It would be inappropriate to malign or even question the loyalty of the hard-working Muslim men and women wearing the uniforms of the United States. But it would be equally irresponsible to ignore the amassing evidence that subversive and combustible elements with radical Islamic persuasion have infiltrated our military, often putting our personnel at bigger risk in their own bases than from their enemies on the battlefield.In How the Saudis radicalized U.S. troops, Gal Luft notes that the Fort Hood massacre is the latest of a string of similar attacks:
The major incidents include the March 2003 attack in Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait by an American Muslim soldier, Asan Akbar, who rolled grenades into three tents where officers of the 101st Airborne’s 1st Brigade were sleeping, killing one serviceman and wounding 15; the six Islamic radicals who in May 2007 plotted to storm New Jersey’s Fort Dix Army Base with automatic weapons and execute as many soldiers as possible; and John Allen Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper, a Gulf War veteran and convert to Islam who was responsible for 16 shootings and 10 murders and who is scheduled to be executed today.
According to Luft, as opposed to the record of Muslim loyalty in the armed forces, the issue that needs to be examined is the new phenomenon of Wahhabi-trained and converted Muslims.
During the first Gulf war in 1990-1991, while Saudi Arabia was adamantly opposed to any expression of Christian or Jewish religious practices on their soil--the Saudis saw no reason not to go about imposing their own religion on others.
Saudi officers appeared to have been directed by their senior military or religious leadership to spot and assess potential converts to Islam among American military members. Once a particular American was ‘targeted,’ […] a few Saudi military officers, including a military imam, would attempt to meet the American in either a purely social setting or at least outside of the work area. These approaches usually included fairly generous gifts and of course, literature about Islam. The gifts included expensive briefcases, pens, books and other personal items. Americans who decided to convert to Islam were rewarded handsomely […] including all expenses paid trips to Mecca, and payments as high as $30,000.
According to Luft, this is confirmed by the Saudis themselves:
The commander of Saudi forces in the Gulf, Prince Khaled bin Sultan bragged in his memoir that more than 2,000 American troops converted to Islam through this campaign. “These Muslim troops are now the messengers of Islam in the U.S. forces,” said Dr. Abu Ameena Bilal Phillips, a Jamaican-born convert to Islam (1972) who worked during the Gulf war under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force while converting U.S. troops to Islam in his spare time. After the war, Phillips moved to the United States to “set up Islamic chapters in the U.S. Defense Department.”
While it is true that nearly 20 years have passed since then, that does not mean the effects of the Saudi Arabian proselytizing campaign have dissipated. To the contrary:
[T]he seeds sown during the Gulf War have germinated, creating scores of radicalized Americans who are a threat to their comrades in uniforms as well as to their civilian communities...it is time to investigate what exactly happened back then in the desert and assess how serious and deep-rooted the damage is.
Maybe we could take one small by stopping the practice of bestowing the term 'moderate' so freely--and let's start with Saudi Arabia.
UPDATE: Apparently, when Muslim countries run into this kind of problem, they take action:
In most Muslim countries, the military would not dither over the issue. In Turkey, for example, the armed forces impose a strictly secular ethos on their personnel. Over the years, scores of stealthy Islamists have been identified and unceremoniously booted out for trying to proselytize fellow soldiers and generally undermine the army's values. In less-forgiving countries like Syria, such offenders tend to disappear without a trace or get funneled clandestinely into terror cells for missions abroad.
[Hat tip: Instapundit]
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