First State Muslim community calls Charlottesville violence domestic terrorism
Members of Delaware’s Muslim community joined state officials to discuss issues of racism and domestic terrorism earlier this week.
James Markley – the FBI representative for the state of Delaware – assured the crowd gathered Wednesday that the FBI remained dedicated to investigating issues of racial injustice.
“Many people will point to the FBI’s work in the 1960s enforcing the newly – then – newly enacted civil rights laws in the racially divided south as some of the best work - perhaps the finest hour - of the FBI," Markley said. "And I’d like to think that the FBI today is equally up to the task of defending and enforcing not only the civil rights acts, but the recently enacted hate crimes acts.”
Markley says a thorough investigation is underway regarding the Islamic center bombing in Minnesota earlier this month – which is being treated as domestic terrorism.
However, Markley couldn’t say whether or not the case of the white supremacist plowing his car into a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville over the weekend – killing one and injuring many others - will receive the same classification.
That frustrated many, including Dr. Naveed Baqir. He points to the naturalization process as an example of a governmental double standard.
“All immigrant Americans who go through this process – this is an inherent understanding that belonging to these hate groups, belonging to these Nazi groups, belonging to White Supremacist groups or any terrorist groups would make you ineligible to become a citizen," Baqir said. "How is that we tolerate this kind of behavior from people just because they were born here?”
Baqir adds that President Trump's rhetoric isn't helping, either.
“Obviously there’s little a president can do himself or herself directly but the way current White House posture has been on this issue, it is basically emboldening these groups to come out and think that their hate speech is just free speech," he said.
Concerned First State residents also joined the discussion. One woman – who didn’t want to be identified – said the KKK was in her neighborhood. She called on Gov. John Carney and local law enforcement to take action to ensure the safety of her neighbors.