Muslims Look Within and Reach Out to Law Enforcement

August 31, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald

Wire Service: AP

On August 31, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "After the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings, distraught U.S. Muslim leaders feared the next casualty would be their religion. Islam teaches peace, they told anyone who would listen in news conferences, at interfaith services and, most famously, standing in a mosque with President Bush. But five years later, the target audience for their pleas has shifted. Now the faith's American leaders are starting to warn fellow Muslims about a threat from within. The 2005 subway attacks in London that investigators say were committed by British-born and -raised Muslims, and the relentless Muslim-engineered sectarian assaults on Iraqi civilians, are among the events that have convinced some U.S. Muslims to change focus. 'This sentiment of denial, that sort of came as a fever to the Muslim community after 9-11, is fading away,' said Muqtedar Khan, a political scientist at the University of Delaware and author of 'American Muslims. They realize that there are Muslims who use terrorism, and the community is beginning to stand up to this.' Muslim leaders point to two stark examples of the new mind-set: A Canadian-born Muslim man worked with police for months investigating a group of Islamic men and youths accused in June of plotting terrorist attacks in Ontario. Mubin Shaikh said he feared any violence would ultimately hurt Islam and Canadian Muslims. In England, it's been widely reported that a tip from a British Muslim helped lead investigators to uncover what they said was a plan by homegrown extremists to use liquid explosives to destroy U.S.-bound planes. Cooperation isn't emotionally easy, as Western governments enact security policies that critics say have criminalized Islam itself."