How would you feel if some guy pretended to speak and act in your name and did horrible things to other people? How would you then feel if, after a stop was put to this guy, someone else stood up and tried to make him look like an innocent lamb?
Because, essentially that’s what The Newburgh Sting does. It centers on James Cromitie and his four co-conspirators and their attempt to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and planes at Stewart Air Force base. They did it because they were motivated by this jihadist corruption of the Islamic religion. They did it in the name of Islam, but Islam doesn’t condone their actions.
They wanted to kill Jews and Americans in the name of Muslims. But we all have Muslim friends and colleagues. Whether we are Jewish or Christian, we see these friends of our who are Muslim treat us with respect and kindess. Would they want someone murdering us in their name? And if someone did that, they would probably be the first to want that guy punished. They wouldn’t want him to get off the hook on some legal technicality.
Our Muslim friends and neighbors don’t want criminals in their midst anymore than I’d want Timothy McVeigh or Westboro Baptist Church hanging out in my neighborhood, or going to my church (if I went to church). They don’t want to be associated with that, and by this movie making people like Cromitie look like victims, by trying to immunize people like him from being investigated and prosecuted by the government, we are leaving the mosques and community centers of good American Muslims vulnerable to the predations of extremists.
Yougn kids, teenagers, go to mosques. We all remember that age, when we were full of piss and vinegar. We’re not thinking clearly. And we are also at that age the most vulnerable to all types of crazy ideologies. Imagine Cromitie, or someone like him, is at a mosque. He knows how to quote his Qur’an and other Islamic sources, a lot more than any of the kids there. These good natured kids just want to be good Muslims, but he’s going to show them that to be a good Muslim, you have to engage in jihad, to hate Jews, to hate Americans.
And the danger of this guy is that he knows the texts. Cromitie quotes to Maqsood a verse from the Qur’an, Surah Bakr, where he says, “fighting is prescribed for you whether you like it or not. You understand? When…fighting is prescribed for you, that mean Allah said,
This is fisabilillah to fight.” You see? It’s prescribed for you, and for those who it’s prescribed for, some of them don’t like it….But Allah says, “if a good thing come to you, you don’t like it, but if a bad thing come to you, you love it…so that’ why I say fighting is prescribed for you, but you like it not…Allah says it’s prescribed for you. Allah says this.
If I were an impressionable teenager, who truly believed in my religion and wanted to do God’s will, I might be convinced by a man like Cromitie, a man in his late 50’s who ought to know better.
Do we want to leave these kids vulnerable? Their parents sure don’t. Many of these people are immigrants from the Middle East, an area of the world that is heartbreakingly torn by war. They came here because they wanted to take their kids out of war, not to make them soldiers for extremist causes against a country that they love and to which they came to escape all of these problems. Or else they are social disadvantaged folks, who are trying to keep their kids out of trouble.
This video immunizes Cromitie. It makes them see that there will be no consequences for their actions, that they can recruit and plan terrorist attacks in houses of worship and get away with it. They’re trying to create public sympathy for predators. Imagine if a documentary came out trying to create sympathy for child molesters. What’s the difference? “Oh well they caught him by pretending to be a teenage girl, that’s entrapment let him go!” No way HBO runs that show.
Look at the Imam of this mosque. On his website, he flat out states he’s a good and loyal American and a devout Muslim. He loves this country and explicitly condemns terrorism. He doesn’t want to be associated with Cromitie, and I can fully understand why he wants to distance his mosque and congregation from Cromitie: BECAUSE GOOD AMERICAN MUSLIMS LIKE HIM DON’T WANT TERRORISTS HATCHING PLOTS IN THEIR MIDST!
But HBO’s documentary is going against the interests of American Muslims, not trying to protect them from some evil government out to get them. It’s leaving them vulnerable and exposed to radical elements in their midst that harm them more than anyone else.