While CAIR officials encourage 'resistance,' ISIS is urging rioters to murder and behead police and political figures.
The Islamic State (known by the acronyms of IS, ISIS or ISIL) is exploiting the ongoingviolence in Ferguson, Missouri over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer for shooting and killing an 18-year old African-American.
The Islamic State members are taking to social media to encourage encouraging rioters to murder and behead police and political figures. One high-profile Islamic State operative said the group would send fighters to Ferguson if the rioters pledge allegiance to its caliph. In a hand-written note, the operative said:
“We hear you and we will help you if you accept Islam and reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy and pledge your allegiance to Caliph Abu Bakr… and then we will shed our blood for you, and send you soldiers that don’t sleep, whose drink is blood and their play is carnage!”
Many of the tweets by the Islamic State supporters and members describe the shooting death of Michael Brown as a terrorist attack and equate the police officers to U.S. and Israeli military forces. The objective is to make the rioters identify with jihadists as if their struggles are one in spite of religious differences.
The Islamic State is aggressively using hashtags related to the Ferguson crisis and arguing that the instability is proof that the U.S. and democracies overall are inherently oppressive. Sharia governance is advertised as a superior system where blacks will not be victimized by racism.
The Islamic State is also trying to reach this audience by citing instances of anti-Muslim and anti-black bigotry and responding with bigotry of their own against whites. The KKK’s involvement and approval of violence in Ferguson, for example, plays right into the hands of the Islamic State.
Below are some of the tweets:
One tweet about Ferguson mocked the U.S. proposal to arm moderate Syrian rebels against the Islamic State:
One even featured Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” cartoon television show:
American Islamists Incorporate Ferguson Into Their Narrative
Other Islamist groups are also exploiting the mayhem in Ferguson to advance their adversarial views of the U.S. government and police.
Most frighteningly, he reportedly told African-Americans to rise up against the U.S. government as the Palestinians have risen up against Israel. In August, he justified the terrorism of Hamas against Israel and compared it to the struggle of blacks in America.
In front of 2,000 attendees in Maryland, Farrakhan happily proclaimed, “They know an explosion is going to come.” The reaction was not shock or a worried silence. It was cheers.
Islamists with softer tones like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are also using the Ferguson situation to increase their influence.
CAIR was recently designated as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. Justice Department listed it as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee; a secret body established to support Hamas. In addition, CAIR was labeled an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, the Holy Land Foundation, for financing Hamas. It was the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history.
Zahra Billoo, the director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, is citing the grand jury’s decision against indicting Officer Darren Wilson as part of a “tyranny” that must be challenged with “resistance.”
One of Billoo's messages is that American police raids against criminal suspects are equivalent to U.S. military raids on overseas terrorists; both being equally deplorable.
The Ferguson crisis must be understood as the product of a mindset that views the U.S. government and law enforcement as so predatory that violence or even revolution is justifiable. Islamist activism contributes to this destructive view.
Shibly is leading CAIR’s campaign to stop FBI meetings with mosque leaders to ask for counter-terrorism information, claiming that the FBI has nefarious intentions. The FBI says it is part of “normal outreach” done with various communities.
Islamic extremism doesn’t just promote Islamic violence and hostile views. Its anti-American themes can do the same among non-Muslims too.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.