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What To Do? That is the Conundrum

I have been thinking a lot about what to do as a Muslim since Paris . . . then San Bernardino. A lot of Muslims have.

by Deedra Abboud in Muslim, Political, Social Views
December 6, 2015 0 comments

I have been thinking a lot about what to do as a Muslim since Paris . . . then San Bernardino. A lot of Muslims have. Across the country, Muslims are having discussions. And meetings. And more meetings.

In person and on conference calls.

Not just Muslim leaders. Not just Muslims who attend Mosques (less than 20%). Every Muslim.

Everyone is scared.

Will there be a broad backlash against non-suspecting and innocent Muslims randomly going about their daily lives?

Will Trump’s ideas catch on?
Killing family members of terrorists
Closing all Mosques
Institutionalizing torture
Requiring Muslim IDs or badges
Establishing internment camps for Muslims

What to do?

Conversations among Muslims are all over the place:

· We need to get out there and show our charity work
· We need to organize more Muslim-lead demonstrations against terrorism
· We cannot sound defensive in our responses
· We must defend ourselves in our responses, even if it sounds defensive
· We must be strong
· We must be humble and remorseful
· We should remove our head scarves, so we are not targets
· We should stay home, so we are not targets
· We should only travel in groups
· We need to do more interfaith work
· Mosques should have more open houses so people can come in and see our houses of worship and meet real Muslims
· Mosques should hire more security
· Mosques should ask local law enforcement for police presence
· We need to teach people about Islam, so they know terrorism is not part of Islam
· We need to be our normal selves and people will see it
· We should stop going to the Mosque
· We should invite local law enforcement and the FBI into our Mosques, again
· How can we show we are not terrorists?
· Will anything we do ever be enough?

And the conspiracy theories don’t help.

Why were media allowed to enter and record the shooter’s home so soon after the shooting? How come only one “source” has been able to “recover” deleted Facebook posts? Where is the third reported shooter? Why are only Muslim shooters terrorists regardless of the number of deaths or circumstances?

Some Muslim leaders and individuals are doing everything they can to get media attention for their condemnations of San Bernardino, terrorism, ISIS, and anything else possible.

Some Muslim leaders are trying to explain the systems in place at Mosques and Muslim organizations to prevent fueling and funding terrorists.

Some Muslim leaders and individuals are saying what they think others want to hear – that there is a virus in the Mosques that must be rooted out. Always just innuendo, nothing ever concrete or actionable.

It does not matter that turning on others for self-preservation provides no real protection. No “good Muslim” standard has been set, and even if it were, those prone to vigilante violence are not likely to request credentials.

It does not matter that the FBI has had a pulse on the Mosques and Muslim leaders for years through informants and wiretaps.

It does not matter that every Muslim terrorist in the United States has been identified as a loner, member of a small group, or connected only via social media – most recently estranged from their family, friends, and the larger Muslim community.

It does not matter that people moved to commit crimes or violence always hide their intentions and activities from others.

It does not matter that many Muslims have stood with the United States as soldiers, law enforcement, and informants.

It does not matter that the majority of Muslims are employed, pay taxes, have had no brush with the law, volunteer, and are good neighbors.

It does not matter how often Muslims have rallied for peace or issued condemnations.

It does not matter that Muslims are diverse individuals made up of almost every ethnicity in the world – over 1.57 billion humans with separate brains.

It does not matter that those left behind by the terrorists have shattered lives – even members of communities that have never even met them.

As everyone scrambles to figure out “what to do,” more Muslims are feeling marginalized . . . isolated . . . hated . . . fearful . . . hopeless.

And that is the perfect combination for psychotic breaks as well as self-radicalization – no recruitment required.

What to do? It’s quite the conundrum.

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