By Michael F. Haverluck
A legal expert whose work includes religious rights is warning that America needs to recognize the threat of jihad before it’s too late.
“Under Obama, we refuse to call what happened at Fort Hood terrorism and try to blame Benghazi on a video,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel.
“This administration is absurd. Obama will go down in history as the president who most jeopardized our national security,” he said.
A Muslim at Fort Hood, Texas, killed more than a dozen and injured many more after shouting “Allahu Akbar” and firing on his victims. The Obama administration classified it was workplace violence.
And Benghazi is in the headlines again with a White House email confirming the administration tried to blame a terrorist attack on the reaction to an Internet video to help ensure the president’s re-election.
Staver’s comments also come in light of reports that European nations are recognizing the threat and dealing with jihadis, including those recruiting among the young population to fight in Syria.
France, which recently reported that 740 of its citizens or residents have been linked to the war violence in Syria, has launched a new effort with nearly two dozen measures.
In one case there, two teens ran away from Toulouse after stealing credit cards from their parents and traveling to Syria.
Police there also say they thwarted an attack planned by a returning jihadist. They say the man, a 23-year-old, had nearly 2,000 pounds of explosives and was planning an attack on Cote d’Azure.
Belgium reports having 150 citizens currently fighting for jihadist forces in Syria. It has deployed prevention specialists in 29 towns and is hosting an international conference May 8, discussing homegrown Syrian fighters.
Last year, there were 100 Dutch in Syria, with 10 fatalities, according to an annual intelligence report issued Wednesday by the Netherlands. It also states that the government is tracking 30 of its returned terrorists.
Britain also recently amplified efforts to combat jihad internally, directing its counter-terrorism police to cooperate with the public and come up with measures to prevent youths from going to Syria.
And Germany is no stranger to the threat, just announcing the opening of three outreach centers within its borders. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he already briefed Germany and Austria on France’s preventative measures and is discussing them with Britain this week.
There have been cases of Americans taking up arms on behalf of jihad.
Staver says the U.S. should follow suit and take the threat as seriously as European nations.
“I think we should take similar measures,” Staver said. “The U.S. has to recognize the threat first, and once it’s recognized – like it was with Bill Ayers’ terrorist organization, the Weather Underground – we can take preventative measures. We currently don’t recognize Islam as a threat. This threat is not new – it’s something from Islam’s beginning.”
Along with the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, there also have been further attempts at mass violence, such as the underwear bomber case and many other individual attacks.
America’s Muslim population is estimated at 5-7 million, about the same as the Muslim population in France, officials said.
Concern is developing already.
“Europe as a whole is waking up to the threat of Islamic extremists and so should the United States,” Staver said. “Syria is being trained in terrorist tactics and there must be a serious push against it.”
In Europe, nations for decades largely accommodated a growing Islamic population, he said.
“With all of France’s and Europe’s responses to Islam – when it’s become so entrenched in its society – they’re getting a wakeup call,” said Staver. “One of the biggest threats to youth is the training they are receiving in jihadist activities against Israel and the Jewish people, singing songs about killing Jews and how honorable it is to die a martyr and they’re training them from very young ages.”
France’s plan to keep youth from enlisting in the militant Islamic movement to fight in Syria allows suspicious parents – and possibly teachers – to spy on youths and report their activities to authorities. Many of the new measures being adopted were at the urging of parents who expressed the country’s need for protection from indoctrinated youth returning from the battlefields of Syria.
French officials will enter the names of suspect youths into a European security database and confiscate their passports if suspicions are raised that they are planning to join the jihadist efforts in Syria.
“[France has] the will to use all means to identify recruiters and suppliers of hatred on the Internet, and dismantle the networks,” Cazeneuve said.
He stressed that France will no longer be exposed to risks and that returning jihadist children will be prosecuted.
But will such measures be deemed discriminatory by society?
“When you are protecting a country, you take care of reality,” criminologist Alain Bauer told the Associated Press when asked if France will come under the kind of scrutiny it received for banning head scarves in public schools and face veils in public areas. “Prevention is like a medical act. … It’s taking care of someone who’s in trouble.”
Staver notes that European nations have the flexibility to ban certain activities and track certain suspects.
For Americans, Staver traces the problem back to the White House.
“The political slogan he touts that ‘al-Qaida is on the path to defeat’ and ‘al-Qaida is on the run’ is simply not true,” Staver said. “Al Qaida is actually stronger now than it’s ever been, and al-Qaida is not on the run.”
Instead of addressing problems and making the world more stable, he said, the Obama administration is moving the other direction.
“The Obama administration is destabilizing the Middle East with its failed foreign policy and the United States’ biggest allies there, Saudi Arabia and Israel, no longer trust us,” Staver says. “We are empowering terrorism in Syria while destabilizing other countries that have worked to go against terrorism, particularly Israel, where there is a pushback against Islam.”
Staver believes that the misrepresentation of Islam drives the policy that works to assist Muslim terrorism and weaken America.
“We’ve lost so many in Afghanistan, and for political reasons, the Obama administration has withdrawn troops from there and Iraq … as a result, the nations are more of a threat than before 911,” Staver said. “And this reluctance to identify the threat is not new … former president, George W. Bush, called Islam a religion of peace.”
He said to realize the danger that is looming, one only has to listen.
“I’ve spoken with a Jewish friend whose child was playing soccer with a Muslim neighbor’s child, and the Jewish parent expressed to the Muslim parent that it is his hope that this is the future of peace [between Islamic people and Israel],” Staver told WND. “The Muslim parent replied, ‘The only reason we don’t destroy you is because we aren’t as powerful as you,’ expressing that Muslims are only waiting until this power balance shifts.”
Staver said one “cannot negotiate with terrorists,” the “only thing they understand is force and superiority.”
“If you are not superior to them and they detect a weakness, they will exploit it and overpower you and destroy you … they will destroy anyone who does not support Islamic beliefs,” he said.