COMMENTARY | The Daily Caller has uncovered a couple of memos that shows how the Department of Homeland Security views conservatives as opposed to how it views Islamic extremists. The contrast cannot be more startling.
According to one memo Homeland Security, in effect, has a policy of dealing with Islamist groups, even those that advocate the imposition of Sharia law, with great forbearance. As long as one is not violent, believing that women should be discriminated against and that homosexuality should be punishable by death, a stipulated by Sharia, is constitutionally protected, in the view of Homeland Security. Use of moderate Muslims or Islamic reformers as trainers is discouraged. Evidence that some mainstream Islamist organizations have terrorist ties is discounted.
The Department of Homeland Security is not so understanding of conservatives. Another memo warns of the rise of “right wing extremism” motivated by the economic recession, the election of Barack Obama, and the return of military veterans to an uncertain job market. Homeland Security is not just concerned with racist or hate groups, but also those who reject federal authority in favor of state or local governments and people who are concerned about a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or illegal immigration. There is, however, no specific information that any domestic right wing terrorists are planning to commit acts of violence.
Ironically the Department of Homeland Security was formed after an incident that took place on 9/11/2001 in which terrorists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands. These terrorists were not domestic right wingers, but rather Islamist jihadis.
The history of terrorism in the 21st Century, from 9/11 to the Boston Marathon bombing, suggests that the United States has more to fear from Islamist fanatics than even the most extreme right wingers. One should not trample anyone’s Constitutional rights in pursuit of terrorism, but one should also be aware of where the threat comes from and act accordingly. The fact of the matter is that more people want to commit murder and mayhem in the name of Allah and to advance Sharia law than out of a concern about abortion, illegal immigration, or the intrusive size of the federal government.
Fears of being accused of “profiling” or being accused of racism should not stop Homeland Security from focusing on the real threat, any more than some strange fear of the vast, rightwing conspiracy.