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.
Just got this press release in from MPAC,
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.