There’s a certain ritual that each and every one of the world’s billion-plus Muslims, especially those living in Western countries, is expected to go through immediately following any incident of violence involving a Muslim perpetrator. It’s a ritual that is continuing now with the Sydney hostage crisis, in which a deranged self-styled sheikh named Man Haron Monis took several people hostage in a downtown café.
Here is what Muslims and Muslim organizations are expected to say: “As a Muslim, I condemn this attack and terrorism in any form.”
This expectation we place on Muslims, to be absolutely clear, is Islamophobic and bigoted. The denunciation is a form of apology: an apology for Islam and for Muslims. The implication is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise. The implication is also that any crime committed by a Muslim is the responsibility of all Muslims simply by virtue of their shared religion. This sort of thinking — blaming an entire group for the actions of a few individuals, assuming the worst about a person just because of their identity — is the very definition of bigotry.
It is time for that ritual to end: non-Muslims in all countries, and today especially those in Australia, should finally take on the correct assumption that Muslims hate terrorism just as much as they do, and cease expecting Muslims to prove their innocence just because of their faith.
Bigoted assumptions are the only plausible reason for this ritual to exist, which means that maintaining the ritual is maintaining bigotry…
Comments: The author would no doubt classify me as a bigot. I classify him as an idiot.
The empty ritual denunciations are indeed meaningless. I am sure all Muslim organizations and mosques have a standard text, with space for dates, times and places.
It does not get away from the problem: What is the matter with Islam? It is clear that Islam is the only so-called religion that has this problem. Why would that be? One can debate history and say that all religions have been misused at times. But even a short reading of the history of Islam reveals extreme violence from the start.
I am not aware that any other religion has that kind of history. Islam has to reject violence yet it is hard to see how since it is embedded in their scriptures. Obviously that does not mean that all Muslims follow the text, I am not that stupid. But it got to the point where it attracting crazy converts who are killing people and yes, it their problem.