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Officials Worry About Some Latino Converts To Islam
December 11, 2010 8:50 AM   Subscribe


 
Like the FBI says, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:53 AM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow
posted by clavdivs at 8:54 AM on December 11, 2010


Obviously it has nothing to do with making millions of people 'illegals'.
posted by empath at 8:56 AM on December 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


Do you ever feel like you should just not report some things because Glenn Beck might hear about it? I just know the tea partiers I know are going to start telling me that all mexican illegal immigrants are working for Al Qaeda now.
posted by EtzHadaat at 8:57 AM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Who ever would have guessed that, after years of consistently characterizing two groups as "out to destroy America," some members of those groups might get together to take an honest crack at it?
posted by wreckingball at 9:10 AM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Padillo was born in the US, converted in prison (he was doing time for gang-related activities), Maldonado was also born in the US. Vinas' parents were legal immigrants from Argentina and Peru. Almonte is a naturalized citizen. Not one of the people named in the linked story were undocumented. Conversion in prison is more a trait in common than anything else.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:23 AM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


I just know the tea partiers I know are going to start telling me that all mexican illegal immigrants are working for Al Qaeda now.

Surely you mean El Queso?
posted by indubitable at 9:23 AM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Do you ever feel like you should just not report some things because Glenn Beck might hear about it?

Are you kidding? Glenn Beck hears about everything -- before it happens!
posted by blucevalo at 9:24 AM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


"We do not know why some members of the scary brown people (the ones we are prejudiced against for economic reasons) who are inclined to join radical organizations belonging to the scary brown people we are prejudiced against for religious reasons hate us so much."
posted by fings at 9:24 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


empath gets part of it right; it's the feeling of long-term marginalizing and persecution, coupled with gang mentality. Lot of young men who feel they have no other options join a gang for support and a type of success. We've been seeing an increase for four years with Latinos in the US Military, so seeing more in their action area is not a big surprise.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:32 AM on December 11, 2010


In all seriousness, though, the real problem here is that there simply aren't enough white guys running around that want to bomb the everloving shit out of innocent people for Islamic reasons. The FBI needs to step up its entrapment efforts by reaching out to new, underrepresented demographics like white men, who are more traditionally inclined to bomb the everloving shit out of innocent people for Christian reasons.
posted by indubitable at 9:36 AM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


You don't get more macho than Islamic terrorist.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 9:37 AM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The is the right-wing talking point equivalent of duct-taping a shark to a bear.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:28 AM on December 11, 2010 [24 favorites]


A religion with longstanding outreach into poor, urban communities finds members in...poor, urban communities. While Muslim immigrants often moved to the US for economic opportunities and/or the right to live peacefully without radical elements... the converts are coming with the classic American upbringing that being tough and violent is to be idealized - guess who makes perfect radical fodder? You see this also with the white American converts they keep finding who joined radical groups.

See also: why American Christians bomb women's health clinics while Christian immigrants generally don't go killing people for religious/political reasons.

The ironic and significant difference is that Muslims can point to actual wars, civilians murdered, people disappeared without trial, and torture, as signs of oppression, while radical Christianity has to start pulling out rationalizations like gay people being on TV or not being able to teach Creationism as "being under siege"...

And, of course, this also assumes it's not just an outgrowth of the FBI's "Make a terrorist to stop so we can look good" program or the "Pay informants up to $100,000 a year to spew info, regardless of accuracy" projects.
posted by yeloson at 10:42 AM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


this is institutional racism at work --and an attempt by the FBI to get some of that juicy immigration enforcement money that's been raining on the hall of Homeland Security.

i hate this kind of fearmongering.
posted by liza at 10:48 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


In all seriousness, though, the real problem here is that there simply aren't enough white guys running around that want to bomb the everloving shit out of innocent people for Islamic reasons.

Remember, Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race!
posted by rtha at 10:51 AM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I read about some American who converted to Islam in Peru or something like that. He ended up getting put on the no-fly list and now has no way to get back to the US. He tried driving, but he was turned away at Mexico, or something like that. Last I heard he was trying to get on a cargo ship, or something like that.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM on December 11, 2010


At this point, Scott Atran, is a good source.

To badly paraphrase Atran, it's cool in many parts of the world to be against Americas.

Add the current wave of anti-immigration hatred.

I'm not surprised radical Islam has had some success recruiting outside of the normal groups.

Side note, Atran is wonderful at destroying a lot of the bs surrounding suicide bombers and international terrorism.

Here's a nice introductory video of him at a conference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnRs2IuGFoI
posted by KaizenSoze at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


and by the way : why would a latino converting to islam be a sign of radicalism? just because you are Latino it is not necessary a sign of being a catholic --neither religiously nor culturally. many families of spanish, portuguese and latinamerican ascendancies have folk traditions that in the past 50-60 years cultural anthropologists started to recognize as crypto-judaic and and crypto-muslim --and we have to thank americo castro for that.

fwiw, i compiled a list of articles over at wikipedia that are a good glimpse at the complex 700 years of Muslim history of Spain. i actually put it together because at the time of the Rick Sanchez controversy, i was re-reading some of "In The Name Of The Rose" and it occurred to me i had no idea the book's plot revolves around the suppression of Averroes' translation of Plato's second book of Poetics --a book that supposedly said Laughter, not philosophy nor religion is the greatest truth-seeking tool.

kinda cool Eco paints a spanish-muslim philospher as big bad secularizer of Europe :) and that's a fair assessment. the downfall of Al-Andalus is basically attributed to the more fundamentalist forces, the almohades and almoravides. goes to show if you wanna run an empire to the ground, just put in power the more ideologically radical power-hungry lunatics you've got.

anyway, the FBI has a long history of creating and entramping their own latino "terrorists". one of the biggest FBI entrapment cases happened in Puerto Rico, the Cerro Maravilla case.

why would these cases be any different, particularly after some of the revelations of FBI jihadist plants in US mosques?
posted by liza at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


i was re-reading some of "In The Name Of The Rose" and it occurred to me i had no idea the book's plot revolves around the suppression of Averroes' translation of Plato's second book of Poetics --a book that supposedly said Laughter, not philosophy nor religion is the greatest truth-seeking tool.

Sorry to pick nits (occupational hazard) but surely you mean Aristotle?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:21 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Link.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2010


yup. the wikipedia reference to averroes anyway corrects my mistake.
posted by liza at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2010


"Latino converts to radical Islam have been baselessly connected by the FBI to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."

FTFY
posted by Xoebe at 1:09 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's that propaganda-filled Latino music. Ay! La bomba! Ay! La bomba.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:21 PM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


New Muslim Cool
Follow Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez's spiritual journey to some surprising places in this documentary film airing on PBS.

Watch the trailer.

The funny thing is the way the press reports about how it is blacks this or latinos that or white converts the other when any muslim convert will tell you that the strong themes of racial transcendence and international brotherhood are one of the strongest draws to the faith.
posted by BinGregory at 5:39 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hamza Perez is a prison chaplain.
posted by BinGregory at 5:43 PM on December 11, 2010


We treat them like shit and wonder why they hate us.
posted by mike3k at 7:37 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you look at prison conversions to ANY religion, IMHO it's quite likely to be a hardcore version of that religion. In prison life it's all about group cohesion, people are in a kill or be killed situation. In prison religion can be just another gang. I have heard the term 'PrIslam for the approach to that religion seen in prison populations.

The person who mentioned that Islam is not foreign ultimately to Hispanic culture is correct. I lived many years in the state of New Mexico and I knew people who knew that their ancestors had been forcibly converted either from Islam or Judaism. With some of the delorable things going on in the Catholic Church, especially in the state of New Mexico, no one should be surprised that some people departing the Catholic Church are reverting either to Islam or Judaism.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:30 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering if NPR has fallen victim to a fake trend: How Slate’s Jack Shafer Calls Out Bogus Trend Stories | Poynter. and How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Fake Trend Story.

As what was pointed out above "Conversion in prison is more a trait in common than anything else."
posted by songdogtech at 7:20 AM on December 12, 2010


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