4 idiots in New York and what should Muslims do about it?

I had plans this morning to blog about completing my reading of the Vampire Chronicles, and until I found out that 4 idiots were arrested in a terror plot to blow up two New York synagogues.

As I read the headlines all I kept thinking was “please don’t be American born” and as I read the articles, not only did my hopes get crushed, but I also found out that it is worse than that, as they are not just American born, but black converts to Islam!  I’m so angry that I could go to NY right now and wring their necks myself!

It is the actions of guys like this that make me want to disable my blog and all my efforts all together, because they and those like them do more harm to the greater Muslim community than any can actually count. They make my postings and actions and those of others appear to be pointless.

I’m trying to be rational about this whole thing and wait for the facts, but the truth is that in this day and age, the facts do not matter.  These are the types of incidents and stories that make anti-Muslims salivate.  Just look at how the reports are written.  The writers intentions are clearly understood.  They want to widen the fears of Americans and make the anti-Muslim campaign stronger by adding new targets to focus on.  No longer is it just foreign born Muslims who are from the Middle East, now it’s “jailhouse converts” aka African Americans who converted to Islam whether or not they have served prison terms or not.

So now the fear level has been elevated due to the actions of 4 guys.

Nevermind that there are millions of African American converts who have never harmed even a fly, it doesn’t matter because now we are also on the “hit list”.  Now we can respond with “what about Muhammad Ali or Dave Chappelle” or many other readily recognized black Muslim converts, but it will not matter.

Look at the reports, the fact that it was a Muslim informant in the same mosque as these four that alerted the authorities will not be highlighted. It’s illegal in the media to show Muslims in a good light.  It’s illegal in the media to show that Muslims actually do help authorities in these matters.  That doesn’t get ratings.  What’s exiting is to scare the pants off the ignorant and make them think that terror cells exist in their local mosques and now they are to fear not just Middle Eastern Muslims but black Muslims as well.  It’s only a matter of time before they zone in on White American converts or Asian Muslims.

So what are we to do?  I can’t honestly state that we have to do more in the mosque, because we already are, and apparently the mosque in Newburg where they guys went to is doing something right, since it was a Muslim there who called the authorities.  I can’t honestly state that we have to make statements of condemnation, because we do all the time, and they go largely ignored by the media.

All that I can state is that we have to continue at the grassroots level to actively engage both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, with the example of the true teachings of Islam that will expose in the minds of others by our efforts the lies and falsehoods of those like these four whose ideology of hate is culminates in a desire to kill innocents.

What is there left to state?  If anything, the only thing that we as Muslims can do is continue to petition the media for fare coverage.  Why is it that four black converts that wanted to kill can make headlines, but black converts like myself who honorably served this nation cannot?  Maybe, just maybe, it was their previous criminal pursuits and incarceration that shaped their actions more than the religion they claim to profess?  Maybe it was their environment?  Where did they grow up for instance?  Obviously the numbers prove that they are the exception, one can point to thousands of black converts who have given much to this nation in service.

I challenge the media to openly debate the issue of who speaks for Islam?  Should we Muslims just lay asleep and allow them to tell us that the minority speaks for the majority?

This is why we need our own anti-defamation league.  Why should we allow the media to continue to use the worst of us to help fuel the evil stereotypes that ignore and label the best of us?

As Muslims our duty is on two fold:

1 We have to continue to expose enemies of Islam like these four miscreants who pretend to be Muslim, yet their actions are anything but.

2 We have to win the battle of “the message” and challenge both the media and the detractors as it relates to who we truly are.  We can’t continue to allow others to define who we are.  We can’t allow them to do this because it undervalues, undermines, and marginalizes us.  We have to control the message and the talking points because if we do not, our lives become unnecessarily difficult because of the actions of those with whom we don’t even agree with or know.

I don’t know about you, but I will not sit here as an American Muslim who has served this nation his entire adult life, while the very rights I served to defend are taken away from me because of my religion.  I will not sit here and watch my family and friends treated unfairly because of our religion.

Vigilance is the only course of action.

related articles:

FBI arrest four in alleged plot to bomb Bronx synagogues, shoot down plane

4 arrested in alleged NYC synagogue bomb plot

Update:

Just got this press release in from MPAC,

MPAC Outraged Over NYC Synagogue Plots

The Muslim Public Affairs Council is outraged over the alleged plan of four men to carry out attacks against Jewish houses of worship in New York City. The four men were arrested after planting what they thought were explosives near a synagogue and community center. MPAC applauds the FBI for foiling the group’s plot to bomb New York City synagogues and use surface-to-air missiles to attack U.S. military planes.

SEE: “4 Accused of Bombing Plot at Bronx Synagogues” (New York Times)

Earlier this morning, MPAC Executive Director, Salam Al-Marayati, wrote to Rabbi Schneier, President and Founder of the New York based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and other Jewish leaders stating:

“I write to you today with shock and dismay over reports that four Muslims planned to bomb synagogues in the New York City area. This criminal attitude is reprehensible and wretched. On behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, I want to demonstrate solidarity with you and all Jewish Americans against any attack motivated by anti-Semitism. We, Muslims and Jews, are all believers in the One God who wants justice in our society. We are all American citizens who band together to protect our country against any threat. We are all members of humanity who want to work for the betterment of society, in building bridges of understanding, against those who want to destroy those bridges. Thank you for all the work you do at the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. I hope to be with you in the near future by the will of God.”

Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose, and MPAC reaffirms the position of condemning acts of violence against any faith group in the name of Islam. Additionally, those seeking to carry out acts of violence should be swiftly brought to justice.

MPAC is calling upon members of the American Muslim community to be on alert and take pro-active measures to protect the security of our religious institutions, communities, and nation.

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11 Comments

  1. “It is the actions of guys like this that make me want to disable my blog and all my efforts all together, because they and those like them do more harm to the greater Muslim community than any can actually count. They make my postings and actions and those of others appear to be pointless.”

    NO! Did you hear that shout? You may not believe it, but you do make a difference. Do not take your voice out of the blogosphere – you and others like you keep lines of communication open to those who may not believe as you do, but believe deeply in the dialogue. It is necessary that we are different, just as it is necessary that we find common ground.

    Peace.

    Reply

  2. So, instead of condemning the actions of those “Black Muslim Converts” you start lashing out against the media for presenting Muslims in a bad light. Bravo.

    This is the n-th time that something like this has happened. 95% of the time, it’s a Muslim.

    Stop shifting the blame on the media. They are going to sensationalize. It’s their nature. The question is, what are YOU guys going to do about YOUR nature.

    Reply

    1. Try reading the entire post before typing 🙂

      “We have to continue to expose enemies of Islam like these four miscreants who pretend to be Muslim, yet their actions are anything but.”

      “All that I can state is that we have to continue at the grassroots level to actively engage both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, with the example of the true teachings of Islam that will expose in the minds of others by our efforts the lies and falsehoods of those like these four whose ideology of hate is culminates in a desire to kill innocents.”

      If I don’t pretext with the words “I condemn” I guess it doesn’t count huh?

      Reply

  3. Mr.OS,

    I am not sure whose nature you want to change? You are such a nature lover, I would love to find out what nature or habitat you belong to? To truly understand your nature, why don’t you tell us who you really are; gay, lesbian, Mason, Christian, Jew, Athiest, liar, cheater, abuser, womanizer, alien or Satan?

    You know the United State Government didn’t see the need to take Timothy McVeigh and waterboard him to find out his nature and all the information that would weed-out all potential “white supremist” sleeper cells. Yet waterboarding was done in Iraq. Maybe, we need to waterboard these four (4) boogie men to find out the facts? Fox News anchors need a little waterboarding so that we understand why lying to the American Public has become their second nature. I am sure all that ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘love thy enemies’ rhetoric shows what your nature is; that is if you are Christian. Such pleasant responses from Christians on this blog; none of you guys stop and ever think, “What Would Jesus Do?” If anyone is the rightful owner of the WWJD bands is the Muslims, because we are fully aligned with Biblical Jesus – by their fruits ye shall know them!

    If you want to understand yourself, and the Muslims…take an honest and sincere approach towards understanding the Quran. The subject of the Quran is “mankind”. It is a human manual and will go a long ways to answer your question. Make some time to throw that ‘box’ – TV – into the garbage can, and illuminate your heart, mind, eyes, soul and body with information that will make you happy in this life and the life hereafter. If you love death than you should wish for it on yourself. If you are truthful, you should wish the wrath of God on yourself so that we differentiate between “chalk” and “cheese”.

    Reply

  4. A team of 70 FBI agents expose 4 dumb and gullable looking guys just before Cheney goes on TV – this used to work very well for Bush/Cheney before the internet and I remember seeing it happen many times without being challanged and most people just accepted it as Gospel truth – would the FBI lie?

    The four “miscreants” would have been out of luck in the 70s but now even Foxnews will have a hard job getting their fear up – it used to get the anti-Muslim vote very effectively, especialy in NYC, but now it takes mearly minutes for anyone watching TV to go online and check it out from a more informative source aka the internet.

    The anti-Muslim propaganda is working against the Foxnews crowd, it is actually fun for people nowadays to go online now and seek out more information about things – and with blogs like yours around it also gives people the chance to see what an American Muslims thinks about this and other such media events.

    What should Muslims do about it?
    We could do nothing on 9-11, and that cost us millions of inocent Muslim lives – now the tide has turned and it is interesting to watch Foxnews trying to get back to the days when they could lie freely without too much worry about Muslims being able to explain their point of view – now even NYC Jews and Christians are getting upset with haveing their minds messed around with by the media’s propaganda goons. Muslims only have to do what the sane Americans of every religion and none do, just go online and talk about it – most Americans have only heard about Islam and Muslims from Foxnews and the rest of the MSM, the internet changed that so they can finally hear from Muslims to.

    Peace

    Reply

  5. The american media is stupid–sorry—but thats what I think everytime I watch CNN.–its my least liked news channel.–I prefer non-american news channels. I think the american muslim community deserve a better more intelligent media than what currently goes for “media” in the U.S. Maybe it is time to have a media that represents the best of the community as well as giving intelligent analysis,reports, news —etc. This would be for the benefit of the young in the community. Can you imagine the stress levels of muslim children in the U.S. who are constantly being told “You are bad” by the idiots in the Media? How will they grow into confident, contributing members of society if the message all around them is constantly negative? There was a time when the black comunity also faced this problem–everywhere, blacks were protrayed as slaves or poor people or some such until that Crosby(?) show—(don’t know if I got the name right—the one with the Black man as a doctor and his wife as a lawyer….)

    Reply

  6. Thank you brother Salaam for pointing out the silver lining in this noxious cloud. Indeed the largely unsung hero of this tragic episode is the Muslim FBI informant who risked his life to serve his nation and protect innocents (and by extension, protect humanity). We Muslim Americans can organize, demonstrate, protest and write as many letters to the editor as we want, but ultimately we need more heroes like him (I think that’s a safe assumption 🙂 to prevent such insidious plots from coming to fruition and truly becoming national tragedies. Aside from the countless lives saved, thanks to him we American Muslims are only dealing with the stigma of a prevented terrorist attack instead of a successful one.

    PS: To my amazement, I actually discovered an article that I thought gave proper credit to our hero…and you’ll be shocked to know what network was responsible: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520961,00.html

    Reply

  7. Brother Asif,

    I think before we start giving praises to anyone we should independently investigate this issue. There is a need for independent Muslim investigators. It is a shame that the “Mullah’s” of the masjids are always accused of not having enough education, yet the most brilliant and highly educated Muslim talent has not been able to create a paradigm shift in our nation. Meaning we so many Muslim students (some studying, othere graduated) in the fields of Journalism, Media, Communication and Political science. Yet we are so crippled that our only source of Biblical “truths” is the mass media that uses its advancement in spreading half-truths and sugar quoted lie.

    Reply

  8. Brother Asif,

    All your points well taken. But anyone who is on a case of this proportion will examine all the evidence and the forensics to shed light on the truth. Uncle Sam doesn’t need evidence nor forensics, “water boarding” is enough.

    A case in time is that of Venezuela where a similar incident was reported. Follow the link below to read the details.

    http://www.aztlan.net/caracas_synagogue_hoax.htm

    This incident has the following problems:

    1. The Muslim names of the four (4) have never been outlined? There are no facts available on these people.
    2. The Informant has been praised by “Fox” for his heroic actions. Yet no one knows about the reality of this informant. He is under cover can’t ask too many questions about his integrity or information?
    3. Where is the forensic evidence tying the “terrorists” to the “bombs”?
    4. Who has really visited the Mosque to gather data and information, and process all the facts. We need to hire independent investigators, since Muslims under recession and pressure are working for corporate.
    5. Already branded Anti-Semetic. Why don’t they release the tapes to the public so that we can hear the words, “bring death to Jews”.
    6. Where is the forensic evidence that links the alleged weapon that was to blow up a plane off the sky? What is the name of this weapon and what gun shows did these folks attend to substantiate any claims?
    7. What is their family backgrounds and circumstances? Any mental conditions that we need to be aware of?
    8. Where were they getting the money since the FBI made a fatal error in describing them as “home grown”. Explosives and weapons of mass destruction are not cheap. Won’t be surprised after FBI reads this that the “funding” party is now somewhere in Baghram Base in Afghanistan!
    9. What does the surveillance video around the synagogue show? ATM records and any CCTV’s around the area. Any phone tap recordings?
    10. Where are the eyewitness records?

    Reply

  9. Very true brother Nadeem I whole-heartedly agree with you-these men should not be the subject of anybody’s judgement until their guilt is legitimately proven in a court of law. Yet whether they are actually guilty or not, the stigma of suspicion and paranoia from this incident will no doubt linger throughout American society. Therefore I feel that we Muslim Americans cannot allow such incidents to sabotage our otherwise optimistic and improving relationship with the Jewish American community:

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/response_to_the_foiled_new_york_terror_plot/0017339

    I think we can all agree that projects such as Imam Rauf’s Cordoba Initiative will eventually and inevitably help stem the tide of Islamaphobia.

    Finally, I was simply trying to say that there is a positive development in this entire episode in the form of the Muslim FBI informant who faithfully performed his civic duty. I have a feeling that since most media reports will likely simply gloss over this fact, it will become our duty to keep on emphasizing his courageous role.

    Reply

  10. Brother Atif,

    I agree with your approach and see the “hikmah” (wisdom) behind your comments. Sorry, didn’t mean to sound abrupt. Safety is a value, not just a virtue. What FBI is doing is very commendable.

    Reply

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