During the 1950’s, anyone with a political affiliation--real or imaginary--believed to related to Communism was routed out and thrown to the coals by Joseph McCarthy and his cronies. Since 9-11, the list of suspects today watched by the government has changed, and now includes a long list of Muslims believed to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Only this particular list wasn’t made by the government. Instead, Citizens for National Security has compiled the list so that concerned citizens can keep a watch on their neighbors. Because the list includes 6,000 individual names--I am guessing the individuals are all Muslim--Citizens for National Security has stepped far beyond the bounds of a neighborhood watch group.
The group’s website looks as if it could be an official government website from Homeland Security. Instead, the organization is a non-profit who accepts tax-deductible contributions. The organization’s main objective is to educate the public on terrorist methods. Citizens for National Security also offers many seminars and government material from the State Department on terrorism, terrorists, and terrorist activities.
After I read a bit of the Citizens for National Security’s website, a few things ran quickly through my head. First, this organization is truthfully scary in that they seem to believe that anyone can stop home-grown terrorists or Jihadists from committing acts of terrorism. In effect, they seem to believe that anyone can be playing the role of Keifer Sutherland on “24.” The second scary thing about the organization is that it looks official when it is not.
The Citizens for National Security announced that their list of Fifth-Column terrorists would be for government officials only, but the fact that the organization has collected a list like this to begin with and that the organization is educating the public even more about the threat of terrorism is scary.
While some members of the government--notably ultra-conservative representative Rep. Allan West--have praised the document, most have not done so.
As Wired Magazine observes, it is not illegal to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. Other organizations listed in the report said to be connected with terrorism appear to mostly have the word “Muslim” in the title. While terrorism is a legitimate concern in our country, the role that the Citizens for National Security is taking does not seem helpful in finding real terrorists or planned terrorists attacks.
In addition, as the recent tragic events in Norway show us and the bombing of the Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh show us, not all terrorist activities are planned and executed by Muslims.