US needs to stop ‘flipping off the Muslim community’ says MSNBC ‘expert’

A former Islamic extremist warned that the U.S. cannot succeed in the fight against radicalization and terror if it keeps “flipping off the Muslim community.”

Mubin Shaikh, a former undercover agent for Canadian intelligence, spoke to MSNBC about self-radicalization by those who end up acting out in violence as he discussed the New York City terror attack on Tuesday that left eight people dead and several others injured.

“Look, self-radicalization, I mean what we’re trying to say is that these are people who radicalize not in traditional groups like before. They go online, they get most of their ideology, but, this is something that they’ve already decided to engage in,” he explained.

“A person doesn’t go online and read something and decide, ‘Oh, I‘m going to be–oh, I believe this. I‘m going to go and act on this.’ They already have this going on inside them before they turn to the internet or somebody like in a real human network,” Shaikh added.

The 42 year-old from Toronto is considered an expert on radicalization and countering violent extremism. His own encounter with the Taliban and his radicalization shifted gears after 9/11 when he abandoned his extremist life.

But the MSNBC guest seemed to blame acts of terror, like the one in Manhattan perpetrated by Uzbekistan native, Sayfullo Saipov, on anything but jihad.

“What we need to look into is why this person even feels they need to look that way. And one of the things is hatred–is hatred, and alienation, and marginalization,” he said.

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“Think about it this way–when you tell a kid that he’s dumb, he’s stupid, he’s going to amount to nothing, what do you think is going to happen with that kid? He’s going to take that, internalize that, and externalize it by acting it out onto other people,” he continued, apparently unaware that millions of kids regularly feel this way without resorting to terrorism.

“So, it does require a number of steps to be taken complimentary but simultaneously. Not just the domestic law enforcement piece, not just the intelligence piece, especially from these communities,” Shaikh said, arguing that Muslims in the U.S. will not likely be cooperative in the current climate.

“If you keep flipping off the Muslim community, and then demanding they give you the intelligence,” he said,  “the reality just doesn’t work like that.”

Twitter users quickly slammed Shaikh’s argument.

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Frieda Powers

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