Some Glimmers Of Real Hope, And Yet...
"Why hasn’t America become a hotbed of Islamic extremism? Why aren’t American Muslims by the thousands flocking to fight for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations? Why, despite the efforts of Islamist pressure groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] — a Muslim supremacist operation that masquerades as an advocate for civil rights — are most American Muslims intent on adopting America’s customs and way of life?Interesting that the Globe calls out the truth about who CAIR really is and what it really supports. Not many mainstream media have the cashews to do that.
"The United States has been far more successful at assimilating and integrating Muslim immigrants into American society and culture than has Western Europe. There are no Muslim ghettoes here like those in Molenbeek or the Paris suburbs, where authorities turn a blind eye to antisocial behavior and aggressive incitement by radicals preaching jihad. Of course there have been some heinous exceptions, such as the Tsarnaev brothers, the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, or the killers in San Bernardino. And mosques in American cities have often been built with funding from Saudi Arabia, which promotes a harsh and puritanical version of Islam.
"Nevertheless, at the grass-roots level, Muslims in the United States, like other cultural and religious minorities, have had no problem acclimating to mainstream norms."
But here's one Brussels suburb where terrorists had settled and recruited from, had "assimilated" into the area and were well-known by other Muslim residents to simply be "more hidden." And yet by "tackling radicalisation head-on," Vilvoorde is changing that:
"The local government now runs a prevention programme that works with children and youths who are thought to be at risk. 'We want to give them a stake in society,' says Moad el Boudaati, a social worker whose best friend was among those who left for Syria. Most of those who join IS come from broken homes, where the father is absent and the mother has lost all authority, he says. Now he spends much of his time meeting parents, speaking with young people and working with imams.Gee, would someone Tweet that link to #DONALDTRUMP and #tecruz, please?
"'The real aim is to increase resilience, both of the families and the young people,' adds Jessika Soors, who runs the programme. There is nothing revolutionary about the tools which she and her colleagues use, but the key is to get people to work across disciplines. When worried about a local youth, they assemble a team (perhaps a health worker, a religious leader, a social worker, someone from the parent network and a school employee) to discuss how to influence them. They may offer therapy, housing support for the family, or help in finding a job for the youths themselves. Tip-offs may come from parents or schools: after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, Ms Soors received many calls from teachers alarmed by students who called the killers heroes.
Police are involved only when necessary. The relationship between cops and local youths used to be disastrous, says Mr el Boudaati. Daily house searches and random frisking on the street bred resentment. Now the police hold town-hall meetings to hear young peoples’ grievances; the relationship is slowly improving. But Ms Soors is adamant that police involvement remain limited so as not to jeopardise trust.
Opinions are divided over the effectiveness of the Vilvoorde approach of showering could-be jihadists with kindness. (A similar programme in Aarhus, Denmark, provides even more support. In Saudi Arabia repentant radicals are provided with housing and even assistance in finding a spouse.) But thus far it seems to be a success. Authorities think no further recruits have left for Syria since May 2014.
Yet a new challenge is lurking. Of the 28 who left, five are known to have died ... and two are in prison; but about eight are thought to have returned. Dealing with returnees is in some ways harder than preventing young people from radicalising in the first place. The town’s mayor makes a point of speaking to returnees to make them feel included. At the same time, few doubt that police should monitor them closely. Returned IS fighters formed the nucleus of the terrorist cells that attacked in Paris and Brussels. One of them, according to Belgian authorities, is still on the run.
Still, even after "assimilation" into our culture, new polls show "at least 37% – and possibly as high as 45% – of American Muslims believe that their religion should be either the main source or a contributing source of American law." We've shown you the earlier Pew polls and charts on this problem in this September 2015 post.
Another possible explanation, one that could still coexist with the hopeful explanation by The Boston Globe above, is that we're about 10 years behind Europe in terms of accepting refugees and undocumented immigrants from the Middle East. The Atlantic Ocean prevents them from streaming onto our Eastern shores. But Italy is a peninsula and has effectively been set upon on three sides:
"Welcome to Italy: this is what a real immigration crisis looks like:I wonder if they know about the massive, modern arsenal housed inside the Vatican.
"With 50,000 boat people in just six months, and more to come, the politics of asylum here is becoming increasingly toxic "...none of the boat people are arrested once on dry land. Instead, they are taken to ‘Centri di accoglienza’ (welcome centres) for identification and a decision on their destinies. In theory, only those who identify themselves and claim political asylum can remain in Italy until their application is refused — or, if it is accepted, indefinitely. And in theory, under the Dublin Accords, they can only claim political asylum in Italy — the country where they arrived in the EU. In practice, however, only a minority claim political asylum in Italy. Pretty well all of them remain there incognito, or else move on to other EU countries.
"Here’s how it works. In the welcome centres, they are given free board and lodging plus mobile phones, €3 a day in pocket money, and lessons — if they can be bothered — in such things as ice-cream-making or driving a car and (I nearly forgot) Italian. Their presence in these welcome centres is voluntary and they are free to come and go, though not to work, and each of them costs those Italians who do pay tax €35 a day (nearly €13,000 a year). Yes, they are supposed to have their photographs and fingerprints taken, but many refuse and the Italian police, it seems, do not insist. As the Italian interior minister, Angelino Alfano, explained to a TV reporter the other day: ‘They don’t want to be identified here — otherwise, under the Dublin Accords, they would have to stay in our country. So when a police officer is in front of an Eritrean who is two metres tall [6-feet-7-inches] who doesn’t want his fingerprints taken, he can’t break his fingers, but must respect his human rights.’
"It’s worth remembering here that the majority of the boat people are Muslims and reports suggest that a small number are Islamic terrorists. The terrorists of ISIS are, we know from their Twitter feeds, obsessed with taking their crusade to Rome. One of those arrested in connection with the Islamic terrorist attack on the Bardo National Museum of Tunis in March had crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy in a migrant boat in February." [mhy emphasis]
So even if some estimate that the entire refugee vetting process in the U.S. is "much more extensive [since 9/11,] expensive [and] can take longer than three years", where do refugees actually pass those three years? Are they detained, housed, fed, taken care of till the entire three-year vetting process is over? Where? Who pays for it all? You can be sure most folks with an Obama iPhone won't want to give up what's "theirs" to help the refugess we take in and hold for three years. Nor, by the same token, would half of Congress give up some of its hefty, generous benefits to pay for that. Oh, no. Take that money from someone else.
And if they're not detained, just let go and told to come back for further vetting, well, once they're out on the street, aren't they just gone? If you might be sent back to where you came from, wouldn't you disappear too, given the chance? You betcha.
Which leaves us back at "And yet..."