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The people of Washington, D.C., breathed a little easier after
authorities announced that two men, believed to be the key figures in
the string of cold-blooded murders, had been detained. One, John Allen
Muhammad, is apparently a former U.S. soldier who converted to Islam
(birth name: John Allen Williams). Federal sources say he expressed
extreme hostility against the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks in Washington, D.C., and in New York City. Also detained was his stepson, Lee Malvo.

Authorities and much of the media have already repeatedly warned the
public that there is no evidence the men are linked to international
terrorist organizations. That hasty assurance is exactly why many
Americans suspect our top leaders just don’t “get it.”

Let’s try to walk through this one more time. If Mr. Muhammad is
charged with crimes, what are we to think about him? First, he is not the 20- to
30-year-old white male who all the experts repeatedly assured was the
likely culprit. In fact, he is a convert to a religion of which the most
extreme followers have recently declared war against us. He has expressed
support for the worst attack in our history. Does our government really want us to conclude that, absent a phone call from bin Laden to Muhammad, he has nothing to do with international terrorism?

And there is still the question of Camp Ground Zero USA in Marion,
Ala. As of yet, Muhammad has not been directly linked to the camp.

But it is widely suspected that foreign terrorists trained there prior
to the Sept. 11 attacks. We do know that Muhammad and Malvo were in
Marion, Ala., because Malvo’s DNA was discovered at the scene of a
murder from which authorities believe the credit card that Muhammad was
demanding $10 million be transferred to was stolen.

Nearly every day, leaders and spokesmen for the worldwide jihad being
waged against the U.S., Israel and our other allies exhort Muslims to
rise up against the infidels. The shooter at the El Al counter at Los
Angeles airport on July 4 took that call to heart. It took the FBI nearly two
months to concede that his shooting spree was terrorism and not the
result of marital or financial problems.

I hope that in the days and weeks ahead, no one in government wastes any
time or resources trying to deny the obvious. In fact, perhaps the
experts might want to reconsider some other assumptions. Such as
whether or not the anthrax attack of last year has anything to do with the war
we are in. Last, but not least, evidence continues to mount that the
Oklahoma City bombing may have an Iraq/jihad connection. Some members
of Congress are asking for the case to be reviewed. The Justice Department
should do so immediately.

Finally, I guess we should take some comfort that the suspect doesn’t
fit the stereotype we had been told about. Imagine if he was a white man
who belonged to the NRA or once listened to Rush Limbaugh or claimed to be
in a fundamentalist Christian group. The papers, the media, and the
experts would be attacking us all for creating a monster.

The double standard continues to be amazing.


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Gary Bauer is president of American Values. A 2000 Republican presidential contender and former domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Bauer has risen to become one of America’s most well known and leading voices for conservatism. Before running for president, Bauer served as president of America’s second largest political action committee, The Campaign for Working Families, and served as president of the Family Research Council, one of Washington’s most respected centers for public policy.

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