DHS John Kelly: Islamic Terrorists Are Sincere, So Regulate the Internet

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, June 23, 2017:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly acknowledged Thursday that sincere Islamic beliefs are fuelling deadly jihad attacks during Ramadan — but he quickly hid that key recognition behind vague calls for Internet regulation and suggestions that Christian and Jewish beliefs are also causing terrorism.

“As far as Ramadan goes, you know, first of all, the uptick in violence and activities [during Ramadan is] done by a very, very small percentage of people who have just corrupted the whole concept of Islam as a religion, but it is what it is,” Kelly told the chairman of the House homeland defense committee on June 22. He continued:

We are in the middle of it, so they are out there doing what they think is their religion and think [it is] what they are supposed to be doing. In Flint, Michigan, as an example, a completely off-the-screen individual who attacked this police officer — who will be okay, as I understand it… We’ve seen these terrible things happen in Europe.

Instead of focusing on the jihad doctrine that is part-and-parcel of orthodox Islam, Kelly quickly tried to spread the blame for terror attacks, saying “Whether they are church, synagogues or mosques [we need] an open line of communication so they know if they see this [belligerence] happening in the home or they see it happening — that is to say, the move towards radicalism — or they see it happening in the churches or mosques, they know to call someone before that person typically crosses the line,” he told the chairman, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul.

Kelly added racist and even anti-Semitic groups to the blame gallery, even though Islamic radicals are anti-Semitic, saying: “Whether they are white supremacists, anti-Jewish or neo-Nazi or Islamic radicalism, until they do something [criminal], generally speaking, the best law enforcement can do is watch,” adding “I don’t know how to predict it.”

Kelly also blamed the Internet and urged businesses to block access to “some” websites. “The one constant that I have seen, Mr. Chairman, since I have been in this job, the one constant in all of this has been the Internet … The one constant is the Internet. I’m not blaming the Internet but I’m just saying that we probably need to step back, and say, maybe [have] stricter rules on what is hung on the Internet,” he said.

The secreary also cited existing laws against child pornography, which require companies to disconnect websites offering images of sexualized children, saying “just like in terms of child pornography sites that are taken down like that, we need to have probably a stricter set of rules to look at some of these [jihad] sites and bring them down maybe faster.”

He suggested the United States should follow the example set by Europe’s new policies against free speech, which this week prompted teams of black-clad German secretive police to raid 60 homes of people accused of illegal speech. Kelly said about the Europeans:

I think kind of the [Internet] rules and thinking they are operating under — that frankly that our country has been operating under — is probably five or ten years old … I know the Europeans are, particularly in the last five months, what they have dealt with — whether it is Paris, Manchester, I mean all of it, running people down on London bridge or Westminster bridge, they have really stepped back from their thinking [on free speech], as I think we should.

Kelly’s refusal to focus on jihad as the problem can lead his agency down a blind alley, said Robert Spencer, the best-selling author of books on Islam, and the director of the Jihadwatch website. “Instead of dealing with the threat, he’s threatening the freedom of speech of all Americans to maintain his politically correct veneer,” Spencer said.

“He needs to look at [Koran verses] 47.4 or 9:5, where there is an abundant incitement to violence in a place where he dares not acknowledge where it comes from,” said Spencer. According to those Islamic scriptures:

So when you meet those who disbelieve {Islam} [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds …

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the {non-Muslim} polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Pointing the blame at the Internet also ignores the danger of Islamic teachings in U.S.-based mosques, said Spencer. “We’ve seen again and again that there are jihadis who are very active in their mosques and yet nobody will monitor them, so he has to find some scapegoat … [and] he finds it with the Internet, which is practically a cliche,” Spencer added. “I just hope that his politically correct euphemism don’t lead him to waste time and resources charging down what he knows are blind alleys.”

Chairman McCaul did not push Kelly to justify spreading blame for the Islamic attacks, but Kelly also admitted that the courts are pressuring his agency as it tries to prevent planned attacks:

My guidance to the department is to be very very cautious about getting near where the court tells us we can’t go … I have a real good sense of right and wrong but that doesn’t always work when it comes to courts and lawyers. So I’ve just said [to agency officials] ‘Be very very conservative about where we go on this.’”

The recent court decisions have repeatedly claimed President Donald Trump’s effort to curb Islamic attacks are motivated by unreasoning hatred, threaten the religious freedom of Islamic immigrants, and have not been endorsed by government experts.

But amid Kelly’s court-pressured, blame-everyone rhetoric, he only cited Islamic attacks, saying:

In Paris the other day they dodged a huge bullet because the individual ended up that rammed the police car ended up dying before he could do all of what he had planned to do…

[Parents say] ’My son was on the internet and he did this,’ whatever this was, or San Bernardino, or ‘My daughter was on the Internet and she ran away to Syria to become someone’s bride.’…

I know the Europeans are, particularly in the last five months, what they have dealt with — whether it is Paris, Manchester, I mean all of it, running people down on London bridge or Westminster bridge..

Kelly also recognized that one of the long-term fixes to terrorism is better vetting of immigrants to prevent “hostile attitudes,” including Islamic immigrants, saying:

I think we have a long way to go before we can be comfortable as to identifying who the [immigrant] person is, why they are coming to the United States and whether they can support themselves when they come here. So as [what] defines extreme vetting, that’s what we’re looking at. Those three questions need to be answered [for each would-be immigrant], I think, properly.

That comment echoes Trump’s January Executive Order on immigration, which sought to exclude refugees and immigrants with “hostile attitudes.”

But Kelly’s refusal to focus on the jihad ideology means “more Americans will suffer,” said Spencer. Kelly “is not facing the real root-cause of the threat, and it will continue to proliferate.”

Watch Kelly’s statements here.

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