Terrorists Among Us

Or at least abettors and sympathizers. In the Brooklyn neighborhood in which I grew up, and in which my parents and in-laws still live, there has been something of an influx of Pakistani immigrants in recent years. I never heard of anybody having a problem with them, although it was a bit disconcerting to discover that one of the 9/11 hijackers had lived in the neighborhood for a while (I don’t recall if he was living there at the time).

There is this one candy store that I’ve passed by zillions of times, though I haven’t been in it in recent years. It’s been owned by an elderly Muslim fellow with a turban, and features Arabic writing on the sign and a schedule of prayer times. The man seems like a decent enough guy, and my mother says whenever she stopped in to buy a newspaper he was very polite and friendly; “how are you?”, “have a nice day”, and the like. Shortly after the attacks, my father engaged him in conversation, to see what the guy’s take was on the situation. He told me then that he had a hard time following the guy fully as his English was rather poor, but what got across fully were two things. He kept on emphasizing the Islam is a religion of peace, and also going on about the notion that 4,000 Jews had stayed home from the WTC on the day of the attacks.

OK, fast forward to now: Bust in Alleged Visa Ring

So this sweet old fellow turns out to be an Al-Qaeda sympathizer, and apparently a big-time illegal immigrant smuggler. Religion of peace, indeed. You never know who you are dealing with.

One of the puzzling things about radical Islamic sentiment is the simultaneous claim that Israelis (or the CIA) carried out the WTC attacks, and the celebration of these attacks as a great Islamic triumph that the world needs more of. I guess it’s kind of analogous to the tendency in White Supremacist/Neo-Nazi circles to say that we need to kill all the Jews while simultaneously denying the holocaust with great vigor. Anything goes in love and war.

<< Religion of peace, indeed. You never know who you are dealing with. >>

I’d be careful about generalizing, though. Obviously, a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer KNOWS that he has to be duplicitous, hide his true sentiments, and pose as a “normal” member of the community.

If he’d told your dad that he thought it was wonderful that the WTC was brought down and that the more Americans that died, the better… well, he wouldn’t have been able to engage in his activities very long, would he?

Sad, though. And scarey.

Scary, yes. But where does, say, Osama Bin Laden claim the WTC attacks were carried out by the Israelis, or the CIA? Be careful with that broad brush there, IzzyR.

Now I’ve seen everything. Heavens forfend that we smear the good name of Osama bin Laden with inaccurate accusations of anti-Semitism.

To clarify, I did not mean to suggest that all or most Muslims were Al-Qaeda sympathizers. Only that you apparently can’t tell one from the other, and you never know who might be who.

I’d be interested in seeing numbers on how many American, French, German, Austrian, Dutch, Flemish, Chinese, Mexican, or (insert prefix here)theist people stayed home from the WTC on the day of the attacks. I mean, if you’re (generic) going to argue that there’s some meaning to the number of Jewish people who stayed home on any given day, you might want to note how many other types of people did the same thing.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, gobear. Stop looking for offence. The OP said:

I’m just saying that the most radical Muslim extremist of them all has never made a claim along those lines. In fact, he was quite keen to claim the attacks for themselves. In no way, shape, or form was I ascribing Osame Bin Laden a “good name”.

Shit, gobear, I know you’re a reasonably intelligent guy, but you sure do a hell of a job to convince me of the contrary on a regular basis.

gobear, I think Coldfire was merely warning against the logic of IzzyR’s statement. There’s no need, IMHO, to get into the concept of semitism, or anti-thereof, here.

I don’t think he was “quite keen” - he made somewhat veiled references to it in his taped statements - at least the earlier ones.

Anyway, I’m not claiming that every extremist believes in both. But both of these sentiments seem to coexist in the extremist world, and I was merely pointing to a specific example of a guy apparently holding them simultaneously.

Point taken, IzzyR. Although I do think a person holding both these views is the exception rather than the rule.

The juxtaposition of “let’s not use a broad brush” and bin Laden is an overscrupulous insistence on accuracy, IMO. If that is convinces you of my lack of intelligence, so be it.

That is a much better, and less offensive, way of expressing your point in a neutral manner.

Well, it’s good to know I’ve got the approval of the King of Impartiality. Thanks bunches.

…damn, I thought this was going to be about those well known terrorists, The Stern Gang …