American Muslims must use the time they have left to unleash a transformation within their community.
The despicable conduct of Omar Mateen’s wife, Noor Zahi Salman, is the latest example. The Orlando shooter’s wife allegedly knew of his plan and accompanied him to buy ammunition, yet did nothing to stop him.
Then there was Tashfeen Malik, the obedient jihadist Bonnie Parker, who helped her husband Syed Farook gun down fourteen in San Bernardino.
Days before the killing in Orlando, the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, Florida, hosted Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar. The Islamic scholar had previously preached to a crowd of American Muslims in Michigan about gays:
Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence.
For this? Skaleshfar earned invitations to speak elsewhere.
Time is running out for American Muslims. Mainstream America can connect the dots from Skaleshfar’s bloodlust to San Bernardino to Fort Hood to Seattle to Garland to an empty field in Somerset — and finally to Pulse. All of these murderers thought they were acting according to their professed Islamic faith.
I’ll leave it to others to debate the text of the Koran and what it says or does not say. But American Muslims are running out of time because Americans are running out of patience.
With each new slaughter by a jihadist, the American Muslim community exhausts a bit more patience and goodwill of Americans. No matter how many rainbow-colored burkas are posted on Instagram, or how much rhetoric comes from the diminishing president, the message does not match reality.
Goodwill and mercy is an ablative thing. When jihadist after jihadist destroys our treasured domestic tranquility, they will eventually awaken an American resolve that will sweep away these distractions and confront the problem head-on.
It’s why Donald Trump has tapped into a silent mainstream fury. If the attacks by jihadists continue against innocents, what Donald Trump is proposing might not go far enough to many Americans.
I’m not suggesting this is a good thing. This is merely the human condition. It’s what civilizations have done for thousands of years when faced with similar circumstances.
And contrary to the progressive utopian ideal, history hasn’t stopped.
All of those primal impulses can’t be extracted out by four years of Wellesley and the Sunday New York Times, especially when few Americans read the Times anymore. Hopefully any response from an exhausted America would manifest itself through law instead of pitchforks. But the American Muslim community needs to understand they lose support with every single attack, until they do something about it.
Speaking of Wellesley and the New York Times, it’s been predictable and boring to see the enablers attempt to compare the jihadists to Christians. Every religion has its extremists, they tell us:
The truth is that some extremists appear far more prone to act.
The attempt to equate theologies overlooks the importance of mercy in Christianity. Leviticus might say one thing, but Jesus said another.
There’s yet a bigger difference, and one that touches the expanse of the problem for American Muslims. If a series of slaughters were committed by Catholics professing to do so for their faith, I know the response would be quite different. The full evangelizing power of the Catholic Church would be marshaled to clarify the theology and to distance its teachings from the killings.
So far the response from the American Muslim community has been a wee bit of the latter. If the American Muslim community was interested in the former?
They’d stop inviting Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar to speak at mainstream mosques.
If the American Muslim community was interested in the former, we’d read stories about wives turning in would-be jihadist husbands — instead of about Noor Salman making an ammo run.
They’d stop doing a lot of things, and start doing many others.
Why did Salman not call the police about her husband? There are only a few possibilities. Perhaps she was all-in on the plot, but only in a supporting role. Perhaps she had a blinding loyalty to her husband. Or perhaps she belongs to a culture of silence that made associating with a jihadist killer preferable to crossing that culture.
Americans can’t help but notice the rapid-response public relations machine that now follows each of these jihadist slaughters.
Does Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR have a black Lincoln with a driver standing by around the clock to rush him to the presser the second the next shooter is pegged as a jihadist? Does President Obama’s press staff have a teleprompter file loaded, ready to load at a moment’s notice with names and places left blank? “Mass_Killing_By_Jihadist_Who_is_Not_a_Jihadist.doc”?
Therein lies the lie. Americans have a deep wellspring of decency. But they also treasure the greatness of this nation that has separated the American experience from all the horrors of history.
Our domestic tranquility might be a higher priority than any other value.
The American Muslim community needs to launch something far bigger, far more effective, and far more theological in response to the slaughters, because time is running out.