In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Thank the Lord God, the Precious Beloved. Thank the Lord God that these men were caught. According to law enforcement authorities, 6 men from New Jersey have been arrested on charges that they plotted to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers “in the name of Allah.”
According to the FBI, a store clerk at a local Circuit City alerted authorities when he found a “disturbing” video of 10 men shooting assault rifles and shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is the Greatest.” The FBI then infiltrated the group with two informants who gathered evidence against them. The investigation had been going on for 15 months before the arrests were made.
Five of the men were charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel, and the sixth was charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons.
I am very happy these men were caught. Of course, they must be afforded the right of due process, and they are innocent until proven guilty. But, if what is alleged against them is true, this is a major victory in the war against those terrorist enemies who wish to do us harm. If what is alleged against these six men is true, they should be punished severely for what they planned to do.
As a Muslim, it angers me to learn what these men were plotting to do. According to the FBI, one of the men was recorded as saying, “In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone…attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.”
Yes, when someone attacks you, you defend yourself, and this is one of the many facets of jihad. But, attacking innocent people at Fort Dix does not come even close – not by a long shot – to fitting the definition of jihad. It is murder, nothing less.
If someone is upset with the actions of this country, he or she has the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This right is enshrined in our Constitution. But that act of petition must be peaceful. Taking up arms and attacking a military installation in the United States – the very nation that extended her arms in peace and friendship – is not only immoral, but also horribly ungrateful; not to mention un-Islamic.
These people frustrate me so much. They think that attacking innocent people is somehow “defending Islam.” They could not be more wrong. Attacking innocent people is not “defending Islam”; it is defiling Islam and everything for which it stands. Yes, these people can reach into the sacred texts of the faith and find justification for their actions. But, that logic is flawed; it is the logic of the criminal, which is a priori flawed and twisted.
“Doesn’t the suffering of Muslims around the world also frustrate you?” I may be asked. Indeed it does. But, that frustration I feel does not give me the right to harm an innocent person, no matter who he is, no matter where she is. Not by a long shot. In addition, the pain I feel at the suffering of a fellow Muslim does not mean that I should not care about the suffering of non-Muslims.
On the contrary, it teaches me to have compassion for all people, Muslim or not. The suffering of a Christian in Detroit should be no less important to me than the suffering of a Muslim in Darfur. I must strive to alleviate the suffering of both. And in no way, shape, or form is attacking Fort Dix a legitimate means to alleviate the suffering of anyone, Muslim or not. It would only create more suffering, and this is against everything for which Islam stands.
There is another thing about this case. The plot was foiled with good-old-fashioned police work: surveillance, informants, recordings, etc. No bombing of the towns in which these alleged terrorists lived; no secret prisons run by the CIA; no Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; no invading other countries. The plot was disrupted by good-old-fashioned police work.
It further proves the point that the “war on terror” is primarily a law-enforcement, rather than military, endeavor. Would that our President take heed.