Saturday, September 21, 2019
"No Go Zones" in America? A Look at the Reality and the Possibility
According to the articles (I say "articles" since, in my research, I came across other articles which made similar claims), there are somewhere around nine states which harbor these encampments. These include the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington, along with Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. In addition, the Mid-West states of Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan were included. Other states, such as New York, Alaska, Massachusetts, Virginia, and North Carolina also appear. A few articles mention Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The articles reminded me of the same type of fear generated by claims of neo-Nazi/White Supremacists having similar types of closed off communities in places like Idaho or Montana back in the 70's and early 80's, as well as Black Supremacists living in de-facto sealed off urban neighborhoods in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and elsewhere during the late 60's and early 70's; places where even the cops allegedly feared to tread. Of course, from the late 1960's through the 1990's there were numerous religious or cult communities which were closed to outsiders scattered all the country, though mostly in the Western states.
The idea of wanting to live in a community of like minded individuals isn't new to this country. Almost from the beginning, Quakers, Puritans, and even Catholics segregated off together. Later, as the population grew, we saw Jews, Poles, Germans, Irish, Lithuanians, Italians, and others settle in their own ethnic/religious communities. Some groups, like Blacks and Chinese, followed suit, although this was partly the desire to be together (safety in numbers) and partly due to bigotry.
So, is there any truth to these articles, particularly that they are engaged in terrorist training? That's hard to say. Certainly, the FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) along with Homeland Security would want to know (I would imagine the IRS would also have more than a passing interest too). Naturally, we all remember how well the Feds handled Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco (sarcasm intended).
In the past, terrorist acts in this country have tended to be either comprised of a small group (usually two or three individuals, with the exception of the cowardly 9/11 attack), or more often than not, the lone individual. In fact, the majority of these individuals described themselves as "self radicalized"; usually starting with a psychological "kinship" with the terrorist group's cause, and then become increasingly more radicalized through articles, books, and especially the internet; particularly via websites produced by these groups. These websites are usually very well designed with terrific graphics, and typically done in wide range of languages to give them that "personal" touch.
As a rule, the websites are divided into three segments: propaganda, ideology, and the "how to" section. The first two are pretty self explanatory. They are designed to attract those who may have a curiosity (perhaps under the auspices of trying to find out the "other side" of the story). They also present a skewed worldview as you might expect, complete with images of throngs of cheering well-wishers as their conquering heroes march into a newly "liberated" neighborhood or town complete with smiling men and happy children (a surefire tug at the ole heartstrings). They include "correct" religious instruction, especially for those interested in a do-it-yourself religious conversion, along with the proper religious diet and even physical training programs for that jihadi on the go!
Nevertheless, while these type of sites do exist, they are pretty closely monitored by the NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, and Interpol (and thankfully so). Naturally, there are certain mosques where Imams (religious leaders similar to a minister) of questionable moral character may secretly operate their own illegal terrorist training cells. These rarely ever contain anymore than just a small handful of utterly devout students. The goal is to create as many disconnected and independent cells as possible. That way, if one is compromised, it doesn't affect the others (as expected, these eventually show up on the radar too). As an aside, this technique was used to great success by the various resistance groups in Nazi occupied Europe; India during British colonial rule; Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
However, it's important to point out here that the majority of terrorist attacks in the U.S. haven't come from Muslim or any other religious groups. They tend to be the loner with their own unique cause, be it being snubbed by students at school or a girl, feeling like an outcast, pissed off at an employer or fellow employees, and so forth. Despite media propaganda, not all mass shooters are "Right Wingers" either. The man who attacked the Congressional Baseball Charity game singled out Republicans. The latest two mass murders were done by individuals who were members of Antifa, the so-called "Anti-Fascist" group which acts more like Hitler's Brownshirts or the Communist "Red Faction" than not. Nevertheless, in terms of voter registration, the majority are Democrats. More importantly, they are also usually young, male, disenchanted with life, and more often than not, mentally ill.
Europe, on the other hand, does have "no go zones" in truest sense where Sharia law is enforced, whether you're a Muslim or not. In fact, there is an active and ongoing attempt to spread its influence beyond the localized Muslim communities. There is little doubt that religious radicalization is alive and well, along with the possibly active terrorist training (we know rape gangs not just exist, but that there is actual training on how to organize rape gangs). Without a question, the attacks which have taken place in Europe have had a strong religious extremist undertone whether the governments there have the courage to admit it or not.
Do they stockpile weapons, ammo, or conduct paramilitary training? Perhaps, but so far nothing has surfaced by the Feds, but that doesn't mean that something isn't happening. After all, both the White and Black supremacists groups back in the day conducted paramilitary training. On the other hand, perhaps their training involves is no more than of a matter of providing internal security (reservations have their own police for instance). Unfortunately, until they either act or the Feds find something that's pretty compelling, it's virtually impossible to know for sure. Not very comforting is it?
Personally, I don't really have an issue with a group of like minded individuals deciding to set up their own little community and living a peaceful existence off the grid. During the late 60's and early 70's, there was a proliferation of so-called "Hippie communes" which attempted to do the same thing. Their goal was to self-sufficiency; grow their own food (sell or trade any excess), make their own clothes, and so forth. The vast majority of these failed after a few months or years, but a couple did succeed and lasted for a couple of decades.
Of course, they lacked the defining religious element. If that element is benign, then there should be no problem. If it's not, then it could become a breeding ground for disaster. The treatment of White and Black supremacists communities in the past have tended to be more than a little heavy handed as well. Given how the Federal Government has acted in the past, there is always the possibility that one misstep could trigger another Waco or worse.
Can we buy machine guns, flamethrowers, or landmines to protect ourselves? Not a chance. In fact, while the Second Amendment is one of the most important amendments, especially from the perspective of our Founding Fathers, it is also perhaps the most heavily restricted amendment with everything from what you can own, how old you have to be, and where you are allowed to carry it.
In terms of religion, we're free to believe as we choose. We're even allowed to follow certain social and dietary laws without paying a "pew tax" like in some countries. However, what if that religion allowed pedophilia? What about covering covering your face for official identification? What if it allowed so-called "honor killings" (religiously sanctioned murder to "protect" a family's "honor")? How would you feel about the right---and duty---to beat your wife or of restricting her rights under the Bill of Rights? Does their religious laws supplant our secular natural laws (laws bequeath to us simply for being human beings)? What about their religious belief that everyone must conform to their religious laws and traditions regardless of your personal beliefs?
This is what potentially makes these communities different. It's an entirely different culture which follows entirely different laws (in fact, they hold that our secular laws have absolutely no value whatsoever). They believe they have the right to exclude others who do not follow their laws and traditions. They believe in the right and obligation to impose their beliefs on others by any means at their disposal.
Yet, those very things---freedom of association, religion, and even the Second Amendment---are fundamental to America. How are we going to handle this as the Muslim population in America grows and the risk of radicalization increases as we admit those from areas where religious extremism is common along with an anti-West or anti-American sentiment?
Muslim Terrorist Training Camp Found In Alabama
Muslim of the Americas: Enclaves in the U.S.
Center for Immigration Studies: No Go Zones and Assimilation
No Go Zones: Alt Right fantasy or a new face of Europe?
The Catholic World Report: Raheem Kassem's No Go Zones is unsettling, necessary reading