from the fact that Lekovic is lying (from the 2002 LAX
shooter to last month's Seattle shooter to the North Carolina
University mower to the D.C.
snipers, the only "specific group" affiliation was Islam), we must aggressively
ignore these kinds of suggestions. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in
the same paralysis that Europeans are experiencing. Whenever Europeans
get together to come up with ways to combat extremism and counter terrorism,
not only do they find themselves being the ones prescribed with making
all the adjustments as opposed to the terror-prone Muslims but
they usually end up either with suggestions toscrap Holocaust
Memorial Day, or with a very limited vocabulary.
Take, for example, a
Christian Science Monitor article from April, titled "Fighting Terrorism,
One Word at a Time":
"Officials in Brussels have embarked on an unusual exercise, combing their dictionaries
to excise words and phrases that could cause offense. When the review is complete
and the rules laid down, you will not, for example, hear EU officials talk any
more about 'Islamic terrorism'.EU policymakers worry that it lumps all Muslims
into the same category, and angers them."
Friso Roscam-Abbing, an EU spokesman, said, "'The politically more correct
term will be 'terrorism that abusively invokes Islam.'.[H]e rejects accusations
that the EU is soft-soaping 'Islamic radicals' another phrase that is
coming under the microscope." Another EU official added, "'You don't want to
use terminology which would aggravate the problem.'"
Of course, we could always just have our vocal chords surgically removed. Or
perhaps Europeans could make more headway at these summits if they stopped
inviting the terrorists?
Meanwhile, if "aggravating the problem," or using language that "can breed
resentful terrorists," as the article also suggests, is a security concern,
doesn't that demonstrate that there's some sense in "lumping all Muslims into
the same category?"
Isn't it a tacit admission of something to say that just using insulting language
can make a Muslim snap into kill mode? If policies, protocols and language
lexicons are changing based on "Let's not anger them," the implication
is that those who aren't terrorists are simply not terrorists yet.
We are being told, in so many words, that Muslims as a group are at-risk,
that the average Muslim has terroristic inclinations.
If terrorism indeed has a distinct appeal to the average Muslim, and yet the
religion is not the cause, then what is? Genetics? Is it time to start
talking about the terror gene and asking the uncomfortable question:
Do they choose it, or are they born that way?
And if Islam isn't the cause of murderous proclivities, have we considered
that at the very least it must be a symptom? Take, for example, Denver
Michael Ford. When he could no longer take the unspecified jabs
at his religion that his family claims he was getting from co-workers,
he opened fire on them. Admittedly, it's possible that here, it wasn't
the religion which drove him to kill, but insults to the religion.
The Reuters article "U.S. Muslims bristle at Bush term Islamic fascists" reports
that many American Muslims who reject the term "say they have felt singled
out for discrimination since the September 11 attacks."
It's time to pin down those feelings for what they are displacement.
Every other group trying to secure its place in Western society has instinctively
personalized and internalized the crimes of its own feeling a sense
of embarrassment for far smaller-scale crimes than what Muslims and Arabs inflict
on their host societies. Who can forget the Jews and the Italians out-praying
each other in the hope that the Son of Sam killer wasn't "one of ours"? When
we learned his last name was Berkowitz, the Jews plotzed. Then we found out
he was an Italian adopted by Jews, and the Jews breathed a sigh of relief ("He's
adopted! He's adopted!") while the Italians cringed.
The welcoming Statue of Liberty lets immigrants feel they have nothing to prove,
but from the beginning, every arriving group has had the decency to not
take it to heart. Until now. When you refuse to have natural feelings of
collective shame, you project them out onto society as discrimination.
Muslims outsource the guilt that they decline to feel, which then leads
to appropriate suspicions of them. In contrast, when you hang your head
in shame over what other members of your community do, the surrounding
society in turn lessens your guilt. Picking up on the good will of a community
that has those human feelings of shame, society does the work to disassociate
that group from bearing collective responsibility. Suspicions lessen, and
there emerges a functional relationship that becomes part of the social
The "discrimination" that the indignant Muslims and Arabs among us are feeling despite
our running to protect mosques and yelling "They're not all like that!" every
time they help prove that they are is their own unfelt guilt. The resulting
caution, which is perceived as "discrimination" and which would have subsided
by now, will only grow. CRO
This piece first appeared at JewishWorldReview.com