I commend to your attention a Jan. 20th story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution headlined, “Muslim cop played key role in terror probe.” The tale told is fairly simple: a DeKalb County detective of Islamic faith and heritage, Mr. Khaled Sediqi, along with his partner, investigated and ultimately apprehended an agent of the Jihad. DeKalb splits the city of Atlanta with the more well-known Fulton County; both the detective and the Jihadist attended the same mosque in Midtown near Georgia Tech. Syed Haris Ahmed, a former student there, is to stand trial for material support of a terrorist organization. He and an accomplice were arrested in 2006 and, later in that year, officially linked to a much larger Jihadist cell out of Toronto.
There is drama in abundance here. The detectives nearly succeeded, it appears, in turning Ahmed into an intelligence asset; he later changed his mind, having fortified himself “through prayer,” according to the article, and warned his accomplice. The interrogation technique of Mr. Sediqi, who we are told played the consummate “good cop” to his partner’s more aggressive and demonstrative method, seems to have relied at least partly on direct theological confrontation: “When you say you’re a good Muslim … I believe you, man” but “you’re easily swayed,” by men “with some really evil ways and evil ideas.” “If you’re trying to hurt innocent civilians and unarmed people, then you’re no longer a Muslim.”
Let us hope that the detective has, on Islamic grounds, the better argument here. We know that, on grounds of truth, he has the better argument. The principles and traditions of the Jihad are “evil ways and evil ideas.” If a man is truly “no longer a Muslim” when he embraces them, well and good. If he is rather a true Muslim . . . well, so be it.
But that conundrum we still have the luxury of leaving aside. We the people of the Republic are not now obligated, in my judgment, to deliver our republican judgment on the character of the Islamic religion. Many of us knew little about Islam before a certain autumn raid. And it would be a terrible thing for a republic to be forced to give a yea or nay vote on a whole religion and civilization. History is littered with the husks of great kingdoms and peoples, first savaged by the Jihad, then corrupted and enervated by the demands of a defense against it. The Empires of Byzantium and Spain, each in their characteristic way, teach this bitter lesson.
I call it a blessing that it is still within out power, as I perceive, to check the enemy and baffle his plans, here on our shores; to reduce our intercourse and limit our exposure to his madness; to crush his doctrine, his method, his conspiracies; to extirpate from our land the tendrils of the Jihad, and do so without war and repression — this is not yet beyond our power.
So we may still stay our judgment of Islam. But by God it is long past time that we delivered a resounding negative on the doctrine and institution of Jihad: wicked, treasonable, and menacing.
Detective Sediqi, I salute you — as an Atlantan, a Georgian and an American.