The more that comes out about the two Islamic murderers who took 14 lives last week in San Bernardino, the more it seems like the FBI is being less than honest with the American public. Independent interviews and investigations are starting to leak out, and they make it hard to understand why the FBI couldn’t call this Islamic terrorism on day one.
To be sure, it has only been a week since the tragedy, and it takes time for these investigations to unfold. Furthermore, it looks like Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik went to great lengths to cover their tracks. And, naturally, federal investigators are not going to tell the public everything they know about an ongoing case.
But what can we make of a recent interview with Farook’s estranged father? In an interview with an Italian newspaper this weekend, Syed Farook Sr. said that his son had been obsessed with radical Islam for some time. “My son said that he shared [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State,” he said. “He was also obsessed with Israel.”
From the sounds of it, the father has some interesting ideas about Israel himself. He told the paper that he had assured the young jihadist that the Israel problem would take care of itself. “I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore.”
He went on to explain that countries like Russia and America weren’t interested in letting Jews stay in their nations. “Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics,” he said. “But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed.”
According to the father, Syed’s radicalism was part of what forced he and Syed’s mother apart in 2006. He told the newspaper that his son regarded him as “godless,” and told his mother that she needed to excise him from their lives.
So now it is obvious that the Farook family is lying when they paint this picture of Syed as a good Muslim who could never, ever think of doing such a thing. They are closing ranks.
Tackling Islamic terrorism will, in some ways, be similar to challenges we’ve faced before. The challenge, for instance, of dismantling the Italian Mafia. For years, you could barely find an Italian-American willing to admit that the Mafia was anything more than a Hollywood fantasy. Even those who despised the Mafia refused to help the authorities.
The difference here is that even the authorities are hesitant to acknowledge the reality of Islamic extremism. As to their reasons, we can only speculate. Maybe they don’t want the average American to realize how entrenched and dangerous this threat has become, knowing it would cause a panic. Maybe they are afraid that “good” Muslims will be persecuted and attacked. Maybe they just don’t want to admit how woefully inept they have been in stopping this problem.
Some have been horrified by the suggestion that we stop letting Muslims into the country. Aghast at the thought of investigating mosques. Incredulous that we would even use the term “radical Islam”.
Sorry, but things have changed. We did some “horrifying” things in the wake of 9/11 as well. Things that we would have never considered under any other circumstances. But extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and it should be clear by now that we live in extraordinary times. We are facing an enemy unlike any we have faced before. And until we have vanquished this ideology, nothing should automatically be off the table, even if it seems to go against our so-called values. When ISIS is destroyed and Islamic terrorism is a thing of the past, we can get back to worrying about the plight of moderate Muslims. Until then, we should stop letting terrorists and supporters of terrorism dictate what we can and cannot do.