It’s not even clear that all of the victims of the Halloween-day massacre in New York City had been identified by the time NBC News decided to run a story sympathizing with the group they considered the REAL victims of the tragedy: Muslim Americans. While the rest of the news media was busy gathering facts about Sayfullo Saipov’s wretched truck attack that left eight people dead, NBC News decided to get out in front of what they considered to be the inevitable backlash against the poor, downtrodden Islamic community.
From their website, published only hours after the attack:
Umer Ahmad, a 43-year-old Muslim-American physician from New Jersey, was in his Trenton office when he heard that a rented pickup truck had deliberately driven down a bike path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring about a dozen more.
“My initial reaction was, obviously, concern and shock over what happened,” Ahmad told NBC News. “And then, basically, I was wondering if it was a Muslim who did it.”
“My biggest concern is that he’s readily identified as a Muslim and then that is extrapolated out to my own faith,” he said.
In the wake of Tuesday’s attack, some Muslim Americans and community leaders expressed concerns over how their religion would be perceived and whether Muslims would become targets of violence.
“There has been a history of, sort of, blowback, and that’s obviously going to be something that people think about,” said Ali Najmi, a board member of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York. “But the primary concern is, usually, and is now, how we can best lend ourselves in this time of crisis.”
Najmi predicted that Muslim-American groups would organize around ways to help those affected by Tuesday’s attack.
“Their primary concern is about how we can be helpful and how we can help the victims and people in crisis,” he said.
We have to actually say, the Muslims that NBC spoke to seem more interested in putting their best foot forward than in falling into the same old defensive crouch, so we’ll give credit where it’s due. If this wasn’t just the network picking and choosing quotes, then perhaps finally the Islamic community is beginning to realize that this “WHAT ABOUT US” posture after every attack is a really bad look.
Of course, there’s nothing they can do to stop the mainstream media from doing it for them.
Frankly, though, we’d be happier if Muslims spent less time defending themselves, less time “helping out” after a tragedy, and more time actually cutting this cancer out of their religion. And make no mistake about it, this is a cancer that goes much deeper than a terrorist attack now and then. The object isn’t to stop every Sayfullo Saipov, which is probably impossible. The object must be to change the entire culture of Islam, gut the religion of the insane, barbaric teachings that continue to be a mainstream part of the worship, and get serious about major reform inside the countries where Islam reigns supreme. ONLY Muslims can do this work. ONLY Muslims can cure themselves of this rancid ideology that has left so many people dead, oppressed, maimed, and fear-stricken throughout the world. And to the extent they tolerate it, they perpetuate it, even if they would rather things be different.
Because as it stands right now, any backlash against the Islamic community after a terrorist attack is well deserved. These deadly events keep happening, the perpetrators keep citing the same evil motive, and the same “religion of peace” keeps laying waste to innocent people. Does every Muslim share in the guilt of Tuesday’s attack? Is there any excuse for random violence against a random Muslim? The answers to these questions are hardly worth examining – it’s an unequivocal and obvious no. But if you want to stand behind and beside a religion that produces so much pain and suffering, then don’t be surprised if your fellow Americans fail to understand where you’re coming from.