Where were they radicalized?
That's the question we should be asking.
An extremist group of white, presumably Christian men in Texas are training against a non-existent Islamic "uprising" by dipping their bullets in pig's blood and bacon grease to target Muslims. The fact that consumption of pork is forbidden in Islam is well-known.
The extremist group, based in Irving, refers to itself as "Bureau of American Islamic Relations" (BAIR), an obvious mockery of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which carries out crucial work to safeguard the constitutional rights of Muslims in the United States.
Members of BAIR think that lining bullets with pig blood would ensure that their Muslim victims would "go straight to hell", according to a video released by AJ+. One BAIR member in the video stated, "A lot of us here are using either pig's blood or bacon grease on our bullets, packing it in the middle so that when you shoot a Muslim, they go straight to hell". Another member insisted, "Don't f*ck with white people."
David Wright, spokesperson for BAIR, said he was "going to start doing something about Muslims... now". That's code word for "I'm going to threaten Muslims with violence".
Clearly, members of BAIR are misinformed and uninformed. One member told AJ+, "the next step in jihad does not involve random, sporadic attacks... They start killing people".
Actually, no. That's not true.
I teach the course "Muslims in American Society" at Rice University in Houston, not too far from Irving, where BAIR is based. Our class, composed of Muslims and non-Muslims, looks carefully at the various dimensions of jihad. The students, I should add, get along perfectly fine despite coming largely from Christian and Muslim backgrounds.
Jihad has many meanings. It's often misinterpreted to mean "holy war", obvious in the case of BAIR, but jihad really means "to struggle" or "to strive". A jihad might be waking up when your alarm goes off in the morning. A jihad might be putting up with an annoying relative on a holiday.
A jihad might be turning the other cheek when blatantly Islamophobic groups like BAIR openly calls for the murder of Muslims.
It's true there is an offensive or "violent" form of jihad, but it's for the purposes of self-defense. The Quran, the Islamic holy book, calls on Muslims to "jihad" against the use of violence. The Quran (5:32) states, "if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole of humanity: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of humanity". In another Quranic passage (2:190), Muslims are told, "fight in the case of God those who start fighting you, but do not transgress limits (or start the attack); for God loveth not transgressors".
Members of BAIR live in a fantasy world where Muslims pose the greatest threat to "civilization". Nothing could be further from the truth. Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than "radical Islamists" have, according to research by the New America Foundation.
BAIR's perception is not reality. The data, as Loon Watch points out, simply does not support their irrational view that Muslims pose a threat to the United States. On the FBI's official website, there exists a chronological list of all terrorist attacks committed on American soil from the year 1980 all the way to 2005. According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%).
To put it simply, the threat of Muslim American terrorism is grossly exaggerated.
Funny, too, that members of BAIR consider themselves Christians. Remind me about the passage of the Bible where Jesus asks people to put pig blood on bullets to kill non-Christians. That's apparently what BAIR members think. That killing people ensures a seat next to Jesus in heaven.
Let me wrap this up by flipping things around. Imagine if CAIR called on Muslims to kill Christians. Imagine the uproar. Imagine the media coverage, the hysteria. Politicians in Washington, DC and elsewhere would head to the press to pose the question, "where were they [CAIR members] radicalized?"
Why aren't we asking the same question about BAIR?
This is what we call "double standards".