Muslim Media News Service (MMNS) Special Reporter
W. Bloomfield-Feb. 22-â€Our war is with ideology and not with Islam,â€ said the Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, as he addressed a private gathering of about 60 people at the residence of Dr. M. Basha in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Chertoff explained, â€œDonâ€™t confuse 9/11 terrorists with Islam or Muslims.â€
Chertoff emphasized that the Muslim community in the USA is an integral and well-established part of the economy. The American society appreciates their vast contributions, he said. The threat of terrorism from this community is no more than one should expect from any other community. Every community has to be vigilant to prevent any terrorist attacks, he said.
We must continue to think what more we can do to show our misguided youth what the way forward is, and he expressed his wish, â€œI would like to see a day when a Muslim attains a position as Attorney General, prosecuting the terrorists.â€
On the issue of airport security and the routine interrogation of Muslims, he said we are revising the names on the no-fly list. We are also, he said, in the process of devising a method that eliminates past mistakes. He also announced plans to overhaul the ATS at the airport to reduce cases of mistaken identity. He admitted the difficulty in monitoring 8 million people that enter USA every year.
In an answer to a question about what DHS would do to prevent a backlash on Muslims, in case of a second terrorist attack in this country, he said he would take all precautions to prevent a backlash against the Muslims and again emphasized that â€œTerrorism is an ideologyâ€ that has â€œnothing to do with Muslims or Islam.â€
In a response to another question regarding a case in which a family had to undergo security checks at various airports outside of the US, he said that certain areas in Pakistan, like Waziristan, and certain areas in Western Europe are becoming hotbeds for terrorist activities. Because of this certain airports in these countries must observe strict security rules.
Responding to a question where someone complained of infringement of freedoms under the excusing principle of security, the secretary of DHS explained that unfortunately the acts of a few misguided people, the innocent majority suffer.