The Corner

Whatever You Do, Don’t Mention the Jihad!

I’m a little late commenting on this, but it’s interesting that the government’s gag rule on uttering the words “jihad” or “Islamist” or “Salafi” seems to have been overseen by Linda Chavez’s former employee, Dan Sutherland, now head of homeland security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (see halfway down this story from yesterday). Steve Emerson posted the actual documents here. This is what DHS’s Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis said in a speech this week:

The lead within the Department rests with its Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which has reached out extensively to Muslim leaders and organizations. Led by Dan Sutherland, who is well known for his work in this area, his Office has held numerous meetings and round tables with Muslim leaders throughout the country.

(You know, just like all those meetings and round tables the Justice Department must have had with the German American Bund in 1940.) Sutherland has been described as “a wonderful breath of fresh air from Homeland Security” by Kareem Shora, legal policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Jim Zogby’s old outfit.

I think there’s a parallel here with Linda’s recent activities — just as she has attempted to curtail speech on the immigration issue out of fear of offending Hispanic organizations (La Raza has expanded on her effort here), Sutherland is working to curtail speech on the threat of radical Islam, so as not to offend Muslim organizations. The common point here is not the specific connection between mass immigration and the Islamic challenge (which is much closer in Europe in any case), but rather that the same loss of self-belief, the same fear of self-assertion, the same PC paralysis plays out in both policy areas, and is an important part of the problem in successfully responding to both challenges. Both are examples of what Diana West’s column today calls the “Oslo Syndrome,” where a people under siege come to identify with its opponents.

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