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Stop Asking Muslims to Condemn Terrorism. It’s bigoted and Islamophobic.

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Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It’s bigoted and Islamophobic.

There’s a certain ritual that each and every one of the world’s billion-plus Muslims, especially those living in Western countries, is expected to go through immediately following any incident of violence involving a Muslim perpetrator. It’s a ritual that is continuing now with the Sydney hostage crisis, in which a deranged self-styled sheikh named Man Haron Monis took several people hostage in a downtown café.

Here is what Muslims and Muslim organizations are expected to say: “As a Muslim, I condemn this attack and terrorism in any form.”

This expectation we place on Muslims, to be absolutely clear, is Islamophobic and bigoted. The denunciation is a form of apology: an apology for Islam and for Muslims. The implication is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise. The implication is also that any crime committed by a Muslim is the responsibility of all Muslims simply by virtue of their shared religion. This sort of thinking — blaming an entire group for the actions of a few individuals, assuming the worst about a person just because of their identity — is the very definition of bigotry.

It is time for that ritual to end: non-Muslims in all countries, and today especially those in Australia, should finally take on the correct assumption that Muslims hate terrorism just as much as they do, and cease expecting Muslims to prove their innocence just because of their faith.

Bigoted assumptions are the only plausible reason for this ritual to exist, which means that maintaining the ritual is maintaining bigotry. Otherwise, we wouldn’t expect Muslims to condemn Haron Monis — who is clearly a crazy person who has no affiliations with formal religious groups — any more than we would expect Christians to condemn Timothy McVeigh. Similarly, if someone blames all Jews for the act of, say, extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank, we immediately and correctly reject that position as prejudiced. We understand that such an accusation is hateful and wrong — but not when it is applied to Muslims.

This is, quite literally, a different set of standards that we apply only to Muslims. Hend Amry, who is Libyan-American, brilliantly satirized this expectation with this tweet, highlighting the arbitrary expectations about what Muslims are and are not expected to condemn:

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  • JD

    Right…

  • JD

    define taqqiya or bring a quranic verse or authentic hadith to support definition.

  • JD

    following your logic I guess Slavery is ok too right. it took Black people out of a poor nation todays Africa ( where they would be if they were not brought here) and took them to America a super power so everything is ok Years of rape Killing forced Labor of million of people should be ignored Heck why did we even took the nazi to court for mass murder of million people and took on a war We should have let Hitler go gave him a hand shake pat on the butt and say Its ok every things ok bro…

  • Awesome

    Perhaps Im wrong about this but, I feel that a major why some would want Muslims to speak out this way about terrorist actions is, we as non-Muslims feel there is a much greater chance that these types of extremist may be more prone to listening to you as Muslims, rather than us as infidels. If all of the 1 billion plus Muslims spoke out against people in these organizations very forcefully, at the very least perhaps they would ponder if they are doing God’s will or not. Please try and accept this as, “They certainly do not want to listen to us (because they want to drink our blood) so will you please speak for us and maybe they might consider” type of thing.

    That may be the reason why some non-Muslims would want Muslims to speak out, and there are plenty of Muslims who do in fact speak out against such actions and the extremists who engage in them. However, needless to say, it accomplishes nothing besides demonstrating to people who don’t already know (and who can’t be bothered to find out some other way or use enough common sense to know better) what Muslims have to say about such extremists and their criminal activity.

    Protesting and speaking out against these criminals and the crimes that they commit is kinda useless and a little pretentious. If those extremist groups really cared about what other Muslims thought of them, then they would not be so casually massacring them in the streets over petty things. As far as they are concerned, it’s them vs. everyone else, of which the vast majority of Muslims are included. The only thing that would stop them is defeat or if they lost their financial and military support that they not-so-covertly receive from the US, Israel, and certain regional governments who are allied with both.

    Lets be honest folks. Being accused of being “like a terrorist” in any way, and or being slandered for others actions is just wrong. Likewise being constantly threatened and told that your blood and your families blood will be on your streets is also very frustrating and to some even scary right? Let us try and make room for both.

    However, one does not justify the other, and neither slander nor threats should be acceptable. As an example, if someone in a blue shirt threatens or slanders someone in a red shirt, that does not make everyone wearing blue shirts responsible or give justification to people wearing red shirts to reciprocate against people wearing blue shirts. In this regard, it is best to avoid collectivism, stereotypes and prejudices when dealing with individuals. Also, the term “terrorism” is a political buzzword that is used as a PR (Public-Relations) weapon against a political opponent, or the actions of a political opponent, by playing on the term’s commonly-held negative connotations without necessarily referring to any of them.

    “Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” – Peter Ustinov

  • The greenmantle

    We as a nation ?
    Are you David Cameron or something? As a Brit I will do my own speaking thank you .

    Sir David

  • red

    We dragged the Brigadier through the Military Courts and Discharged him for his actions.Our Royal Family and Goverment apologised for this action on the Seikh people who forgave us and became part of our Military with outstanding loyalty, indeed they live alongside us.
    We never murdered people because of their religion.
    So, if we can say sorry for actions done on our behalf, can i ask you to do the same.
    Betcha cannot.

  • red

    That sounds exceptionally nasty, especially for a moderator, shame on you.

  • red

    They were left with democracy, laws and freedom of the individual. Also like nearly all the ex colonies they stayed in the Commonwealth (53 countries).

  • Awesome

    Are you seriously threatening me online where the CIA and the FBI and Homeland is monitoring?
    You need some serious help.

    Actually, it was a hypothetical question. Do you seriously not know the difference? Or are your reading comprehension skills so poor that you are unable to perceive the difference? Or do you simply not want to answer the question to avoid exposing your own hypocrisy?

    The CIA, FBI, Homeland and all the other alphabet agencies can monitor hypothetical questions online all they want. I’m sure they have probably asked themselves the same sort of hypothetical questions and are probably just as curious to the answer as anyone is.

  • HSkol

    Are terms such as “silly billy” even permitted here? If so, yippee, I’m gonna cut loose!

  • HSkol

    Uh, please point out Awesome’s threat. Oh wait, you cannot – for there is no threat.

  • Iekyll

    You need some serious help if you genuinely interpreted that as a threat. You made yourself look like a buffoon. Congratulations.

  • Awesome

    lies are lies habibi.
    You should not tell lies.

    So, you would tell the truth even at the expense of your own life? And you would expect everyone else to do the same, even considering it wrong not to?

  • JohnathanA

    lies are lies habibi.
    You should not tell lies.

  • Awesome

    And the practice of taqia is something you and your muslim brethren practice all the time even when denying it.

    “Taqiyya” refers to the Shi’i Muslim doctrine of concealing one’s faith under acute duress. For Sunni Muslims, concealing one’s faith under acute duress is only permitted, and is never really obligatory or even encouraged. Contrary to what some may believe or advocate, “taqiyya” is not about concealing the truth about Islam, but about concealing the fact that one is a Muslim.

  • Awesome

    I know it must be a pain to ask Muslims to condemn political savagery in the name of the prophet – the Iranian wackjob in the chocolate store and the death of of 140 children and their teachers in Pakistan. I know it is hard. The non-muslim world is worn out by the barbarism of the followers of the prophet. There is an excuse every time – this time the Iranian is nuts and the Pakistani Taliban are taking revenge against the military. As a non-muslim I look for the common denominator. It seems always to be Muslim. What’s up? What is in this belief that results in these behaviors?

    It isn’t a “common denominator”, when it is the basis by which such incidents are even mentioned in the first place. If you are only going to look at the violent crimes perpetrated by individuals who happen to be Muslim, then it is impossible for religious orientation to be a variable in such an assessment. There is no excuse for such behavior either. However, there is always some other factor involved besides religion.

    It’s “always Muslim” because that’s all you look for.

    Also, it is a false assumption that every criminal act by any Muslim in the world has to be because of Islam, simply because the perpetrator(s) happen to be Muslim. These criminals do not live in a vacuum where all they know is Islam. Rather, they are exposed to the rest of the world like everyone else, and therefore it cannot be reasonably ruled out that they have not been influenced by it or that it isn’t a motivation for their crimes. A few ignorantly sensationalized, cherry-picked quotes from Islamic religious texts are not enough assume a motivation unless the perpetrators actually reference it (which of course they almost never do). When the individual Muslims commit these crimes against others, they are only ever representing themselves, and therefore no matter how many such incidents like these occur, that is all they are ever going to amount to.

    Loonwatch heralds the Hindu and Jewish radicals. Good luck with that. Israel has indicted the Jews for setting the fire at Arab-Jewish school (no one died). Hindus yell and scream but don’t do much. Before you comment remember Bombay. Systematic killing of others is common among the Muslim extremists. We are getting worn out.

    The systematic killing of others is common to any active militant group (hence the militancy). Violent crimes against others happen all the time. Sometimes the perpetrator(s) are Muslim, and sometimes they are not. Sensationalism and hysteria about it can be very tiring, and I’m sure that it has worn a lot of people out, which is why they shouldn’t watch so much of it in the media. Not only is it tiring, it is also an inaccurate representation of reality. Unfortunately, people who have to live with violent crime every day were worn out by it a long time ago and they don’t have the option of tuning it out.

    A recent survey pointed out that in the US people were okay with torturing arabs held by the CIA. I don’t think people even care anymore whether these individuals had any actionable information. Empathy has been replaced with anger. When you waterboard someone nearly 200 times it is hard to imagine that payback was not involved. The American public has recalibrated – Muslim equals danger. Muslims must speak out. Muslims must be outraged. Their silence will be seen as acquiescence.

    Collective punishment is a war crime. Not only is it unethical and morally wrong, it is also counter-productive. Promoting collective responsibility, also encourages individual irresponsibility, and all of the negative results that entails for society. People who are okay with torturing innocent people because they are “angry” at the violence of their co-religionists, are nothing more than useful idiots, because they are indirectly justifying every violent crime perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims as a collective punishment. It also undermines the rule of law, because it is acting outside of it and contrary to it. I’m sure any sensible person can see the problem with doing what “feels good” at the expense of others, out of anger or stress, since no one is really up for getting as good as they give in this regard, and that is exactly what is going to result from it.

    A few helpful tips for accurately assessing reality:

    – Avoid collectivism, prejudices and stereotypes as much as possible
    – Avoid double-standards
    – Do not depend exclusively on news reports and superficiality
    – Keep things in perspective (don’t exaggerate or fall into sensationalism)
    – Don’t jump to conclusions (use critical thinking with reason and rationality)

  • Awesome

    Muslims NEED to apologise for the QUARTER of young Muslims who told British researchers that the 7/7 bomb attack on London was ‘understandable’ and ‘justified’.

    No, only that “quarter of young Muslims” who actually said that would need to apologize for it, and only if they honestly regret saying that and feel that they need to clarify that with those British researchers. The other 3 quarters of young Muslims who did not say this, have absolutely no obligation in this regard.

    They have to call for the aborted 7/7 enquiry, which the British Government refused to hold because talking about it would UPSET them!

    Not having a full public inquiry into the 7/7 attacks is only a failure on the part of the British government, which not a single Muslim likely had any actual say in. Therefore, calling for that inquiry is no more an obligation for a Muslim than it is for a non-Muslim.

    Our Deputy Prime Minster, the Liberal Nick Clegg said he wouldn’t teach British Values in British schools because it would OFFEND MAINSTREAM MUSLIMS!

    What public school teaches values to begin with? Aren’t values supposed to be taught and learned at home? Or has raising children inside the home gone out of style in the UK?

    Nick Clegg’s position on this issue isn’t a rejection of something that is already in place, but of something new that some want to introduce. It’s nothing anyone needs to apologize for.

    They need to beg our mercy when Pew found 75% of Muslims worldwide back death for apostasy.

    The 75% of Muslims from that research who believe in the death penalty for apostasy do not need to beg or apologize for anything, since believing in something that others disagree with (or find offensive) isn’t a crime. Additionally, the vast majority of Muslims who believe this have absolutely no say in the matter anyway. Then the other 25% from that PEW research who do not hold this view, have absolutely no obligation in this matter at all.

    They need to decry the so-called Arab Spring resulting in worse dictators than the ones deposed.

    No one needs to decry the “Arab Spring”, as it is the right of everyone, Arab or not, to protest against autocracy, tyranny, oppression and injustice, and demand change. Only the result of worse dictators being installed should be decried, and even then, it isn’t a collective responsibility for Muslims.

    They need to reassure us that Muslims being paid protection money… er, I mean ‘development grants’ to stop tearing Paris apart in riots is smething they can do just by being good people instead.

    That is something only the rioters can reassure, as this has nothing to do with Muslims who are not involved in it nor is it something that other Muslims can do anything about. It is the exclusive responsibility of the French government to deal with that problem. If they think that money is an effective way of placating the rioters then that’s their choice. However, not disenfranchising minorities is a very effective way of convincing them to stop rioting, since that is often the reason they riot in the first place.

    And Muslims need to purge their Koran of filthy verses telling them to kill or convert non-Muslims and regularly fine them for being nonbelievers (9:29) or even turn us all Muslim by force (8:39)!

    All the verses in the Qur’an are divinely-revealed, and therefore, all of them are going to remain. As for the verses in question, they are in regards to matters that are the exclusive responsibility of the state (not an individual obligation) and are only against hostile foes. Here are the verses:

    Qur’an 9:28-29: Believers, those who ascribe partners to God are truly unclean: do not let them come near the Sacred Mosque after this year. If you are afraid you may become poor, [bear in mind that] God will enrich you out of His bounty if He pleases: God is all knowing and wise. Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not obey the rule of justice, until they pay the tax and agree to submit.

    This is clearly in regard to people who do more than simply not believe.

    Qur’an 8:38-40: [Prophet], tell the disbelievers that if they desist their past will be forgiven, but if they persist, they have an example in the fate of those who went before. [Believers], fight them until there is no more persecution, and all worship is devoted to God alone: if they desist, then God sees all that they do, but if they pay no heed, be sure that God is your protector, the best protector and the best helper.

    This verse mentions “persecution” which indicates that it is at least part of the reason for the fighting in the first place.

    These verses are of course precluded by other verses from the Qur’an, which say that “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256), and to “only fight those who fight you” until you either prevail against them or they cease hostilities against you (2:190-193 and 4:89-91).

    When the guilty part makes the effort to bridle and make amends, THEN we may be able to talk!

    “Guilt” implies a crime has taken place. However, a crime is an action, not an opinion, and only the individual(s) involved are accountable for it.

    People are individuals and conclusions about a person are more reliable and accurate when they are based on actual first-person interactions and observations rather than on prejudices that are based on lies, half-truths and sensationalism. No individual, regardless of his/her beliefs or what rituals they observe, should ever have to apologize for what they are not
    responsible for, and no individual should ever be held responsible for
    what they have no control over. Collectivism socializes responsibility and accountability onto others for something that they have nothing to do with. Thus, it is inherently unethical, immoral and unjust. In addition, using it to assess reality produces an inherently inaccurate result.

    A few helpful tips for accurately assessing reality:

    – Avoid collectivism, prejudices and stereotypes as much as possible
    – Avoid double-standards
    – Do not depend exclusively on news reports and superficiality
    – Keep things in perspective (don’t exaggerate or fall into sensationalism)
    – Don’t jump to conclusions (use critical thinking with reason and rationality)

  • Sam Seed

    But he (JohnathanA) agrees, he has upvoted on the picture.

  • Jekyll

    A emo avatar talking against killing ?

  • Neil Burnett

    British colonialism made them do it? How? The 80 million Hindus were slaughtered well before the British arrived, and the Bangladeshi massacres occurred 23 years after they left.

  • Iekyll

    Volker Pispers

  • Reynardine

    Emmm… can you read a book at all?

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