I am from the “bustling metropolis” of Red House, Va, and I only have this to say about the compound there. Those people have lived there all these years minding their own business. They are seldom seen out in the community. They live in poverty, they do not beg, borrow or steal as far as I can tell from anyone. Seems as though they want to be left alone, as they leave everyone else alone. We may not like the idea of them here, but, they have given us no direct reason to hate them.
This was my response:
The people in the MOA compound have indeed been “minding their own business”. The question for law-enforcement and domestic counterterrorism is, “What kind of business? Should we be concerned about it?”
They send their boys to school, but not their girls. Isn’t that a little worrisome?
People in Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted of murder, conspiracy, gun-running, money-laundering, welfare fraud, and other offenses. According to the blog “Exposing the Fuqra”, people in the Meherrin compound (just down the road from you) were routinely flogged for religious offenses. They were just minding their own business when they did that; it was part of their business.
Sallysot has brought up an important issue, one that has been debated here in previous Jamaat ul-Fuqra discussions. Since her comment is on a long-dormant thread, I’ll review the issue here.
Weird religious groups have a Constitutional right to be left alone. The Branch Davidian fiasco demonstrated the dangers of federal interference in the affairs of fringe religions. As long as a group violates no federal, state, or local laws it should be left undisturbed.
As long as it violates no laws – there’s the catch. What goes on in one of those compounds, behind the fence and beyond the gate and guardpost, may not be easily visible to anyone outside.
The Bill of Rights is not an absolute in all circumstances. Parents have no right to horribly abuse their children behind closed doors in their own house – the rights of the children trump the parents’ right to be left alone. Conspirators may not foment sedition and plot insurrection in church basements, even though the First Admendment protects their right to practice their religion unmolested.
The problem lies in how to determine what goes on behind those fences. At the one extreme are the Gates of Vienna commenters who want to raid all Muslim compounds and kill or deport all the Muslims. On the other extreme is Sallysot, who wants them to be left entirely alone.
Obviously, any respect for the concept of civil liberties precludes the first, and simple prudence precludes the second. How to find the happy medium?
As far as government action is concerned, the track record of a group, plus its stated ideological propensities, may cause it to be placed under heightened scrutiny. Jamaat ul-Fuqra has a well-established history of dangerous criminal activity, in addition to the stated goals of its leader; this should be enough to make the authorities sit up and take notice. For our sake, I hope the feds are keeping a close eye on Red House and all the other compounds.
But I wouldn’t trust my security solely to the government. The track record of the FBI is not encouraging, and the bloated bureaucratic beast known as the Department of Homeland Security is not one to inspire confidence.
That doesn’t mean that I think that the citizens of Red House should form a torchlight-and-pitchforks brigade and storm the MOA compound (Mussolini, I can hear you out there salivating, but no; we can’t do it). On the other hand, we can do our part as citizens by observing, being alert, and keeping the authorities informed.
And that’s what I’m recommending here. That’s what CP and I are doing. Until last October, there had been virtually no new information about Jamaat ul-Fuqra available on the internet for three years or more. All that has changed: there has been an explosion of blog-based investigation of JF and the Muslims of America, with CP leading the charge. The Sheikh’s followers can no longer skulk silently through the shadows.
Let’s continue watching them. We can pool our information here and on other blogs, without ever violating anyone’s Constitutional rights.
Keep the searchlight on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. One hand shading the eyes means one less hand to do the devil’s work.