In Britain, Muslims Fear Backlash from Tomorrow's Next Atrocity
I believe the old definition of a nanosecond was the gap between a New York traffic light changing to green and the first honk of a driver behind you. Today, the definition of a nanosecond is the gap between a western terrorist incident and the press release of a Muslim lobby group warning of an impending outbreak of Islamophobia. After the London Tube bombings, Angus Jung sent the Aussie pundit Tim Blair a note-perfect parody of the typical newspaper headline:
British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.
And here we are, eleven years later, and it's more of the same old same old. This story in the Washington Post by one Jennifer Hassan isn't quite there, but it's pretty darn close. It's just a matter of time now:
Even before authorities named the assailant in the Westminster attack as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, the word “Muslims” began trending on Twitter. Despite limited details on the attacker's faith and hours before ISIS claimed responsibility, Muslims almost instantly came under fire on social media.
As more details on the attack outside Parliament unfolded, many people expressed their concerns about the dangers of finger-pointing online. Some highlighted the fear that many Muslims face during and after terrorist attacks.
The Muslim Council of Britain swiftly condemned the attack, along with two leading London mosques. In just two days, a Muslim-led campaign ‘Muslims United for London’ raised thousands of dollars for the victims. “I’m angry at the perpetrator,” wrote the campaign organizer Muddassar Ahmed in the Independent. “I’m angry at myself for being so helpless. And I’m angry that all my fellow Muslims can do is condemn the attack. Isn’t there more?”
Now that you mention it... As I tweeted yesterday:
Still waiting for huge march of peaceful Muslims, led by London mayor, to express outrage about the Westminster attacks. Did I miss it?
— Mícheál Breathnach (@dkahanerules) March 25, 2017
I guess I missed it. But the Religion of Perpetual Outrage wasn't finished with blaming you for blaming them:
“Why should we keep apologizing? These people do not represent us. They do not represent Islam,” said one British Muslim who spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Washington Post because of potential backlash in the workplace. “Women at work who keep their hair covered kept their heads down today,” she said. “We shouldn't have to keep saying sorry.”
The "backlash" for some reason always seems to be potential, and never real. But still, women from an alien culture wearing the visible signs of their subjugation have to "keep their heads down" at work... because why? Aha!
“The catalyst for this racism was Brexit,” she continued. “The referendum made it okay for people to be openly racist. Muslims feel under pressure to condemn terrorism. Muslim organizations shouldn't succumb to the pressure to apologize. The more you say ‘it's not us,’ the more people think we're all guilty.”
In a shocking move last year, Britain voted to leave the European Union. Since the referendum there's been a surge in hate crimes, as my colleague Griff Witte reported last year. “My mum is a confident, educated woman who was born and bred here. Since the Westminster attack she is scared to leave the house,” said Sophia Aslam, a pharmacist from London. Sophia's mother wears a headscarf and is fearful she'll be attacked if she uses public transport in the city.
“The targeting of innocents, the murder of civilians, the use of terror against a city — these are all strictly forbidden in Islam,” said another Muslim from south London. “I refute their manipulation of Islam and their false justifications for these reprehensible crimes.”