The Choice of American Muslims
We Americans have a choice.
Specifically, us American Muslims have a choice. We can either follow the script and continue with our typical apology tour, repeatedly stating things like:
“Ahmad Rahami doesn’t represent all Muslims”
“Islam means peace”,
“Please don’t judge us because of ‘one’ bad guy”
Blah Blah Blah
Wait until the next incident happens.
Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.
OR we can use our intellect, reach deep down, grow some balls and take charge of things. Expecting the rest of America to be comfortable with Muslims by continuing to use the same formula of saying flowery things or showing peaceful quotes from the Quran is not going to make things better.
Remember the definition of insanity?
The only way to solve a problem is to gather all the facts, look at the problem straight in the eye, and tackle it directly as possible.
Going on a PR blitz or becoming a brand ambassador for Islam only gives us a fall sense of security and is very temporal — it is doing absolutely nothing to tackle the root cause.
What is the root cause of these types of terror incidents? That’s exactly what we need to get to the bottom of — and it is something that everyone, no matter their religion or political views can get behind of.
To be specific, Americans and especially American Muslims deserve to have certain questions answered. For example, in this case, we need to find out:
Who exactly is Ahmad Rahami?
Where did he grow up?
Who are his friends and associates?
What was his motives?
Where did he get his training/guidance?
Was there anything odd about his behavior prior to these incidents?
Was he in contact with anyone in the recent weeks or month?
By getting and even trying to get answers to these questions, we can start an open and honest dialogue within the Muslim community, the relevant authorities, and other Americans at large. If we do have a better picture of what’s going on and why it’s going on, we can THEN tackle this thing at its core.
Lastly, we all should be open to any possibilities.
Many times us Muslims tend to instantly shift the blame away to external forces (Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of this) as if no Muslim is capable of such evil. We have to realize that there is currently an ideological cancer amongst Muslims — we need to understand that cancer and work to eradicate it.
On the other hand, many people (including other Muslims) never critically challenge themselves to alternative explanations– lumping anything outside of the mainstream view as gibberish or conspiratorial. They ignore the vast amount of data and logic that contradict the neat narrative that’s been presented to them from their preferred media sources.
We should never be afraid to challenge anything — including ourselves.
What we cannot afford to do any longer is to just go with it. We should no longer continue on the same trajectory of apology, fear, blame and in-action.
God protect this beautiful country, this world and all its inhabitants.