Muslim American activist, Imam Abdul Alim Musa of Masjid Al-Islam in S.E. Washington, DC
Muslim American activist, Imam Abdul Alim Musa
Press TV: Why, especially the media, have come out not saying this a terrorist act and also, at the same time, how is the media is trying to categorize this in a different picture saying that this was a “cowardly criminal act” as it has been put by the FOXNews?
Musa: First of all, we have to ask the question “What has happened in America?” Well, you have to look at the American people. First of all what has happened recently is that big banks have kept the government afloat after they have made hundreds and thousands of mistakes. …just the last few weeks, they have given a hundred million dollars in bonuses. Yet the American people themselves have lost their homes and have lost their residual wealth. Therefore, many people are on the edge. This person had enmity towards IRS and the whole government. He would not just go after IRS. There is a whole government installation. Probably the FBI is there. Probably the CIA is there. Probably all the American institutions. But we see this happening in America is the American people are feeling oppressed. And they feel like that there is no one to help them. And when I say the American people, I mean the standard American. Therefore, when the IRS began to press this person probably for a certain amount of income, yet they let the big companies go scot-free then he feels that his rights as an American citizen are being violated and he did not want to take this out on the American people. He wanted to take it out on the American system. Now, the reason that the government and the press and the corporations do not put this out as an act of terrorism is because of what is known in America is 'copycat-ism'. That means that many Americans feel frustrated. Many Americans are on the verge. They do not want this to become a trend in America. So, therefore, what they do is they list it as a regular crime. If it was a person with a Muslim name, it would be categorized as terrorism. But they don't want the world to think about the American citizens, the American people as being that upset with their government that they would go to this, what they call, extreme and crash a plane into a building. If it was us, it would be called terrorism.
Press TV: You have introduced another angle to this and that is because of what is happening within the states in terms of financial turmoil which has caused many job losses and at the same time it has exerted the pressure that it has on this particular man. That this could be symbolic of what may happen if it does happen in the future in terms of his demographic makeup and that is why America along with their media, off course, is deeming this not to be a terrorist act. Is that a correct conclusion from your statements?
Musa: That is a correct conclusion. Exactly what we are saying is this that inside of America there are millions of people who are on the verge. They feel that the government is not responsive to them, the average American citizen. They feel like the government is responsive to big corporations and to big companies. And when they see their jobs going overseas and they see their children not being able to go to university, this is pushing the Americans back to their original nature. This is why Americans rebelled against Great Britain. You have got to remember they had a sign during the Revolutionary War: “Don't tread on me.” And the reason that they fought the Revolutionary War was taxation without representation.
Hallinan: Well, there is a great deal of anger…a great deal of fear right now in this country. The economy vaguely looks like it is making recovery but unemployment is still up and people are talking now about unemployment being long term. The whole growth of the kind of right wing with the teabag movement and everything…it represents a reflection of tremendous unease, tremendous fear that is sort of underneath it. The fact that it explodes into violence…you know…that is kind of Americans apple pie. It's been a traditional heartfelt American culture for a long long time. This guy flew that airplane into the IRS building specifically because he was angry at an IRS tax code that had been passed in order to give IBM enormous corporate breaks that was passed by a former, the late Senator (Patrick) Moynihan from New York and it was that particular code that he was angry at. So, I think what you are finding here is that you are looking at a country in which fear and uncertainty are kind of part of everyday life now and this is subject to manipulation. It is a little scary.
Press TV: Would this not be a right time for all this to be set aside because eventually the American public is smart enough now to realize that this was an act of terrorism. Therefore, this should be pointed out to that effect.
Musa: You have to realize what we are trying to say. The American people are upset at their government. If they see the Supreme Court last month pass a new law that corporations can give as much money to a political campaign as they like. That means that corporations can control any candidate because you and I, as American citizens, cannot give millions and millions of dollars. Therefore, the American people see their freedoms that they have fought for eroded and they see Corporate America, Media America…look, media is part of the Corporate America; and the media is not going to say anything that is against Corporate America. Now, the government is coming under the control of both. Under the control of the media, under the control of, definitely, of corporate America. So they are not going to classify it as terrorism because they do not want the world to think that there are citizens inside of America, especially white Americans, are so upset at the government. That may be one incident. There are many other incidents that show that the American people are upset. One book I was just looking at yesterday, What happened to my America? This is the average white American male on a best-seller list What they are saying is “what happened to my freedoms? What happened to my ability to earn a good living? What happened to my ability to send my children to college?” This is what they are saying. “What happened to my right to own weapons without being spied upon?” This is the people are saying. And it is not just that one person. This feeling is growing throughout America. It is growing most amongst middle white America. One more point that I have to make is that you have to remember that one percent of the people of America owns most of America; one percent of the people of America owns most of America! That means the middle class is shrinking. The poor class is expanding, and the rich class is controlling both.