Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Minding Their Own Business

Red House, Virginia
Commenter “Sallysot” arrived belatedly at one of our Jamaat ul-Fuqra posts and left the following comment:

I am from the “bustling metropolis” of Red House, Va, and I only have this to say about the compound there. Those people have lived there all these years minding their own business. They are seldom seen out in the community. They live in poverty, they do not beg, borrow or steal as far as I can tell from anyone. Seems as though they want to be left alone, as they leave everyone else alone. We may not like the idea of them here, but, they have given us no direct reason to hate them.

This was my response:

The people in the MOA compound have indeed been “minding their own business”. The question for law-enforcement and domestic counterterrorism is, “What kind of business? Should we be concerned about it?”

They send their boys to school, but not their girls. Isn’t that a little worrisome?

People in Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted of murder, conspiracy, gun-running, money-laundering, welfare fraud, and other offenses. According to the blog “Exposing the Fuqra”, people in the Meherrin compound (just down the road from you) were routinely flogged for religious offenses. They were just minding their own business when they did that; it was part of their business.

I suggest that you read the blogs The Politics of CP and Exposing the Fuqra for more information on JF. They have some hair-raising things to report.

The Muslims of AmericaSallysot has brought up an important issue, one that has been debated here in previous Jamaat ul-Fuqra discussions. Since her comment is on a long-dormant thread, I’ll review the issue here.

Weird religious groups have a Constitutional right to be left alone. The Branch Davidian fiasco demonstrated the dangers of federal interference in the affairs of fringe religions. As long as a group violates no federal, state, or local laws it should be left undisturbed.

As long as it violates no laws – there’s the catch. What goes on in one of those compounds, behind the fence and beyond the gate and guardpost, may not be easily visible to anyone outside.

The Bill of Rights is not an absolute in all circumstances. Parents have no right to horribly abuse their children behind closed doors in their own house – the rights of the children trump the parents’ right to be left alone. Conspirators may not foment sedition and plot insurrection in church basements, even though the First Admendment protects their right to practice their religion unmolested.

The problem lies in how to determine what goes on behind those fences. At the one extreme are the Gates of Vienna commenters who want to raid all Muslim compounds and kill or deport all the Muslims. On the other extreme is Sallysot, who wants them to be left entirely alone.

Obviously, any respect for the concept of civil liberties precludes the first, and simple prudence precludes the second. How to find the happy medium?

As far as government action is concerned, the track record of a group, plus its stated ideological propensities, may cause it to be placed under heightened scrutiny. Jamaat ul-Fuqra has a well-established history of dangerous criminal activity, in addition to the stated goals of its leader; this should be enough to make the authorities sit up and take notice. For our sake, I hope the feds are keeping a close eye on Red House and all the other compounds.

But I wouldn’t trust my security solely to the government. The track record of the FBI is not encouraging, and the bloated bureaucratic beast known as the Department of Homeland Security is not one to inspire confidence.

That doesn’t mean that I think that the citizens of Red House should form a torchlight-and-pitchforks brigade and storm the MOA compound (Mussolini, I can hear you out there salivating, but no; we can’t do it). On the other hand, we can do our part as citizens by observing, being alert, and keeping the authorities informed.

And that’s what I’m recommending here. That’s what CP and I are doing. Until last October, there had been virtually no new information about Jamaat ul-Fuqra available on the internet for three years or more. All that has changed: there has been an explosion of blog-based investigation of JF and the Muslims of America, with CP leading the charge. The Sheikh’s followers can no longer skulk silently through the shadows.

Let’s continue watching them. We can pool our information here and on other blogs, without ever violating anyone’s Constitutional rights.

Keep the searchlight on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. One hand shading the eyes means one less hand to do the devil’s work.

9 comments:

Cato said...

I flatter myself that this is cato-bait, but I can't get too roused - it's all been said before. People have a right to be left alone. Barring any probable cause that those specific people have been involved in specific illegal acts, they have the right to privacy. And don't anyone get sidetracked on Roe v Wade - the idea that we have rights (e.g. Privacy)which are not enumerated is neither novel nor "liberal".

I don't think these guys are centrifuging uranium. If and when they are caught planning or commiting some overt act like check kiting, murder, mopery, then is the time to act on specific information. Standard legal and constitutional police methods are our first resort.

Don't tell me we have to catch criminals before they do anything or we are doomed - if it's come to that we are already lost.

And aren't you a little uncomfortable raising the issue of them not sending the girls to school? A lot of people in this country think home-schoolers need intrusive and intense scrutiny from the more enlightened, and some would outlaw home-schooling outright (how do we know what they are up to in there?)

Many will disagree. Fine.

Let a thousand flower bloom - let a thousand schools of thought contend....Just kidding! - Mao

Cato said...

Addendum for clarity : Baron and CP - continue to watch the skies - absolutely nothing wrong with citizens being vigilant, and I know you guys don't have hoods and torches in the trunk - just don't crawl over any fences.

Baron Bodissey said...

Cato --

As I stated clearly, I am only in favor of observing. But observing carefully.

I don't advocate climbing the fence or putting on a burqa to sneak in. I intend to watch, and collate what information is available.

And, yes, given what many Islamic groups do vis-a-vis the education of females, I think the treatment of the girls is an important signal. Not in and of itself, but combined with the other factors.

I know of no other group that sends its boys to school but home-schools the girls. And if you believe they're giving the girls the same education that the boys are getting at school (even as degraded as that is), well... I think you're mistaken.

Maybe "Fuqra Hater" will eventually give us more uinformation on the topic.

Scott said...

It is a fine line to say when a
religious order ceases to be one. I
wish I knew how to draw the line
and remain within our constitution.

The Latter Day Saints were, at one
time, persecuted and attacked.Today
I think most of us admire them for
their perseverance, faith and good
works.

I might think the Branch Davidians
weird but conducting an armed raid
on their 'church' still seems a
gross abuse of federal authority.

OTOH, we have had Jim Jones and his
People's Temple and some Indian
guru attempt to rig elections and
poison salad bars in Oregon. In
Japan another cult almost pulled
off an attack that would have made
9/11 trivial in comparison.

How does one go about delving into
the private theology of religious
groups to determine if they are
merely 'weird' or a genuine threat?

Could not even the Catholic Church
in America be considered a menace
over its coverup of paedophilia in
the priesthood.

While Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker
may have been crooks, was Jimmy
Swaggart? Spending $20 dollars on
a street hooker might be a sin and
it cost Jimmy dearly but what if he
had been a Mullah. Should that have
been a pretext for the FBI to storm
in and seize the mosques records? I
don't want any Finsbury Mosques in
the US but how do we stop them.

Anyone got any constitutional ideas?

Cato said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cato said...

(re-edited for typos - man, if I could only type):

Baron - no, I doubt very much that the girls are being educated like the boys. So we invade to enforce gender equity? (I know, you are not advocating that). My point was that any legal theory that allowed access on those grounds could be used to threaten legitimate home schoolers. Never forget that Janet Reno justified the massive attack on the Waco compound on the basis of (unsubstantiated) rumors of child abuse.

Dan M said...

You're forgetting that we are currently in a war, and the attitude of the government towards such muslims groups, who ostensibly are "minding their own business" must be one of "trust, but verify." And verification occurs through surveillance and penetration.

All muslim non-citizens should be ushered out of the country, at least during the pendancy of the war, which the President has assured us is going to take "decades." And with the rather leisurely way GW is waging the war, I'm quite sure it will take "decades."

During the First and Second World Wars, we didn't go taking numbers of Japanese, Italian and German immigrants. Nor should we take any muslims during the pendancy of this struggle. And moreover, we should have our Navy begin a policy of checking all maritime traffic in the Med., and turning back all muslim immigrants moving towards Europe. We should begin a policy of naval blockade against the demographic jihad.

CP said...

Baron,

Good post. I think you stated your point clearly and tactfully. Methinks that Sallysot is probably a nice person, but somewhat naive. I hope she will read our information, not to scare her, but to alert her that just because a group keeps to themselves, doesn't mean they don't lurk in the shadows as well. Having harbored murderers among them and members who deal drugs in the city - they're not exactly your all-American Boy Scouts.

I'm glad you posted this today, too. I've been a little preoccupied the last few weeks and haven't been posting much, but I have a brand new post up today also Gilani's (the Fuqra's dear leader) international support base and several previously undisclosed connections. I think you will find it quite interesting.

Read it here.

Baron Bodissey said...

Cato,

You know I don't advocate invading these compounds for any reason short of probable cause for real law-breaking.

What I recommend is intensive surveillance. I hope the government is already doing it, but I have my doubts. Private communications from Red House area citizens have reported certain events that, when they occurred, took the feds completely by surprise. That's why I encourage ordinary citizens to observe, but without breaking the law.

The other option that would be worthwhile is for domestic counterintelligence to get a mole into a compound. That would probably be a very difficult job, since the average JF foot soldier is an African-American criminal recruited in prison. It would require an awfully dedicated undercover agent to simulate a convincing identity.