Do you remember yesterday afternoon when you heard the first reports about the massacre at Ft. Hood?
I mean before you had ever heard the name of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, when all you knew was that there had been semi-automatic gunfire, dead bodies, wounded people, and a lockdown at a military base in Texas.
Everybody who thought “a Muslim must have been involved in this”, please raise your hands.
OK, how many people didn’t think about Islam at all when you heard the news? Raise your hands.
Yes, that’s exactly what I expected.
And you know what? You’re all racist Islamophobes, every single one of you!
Because the truth is that the people who suffered most from the Ft. Hood massacre were not the dead and wounded and their families. The principal victims were American Muslims.
How do I know this? Because CAIR said so. More specifically, at a news conference last night on Capitol Hill, the National Executive Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, said:
“The motive of the attacker is not yet known. We urge all Americans to remain calm in reaction to this tragic event and to demonstrate once again what is best about America —- our nation’s ability to remain unified even in times of crisis. We urge national political and religious leaders and media professionals to set a tone of calm and unity.
“Unfortunately, based on past experience, we also urge American Muslims, and those who may be perceived to be Muslim, to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and their religious institutions from possible backlash.
“We ask that individuals and institutions review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR’s ‘Muslim Community Safety Kit,’ which is available online at www.cair.com.” [emphasis added]
Got that, folks? Our number one concern right now is to prevent a backlash against American Muslims.
According to Fox DC:
The D.C. area Islamic community has been quick to condemn Nidal Malik Hasan’s alleged attack on dozens of people at Ft. Hood, Texas. They’re taking a stand, and trying to cut off any impending backlash.
D.C. area Arab-American leaders are calling for calm. They do indeed fear there will be a backlash. They told FOX 5 the hate calls and hate emails have already begun.
Leaders from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and local Imams held a news conference appealing for calm. They say they have already begun receiving hateful phone calls and emails.
They say they worry especially for Arab-American women whose clothing makes them a frequent target…and the estimated 11,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. military.
Now, shooting down unarmed soldiers and civilians in cold blood is one thing, but hateful phone calls and emails??
Can you imagine the kind of person who would sink to such depths of depravity?
Why don’t the FBI and Homeland Security do something about this serious problem?
The tragic shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, allegedly by an Arab-American Army psychiatrist, may deal a severe blow to image campaigns launched by Arab and Muslim groups after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“One incident like this can just completely erase five years of building up confidence in the mainstream American community that we’re no different,” says Ray Hanania, one of the founders of the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military. “It’s always a setback when there is an act of violence.”
One incident like this can lay thirteen people under the sod and put another couple of dozen in ICU. But what is that compared to the PR problem for American Muslims?
CAIR was a leader of educational campaigns to quell anti-Muslim sentiment after the Sept. 11 attacks. All the terrorists involved were Arabs and Muslims.
“We’re asking for calm and unity,” Hooper says. “In this time of crisis, we really need to come together as a nation and not listen to voices that try to pit one community against another.”
Of course we do. If only we hadn’t listened to those evil divisive voices, Maj. Hasan would never have pitted his community of bullets against the military community of Ft. Hood!
The number of Muslims in the army is pitifully small:
Army statistics show that as of April 2008, there were 1,563 active-duty soldiers who identified themselves as Muslims and 436 Army National Guard members and 581 Army reservists.
I think it’s time to start an program of active outreach that will recruit more Muslims into the armed services and thus help to protect them. Safety in numbers, right?
And I think USA Today has hit the nail on the head: this is primarily a marketing problem for American Muslims. They should hire a better advertising consultant and work on re-branding themselves.
They need to replace the popular image of Maj. Hasan spraying bullets into unarmed men and women with something else, something more truly representative of America’s rich Islamic heritage. Some suggestions:
- Happy Muslim men, women, and children skipping merrily through a meadow strewn with flowers!
- A beautiful Muslim woman (well, we think she’s beautiful, but all we can see is her eyes) preparing a nutritious halal meal for her co-wives, her husband, and his twenty-six children!
- A smiling little Muslim boy playing with a cute puppy! No, wait a minute: scratch the puppy. Make it a goat!
- A dutiful Muslim father running over his apostate daughter with a brand new late-model Mercedes Benz!
- A cheerful Muslim family gathering together and setting off on an outing to the stadium to stone an adulteress!
Yes, there’s a lot we can do to improve the image of Muslims. Let’s get to work on it…