Report finds that radical American Muslims are not terribly prevalent. Or competent.

Color me shocked.

Professor Charles Kurzman, of the  Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at the University of North Carolina, released a report Wednesday that found that radicalization among Muslim-Americans is “relatively low,” and has been on the decrease since 9/11.

Kurzman also points out that many of the suspects in 2011 “appeared to have been limited in competence.” In one arrest of a Muslim-American for terrorism-related charges, for example, Emerson Begolly, “a 21-year-old former white supremacist who converted to Islam and posted violent-sounding material on the Internet” was tricked by his mother into meeting with FBI agents outside of a restaurant. He then tried fight them off by biting them. In another case, on his way to attack a local Shia mosque, Roger Stockham bragged about the his plan to a bartender when he stopped in to a bar for a drink.

“The limited scale of Muslim-American terrorism in 2011 runs counter to the fears that many Americans shared in the days and months after 9/11, that domestic Muslim- American terrorism would escalate,” the report concludes. “The spike in terrorism cases in 2009 renewed these concerns, as have repeated warnings from U.S. government officials about a possible surge in homegrown Islamic terrorism. The predicted surge has not materialized.”

I wish I had a job that would justify me doing a comparative study of all the kinds of extremist violence perpetrated in this country on an annual basis. I’d like to see how, for instance, the 1 ,002 hate groups tracked by the Southern Law Povery Center compare to extremist American Muslims (individuals or organizations).

If you’d like to know what most Muslims (American and non-) think about such extremism, I gathered some statistics and statements here (spoiler alert! They’re pretty solidly against it).

h/t TPMMuckraker

Combating Islamophobia & responding to Rep. Pete King – some ideas.

UPDATE, March 4, 2011 : I wrote a much more detailed list of ideas, including sample scripts and letters today: How to support Muslims. It’s a better place to start on this, I assure you!

I’ve called US Rep. Pete King’s (R-NY) office a couple of times in the past two weeks to try to determine when he’s planning on launching these abhorrent hearings of his into the “radicalization of the Muslim community” in America. My hope was to act on the ideas that I floated here, or help others with possible responses that they were working on, and though I’ve reached out to a couple of Muslim-American organizations for leads and ideas, I’ve heard nothing back (I’ve decided to chalk up this up to people being very, very busy, because, you know: Bottom line, my credentials for this sort of thing are fairly well established, both in terms of work experience in the communication and PR industries, and my own writing skills and background).

Two weeks ago or so, I was told the hearings would start “in late February or early March,” but when I couldn’t figure a way into efforts to respond to this rather vivid attack on American values (I have this funny notion that “We the people” means all the people, “liberty and justice for all” means for all-all, the First Amendment means what it says, so on and so forth) and other, equally worthy work came up (not to mention: Worthy work for which I was being paid!), I let it slide.


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