Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taxing Questions – How Wisely is Tax Money Being Spent?

The following guest post is contributed by Phillip Donavan, who writes on the subject of Online Political Science Degrees. Phillip can be reached at his email: phillip dot donavan at gmail dot com.

The trade unions in Wisconsin want higher taxation for the super-rich so that their benefits are not cut; there are suggestions being put forward to increase gasoline tax to $1 by the CEO of Hess Corp., John B. Hess as a way to introduce fuel economy measures and moderate the demand for gas in the coming years; and there is a general outrage at the proposed hike in taxes. It is in this backdrop that we hear news of tax dollars being put to use to train counter-terrorist squads to annihilate Jihadi units.

But that’s not wrong, you say? Well, not if the units are being trained to counter terrorism in any form. But when they’re being indoctrinated to form an image of Muslims that is distorted and skewed, then we do have a problem at hand. According to progressive think tank Political Research Associates (PRA), the US government is spending millions of tax dollars to set up unregulated training programs for the police and others in law enforcement, and that these programs are spreading the ideology that Muslims as a whole are a dangerous lot because Islam is a violent religion that endorses terrorism.

One training conference which the agency attended was held late last year by the International Counter-Terrorism Officers’ Association, a unit of New York police officers formed after 9/11, and it featured an invective that could at best be called rabid; delivered by Muslim-turned-Christian Walid Shoebat who features in many of the training sessions, it went on to state how all Muslim men raped women and children and were pedophiles who were taught to kill people of other religions with a smile on their faces. The presentation was titled "The Jihadi Mindset and How to Defeat It: Why We Want to Kill You” and sought to negate the fact that Islam is a peaceful religion.

According to the author of the PRA report Thomas Cincotta, this kind of mental conditioning could spell disaster because it essentially conveyed the message that anyone who was a Muslim was a traitor and extremist. While it’s true that many terrorists follow extreme Islamic principles and methods, the converse is not always true – just because you’re a Muslim, it doesn’t give law enforcement the right to harass or persecute you. This is infringement of religious freedom, just as Tennessee is hoping to introduce a law that will ban the practice of the Islamic law Sharia which defines a way of life under the pretext that it breeds extremists and spawns terrorism.

By going to such extreme measures, we’re proving that we’re just as narrow-minded and bigoted as the few Muslims who hate the West and are bent upon wreaking havoc on any nation and its citizens who don’t follow Islam. We’re adopting their attitude and being indoctrinated into believing that all Muslims are terrorists and must be viewed with a jaundiced eye, just as extremists are raised to believe that the Western world is full of infidels who must be killed because they belong to a different faith.

When contacted, one of these training agencies, Security Solutions International (SSI) which is based out of Miami, responded to these allegations as those of “people who were politically motivated and out to weaken the anti-terrorism efforts of the country”. It’s all well and good to combat terrorism, but not with propaganda and vicious invective which is sure to harm and ruin innocent people just because they follow a certain way of life.

Update: More on this story from TPM Muckraker.

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