“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation” -James Madison

Friday, July 22, 2005

To our muslim friends in the US and UK

So, you're not a radical muslim....

You are a peaceful, relatively westernized, responsible member of our society. You have no intentions of flying a jet into a building or taking a hostage. You are as appalled as anyone else by the horrors being unleashed by bombers and "insurgents". You know all too well that you are as likely as any one of us to be caught up in a mass attack that you truthfully do not support. You are more or less tolerant of other beliefs and consider yourself a good citizen.

As in all subgroupings of any culture, you darn well know darn well where "the ones I wouldn't hang out with" hang out.

You darn well know which mosques and community centers are teaching peace, and which are preaching hate.

You know of radicalized converts and the areas they inhabit. You may or may not have direct knowledge, but odds are that you have heard at least one whispering of attacks.

You darn well know that you either have friends or friends of friends who know of the terroristic types, and if one wanted to join you could at least point them in a general direction.

You may or may not speak the language (odds are you do), but if you do, you darn well know who's chanting for destruction and chaos when you read the nativist newspapers, signs, and webpages.

With these factors in mind, let me make a few suggestions as to how you can not only make the rest of us a little less twitchy (in general and toward you and your religion/culture/ethnicity), but also do some good.

1. Notify authorities of people you know to be radicalized. Let the police/FBI/MI5 know what mosques, bookstores, and community centers are really just a front for some terror organization.

2. If you speak the language, offer your services as a translator. We currently have a huge deficit of fluent Arabic speakers, and if you're really one of the good guys, you'll provide a valuable service and probably make some good money at the same time.

3. Use your knowledge of the culture and religion to bridge our knowledge gap. Be helpful to our effort in discerning the practicioners of peace from the terroristic haters.

4. If you have contact with the "old country", let our authorities here know of anything that might be helpful. Every soldier saved over there saves countless lives over here.

Until you choose to do any or all of these, then you are a tacit accomplice of the bad guys, and have no moral ground on which to stand. Claims of "Religion of Peace" will fall on deaf ears for very good reasons. Passively standing by while others kill in your name is not acceptable, and will become less so as time goes by and attacks continue, and suspicion of all muslims will increase.

Aligning yourself with your "muslim brothers" simply because you share an ethnicity or named religion is no excuse. Long ago, American Christians denounced, exposed, and shunned their friends and neighbors who were Ku Klux Klan because the hooded terrorists of that age were performing their acts in the name of a god and religion that the rest of us did not share. You also must choose between a common heritage and a clash in worldview. You enjoy your freedoms and privileges, the terrorists want them removed. At some point you will be forced to choose; it may as well be sooner than later -- it tends to be less painful, less expensive, and more effective.
Choose to be a citizen first and a muslim second. Without a free society the practice of a religion is largely irrelevant, unless you're under the Sharia law (which I doubt you would be a fan of if you are not a radical muslim). Even if you do not support military actions the US/UK coalition has taken, recognize the fact that we have started the process, and anything less than full effort results in confusion and defeat. During WWII Japanese families recognized that they were suspect because of their race and background, and that our society simply was not willing to take a chance that they would not strike at us from within, and they went (some more so than others) willingly into temporary interrment camps, from which they were released eventually. While not a perfect solution, it was certainly effective, and allowed us to fight the war as well as we possibly could.

Without your help, then we will be forced eventually to do the things neither we nor you want: profiling, immediate suspicion of all muslims/arabs/foreigners, deportation, revocation of visas, closure of immigration, clampdown on mosques and community centers, expulsion from our culture. It's a nightmare to be sure, and we don't want it either. Recognize that we are not interested in suppressing you, and that our fight is your fight. We need to work together, and that is something I believe that our cultures have in common at the root of it all.


1 Old Comments:

Good post. I quoted parts here.

By Blogger Col. B. Bunny, at 12/10/05 10:36 AM