It’s exceedingly rare that I stray into politics here, or on any public forum, for that matter — you know what they say about sleeping with dogs — but a few comments I’ve seen online the last few days have caused my knee to jerk. Need to get this out of my system.
In the wake of the horrific attack in Orlando, Florida, the conversation looks much the same as it does every time there is a mass shooting. The same debate about guns. The same debate about rights. The same endless talking in circles. The same reductive, mindless repetition of the same thoughtless, meme-driven arguments by people on all sides. It’s incredibly tiresome, especially when the ground is stained with the blood of innocent people.
And since in this case the perpetrator was a Muslim man who allegedly sympathized with ISIS, we also see the same cries of, “Why don’t Muslims speak out against terrorism?” that accompany any violent act by a Muslim. For the purposes of this post, let’s set aside the fact that we don’t ask these same questions when a Christian shoots up a Planned Parenthood or when a man cites his Christian beliefs as he opens fire at a crowd of 200 or when a Christian kills 6 at a Sikh temple or when Christians commit terror attacks on abortion clinics, or any other instance when someone has used the Bible and their Christian beliefs as a basis for violence. The fact that when a pastor takes joy in the Orlando shootings he “doesn’t represent Christianity” but when a Muslim does something wrong he or she represents Muslims is another discussion.
That’s not what this post is about. Twisting a religious text to suit your own evil purposes is, alas, all too easy to do. And yes, that includes the Bible and its horrific body count.
Rather, this is about the oft-repeated notion that Muslims fail to denounce acts of terror from other Muslims. It’s a claim that is so full of shit, it’s hard to even know where to begin. Presumably, the people who make this claim want it to be true, facts be damned, because they could correct their ignorance with about two seconds on Google. That they don’t is telling.
The problem is, they spread this insidious perception despite the facts being against them, thus perpetuating an endless cycle of hate on both sides. It gets spread around in pithy little Facebook memes and repeated by people who like their “facts” simple and in fitting with their own biases.
Nevermind anti-ISIS rallies in D.C. held by Muslims or Muslims in France standing in harsh defiance against terror attacks there or widespread marches in London (which were largely ignored by the blood-hungry media) or Muslim scholars working against ISIS and countless other examples.
You can watch video of Muslims burning effigies of ISIS:
You can see Muslims repudiating the actions of groups like ISIS:
And view lengthy reports on how Muslims are speaking out against the violent minority among them:
This stuff is not difficult to find. Groups of Muslims in the U.S.denouncing ISIS as the enemies of mankind, for instance, or Muslims from multiple nations coming together to protest in favor of peace, the largest Muslim groups in huge nations like India organizing anti-ISIS protests, gatherings in Paris and at the Lincoln Memorial, some 70,000 Muslim clerics joining together to denounce terror … it goes on and on and on and on. There are many groups devoted to the cause, such as the Free Muslims Coalition. As the Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report both outline in excellent reports, moderate Muslims, i.e. almost all of them, ARE doing their part in the fight against terrorism — but no one is listening.
I could post verifiable, credible sources all day long. It’s easy. There are countless such stories out there. While armies of keyboard jockeys sit at home and gripe via tired old Facebook memes, Muslims are actively working both within their community and beyond to stem the tide of hate. Even top law enforcement officials in the federal government confirm that Muslims report on other Muslims all the time, despite what a certain presidential candidate claims.
“They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim. It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks.” –FBI director James Comey
Some potential terrorists in Minnesota, for instance, were turned in by other Muslims.
Yet the sad truth is, when it comes to public perception in the U.S. their efforts don’t seem to matter. The people who insist that Muslims don’t do enough to denounce terror in their name will continue to insist as much no matter how badly the evidence is stacked against them. You do the math why. These are often the same people who cite passages from the Koran that seem to endorse violence as proof that it’s a violent religion, while 1) ignoring passages in the Bible that do the same, and 2) ignoring the many passages in the Koran that call for peace and understanding.
But I digress. My intention here isn’t to compare religions. That’s stupid. In fact, it’s the same sort of stupidity that helps breed violence in the first place.
Rather, it’s to say that the next time someone asks, “Why don’t Muslims ever say anything about this?” you should be sure to turn and walk in the other direction for as long as you can, because that person will never, ever have anything of value to say to you.
Because when it comes to acts of violence, the vast, vast majority of Muslims ARE SICK OF THIS SHIT – just like everyfarkin’one else.
PS – Bets on how many people argue with the headline without ever actually reading the piece?