They Hate Us for Our Freedom

Or, you know, maybe—in addition to using phrases like "they hate us for our freedom" which sets up "Muslims" and "Americans" as mutually exclusive groups—any resentment, suspicion, or disdain that actually does exist could have a little to do with shit like this:
Counterterrorism agents at the FBI's training center in Quantico, Virginia are being taught that "devout" Muslims are more likely to be "violent" and that American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers, according to training materials acquired by Wired's Spencer Ackerman. (In fact, mosques have been found to be a deterrent to the spread of terrorism.)

An FBI spokesperson told Ackerman that the slides were no longer in use but dates on the slides would suggest that they were used at least until March 21.

The documents offer a violent interpretation of Islam in which "Any war against non-believers is justified" and a "moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah."

...The information in the slides is clearly Islamophobic and completely ignores the fact that Islamic extremism, while a national security concern worthy of sober discussion, is a limited problem within the United States and hardly a frequent phenomenon in Muslim communities. A recent Duke terrorism study showed that since 9/11, the U.S. has experienced only 33 deaths from Muslim terrorism while 150,000 murders have occurred during the same time.

...While the FBI is developing a track-record for giving pseudo-experts like Robert Spencer and William Gawthrop an opportunity to spread their Islamophobic views which demonize all Muslims, the truth is that Muslim communities have served as some of the most important allies for the FBI in their efforts to combat Muslim terrorists.
Eli's got much more at the link.

It is alarming, if not surprising, how much US defense and security policy is built on a foundation of fear and paranoia born of easily debunkable stereotypes. I do understand the need for, and usefulness of, rational fear and/or suspicion among people tasked with defending a nation, but there's just such an abundance of boogeymen in the US.

Imagine if we'd spent the last decade being as scared of economic collapse and its architects as we were of terrorism and Osama bin Laden.

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