It emerged late last year that the FBI had anti-Muslim training materials that claimed, among other things, that the more devout a Muslim is, the more violent he is likely to be. Following a lot of criticism, the FBI has now purged the anti-Muslim content.
I wanted to write about how ridiculous the FBI materials were, but I thought there was no need: nobody could possibly be so bigoted as to think that all Muslims may be potential terrorists who should be monitored and their places of worship catalogued.
The NYPD proved me wrong. The New York Post went further, and made a cartoon that suggested Muslims who complain about discriminatory surveillance are terrorists.
For the good of humanity, and in the hope that this will hopefully lower by a notch or two the Islamophobia in some quarters, the following are the things I would not expect a terrorist who is Muslim to be doing in a non-Muslim country:
1) Grow a beard. This is the first thing that terrorists know is an attention-magnet. It is not like they don’t know the stereotype. They will do everything to blend-in; dressing as the Romans do in Rome.
2) Go to a Mosque. I know that the Shabab security guys do not pray in Mosques (open secret: the TFG NSSA have spies in Mosques) in enemy territory within Somalia, a 99.9% Sunni Muslim country – or so, Somalis claim. I would be looking for them in Churches in Christian countries, if anywhere. Again, this is in the concept of blending in.
3) Wear traditional Muslim dress. How many of the 9/11 hijackers were wearing a long robe and a colourful male headscarf? If it was few at that time, it is rather moronic to expect the next Mohamed Atta (lead 9/11 operative) to be dressed like an Imam at the Mosque.
4) Change his name to a non-Muslim name. This might have been possible before the NYPD practise of keeping an eye on Muslims who “Americanised” their names became public, but not now. The terrorist will avoid anything that might get heat on him.
5) Hang out in Muslim hangouts. These places are well known for having informants, or maybe even electronic surveillance. Jihadi training manuals forbid hanging out for no reason in teashops, and not talking about business if doing so.
6) Talk openly around strangers about terrorist plans. This is obvious, but tell that to the NYPD.
7) Be an Arab, Persian, or another community that has heat on them. Most Muslims are from Asia; China alone has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, and Kuwait combined. India is the country with the second-most Muslims in the world. Statistically, one could succeed in catching a Muslim terrorist if one were to go after these communities. Also, because the heat on white Muslims is low, the most danger could be from them, especially the ones who have no beards or attend Mosques, the supposed hanging place of terrorists.