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Today, I am an American • Brooklyn Paper

Today, I am an American

It’s noble to take a stand against bigotry, but it depends from which angle.

Sunday’s “Today I am a Muslim, too” rally in Time Square would have been less constipating if it had been named, “Today and Always, I am a Proud American.”

The flabby jab at Rep. Peter King’s (R–Long Island) Congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization in the U.S. handed a belly-aching community — many of whom have shrugged off the atrocities against oppressed nationals in its ancestral lands — a sanctimonious platform which it could have better used to address the threat of homegrown Muslim radicals.

The list of American-born jihadists implicated in terror plots here and abroad reads like a Who’s Who of demons: Jose Padilla, Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Hasan, the Fort Dix plotters, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Portland Seven, the Lackawanna Six, David Headley, Anwar al-Awlaki, Ramy Zamzam, Waqar Khan, Umar Farooq, Aman Hassan Yemer, Ahmed Minni, John Walker Lindh, Shirwa Ahmed, the Somali-American 14. These sons of Lady Liberty are among at least 125 Americans responsible for 46 incidents of “domestic radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism” between 9-11 and the end of 2009, according to a May 2010 Rand Corporation report.

That wasn’t on the radar of the coalition of apologists and rabble-rousers who gathered at the crossroads of the world because they feared that King’s hearings would alienate Muslims (they’re doing a grand job of that themselves) and because they wanted civil rights for them (as if none existed here).

Crimes by radical Muslims has foisted mighty migraines upon a succession of U.S. presidents who have dulled the intense pain with diplomacy, carrots, mild sticks and probably lots of aspirin: Obama is at a complete loss over them after laboring to inform Muslims that the “Americans are not your enemy.” Dubya had his work cut out after 9-11, and Clinton experienced his first brush with explosive Muslims on Feb. 26, 1993 — the date of the first World Trade Center bombing. Bush, Sr., was alerted to their inter-fighting during the Persian Gulf War, and Reagan weathered their bloodlust during the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, when radical Muslims killed wheelchair-bound American Leon Klinghoffer and flung him overboard.

The naivete of Americans has been astounding: In the mid-1990s, Libyan henchman Moammer Khaddafy promised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan more than $1 billion to foment racial unrest in the United States, stating, “Our confrontation with America was like a fight against a fortress from outside.” After speaking with Farrakhan, however, “we found a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it.” Wise U.S. officials swiftly smacked that gift horse in the mouth.

Sunday’s rally could have been — and should have been — a great opportunity for Muslims to demonstrate their American pride. Instead, they chose to beat the same old — and now, extremely tiresome — drum.

“Today I am a Muslim, too?” No thanks.

Sabruzzo@cnglocal.com

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