On Monday, after a day of silence on the terror attacks in New York and Minnesota and the attempted terror attacks in New Jersey, President Obama finally took to the podium to explain that Americans must remain vigilant. “To everybody in this region,” Obama said, “I want to repeat what we’ve said before: if you see something suspicious, then you need to say something.”
Unfortunately, President Obama has presented American citizens with something of a catch-22: if they see a Muslim do something suspicious and say something, they may be on the receiving end of a diatribe from the White House and the media.
Today, for example, the second bomb planted by Ahmad Rahimi found in Chelsea on Saturday night. The finder, Jane Schriebman, described the device thusly: “I had just taken maybe 15 steps from my front door, and I saw a pot on the side of the road. It looked weird, and I thought it was a kid’s science experiment, with wires coming out of the pressure cooker every which way. I thought someone was throwing it out.”
It turns out that the pressure cooker was a bomb, of course, just like the pressure cooker bomb used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston marathon bombing.
Now flash back to September 2015, when a different Ahmed, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, took a clock that looked precisely like a bomb to school. The administration called him out of class; he was briefly detained by police before being released. He then tweeted out a picture, and the president of the United States offered to bring young Ahmed, victim of Islamophobia, to the White House. #IStandWithAhmed trended on Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg offered Mohamed an internship at Facebook, and Mohamed ended up hugging Obama.
Good thing the clock was just a clock.
Good thing Rahimi decided not to cloak his bomb as a clock. Otherwise, he might have been invited to the White House before the damn thing went off.
But that wasn’t the only ironic sign that political correctness gets people killed when it comes to terrorism. In 2011, according to The Daily Mail (UK), Rahami filed a federal lawsuit along with his family against the police, claiming he was the victim of Islamophobia. He said he was a victim of “selective enforcement” based on religious profiling, and that his family’s restaurant was harassed by the police with useless summonses; his brother eventually got into a fight with the cops, then fled to Afghanistan to avoid prosecution. Ahmad was arrested at the time for “obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.” The court dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
But it’s precisely this sort of activity that the media love to report and cluck over, incentivizing police and neighbors not to scrutinize suspicious behavior by Muslims. Remember that a neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorists told the press that he suspected nefarious activity based on the comings and goings of strangers to his neighbors’ apartment: “A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people. “We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What war they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.” In 2006, Muslim terrorists planned a massacre at Fort Dix, and were only thwarted because a clerk at Circuit City was asked to copy a tape of the suspects shooting guns and talking about jihad; he considered doing nothing about it because he was afraid that would be “being racist.”
No one’s in favor of innocent Muslims being targeted. But suspicious behavior is suspicious behavior, and the left’s habit of demonizing anyone who reports those in a protected victim class for such behavior means that terrorism will be more common.