American Muslims claim they are also innocent victims of Paris attacks
Ok, buy the largest box of tissues to wipe your tear away over the real victims of the Paris terrorist attack--American Muslims.
Like so many others, Reem Hassaballa's heart was broken Friday when she heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris. She posted a photo on Facebook taken in front of the Eiffel Tower two months earlier and added a French flag filter on Saturday as a gesture of solidarity.
But later that day, she also posted her account of a tense confrontation with a customer at a store who presumed she wasn't American because she was wearing a headscarf.
"This is not how we do it in America," the woman shouted at Hassaballa, when her sister joined her in line at the cash register.
"It really infuriated me," said Hassaballa, 39, of Hinsdale.
"I'm just tired of having to condemn things that we have nothing to do with. Why do I have to apologize for these people's heinous acts? It has nothing to do with me, my family, my kids. ... I'm constantly trying to prove to people we're good people."
The same routine plays out every time terrorists carry out violence in the name of Islam. Within an hour of the first explosion in Paris on Friday, American Muslim organizations posted statements condemning the attacks and denouncing religious extremism and its perpetrators. Individual Muslims took to social media around the world to decry the attacks with the hashtag #iammuslim.(snip)
Awwwww! And just how did the Ms. Hassaballa know the customer in a store thought she wasn't an American because Hassaballa was wearing a headscarf? What the customer did know was that Hassaballa was a Muslim just like the terrorists who committed the September 11 attacks, the Boston Marathon attack, the London Underground (subway) attack, the daily attacks in Israel, the French paper Charlie Hebdo attacks, the etc and etc attacks and now the Paris attacks, all committed in the name of Islam. She proudly and publicly proclaimed she was a follower of Islam by her headscarf attire, so yeah, it has more than something to do with her, her family, her kids. In the future--and yes, there will be a future occasion of more terrorist attacks-- she should tell the customer and others how ashamed she was of the many, many, many Muslims and then teach her kids, her family, her community, herself not to hate, to respect other religious philosophies.
Or does this go against the tenets of Islam?
Tahera Ahmad, director of interfaith engagement and associate chaplain at Northwestern University, said many young Muslims struggle with how to respond constructively, especially against the backdrop of other social justice movements that deserve attention, including the Black Lives Matter movement.
"A lot of young Muslims, what I hear them say is, they're confused about what they need to say," she said. "Some of the students I've spoken to don't want to say anything. If I say anything, I'm going to look like an apologist ... when ISIS does not represent what they stand for or what they believe in."
Ahmad had just landed in Washington, D.C., for a speaking engagement when the attacks in Paris began. She said there were many late-night discussions with students trying to process the violence. She flew back early Sunday to attend a gathering originally for students to express solidarity with activists protesting racism at the University of Missouri and Yale University. It turned into a vigil for the Paris victims. She hoped it would encourage students to put their collective energies into resolving the root causes rather than play into the us versus them dynamic.
"Terror is impacting all of us at different levels from different sources," she said. "In the Middle East, parts of Europe, it's ISIS. Here it's a different kind of systemic injustice."
On her own Facebook page this weekend, Ahmad synthesized the spectrum of voices she's hearing across campus communities.
"Praying for Beirut, praying for Paris, praying for Syria, praying for Jews, praying for Christians, praying for Muslims and all the traditions, praying for Mizzou, praying for Yale, praying for Black, Brown, White, and all the shades because the soul of a human being is not comprised of any color," she wrote. "But prayer alone is not enough. These traumatic attacks are rooted in systemic global tragedies of indifference to terror when it does not affect our own."
Tahera Ahmad's concept of "interfaith engagement" is whining about and then suing an airline because she was reduced to "tears of humiliation" after a stewardess brought her a complimentary Diet Coke in a pre opened can instead of the requested unopened can necessary because of "hygienic reasons" ie, untouched by lowly heretics.
In her current sad, sad, sad situation this professional victim equated the horrors of the multiple slaughters of thousands of innocents in the name of her publicly proclaimed religion with delicate hothouse insulted students with some grievances, a few mildly valid, most definitely not. The Paris attacks were definitely an "us versus them dynamic"; the us being Muslims of a certain kind, the them everyone else. Equating the situations trivializes the horrors perpetuated by Muslims in the name of Islam and further insulting the true victims.
So Ms. Ahmad, I repeat the advice to Ms. Hassaballa, these reactions to terrorist attacks aren't about me, me, me--the me being Hassaballa's, Ahmad's or anyone else's sensitive feelings--they're about protesting the innocents cruelly lost and their families' and communities' pain. So crawl out of your personal and religious narcissistic hole and preach to your community not to hate and to respect other religious philosophies.
Or does this go against the tenets of Islam?