It happened again! What are we going to do about it?
Young, good-looking, college graduate, American citizen, Army National Guardsman, self-proclaimed shooter and gun collector, Muslim convert … arrested for espionage, possible traitor.
Twenty-six-year-old Spc. Ryan G. Anderson is the man. He’s a tank crew member of the 81st Armor Brigade, training at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Wash. Four-thousand strong, they’re preparing to leave for Iraq this week.
Anderson won’t be with them. He’s under arrest. The Army says he was taken into custody and will stay behind bars “pending criminal charges of aiding the enemy by wrongfully attempting to communicate and give intelligence” to the Islamic militant group, al-Qaida.
Apparently there’s enough to hold and charge him.
Would that we’d have the courage to follow through if he’s found guilty of espionage. The firing squad is the historic solution for those who sell out their country, but I fear in our politically correct world, that wouldn’t happen. But there’s another more powerful reason than political correctness. Religion.
We’re in a real war that involves religion. It’s arguably the first such war this country has faced and I’m afraid we haven’t the guts or the heart to handle it properly for fear of offending someone.
Personally, I find treason more offensive.
I hear the usual arguments: Our country was founded on religious freedom. Everyone has the right to their own religion with no interference. It wouldn’t be right to investigate the religion of military members.
But accepting that, it follows that even if we see a dangerous pattern involving individuals of a certain religion, we can’t focus on it to protect ourselves or screen it out.
Talk about being sitting ducks!
Anderson is part of that pattern, which could become more evident, as the war against terrorism continues.
Air Force translator, Sr. Airman Ahmed Al Halabi, a native of Syria who moved to Detroit as a teenager, has been accused of relaying 180-plus classified messages from al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.
Capt. James Yee, now Youseff Yee, a former Fort Lewis chaplain, was accused of mishandling classified documents for terrorists at Guantanamo, where he was also a chaplain.
An American-born Chinese, raised Lutheran and a graduate of West Point, he left the military, studied in Syria, converted to Islam, married a Syrian woman, returned to the U.S. and rejoined the military.
Mark Fidel Kools, spent his youth in California and is a California graduate who enrolled in ROTC. He also studied at an Islamic mosque in Los Angeles and changed his name to Asan Akbar.
Part of the 101st Airborne in Kuwait last March, he rolled grenades into three tents of sleeping officers and shot at least two in the back as they ran from the explosions. One man was killed, 15 injured.
Officials reported Akbar had been “having what some might call an attitude problem.” We’re told the motive “most likely was resentment” – about the war against Islamic terrorists.
Apparently, no one paid any attention to the clues – there are others.
Estimates are there are 4,000 to15, 000 (or more) Muslims in the military. No one counts. Ft. Lewis spokesman Lt. Col. Stephen Barger says “religious preferences are individual right and responsibility.”
Uh-oh. We have a big problem because we’re ignoring the implications and avoiding reality.
How do we know Muslims in the military are loyal to the uniform and the country?
What is there in Islam that leads people to choose it above their country? These issues don’t present with other religions.
We know Islamic teachings say Muslims should not fight other Muslims – that, in the case of conflict, fealty to Muhammad is supreme.
If that’s the case, do we want people of those beliefs in our military or in places of delicate security where explicit trust is required?
Inasmuch as other Islamic teachings say it’s acceptable to lie to infidels (non-Muslims), whom do we believe?
Ryan Anderson hinted his ambivalence about the United States in one of his many letters to the editor. He said he had only “kindness, patience, courtesy and understanding” from Muslims, but “bigotry, hatred and mindless rage from … ‘educated thinkers’ … in the U.S.”
In a 1998 letter, he said: “Today I am a young soldier, sworn to protect and defend this country. But if tomorrow I find that this nation is no longer the one based upon the freedom I was taught to love, I’ll have little choice but to go where I can live in freedom.”
We’re warned of terrorist sleeper cells already in this country. We know many mosques preach hatred of the West. We know that few Muslims speak out against the radicals among them and we know Muslims are in every part of American life.
What we don’t know is whom to trust.
We haven’t protected ourselves from those with evil intent who hide among the innocent to perpetuate their intent to destroy us.
If we don’t devise a way to re-evaluate Muslims to assure everyone’s safety, we’ll lose the war before we fight it – which is exactly the terrorist’s goal.