In Southern California the FBI continues its investigation of the December 2 terrorist attack that claimed 14 victims, searching a San Bernardino lake where Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook may have dumped computer hard drives and other incriminating evidence. As the investigation continues, a prevailing narrative in the establishment media has been anti-Muslim rhetoric, with a new conspiracy theory unfolding.
Salma Mahmoud, 18, told Luis Sahagun of the Los Angeles Times that on the UC Riverside campus a man approached and “spit out” the word “ISIS.” Mahmoud reported the incident “as a hate thing” and showed Sahagun images of a dozen severed pig heads captioned, “I’m taking action in my own hands. No Muslims up my street.” Mahmoud shook her head and told Sahagun, “The political climate has become so dangerous that we could be attacked.”
The Dubai-born student added, “Nothing about what happened is fair. It wasn’t fair for the people who got shot. It wasn’t fair for the child whose parents were terrorists. It isn’t fair for ignorant people to target Muslims.” Fatima Dadabhoy, a CAIR attorney in Anaheim, told the Times “the situation is such that even being married and having a child means nothing now — you will still be suspect.”
Roshan Zamir Abbassi, assistant imam at the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah of America mosque in San Bernardino, told Sahagun he won’t go shopping without “a friend or two.” He also said “the statements of people like Donald Trump are adding to the discomfort of all minorities. These people have a message of hate.”
Syeda Jafri, spokewoman for Rialto Unified School District, near San Bernardino, told the Times reporter, “It’s a tragedy that the distortion of Islam is being so boldly manipulated by a few,” adding, “We will overcome this hysteria and Islamophobia through education.” For their part, local Muslims supplied some hysteria of their own.
According to Tina Aoun, director of the Middle Eastern Student Center at UC Riverside, “Many of my Muslim friends, among others, have doubts about the FBI’s narrative of what happened. That’s because the story has so many holes in it. It doesn’t make any sense. Why did the FBI and police release the crime scene in the house in Redlands only one day after the shooting? Why would terrorists have a baby? Why would they target a facility for children with disabilities?”
Sahagun’s story included no responses to those questions from FBI agents, from those who knew Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook, or from relatives and friends of the 14 people the two Muslim terrorists murdered on December 2.
The Middle Eastern Student Center enjoys the full support of UC Riverside. It purports to represent religious and regional diversity but in this video of the MESC founding Muslims clearly dominate. At the MESC launch party in 2013, the keynote speaker was Reza Aslan. Hysterical blame-shifting, meanwhile, is not a new development for Muslims.
In 1979, Muslims under the command of Juhayman al Uteybi, formerly of the Saudi National Guard, attempted to take over the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest shrine. As Yaroslav Trofimov showed in The Siege of Mecca, Muslims across the Middle East blamed the United States. That led to anti-American violence in Pakistan, where mobs chanted “Death to American dogs!” The government of Pakistan under Zia ul Haq, supposedly an ally, failed to help the embattled Americans.
“The men who seized Mecca were true Muslims, innocent of any crime,” said Osama Bin Laden at the time. As it happened, the forces of Juhayman al Uteybi included two African American Muslim converts. The Saudis beheaded one but as Trofimov notes “the second prisoner was spared the executioner’s sword.”
The State Department refused to reveal his identity but, Trofimov wrote, “after a debriefing by the CIA, he was allowed to return home to the United States, a free citizen once again. He may well be alive and well today, resident in Anytown, USA.”
As residents of San Bernardino, California, might say, just like American Syed Farook and his Pakistani bride Tashfeen Malik. As the New York Times reported on December 12, Malik passed three background checks but “none of the checks uncovered the fact that she had openly discussed her views on violent jihad on social media. She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it.”
The article noted that “immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.”