2) Stop apologizing for all the bad things that some Muslims do.
Brothers and sisters, we have got to stop apologizing, explaining, and condemning every bad deed that takes place in the umma. Really, I’m serious. If I get another email from some organization with the headline “We condemn…..,” I’m going to scream. We know that our hearts, words and deeds don’t approve of this nonsense. Any non-Muslim with a fair sense of judgement knows this, too. Any person with two brain cells knows that 1.7 billion people can not act in the same manner at the same time. We are not the Borg.
Condemnations hardly ever work.
Yeah, that’s right!
Anybody with a computer can google the words “Muslims condemn terrorism,” and they will find a flurry of links from Muslim world leaders, scholars, organizations and everyday Muslims condemning terror. If the curious seeker takes five seconds to find it, they will. End of story. Done deal.
I’m of the opinion that we should tackle what’s at the heart of this constant need to validate and prove our innocence. We all know that racism and prejudice is at the root of this problem. Almost everybody knows that it’s downright stupid to ask a Black person why do Black men commit so much crime. In polite conversation, no one would ever bring up how Latino immigrants are here to rape American women, sell drugs, overthrow the government and establish Aztlan. And God forbid if you blame all gay people for the spread of HIV/AIDS. If someome actually did ask a Latino, Black person or homosexual something that stupid, I have a feeling that that person would get the middle finger. Most people would condemn the questionner as a racist or homophobe. Few would expect Black organizations to issue out public condemnations of street violence and drug use. Hardly anyone expects gay and lesbian organizations to apologize or explain the AIDS epidemic. And those that do venture into the land of Stupidia and ask these questions find themselves publicly berated.
So whhhhhyyyyyyy are we doing it?
Why do we feel compelled to explain honor crimes and al Qaeda when those issues are best left to experts? We can give our limited opinions and theories. After all, we are seeing the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world through the filters of Western society. La ilaha illa Allah does remove our tendencies to judge things from secular, Eurocentric point of view–even if we’ve spent years trying to disconstruct our Western way of looking at things, it always resurfaces. That’s the powerful impact of culture.
Sometimes, we are so quick to condemn something before we get all the facts. Some of us assume from the beginning that a Quranic verse motivated the person when it’s more likely that it was his/her nafs. This was the case with Aqsa Parvez, may God bless her. Muslim organizations came out to condemn it while Irshad Manji jumped on the opportunity for more publicity (after all, she’s a one-trick pundit and her career is fading into irrelevance). Of course, when the facts began to surface, Aqsa’s father was an abusive man whose murder of his daughter had nothing to do with hijab (especially since her sisters don’t observe hijab). But of course, what’s problematic is that all of us 1.7 billion Muslims have to carry the weight of her father’s sin. And I read the reactions to her murder.
“Oh, those people are bringing their “culture” here! Muslims are so uncivlized! They hate life! They hate women! They’re a disease. Muslim men are disgusting. Islam is a joke. Islam = genocide. Islam = Nazism.”
I wish I could only ask these people one simple question. If Aqsa was a white woman, would you still be outraged? I ask this because I turn on the TV everyday and I see White women being killed in the most gruesome ways–almost, if not entirely by White men. There’s Black on Black crime, but White on White can certainly compete. These statistics show that most murders are intraracial. Yet, I don’t see the same level of concern or anger. Michael Vick’s treatment of dogs gets more attention than the fact that in 2006, 1,417,745 violent crimes were committed in the US. That includes forcible rape, murder, robbery and aggrevated assault. When will the same level of outrage be given to abused American women–you know, the empowered, post-feminist woman who is so liberated that she can do anything that she’s wants (except walk alone at night and receive fair, equal wages)? After all, us Mozzie are jacked up so we can’t help the slaughter of our women. We’re Muslim–that’s what we do–kill, rape and oppress! What’s the West’s excuse, being the bastion of Enlightenment and all!?!?! Okay, I’m going to ease up on the sarcasm. FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=:-)"
As I was saying….
Something bad happens and we try to explain it, or put it into context or do something to prove to the accuser that we aren’t the enemy.
I’ve written on this subject at least once and I must say, I’m condemned out. I think I really hit the boiling point when I read an email condemning the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. I thought, “Yes, this is wrong. She was murdered and murdered viciously but what does this have to do with us Muslims here in America? We can’t make the Eid prayer on time, how are we going to orchestrate the assassination of a political figure?” So are we now responsible for political assassinations, too? How about military coups? Are we to held collectively responsible for political plots that are outside of our range of influence? After all, we already carrying the sins of bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Janjaweed, and that slimey Arab guy who dumped his girlfriend after sleeping with her–are we too bear this, too? Are people so silly to believe that the average Muslim has influence over the decisions of al-Qaeda and Musharaf?
We must ask ourselves, have these condemnations made any impact? Has it softened the hearts of skeptics and suspicious people towards us? I actually read a comment from this very silly lady that while Hassan Askari did a good thing when he protected Walter Alder and his friend from an anti-Semitic hate crime, that wasn’t enough to convince her that some Muslims are actually good people. Apparently, one good deed from a Muslim is not enough. But when it comes down to the millions of evil deeds among her own people, somehow she can still see the good–and only the good. Do you think she’s being fair? @@
While I think our condemnations may resinate among fair-minded people, our condemnations don’t mean jack squat to bigots. They’ve made up their minds. We are the spawn of Satan and if we don’t like it, well…of course we don’t like it because we are the spawn of Satan and we don’t like anything. We’ve got to start challening them–fighting back–with words, logic and good deeds. All of this apologizing and explaining makes us look like we’re complicit. Why apologize if you’re innocent? Why hang your head in shame? Do you think the terrorists are sitting around feeling bad about anything?!?!?!? Why should you, the law abiding, peace-making Muslim? It’s time to get a little tough with these bigots and expose them for the weak, charlatans that they are. They’re using pseudo-patroitism as a smokescreen for their hate and guess what, WE DON’T HAVE TO TOLERATE IT. Some people are convinced with soft words, some with persuasive arguments and others with a verbal beat down to their twisted logic. You don’t have to be mean but you can be firm. I’ve had discussions with people like this and you would be surprised how easily they give up. It’s not like they are trying to learn something anyway. Our good actions in the community make more of an impact than condemnations. When people see us working for the common good, that’s what matters. Not emails pleading for people to stop hating us. And certainly not emails asking public figures to apologize for racism statements. We don’t need them. It’s time to abandon Don’t Hit Me dawah!
Oh, but don’t give them the finger. Astagfirullah, even if your finger is itching to do it!
3) I promise to be a better blogger in the year 2008. Next entry: coming up!
Please report any
broken links to
Copyright © 1988-2012 irfi.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer