Saturday, January 15, 2011
The Wrong Message
American Muslims are feeling nervous. Their mosques and clerics are under increasing scrutiny, Rep. Peter King plans to hold hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, and the legislature in Utah passed a law that bans the influence of sharia on Utah law-making. Is there a war on Islam?
I doubt it. But it makes for good conspiracy theories, and Muslims are just like everyone else when it comes to conspiracy theories.
But even if there is no war on Islam, there is a wariness of Islam and Muslims among many Americans, and I do not fault American Muslims for worrying about their place in the United States.
And I can even understand why the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) plans is holding a conference called, “FBI Raids and Grand jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities.” What I don’t understand is why the poster for the event urges Muslims to “Build a wall of resistance. Don’t talk to the F.B.I.”
The poster, featured on the CAIR website has been removed, but the message may not have been stopped. The response of the Muslim American community must be to open itself up not close itself in. We need all Americans to talk to the F.B.I. when they suspect terrorism, and if Islamic leaders are promoting the opposite view it is going to be all the more difficult to convince the average nonMuslim American that Muslim Americans don’t have something to hide.
If Muslim Americans fall victim to the same anti-government conspiracy theories that flood some right wing Christian communities we are on the road to losing the very soul of our nation.
Posted by Rabbi Rami at 5:40 PM