Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe — faces a first-degree murder charge and 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. The terrorist counts stem from the shots fired at an occupied building. While authorities continued to investigate a motive, Thomas said Muhammad is a Muslim convert and, based on preliminary interviews with him, investigators believe there were "political and religious motives" in the shooting.
Here we go again! Same stuff another day. I was actually in good spirits tonight (well morning now) until I checked my CNN iPhone App and read this headline! I will blog later about my P90x workout and 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live late, because yet another idiot has caught my attention. Now I use the term idiot to refrain from profanity, but the best this guy could ever hope to be called is fuel for the hellfire and that's the lightest thing I can come up with without being vulgar. As veteran my heart and prayers go out to these two soldiers and their families. It seems like yesterday when I to swore the very same oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. It seems just like yesterday when I too took advantage of the recruiters assistance program after basic training and stayed home a little longer before going off to my next training. I remember the pride and joy I felt coming home in my uniform exited to help share my experience with my peers and others wanting to join. I remember the pride my family had in me. So I can only imagine the pain that these families are going through and the agony one must feel after knowing that their loved ones were attacked not abroad from a foreign enemy but here at home in their very community where it's supposed to be safe. As a fellow American, as a Marine, and as a Muslim, I send these families my deepest condolences and share the very same desire they must have to see that justice be served as swift as possible against this murderer. Now I know I'm breaking yet again a cardinal blogging rule of mine which is wait at least 72 hours on the "Muslim" stories, but I felt compelled yet again to write immediately, because of this dangerous trend that is either truly emerging or due to our sensationalist media appearing to be such. Either way, real or perceived, the emotions said acts promote are not good for all parties involved. As a Black, Muslim Convert, and Military Veteran I am so appalled that words can't even begin to describe my anger and frustration. To be blunt, I wish we had immediate capital punishment in this Country. I know it's not PC to state that for a myriad of reasons, but to be perfectly honest, what other punishment is worthy of pond scum and afterbirth who feel that it's their duty to murder innocents based on an ideology of hate? For the life of me I cannot ascertain what could be in the mind of an American Muslim Convert who would want to do this. In a Country blessed with so much and the ability to learn and practice Islam freely, how can one adopt such a narrow and foreign ideology that goes against not only Islamic teachings and principles, but also the basic principles of decency that many in this Country share? While I do not know this guy personally or the 4 idiots from a week or two ago who Praise God were caught before they could cause harm, I'm certain they probably had a similar family background common amongst many blacks at least in my age group and older. I bring this up, not to make this a race issue, but an understanding issue. Many black converts have little to no family issues when they convert. Our families tend to be very familiar with Islam even our ultra-Christian family (isn' t that every black family?) I couldn't imagine how one could readily adopt such an isolated, extreme, ideology, when openly accepted as many of us are. Outside of a joke here or there about pork or prison (more on that later), our families love us the same and isn't it love that is the basis and solution to our problems? I'm not trying to make excuses here for black converts or trying to cover our butts in case something else happens, but it's merely an open musing about my confusion as to why this is happening. It was easy to write off John Allen Muhammad, you know the DC area sniper years ago, as he was easily proven to be nuts, and truth be told, so are these guys, but the issue with the latter (4 idiots and now this 5th) is unlike Muhammad, these guys appeared to be the real deal. These guys actually appear to know a thing or two about Islam, at least that's how the media is presenting it. Now I could easily write these guys off as knowing little about Islam as evidenced by their actions, but would that change anything in the court of public opinion? What's more likely, non-Muslims reading my blog or others like mine for information on American Muslims or Islam in general, or reading the headlines on their favorite cable news shows and websites who's current stream of articles could be collected to develop a new hit reality TV series entitled "When Muslims Attack 2: Homegrown Terrorists"? I'm not trying to make light of the situation because this is serious. My title question points to the very real problem in the American Muslim community and broader Muslim world as a whole. What can we do, what should we do, and what have we done, to deal with those who murder in the name of our faith? Granted, I am not one of the delusional who feel that somehow 1.5 billion people should be held responsible for the actions of those of us who murder and commit other crimes against humanity, but American Muslims have to be a part of the solution because doing nothing allows the media to continue to portray us through the lens of these murderers actions and display us as part of the problem. I believe we have a good example in the most recent religious themed madness from this past weekend. Certainly, many have heard about the abortion doctor's murder by a Christianist, radical extremist Christian, Christian terrorist, etc. (don't like when it's your religion huh?) this weekend where an abortion doctor was killed in the church and a fellow Christian of the same sect murdered him because of differing ideologies. What then followed is the example that I believe American Muslims and Muslims worldwide should follow. Not only did the church, congregation, and family denounce this murderer, but also and this part is very important, so did those who also believe abortion to be a detestable act and have many of the same ideological leanings as the murderer! Now the Lutherans involved, could have just made a statement about the tragic events, you know something official by the clergy and left it at that. Or no one had to say anything at all, I mean considering this is America a 75% Christian nation and it's pretty much an unwritten rule that incidents like this are not the norm for Christians, no one really had the pressure to state anything, but they did anyway. Anti-abortionists went out of their way to condemn this scum and state in principle that while they share some of the ideals of the murderer, they do not in anyway support terrorist actions like he committed. So why couldn't we do the same thing? I mean we have way more to lose. Look at the dance that's about to continue over this report. I got it very late since it was posted, but I'm certain every anti-Muslim site, blog, media outlet, etc. has been on this like flies on well you know….and where is our rapid response? Where is our prevention? Why is it that we just can't seem to get the message out there? The one who controls the message controls the debate and right now as stock in the American-ness of black Muslim converts plummet, there are none to set the record straight. Now I know some may say that I'm criticizing the media too much, but I'm actually criticizing Muslims, because we allow the media to have the ability to report the sensationalism that defines who we are to the American public. Realistically, we cannot do much more that what we are currently doing to prevent idiots like these. Nor has any solutions from our critics come up. In fact, many of them wouldn't be happy no matter what we do or say unless we left our faith. At
best, we need to ramp up our education efforts in the Mosques and be more like a true brotherhood and sisterhood to ensure our ranks are not being infiltrated by murders. Our lack of committment to one another allows others to destroy us from within. Since we are but one community, I believe it to be our personal duty to do what we can to avoid the spread of this sick ideology that plagues the minds of so many. That's about all we can truly do. A sick and twisted murderer and of course a terrorist has no religion. Ask the neighbors of Ted Bundy and Jeffery Daumer for instance, and they would tell you that those guys were model citizens. I mean seriously, sometimes you just don't, can't, or will know. BUT, that doesn't mean we can't at least try! An once of prevention pays dividends in the long run. If we did more as a community to ensure Islam in America was taught properly in every Mosque by weeding out the radicals and those who want to teach isolationist messages, if we did more to support one another through community events, socializing, networking, and yes counseling, if we did more to ensure that the tools and infrastructure were in place to control the message, maybe just maybe we would have this "problem" of converts who are so easily led to believe that it's OK to commit such anti-Islamic crimes about society and humanity under control or eliminated. Whether you were born into a Muslim family or converted to Islam, one thing that remains constant as it applies to these murderers, is that they all were taught what they believe and taught that how they act is acceptable in Islam. Someone had to teach them this madness at some point. These learned behaviors and ideas had to come from someplace. We have to do more in the way of education as we are taught in our faith that we should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave right? Who can be more blessed than the one who helps the seeker acquire that knowledge? So we have to seriously look in the mirror as an American Muslim community as well as a worldwide community and ask the one reflecting in the mirror "what have you done today in the cause of Islam?" Do we not understand that doing all that we can to promote and enjoin good and doing all that we can to deny and forbid evil is a direct command from The Almighty for Muslims? Stating that it's not your responsibility is not enough today. I'm convinced that we still have not realized that if we remain silent we only hasten our persecution. We have not realized that by allowing others to define us do to our silence puts us in a position where we could be attacked for actions we have not committed. Do we not realize that our families are at risk every time a headline like this hits the airwaves? How long before our mothers, wives, and daughters are attacked because they are readily identified as Muslims? We have a solemn duty and we have to take a solemn pledge to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We have to control the message and get the truth out there. We cannot allow ourselves and our religion to be hijacked from the outside as well as from within and the only one who can stop that is the one reflected in the mirror.