On April 12, 2012, in what will inevitably go down as a historic sentencing statement, Tarek Mehanna stated that 4 years ago, he was approached by two federal agents who told him that he had two options; either become an informant for the government or end up in prison on charges of terrorism.
“The relevance of bin Laden should be overshadowed by the wave of pro-democracy movements in the Middle East,” said Yaser Tabbara, a Chicago attorney and member of the board of directors of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “Bin Laden was already marginalized, I’m someone who goes to the Middle East quite a bit and I haven’t heard his name in a very long time.”
“In the interest of national security I don’t mind [being searched]. American Muslims are also concerned about remaining safe. But we should not be singled out because of our religious beliefs,” said Amina Sharif, CAIR-Chicago’s Communications Coordinator.
“The real question is not whether we should use the term “war” or not, but who is this war against. And that is what Obama and others have been struggling to articulate…. In the past we’ve heard that we are at war with “Radical Islam”, but “Radical Islam” is a concept, and you cannot go to war with a concept. You can go to war against a people or an entity and that is where Al-Qaeda comes in. President Obama was correct in stating that we are at war with Al Qaeda,” said Ahmed Rehab.
As investigators grapple with the questions following the Fort Hood shootings, they examine a possible correlation between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s religious beliefs and Thursday’s shooting spree, Chicago Muslim organizations and academics not only fear retribution, but are frustrated by a perceived public demand to apologize for or explain one individual’s maniacal acts.