Militant Islamic Awareness Week Begins on 9/11
Islamic Awareness Week is an ongoing project of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which has chapters at many universities. One web site quotes an organizer as saying, "Islamophobia is causing fear in people's mind and their heart about Islam, and that's basically what we are trying to cure." While most American Muslims are part of the cure, a substantial and vocal minority are unfortunately part of the illness.
Muslims like Egyptian immigrant Mahmoud Fahmy are examples of the solution. "Post 9/11, anti-Muslim feelings in community seen as rare" (Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 9/10/11) quotes him on those who perpetrate violence under color of Islam: "These people defile my religion. They debase my religion. These people are not Muslims." In addition, spectacular examples like 9/11 to the contrary, most victims of violence perpetrated under color of Islam are Muslims. Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini killed no less than 800,000 Muslims for being Shiites and Sunnis respectively. Women who are stoned to death under Sharia law or are murdered in so-called honor killings are almost universally Muslims. Sixty Muslim-Americans or Muslim guests of the United States were murdered under color of Islam on 9/11. We must finally remember that our country's treatment of loyal citizens of Japanese ancestry after Pearl Harbor was among the most shameful episodes in our country's history, and a repetition of such indiscriminate prejudice against all persons of Muslim identity would be unconscionable.
A phobia is on the other hand an irrational fear of an imaginary danger. The individuals who hijacked the airplanes ten years ago did not chant "Shma Yisrael," "Hare Krishna," or "Jesus Saves;" they yelled "Allahu akbar!" They were not deranged lone actors like Timothy McVeigh or (allegedly until proven guilty) Jared Lee Loughner or Anders Brevik, or even the rare individual who uses Christianity as a rationale to bomb abortion clinics. No Christian organization in the Western World will put its name behind the latter. Even Westboro Baptist Church, which preaches hate but not violence, consists of a tiny minority that is shunned by genuine Christians. The 9/11 hijackers were on the other hand products of an ideology that encouraged, supported, and orchestrated their atrocity and then applauded it. We learned everything we will ever need to know about militant Islam on September 11, 2001.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What you are thunders so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say." It is therefore very difficult to hear the Muslim Student Association's arguments against Islamophobia over its own disruption of campus events and advocacy of the extermination of Jews. The University of California at Irvine suspended its Muslim Student Union for willful disruption of a speech by an Israeli official. In this video, another Muslim Student Association interferes with a cameraman until a police officer intervenes. At 2:28, there is a picture of a poster that refers to the creation of Israel as the nakba or "catastrophe," which suggests that these Muslims will not be happy until Israel ceases to exist entirely. In this video (1:25), an MSA member refuses to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas. At 2:45, the MSA member replies to David Horowitz by agreeing with Hezbollah that Jews should be exterminated.
This video shows a mass demonstration by Islamic extremists in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At 3:23 a woman in an Islamic headscarf tells Jews to "go back to the ovens" and "you need a big oven." At 5:47, a leader cites the need to educate people on the beauty of Islam and what Islam really is. The beauty of Islam as practiced by this particular group includes calls for Jews to go back to the ovens, and this makes our education both thorough and complete. As for the chant to "Free Palestine," the best way to do this would be to have Israel annex Gaza, Judea, and Samaria right now and impose rule of Israel law (including laws against honor killings and internecine lynching). Freedom House rates both regions under Palestinian control or autonomy as Not Free, so the only "free" Palestinian Arabs in the region currently live in Israel.
European Muslims have meanwhile increased our "Islamic awareness" even further with rallies that praise Osama bin Laden and call for the invasion of countries like Denmark so Muslims can "take your women." The chant to "bomb, bomb Denmark" begins at about 2:05. This is followed with threats of another 7/7 (the subway bombings in the United Kingdom) and violent jihad. They throw in "we want Danish blood" at the end.
Depraved and sadistic torture under color of religion also contributes to "Islamic awareness." Allah, at least as created in the self-image of militant Muslims, rewards jailers for raping female prisoners. "If the prisoner's punishment is execution, then the rape before execution brings the interrogator a spiritual reward equivalent to making the Haaj pilgrimage but if there is no execution planned then the reward would be as much as making a pilgrimage to Karbala." When senior Islamic clerics say it is acceptable to rape women who do not cover their faces, that also conveys a very bad impression of Islam: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (veil), no problem would have occurred." If Muslims do not want us to fear them, they should not call the non-Islamic world the Dar el Harb (House of War). They should not proclaim that Islam will dominate the world, or that they are going to carve out Sharia-governed enclaves, if they do not wish to evoke increasingly negative perceptions followed by reactions such as bans on Islamic headwear.
A Pew Research study from 2007 found that 53 percent of American Muslims think of themselves as Americans first and Muslims second. The detailed report adds however that 8 percent of Muslims in the United States believe suicide bombing is "often or sometimes" justified. That adds up about 200,000 potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers in the United States alone who identify themselves as Muslims.
The situation of Muslim-Americans is therefore analogous to that of German-Americans during the 1930s. The assumption that all Americans of German ancestry belonged to the German-American Bund or supported the Bund's agenda would have been prejudice and bigotry, noting especially that many Germans who immigrated during the 1930s did so because they wanted nothing to do with Hitler or Nazism. Many Muslims similarly come to America because they want nothing to do with what their countries of origin call Islam. On the other hand, the refusal of German-Americans to repudiate and denounce the Bund and Nazism would have been denial. Non-Muslims and Muslims in America therefore have reciprocal duties to reject bigotry and denial respectively.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.