two members of their high school peer groups along with no one standing up for them.  The urge to take revenge  is not only a factor of their mistreatment of others but heightened by the fact they it is caused for something they have no control over – their skin color and their religion.

If you were a recruiter for ISIS/ISIL or al-Qaeda, which Muslim Americans do you think would be the easiest to win over as home-grown terrorists?  Of the type most valuable to them would be those with a gift of genius and engineering know-how.   Someone like Ahmed Mohamed whose skills could be turned to real bomb making.

Fortunately there was an outpouring from around the country whose show of support for the young inventor will shield him from the psychological damage that can come from hateful stereotypes.

Ahmed … will get to visit the White House next month to attend an astronomy conference. Invitations have been pouring in to visit Facebook, to attend a Google science fair and to take an internship with Twitter. He even got social-media support from scientists at NASA, whose T-shirt Ahmed wore when he was handcuffed at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, after he brought his clock to class Monday.
In addition, close to a million people in the last 24 hours jumped on his bandwagon and sent out tweets with the supportive hashtag#IstandwithAhmed, according to Topsy, a social analytics site.
He said he is most excited to have heard from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  “I dream of going there,” he said.    SOURCE

One can only wonder that had this proactive reaction not occurred would Ahmed have likely been dragged into the web of jihadist terrorism?  Not now or next week, but overtime and just when we think he slipped into obscurity

When white American culture breeds a supplement of Islamic xenophobes who perpetuate the hate-filled rhetoric toward Muslims – the du jour foreign immigrants to hate in the 21st century – then they manufacturer their own demons.   It’s not that America “has a Muslim problem” as the air-head touted to his mentor running for President.  What we have is a Philistine problem.  Knuckle-draggers that live in a time warp and are deluded with notions of American exceptionalism.

One of their early leaders, George W. Bush created the myth that “they” hate our exceptionalism.  The white, male troglodytes in American society automatically interpreted that as Muslim jihadists and by extension, ALL Muslims.  Some were too ignorant to even understand that not all foreign brown people are Muslims.  Shortly after 911 some mullet-head named Frank Roque charged into a convenience store in Mesa, Arizona and shot and killed the Sikh owner, Balbir Singh Sodhi.  Mr. Roque told investigators later that he wanted to “kill a Muslim” in retaliation for the attacks on September 11.

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The ghost of Osama bin Laden has to be amused in his watery grave as he watches the fear he stoked 14 years ago that generates the kind of behavior that has a young boy arrested and hauled off in handcuffs by people who let their hate and ignorance of Muslim Americans over ride their common sense.  Things are not the same as they were before that fateful day in 2001 – the same year young Ahmed was born – but we only feed the beast by continuing to isolate a group of people, branding them as terrorists simply because of their religion.  ISIS and al Qaeda have got to be grateful to those Americans like Donald Trump and his supporters who make recruiting home-grown terrorists in this country so easy.

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6 responses to “Osama bin Laden Strikes Again

  1. Excellent post, Larry. There will be mash up over this clock thingy…..one other piece of info…I am writing a piece about AQ….they are no longer listed on the Intel Center of the top ten most dangerous groups…..the main body of AQ that is….chuq

    • I corrected it for you Chuq.

      You’re right though. AQ has been so diminished over the last 14 years that they simply are not on the radar that much. They are still however synonymous with global terrorism and probably will be for some time to come.

  2. but another episode…what scares me is the idea that the GOP thinks that this side of hate really has enough followers to enable them to win an election…It should lead to calls for tar and feathers instead…

    • Yeah, he warned us. Told us his strategy depended on our reaction. Then we did exactly what he wanted us to do anyway.

      How incredibly stupid does that make us?

  3. In fairness to Trump, I’d expect a genocide cheering assclown like that to be packing heat right there. At the very least, he probably showed up with an AR15 and car load of ammo…so I might have given a similar non-answer. But Trump did help create idiots like this, even as he now tries to ignore them.

    But you’re right. This whole thing…and even the “Team Red vs Team Blue” battle-based coverage of it…shows how completely insane America has become.

    1) Kids like this don’t get dragged out of school and taken to jail. The kids who beat nerds like him up on a daily basis are the ones who are supposed to be taken away in cuffs. But rarely do.

    Back in school, I knew a very smart dumbass who loved to blow shit up for real. One of his creations generated a fireball that reached the 3rd story of the school. One made the local news. He was even caught once. But he all he got was a 1 week suspension. I expect he’s now an engineer pulling in 6-7 digits a year.

    2) How the fuck does a clock get you put in jail? Most people at the school probably had a clock/watch on their person that day. Why aren’t they in the slammer?

    Granted, pictures of it look bomb-like. I can understand some initial concern “in this day & age”…of constant, irrational, paranoia over terrorists. Except for one thing. Nothing was in the area of the “bomb” reserved for the part that would make it go “boom”. From what I hear, several teachers looked at it, before one decided he worked for ISIS. A quick look is all that would be required for a sigh, followed by a “Nice clock, kid. No sit down & shut up!”

    But even if you assumed it was a bomb, you’d all be dead long before the cops ever showed up. Even the stupidest kid at school would have figured it wasn’t a bomb by the time the cops arrived. The teachers? Not so much. Which should make you fear even more about the future than you already should.

    3) The “hoax”. It might be a “hoax” if he said it was a bomb, or a bomb threat had been called in that day, or even if the clock was attached to something that looked like it might go “boom”. None of this was the case.

    4) At most, the only people who should have been called were his parents. They should have been told not to let the kid do this again, at least without warning them. Non-existant problem solved without waking up the comatose media.

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