Congress has turned over, thanks to grassroots conservatives known as the tea party. They rose from their states proclaiming to constitutionalists and fiscal conservatives just what the majority who elected them wanted to hear.
The tea party isn’t the only group of conservatives pleading their cause to the masses
One group isn’t calling attention to states’ rights or the economy but to the dangers of religious extremism. The Forum for Middle East Understanding, which visited Killeen in November, has former terrorists among its list of speakers.
Conservative radio host Lynn Woolley was the master of ceremonies for the Killeen event, which attempted to shine light on Muslim extremists, their religion and politics, and potential threats.
It was scheduled to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Fort Hood shooting. The massacre occurred when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on troops and civilians at the post, killing 13 and wounding dozens more.
“What are we here for if not to combat political correctness?” Woolley asked the crowd, many of whom had traveled from great distances to see the event.
The meeting was sponsored by the International Counter Terror Officer’s Association.
These types of conferences are not unique to America. Groups with names as brash as SIOE – Stop Islamisation of Europe – lobby against Muslim practices in their countries. And they have found some success. France and Belgium have laws that forbid face veils.
Other organizations, such as the Search for Common Ground, pool their efforts to help integrate Muslims into America. Its goal is acceptance and tolerance. These groups protest the seemingly defensive view that the Forum takes. But tolerance, as preached in Europe, has seemed to fade in countries with large Muslim population, such as France.
While Muslim immigration is relatively new to America, the numbers have been growing steadily in Europe. Europeans in general are seen as much more politically leftist than Americans. But a new study shows that their thoughts toward Muslims are anything but liberal.
Le Monde newspaper and IFOP, a polling agency, found in a poll published Jan. 4 that more than two-thirds of 1,600 Germans and French surveyed thought that “Muslims are not well integrated in their societies.” Forty percent said they saw Islam as a threat.
To Europeans, the issue is not about hating a religion, but preventing that religion from infringing on the established secularism of their homelands.
Keith Davies is the executive director of the Forum for Middle East Understanding and organized the Killeen event and others like it.
“We are in a situation like the 1930s when Winston Churchill spoke out for eight or nine years,” he said. “He was called a Nazi-phobe, a hate monger, a war monger … but he was right. We are in a similar situation today where the minority (his group) are in the right and the majority (the general public) are in the wrong.”
Robert Spencer, professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gave more insight on the law of Islam at the gathering.
He stressed that it is impossible to separate the religion from the political movement.
“Islam does not promote stealing, cheating or killing,” he said. But he also expressed that the laws of Islam are secondary to the furthering of the faith. “It does teach to kill, lie, and steal in order to spread Islam,” he said.
The pinnacle of the event was a speech by Kamal Saleem and one by Walid Shoebat. Both are former terrorists who came to America to spread Islam. While here, they both converted to Christianity
Now they spend their time speaking and writing about the horrors they have seen and the Islamic plan to achieve “peace” – when every person is a Muslim. Their pasts provide an inside look at terror groups. Saleem stressed that Islamic influence and Sharia law have already come to America.
“The Islamic centers of America are the Sharia centers of America, and they have already been built,” he said.
Shoebat emphasized this point even more dramatically, referring to the attack on Fort Hood. He called on the proud Texans and military personal to examine the land and jobs they value so proudly.
“Don’t mess with Texas is a myth,” he said. “They messed with Texas a year ago, and you have done nothing.”