“Islamophobia” was apparently Osama bin Laden’s fault, and now that he is dead, New Jersey Muslims hope that it will dissipate. But unfortunately, Osama bin Laden was by no means the only Muslim committing acts of violence, including mass murder, in the name of Islam. I have said it before and will say it again, but If these poor victims really want to stop “paying the price for bin Laden,” here is an easy way. They can:
1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
2. Renounce definitively, sincerely, honestly, and in deeds, not just in comforting words, not just “terrorism,” but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people, teaching accordingly in mosques and Islamic schools, and behaving in accord with these new teachings.
3. Teach, again sincerely and honestly, in transparent and inspectable ways in mosques and Islamic schools, the imperative of Muslims coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis, and act accordingly.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach sincerely against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively and honestly work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims do those five things, voila! People like me will no longer suffer from the illness of “Islamophobia”! “N.J. Muslims debate whether Osama bin Laden’s death will dispel anti-Islamic sentiment,” by Alexi Friedman and Dan Goldberg for The Star Ledger, May 5:
Hours after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced, the office of the Paterson-based American Arab Forum received a phone call. The person on the line was looking for Aref Assaf, the organization’s Columbia University-educated president.
–˜Tell your boss that we got his friend and we”re going to get him,– the man said, according to Assaf, who dismissed the threat as kids pulling a prank.
While the call represented a kind of hostility Assaf said many Arabs commonly endure in the United States, he believed bin Laden’s death might create an opportunity “to open a new chapter.”
“We have been paying the price for bin Laden for the last 10 years,” Assaf said. “Enough castigating our community. We hope this will serve as a reminder to America that the real source of terror was not in Paterson or Dearborn, Michigan (two cities with significant Arab and Muslim populations) but in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
In the mosques of Jersey City and outside Arab-owned shops along Main Street in Paterson, opinions differed about whether the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist would alter perceptions that have persisted for nearly a decade.
But across the country, there are already signs that anti-Islamic sentiment has not yet ebbed. In addition to crank phone calls, several other personal attacks were reported after President Obama announced late Sunday night that the al Qaeda leader had been killed.
In Portland, Maine, the message: “Osama Today, Islam Tomorrow” was spray-painted on a mosque. A Texas teacher was suspended after allegedly telling a 9-year-old Muslim girl in his algebra class, “I bet that you”re grieving.” And in Anaheim, Calif., eggs were thrown at a nightclub, hitting its owner, Mohammed El Khatib.
It was the kind of reaction Hesham Mahmoud, who was born in Egypt and now lives in Rutherford, said he expected. “If anything, I think his death will have a negative effect, because of all the people out there spreading nonsense about Muslims,” said Mahmoud, 42.
It will take more than bin Laden’s death to dispel ignorance, said James Yee, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the [Hamas-linked] Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. “It is disheartening, and tells me our work is not going to stop,” he said. Bin Laden’s death “is not going to change much regarding Muslims being accepted.”…
It will take more than an expression of victimhood by a spokesman for Hamas-linked CAIR to dispel reasonable and justifiable suspicion of the intentions of Muslim groups (including but not limited to Hamas-linked CAIR) in the U.S.