U.S.-based Islamist groups are pushing for rules that would shield Muslim political leaders and clerics from being charged with supporting jihad terrorism.
The demands are being pushed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, just before Obama is slated to headline three days of White House meetings this week on federal efforts to mitigate the jihadi violence that is emerging from the growing population of Muslim immigrants.
Justice Department “policies should make clear that those who intervene to [stop attacks] should not suffer for it by being subjected to prosecution, watchlisting, or surveillance because of their association with a potential violent extremist,” said a CAIR statement.
“The Department of Justice should issue guidelines … to protect those who act in good faith to prevent violent extremism by engaging with [Muslims] considering it in order to dissuade them,” CAIR demanded.
CAIR will repeat its demand for more autonomy in a Tuesday press conference in Minneapolis, Minn., with a group of self-described leaders of the immigrant Somali population.
“We welcome any tangible effort to educate and empower youth to make the right decisions and promote safety, but it needs to be a community-based, grassroots effort free of intelligence gathering disguised as community outreach,” an CAIR official, Jaylani Hussein, said in a Jan. 23 press statement announcing the Feb. 17 event.
At least 20 Somali Muslims have left the United States to fight for a Somali jihad group. Several others have left to join the Islamic State group, partly because of support from at least one U.S.-based Muslim cleric.
CAIR’s demand for Islamic autonomy and status is echoed by other Islamist and progressive advocates, including the ACLU and Farhana Khera, a Muslim lawyer who helped organize a Feb. 4 meeting of Muslim advocates with Obama in the White House.
Khera has campaigned against the post-9/11 police oversight of Islamic communities, and against widespread public criticism of Islamic ideas, such as jihad, shariah, the caliphate, and the relegation of non-Muslims to apartheid-like “dhimmi” status in Muslim theocracies.
In 2010, she complained about the arrest and deportation of a Muslim cleric who had tipped off a U.S-based jihadi about police surveillance, following a meeting with FBI officials.
Islamic and progressive advocates routinely label public criticism of Islamic culture as a medical illness, which they dub “Islamophobia.”
CAIR’s demand for more autonomy may be granted.
Since 2009, Obama has strenuously defended Islam from criticism, has indulged many of the demands for segregation, and justified the concessions as vital to persuade immigrant Muslims against implementing the Koran’s repeated calls for warfare against non-Muslims.
The immigrant Muslim population has grown by roughly one million since 2000, up to almost 2.7 million in 2013. The population has grown because the federal government has accepted many migrants from Muslim-dominated chaotic countries, such as Somalia and Syria.
To mitigate the expected violence from Muslim immigrants, such as the two Chechen men who bombed the Boston marathon in April 2013, Obama has established the “Countering Violent Extremism” program.
Under the program, federal district attorneys work with Muslims who claim to be the religious and civic leaders of Muslim migrants.
That’s very different from normal government practice, in which elected politicians represent Americans and immigrants, and the DAs only get involved when major federal crimes are committed.