Once again a rift of fear has risen between our people. The horrific actions of Major Malik Nidal Hasan in the senseless murders of 13 of his fellow American soldiers in Ft. Hood Texas last Thursday, November 5, 2009, has many of my fellow Christians outraged and incensed towards all Muslims in America.
I do not completely share their view.
I am concerned, however. Concerned that this will happen again and yes, concerned of potential backlashes against you, innocent Muslims who just go about their business on a daily basis.
I am concerned when I read of groups of Muslim men arrested for plotting to attack Military Bases inside America.
I am concerned when I read of a young Muslim arrested, thinking he is going to blow up a building in Dallas, Texas.
I am concerned when I read of 16 year-old girl fearful of returning to her Muslim parents due to her exercising her god-given and constitutionally guaranteed right to embrace the religion of her choice in America.
I am concerned when I read of a well to do Muslim man beheading his wife in New York, because she filed for divorce from him and he is operating a TV station aimed at countering negative Muslim stereotypes.
I am concerned when I read of a Muslim father running down his adult daughter and killing her because she has become too “westernized.”
I am concerned when I see footage after a Muslim man serving in our Army and charged with helping those with the scars of battle embedded in their minds coldly murders 13 of their number.
Most of all, I am concerned when I read of a Muslim saying about those murders,
“When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal. But when a Muslim does it, they call it jihad,” and “Ultimately it was Brother Nidal’s doing, but the command should be held accountable. G.I.’s are like any equipment in the Army. When it breaks, those who were in charge of keeping it fit should be held responsible for it.”
The only area I see where the Army should be held accountable is the fear of reporting suspicious activities coming to light about Nidal Hasan for fear of being labeled a racist or Islamaphobe.
I am disturbed to see Hasan’s actions marginalized by comparing them to those we have termed “going Postal” over the years. Neither can be accepted nor should be excused in any way.
But, with all due respect, those “going Postal” don’t stand on a desk yelling “Allahu Akbar” as they methodically gun down unarmed soldiers in a confined area. Those who went “Postal” did not speak against the Post Office in terms of killing them as acceptable or accusing them of warring against a specific people.
But, where I disagree mostly with Victor Benjamin II, who made those statements is in comparing the two in the first place when a more applicable comparison might be looking back at American Blacks and White Supremacists, primarily the Ku Klux Klan during its heyday in the Southeastern United States.
Reports of lynchings, shootings and whippings of Black Americans for little more than looking at a White woman were not at all uncommon. The Klan enjoyed a large membership hiding behind their white robes and hoods and they also actively perverted the scriptures from our Holy Bible to justify their actions against peoples of color.
Not all Southerners were members of the Klan nor were all Klan members murderers, but can you honestly blame Blacks during that era for looking upon Whites as possible members?
If you were a Black person during those days, would you feel safe and at ease if Klan members who didn’t support the killings stood up and said, “it isn’t the Klan’s fault, we just don’t want the races mixed?”
Yet today, should I look warily upon you, I am a bigot, an Islamaphobe in spite of continual members of Islam sporadically popping up to murder people and invoking the name of your religion.
The Klan was marginalized; their numbers greatly reduced and wiped out in some areas by members who were sickened by the murders by a few. White Southerners infiltrated the Klan and at large risk, exposed them, informed on them and Blacks were granted the rights that should have been theirs all along.
Likewise, we need your help in defeating radical Jihadists. I believe you when you say they do not represent your religion, but I see they come from your midsts. They worship at your Mosques and listen to your Imams. They walk freely amongst your number and sit in your homes. It falls upon the Muslim community as a whole to expel the radicals, to expose the hate preaching and to point out those who approve of the bloodshed to the proper authorities.
Too few of you step up and expel those Imams that preach hatred between us. Not enough of you speak out and condemn these acts. We cannot do it without your help in revealing what is going on around you.
Just like it was the White’s responsibility to eliminate the threat posed by the Ku Klux Klan against Blacks, it is now your responsibility to help eliminate the threat that comes out of your Mosques and communities.
Help us mend the rift of fear before we see more senseless murders committed in the name of God. Help us understand and see the common ground we may share. It is not enough for you to issue statements of disagreement AFTER such an incident. You must help us stop them BEFORE they happen.
I neither intend nor wish you any harm. I wish only peace upon you.
I pray you wish the same for us.