Violent Jihad

FBI and DOJ Redact Transcripts of Mateen’s 911 Call, and Then Backtrack

Of course, this is not the first time the administration has engaged in politically correct and censorious act vis-a-vis Islam.

BY Immanuel Al-Manteeqi · @Al_Manteeqi | June 23, 2016

A few days ago, Attorney General Loretta Lynch was interviewed by NBC’s Chuck Todd. In the interview, Loretta Lynch made a disturbing assertion: the FBI and DOJ will release a (partial and) redacted transcript of Mateen’s 9-1-1 call, eliding any references to the Islamic State. When asked for the motivation behind taking this action, she said the following:

[W]hat we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda. …We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].

The redacted transcript that was released read as follows:

Orlando Police Dispatcher: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.

Omar Mateen: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [said in Arabic]

OD: What?

OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [said in Arabic]. I wanna      let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.

OD: What’s your name?

OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].

OD: Ok, What’s your name?

OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [said in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].

OD: Alright, where are you at?

OM: In Orlando.

OD: Where in Orlando?

[End of call.]

The omissions are laughably ridiculous; and it is painfully obvious what was omitted. However, the omissions are right in line with the Obama administration’s tendency to be politically correct when it comes to anything even remotely related to Islam.

After all, this is not the first time the administration has engaged in politically correct and censorious act vis-a-vis Islam. It has a long history of minimizing allusions to Islam in its discussions of ostensibly Islamic terrorism.  Recall that in one of President Obama’s meetings with French prime minister Francois Hollande, the administration censored Hollande’s use of the words “Islamist terrorism,” which it blamed on a technical issue.

All this being said, the administration is not deaf to the criticisms that it receives for such censorious actions. Indeed, not long after the Orlando attack, Obama took to the pulpit to excoriate and ridicule the critiques that he and his administration have been receiving because of their deliberate omission of words like “radical Islam,” or “Islamic” when talking about Islamic terrorists.

He ridiculed the idea that omitting such nomenclatures was just a species of political correctness, and that their use would have made any noticeable impact. True to self, he reiterated the administration’s go-to narrative here, which was echoed by Lynch above: if the government were to associate terrorists with Islam, then they would be playing right into the hands of organizations like ISIS. They would, in effect, be perpetuating the idea that the West and the Islamic world are in a clash of civilizations, an idea shared by ISIS. Obama and his cohort want to avoid this association—and this is the reason that they do not associate Islamic terrorists with Islam, an association that is obvious to many clear-headed thinkers.

But what if it is true that the West is in a clash of civilizations with the Islamic world?

This is not something that is just advanced by so-called “Islamophobes” who are ignorant of Islam. On the contrary, the progenitor of the idea that there is a clash of civilizations between the Islamic world and the West is none other than the doyen of Islamic Studies—Bernard Lewis, emeritus professor of Near Eastern History at Princeton University (he recently celebrated his centennial birthday).

This idea of a Clash between the Islamic world and the West has been echoed and popularized by no less than a scholar than the late Samuel Huntington, who was a professor at Harvard and Colombia University, in his famous book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the New World Order. So what if these scholars are correct? Will the Obama administration still engage in politically correct censoring in order to bend reality to what it wishes it to be? will it propagate the idea that 2+2 = 5? or will it look at reality for what it really is, with all its melancholic harshness, and accept that 2+2=4?

We can only hope in the latter outcome. Indeed, it seems that at least with regards to the Mateen transcripts, sensible minds prevailed at the administration, as the FBI and DOJ ultimately released the transcripts with the flagrant omissions omitted. The obvious references to the Islamic state and to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who Mateen pledges allegiance to in the call, have been inserted into the unredacted transcript.

Although it should be stressed that the unredacted transcript is only a partial one, the full transcript has not been released. The FBI has also stated that the audio recording will not be released. One cannot help but wonder if such actions are motivated by the same reasons described above—they very likely are.

The administration probably fears that the public release of the 9-1-1 audio recording, which features Mateen talking in Arabic and mentioning “Allah,” will play into the hands of ISIS and serve to further ostracize the American Muslim community.

On this note, some have gone further than the above criticisms and criticized the fact that the FBI and DOJ translated “Allah” into “God.” But although the above criticisms of the Obama administration are right on target, this one seems to be misplaced, as “God” is just the English translation of the Arabic word “Allah.” This is the standard and pretty much universal translation. So, contrary to what various articles have said, there does not seem to be any impropriety in the FBI and DOJ’s unredacted version—after all, they do write ‘[said in Arabic]’ to indicate that some of what Mateen said, e.g., his greeting which includes the word “Allah,” was said in Arabic. Furthermore, there is nothing exclusively Islamic about the word “Allah.” In fact, it is fairly certain that the word “Allah” predates Islam, and was used by the pagan Arabs of pre-Islamic Arabia to refer to one of their many gods. Furthermore, even today it is not exclusively used by Muslims, as Christian Arabs say “Allah” all the time—they even refer to Jesus as “ibn Allah,” i.e., the son of Allah. All of the Arabic Christian Bibles that I am aware of, including the famous Van Dyck translation, use the Arabic word “Allah” (الله) to refer to God.[1] Just as it is perfectly licit for an English translator of Arabic Bibles to render “Allah” as God.

Now, one may object, as have some Evangelicals, that this standard translation of the word “Allah” is not a good one insofar as the referents of “God” and “Allah” are not the same, as Jews and Christians do not worship the same God as Muslims—but then we have entered into the realm of Philosophy. And the position that “God” and “Allah” do not have the same referents for this reason is an extremely controversial philosophical position that is far from obviously true. So to criticize the FBI and DOJ because they stayed with the very standard translation instead of leaving “Allah” as it is so as not to run awry of an extremely controversial philosophical position, is tenuous at best.


But in the end, the Obama administration’s release of the redacted transcript, and their subsequent reversal, not only bespeaks that the administration is mired in political correctness, but it bespeaks of clear irrationality, even on the administration’s own reasoning.

After all, it does not take much critical thinking to know that the Obama administration would receive an enormous amount of backlash for any blatantly censorious actions on their part. Despite this, the administration, perhaps lacking simple prescience, went ahead and redacted the partial transcripts of Mateen’s 911 call anyways, only to relent after receiving the to-be-expected backlash.

Two plus two equals four—not five. It never has, is not, and never shall equal five. No matter how much Big Brother tries, reality is something that he cannot bend to his whim.

[1] Indeed, some philologists of the Arabic language, including the notable Arthur Jeffrey (1892 – 1959) believe that the Arabic word for Allah derives from the Syriac “Allaha,” which is still used by Christians who are part of the Syriac family of churches (e.g., the Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches). Although most Arabic philologists explain the word “Allah” as a mere contraction of the Arabic “al-ilah,” meaning “the deity.”



Mattis: ISIS ‘couldn’t last 2 minutes in fight with our troops’

SecDef nod calls for 'battles of annihilation” with “no survivors” against terror group, while beating drums of all-out war with Iran.


Who Ordered the Hit on Russia’s Ambassador?

Speculation is rampant, but there are reasons to think that this attack can be laid at the feet of the Islamic State.


10 Things We Should Learn From the Ohio State Attack

The attack was one of the least-covered jihadist attack on American soil. The media dropped the issue like a hot potato.