The occupation of a federally-claimed wildlife refuge in Oregon has the conservative world divided. While GOP presidential candidates naturally have to condemn the occupation, many others see the Bundys’ principled stand as what it is: a stand against an abusive federal government that has, for too long, maintained an adversarial relationship with the people.
Unsurprisingly, however, the left has made it clear that while they applaud lawlessness, rioting and looting in the name of supposed social justice, a peaceful occupation of a federal building is, to them, far out of the bounds of acceptability and the reactions from liberals have been nothing short of appalling.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic advocacy group with longstanding ties to the terrorist group Hamas, has lashed-out at the principled patriots and urged Americans to call them what they “really are”: terrorists.
Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, recently penned an op-ed urging the new label that fits the Islamic extremists’ narrative:
Some media outlets refer to “protesters” and “militia members,” not “terrorists,” even though armed anti-government extremists seizing federal property and expressing a desire to kill and die is a textbook description of domestic terrorism. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as activities that “involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.”
Perhaps the best description comes from those on social media who are referring to “Vanilla ISIS”—a group of white people seemingly immune to the same fate that would await Muslims or people of color who dared to carry out similar actions. Even though the moniker “Vanilla ISIS” is tongue-in-cheek, it is a reminder to avoid constantly framing the concept of terror through an Islam-centric lens…
Our nation unfortunately has a long history of disparate law enforcement actions based on the race, ethnicity or religion of the perpetrators. One only has to recall the response to the Wounded Knee stand-off in the 70’s, the 1985 police bombing of the MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia or the number of police shootings of African Americans, which led to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Implicit bias, stereotypes and racism too often determine decisions on the use of force by policy-makers and law enforcement agencies. These same factors also help determine media coverage of such incidents.
To keep history from repeating itself, we need to have a deliberate national conversation about how racial and religious bias impacts law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
The standoff at the wildlife refuge can hardly be called a terrorist action. There have been no shots fired and no implicit threats, but merely an assertion that they intend to occupy the facility indefinitely. They have set-off no pressure cooker bombs, no roadside devices. They have not beheaded anyone, set anyone on fire, thrown anyone off of buildings, stoned anyone to death nor have they undergone a rampage, killing innocents- unlike the “Islamic brand” of modern terrorism.
It sure would be convenient for those who relentlessly defend Islam and the horrors the religion produces on a wholesale level if the refuge protesters were terrorists, but they simply are not.
Of course, perhaps CAIR is not the best judge of who should and should not be considered terrorists. The group not only has longstanding ties to Hamas, but a recently-released FBI document confirms the suspicions long held by the group’s critics. CAIR, according to the FBI document, is merely a front group for Hamas, providing a softer, kinder face as the Middle East is ripped apart by Islamic extremists.
The FBI chart shows CAIR operating under the umbrella of the terrorist organization. It details organizations that exist to provide support for the Palestinian terrorist group, which includes CAIR.
Breitbart revealed what else was been learned from the FOIA request that produced the FBI document:
In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, a Hamas financing case that would result in the FBI ceasing its working relationship with CAIR. The HLF trial was the largest terror-financing case in American history. In 2008, during a retrial of the HLF case, an FBI Special Agent labeled CAIR as “a front group for Hamas” during her trial testimony. In 2010, a federal judge reiterated that his court had “ample evidence” that CAIR was involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.” CAIR, which relies upon millions of dollars in Saudi cash, was recently listed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a terrorist organization.
The group, which fashions itself as a civil rights voice for American Muslims, was founded by members of the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), an organization “established to support Hamas,” according to the chart. Nihad Awad, currently CAIR’s executive director, was previously an official at PALCOM.
The FBI declaration submitted in connection with removal proceedings for Nabil Sadoun (a former top CAIR official) said PALCOM members used coded language to discuss the “true nature” of their clandestine operations in support of Hamas. During a Philadelphia conference, which was being wiretapped by the FBI, they “referred to Hamas as ‘Samah’–Hamas spelled backwards–or simply as ‘the Movement,’” the FBI declaration said.
“It is clear that the true nature of the PALCOM meeting was to discuss the means to support Hamas’ goal to undermine the peace process (between Israel and the Palestinians) and to thwart law enforcement in the United States,” the FBI declaration read.
According to the FBI declaration, attendees of the Philly meeting “discussed how ‘Samah’ would one day be labeled as a terrorist organization by the US government,” the document said, adding they “discussed the need to create a new, uncompromised front group in the United States under the veil of some cover palatable to the American public.”
The standoff at the wildlife refuge provokes an interesting dialogue. Of course, the occupation is technically illegal, but so was the Boston Tea Party when patriots acted in accordance with civil disobedience. So was the refusal to vacate “white only” lunch counters in the South.
Their occupation may be illegal, but that is only predicated upon the notion that the federal government has a legitimate claim to the wildlife refuge in the first place- a claim that is rendered void by any who take a glance at Article I of the Constitution.
So, if the federal government cannot hold claim to the wildlife refuge, is the occupation of said refuge illegal?
In truth, unconstitutional laws are not laws.