Whether it be drone strikes, Quran burnings, machine-gunning Afghan villagers, or spying on Muslim students in East Coast colleges, we seem to be quite ingenious in fueling the radicalization of Muslims. Unfortunately, we are interested in the opposite. As an American with an international background, hoping to serve my country in the Foreign Service, it is beyond frustrating that we can’t get radicalization right.
Our government’s strategy remains primarily military driven, perhaps best captured through this administration’s beloved drone strike program. Although we have taken out key militants, drone strikes also kill innocent civilians — something that violent extremists always highlight in their recruiting propaganda. Even when it comes to providing “development aid,” a disproportionate amount goes to corrupt militaries that hinder the progress of democracy and civilian rule. We see this in the examples of Pakistan, Yemen, and more famously today, Egypt.
The fact that the suspect was able to get on an airplane even though he had been on the no-fly list caused criticism of the implementation of no-fly list leading to revisions to avoid future mistakes. Also, there has been debates about terror-watch list individuals’ ability to buy guns. Meanwhile, Sen. Lieberman announced his “Terrorism Expatriation Act” revoking citizenship of any American “who is found to be involved with a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department.” At the same time, security measures in NYC and at East Coast airports tightened as two suspicious situation in NYC caused evacuation and investigation. Neither of the two was of terrorist nature.
A campaign by Muslim activists against Wachovia Corp. to protest the unexplained closing of bank accounts belonging to a Herndon-based Muslim charity is on hold pending an investigation by the bank. Any actions against the North Carolina-based bank, which has branches on the East Coast and in Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee, could include protests and boycotts, the activists said. That depends on what it ends up doing and saying.