by: Saadia Faruqi on February 25th, 2013 | 15 Comments »
February this year seems to be the month of revelations – not just heartfelt wows of love on Valentine’s Day, but something much more sinister and worrying. Four news reports with sometimes conflicting messages have been released this month from various sources, all discussing the perceived threat (or the lack thereof) of homegrown terrorism by Muslim Americans.
What’s interesting about all four publications this month is that twelve years after 9/11 the stereotype of the Muslim terrorist is no weaker than it was right after the horrific attacks that rocked our nation. We may have become more politically correct than before, or even more educated and aware about “the other”, but underneath it all we still nurse the wounds of 9/11 and identify with a collective enemy: the Muslim American.
Very early in February came “Muslim American Terrorism: Declining Further”, a publication by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. Experts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have been tracking terrorist plots within the country for the last several years, and some noteworthy facts emerge this year in their fourth annual report. According to the report, 2012 saw the lowest number of terrorist plots by Muslim Americans, with only 14 Muslims indicted in plots last year, as opposed to 21 the year before and more than 200 since 9/11. Perhaps most thought-provoking is the fact that all the incidents in 2012 came to the attention of law enforcement at an early stage, rather than at the last possible moment of an actual attack as in previous years. Which begs the question, are the police and FBI doing a better job than ever before?