Friday, November 9, 2007

Los Angeles Police Department Targets Muslims! Muslim Communities Subject to GESTAPO-STYLE TACTICS!!!!

Well, no. Not at all.

But I'm guessing that there will be many more claims like that by the time I make my next regularly-scheduled post. Maybe even headlines like that. And, the people making the claims will be serious.

The LA Times ran a story, "LAPD to build data on Muslim areas," with this lead paragraph:

"An extensive mapping program launched by the LAPD's anti-terrorism bureau to identify Muslim enclaves across the city sparked outrage Thursday from some Islamic groups and civil libertarians, who denounced the effort as an exercise in racial and religious profiling."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is already at work, as are other Muslim civil rights groups. CAIR's take is, that finding out where Muslim neighborhood are "basically turns the LAPD officers into religious political analysts, while their role is to fight crime and enforce the laws."

The LAPD is doing this mapping program, because there's a good chance that Muslim terrorists may, according to an FBI report, attack shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago over the holiday season.

And, the LAPD doesn't want that to happen.

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing says that "We want to map the locations of these closed, vulnerable communities, and in partnership with these communities . . . help [weave] these enclaves into the fabric of the larger society," in testimony to Congress October 30. "To do this, we need to go into the community and get to know peoples' names," he said. "We need to walk into homes, neighborhoods, mosques and businesses," he also said.

At least one Muslim group, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), isn't exhibiting knee-jerk behavior. MPAC's executive director, Salam Al-Marayati, said that his group wanted to know more about the plan, and plans to meet with the LAPD next week. "We will work with the LAPD and give them input, while at the same time making sure that people's civil liberties are protected," he said. Al-Marayati also commended Downing for being "very forthright in his engagement with the Muslim community."

I'm accustomed to CAIR hitting the ground yelling, without letting facts get in the way. It's an excellent way to get attention, and helps maintain an impression that Muslims are oppressed by Islamophobic infidels.

However, I think that, based on what we've seen so far, what the LAPD is doing makes sense.

Let's take a hypothetical situation. If this sounds familiar, this is the third time I've used my (fictional) Scandinavian Lutheran Terrorists. In this alternate reality, blond giants have been blowing up people in a Ragnarokathon. These Scandinavian Lutherans feel that western culture don't appreciate lutefisk and lefse enough. See: If the Scandinavian terrorists were real, and there was good reason to believe that they planned to attack shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago, I'd be disturbed if police in those cities weren't figuring out where people with names like Jensen and Olson were living, and trying to talk with pastors of Lutheran churches, with a view to keeping Lutheran youngsters from blowing themselves up in the name of lefse.

But then, I'm one of those people who don't think that all Muslims are terrorists.

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.