Like so many Muslims, whenever I would learn of a major crime, my reflex was to pray that the perpetrator was not Muslim. I sometimes still resort to the same knee-jerk response, though far less. Now, I don’t care anymore.
Rightly or wrongly, the most common suspects of major violent crimes are usually either Muslims or White Supremacists. Those specific suspected Muslims are the ones claiming to act on behalf of the Muslim-majority nations in response to American Imperialism. Those specific White Supremacists are the ones claiming to act in defense of the American people, against the government’s violations of the US Constitution. Effectively, both are vigilantes asserting violent resistance against the excesses of the American regime.
But, it used to be that my quick prayer to God was to make sure that the perpetrators were not Muslim. Now, I do not care. The dead cannot be brought to life. If the killers were Muslims or White Supremacists, the broken hearts of the victims’ families will not be mended. The injured will not get healed.
And, the government will continue to exploit their actions, in the name of security. American air has become a police state. If you travel by air or if you use the internet you or if your ideas travel across borders, then you are under scrutiny. It is a matter of time before American water and land follow suit.
Some, only some, of the government intervention is legitimate. After all, if we are at risk for violence, then the government has to intervene, even though it largely ignores acts by lone-gunmen.
So, why do we pray that the perpetrators are not Muslim? What was the point of that quick prayer? Because we do not want to face further scrutiny, suspicions, attacks upon Islam. But God owns Islam. My job is obedience. I am not one of those self-styled reformers seeking to selectively coerce Islam into a friendly plastic package. My approach is one of increased obedience. I leave it up to God to protect Islam.
But that quick prayer was something deeper, something selfish. We do not want to face more of a headache within our own lives. We don’t want some pundit, especially one with political or military influence to shout, “Aha! Here is proof that the Muslims must be targeted!” Apologists fear an inquisition against us, and overcompensate with slogans of alleged love for all things American, not realizing that to be American is to militantly be yourself.
But, what more is there that can happen to us? We have heard all of the hate. Many of us have been violently attacked. There is nothing new that can be added. If I shared with you the ignorant comments launched by people in my circles against Islam, by people of supposedly of high education, you would certainly be surprised. Even when so many dimwits in our community have been lured and entrapped by Federal Agents, more continue to get lured.
What does happen, however, when the alleged perpetrator is Muslim is that we cower. That is where the problem lies. We have embraced this culture of victimhood so deeply that it swims through our veins. Why is it that every major Muslim organization is so quick to condemn such atrocities? Is it not understood that we are repulsed by violence? No, it’s because we want to be able to say that we condemned them. We do not want fingers pointed at us.
This ethos of victimhood started with a defensive posture, that developed a defensive system of rhetoric, that further developed a defensive system of inactive action. It is growing into a full blown culture. And, what is at the heart of the culture? It is the simple attitude that we need not change anything about ourselves; we need only shield ourselves. In other words, we feared that the perpetrators might be Muslim more than we cared about the victims, because we cared about our inactive lifestyles more than we cared about the blood.
I was guilty, just as much as everyone else. That was some two thousand lectures ago. Now, I look to see what challenges fall into my lap, and work to fix them, while my heart aches over the pain.
And Allah knows best.