It only took hours following the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by a white male for authorities to announce the event could possibly be domestic terrorism, in sharp contrast to attacks by Muslims where the government quickly put great distance from such labels.
The shooting, which killed six, was at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., an hour before services were scheduled to begin last weekend. The alleged shooter, Wade Michael Page, who himself died, was a 40-year-old Army veteran and suspected white supremacist.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Oak Creek police chief John Edwards said authorities were treating the attack as a domestic terrorist incident.
While the incident appears to fall under the definition of domestic terrorism, which is partly defined by the Patriot Act as a dangerous action intended to intimidate a ‘civilian population,” an expert on Islam says the speed by which the designation was made stands in sharp contrast to when Muslims have carried out similar attacks.
“This is part of a pattern by the Obama administration where they are anxious to label violent attacks by non-Muslims as domestic terrorism while whitewashing similar acts when they are committed by Muslims,” Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch said.
“By being quick to say it was politically motivated it is designed to downplay the reality of jihad terrorist while exaggerating non-Muslim terrorist acts.”
Spencer has received death threats himself from Muslims after recently publishing his book “Did Muhammad Exist?”
When Nidal Hassan opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 13, while allegedly shouting “Allahu Akbar,” officials including President Obama immediately came out saying people should not jump to conclusions about the incident. Authorities later said there was no evidence domestic terrorism was involved, but rather the event was a simple case of workplace violence.
A similar thing happened after a gunman opened fire at the ticket counter of El Al Airlines at the Los Angeles International airport. While authorities eventually ruled the incident a terrorist act, in the immediate aftermath Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn told the public “We have no information that indicates that this incident is connected to any terrorist attack or anything else.”
Following the shooting outside of an Arkansas recruiting center in 2009 which killed one soldier while wounding another, Abdulhakim Muhammad was not charged with domestic terrorism. Prosecutors said it was a drive-by shooting committed by a thug with a gun.
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., noted the media was undoubtedly thrilled to finally get a white male right wing terrorist.
“The media was quick to label the Aurora, Colo., shooter a tea party member. It must have sent a collective tingle up the leg of every member of the media that the shooter was a white male. This is what they have been praying and hoping for, that a shooter would turn out to be a right-wing kook.
“This is typical for the media and authorities to quickly label these events as right wing terrorism while ignoring other acts of terrorism,” he said. “Look at Maj. Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, they still don’t want to call it an act of domestic terrorism. They call it workplace violence.”
Following the Wisconsin shooting the Council on American Islamic Relations issued a statement saying, they “stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters.” However, they then suggested the shooting was intended to be an attack on Muslims.
In an e-mail Sunday, CAIR said, “Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.”
It then went on to call on mosques to review security procedures.
Spencer said it was interesting how CAIR was attempting to suggest that Muslims were the real victims in the attack.
“CAIR was quick to suggest that this attack on the Sikhs was an anti-Muslim attack. In actuality Muslims have… persecuted Sikhs around the world,” he said.
There have been a number of indicators from the federal government regarding its perspective of domestic terror, such as a recent study from National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland, which was funded by the DHS.
The study, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008,” noted that nearly one-third of all terrorist attacks from 1970 to 2008 occurred in five metropolitan counties run by Democrats.
The counties were Manhattan, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The report went on to list groups by ideology such as right-wing, left-wing, religious and single issue.
Interestingly, key data regarding Islamic terrorism was missing from the report.
On Page 22, Table 4 lists “hot spots” for religious terrorism by decade. For the 1990s, it shows there was no religious terrorism in New York or Los Angeles and only two terrorist attacks during the 2000s.
Patrick Poole, writing in PJ Media, noted that the report apparently does not consider the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to be terrorism. Also omitted was a 1994 shooting by Rashid Baz, who killed 16-year-old Jewish student Ari Halberstam and attempted to murder dozens more in a van on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The report also ignores the 2002 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. Following the attack, which killed two and wounded four others, the FBI and Justice Department concluded that the shooter, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, was an Egyptian terrorist who wanted to be a Muslim martyr.
Also, by cutting the report off at 2007, it was able to omit events such as the Fort Hood massacre by Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded 29 others, and the Little Rock Army recruiting center, where a Muslim convert shot soldiers in front of a recruiting office.
Examples of what START considered to be “right wing” include “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority.
Under such a definition, the Founding Fathers might have been considered right-wing terrorists.
WND has reported the DHS issued another report listing returning veterans and Christians who believed in end-time prophesies as potentially dangerous right-wing extremists.
A report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center warned law enforcement agencies to watch for individuals with bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It also identified opponents of illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes as possibly harboring radical ideologies.