Monthly Archives: September 2015

Quiet No More: Muslims in America should speak up.

Ben Carson finally showed his truly colors. On Meet The Press today, he made the following statement: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

This comes soon after Donald Trump’s refusal to take issue with a man during a campaign event who called President Obama a Muslim and said Muslims are “a problem in this country.” For the record, President Obama is a Christian. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, were swift to criticize Carson’s comments, stating that he was no qualified to be a president.

Now, to be honest with you, as a die-hard Hillary fan, I want these two to keep opening their months and spewing this kind of ignorance, because the more they do, the less likely they are to get elected. Why? Simple. I have faith in the American people. I do not think that we would elect someone who stands against the principles of our Founding Fathers; someone who would spread hate and division among us.

While we’re on the subject of hate against Muslims: here is a critique that I have heard and read often enough: American Muslims, the “good” ones, the moderate ones, do not do enough to condemn the actions of the few bad extremists.

I happen to agree!

We, as a small population, don’t do enough to condemn the responsible parties when something bad happens. I can’t speak for the entire American Muslim population, but I would like to, at least, speculate as to why.

First of all, and this is important, most of us come from a country / culture where criticizing Islam or voicing a political opinion was frowned up, at best, and a way to land you in prison, or killed, at worse. Second and third generation Muslims are taught to be quiet about such issues at an early age, even when they’re born and raised right here in the US, where the First Amendement is alive and well. So, we are hard wired not to “rock the boat.” Even when crimes are committed by extremists, there is perhaps a hesitation to say something that could be misconstrued as a critique against Islam itself, so it’s best to just … shut up. We assume that, as Americans, it is obvious to everyone that we love our country and that our loyalty to the flag of the United States is not up for debate: if something happens that harms our fellow Americans, then we’re just as pissed off about it as all other citizens.

Furthermore, I think that being a minority, and a very small one at that, puts added pressure to stay silent in the face of controversy. It almost feels like, no matter what we say, people’s opinions wouldn’t change anyway: if someone hates Muslims, that won’t change, and if someone doesn’t, that won’t change either. 

Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to feel that way; if anything, I think that other Americans are ready to hear from the Muslim American population. Perhaps for reassurance that our loyalty to the US is intact. Perhaps to feel a sense of solidarity in the face of tragedy. Whatever the reason, I think that the outcry against our collective silence is justified, and that it is time to speak up, not only against extremists, but also against politicians who use us as pawns in their political schemes. 

I know I will.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized