Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11 + 9

Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of the jihadist attack on the United States: an attack that was about as Muslim as the College of Cardinals is Catholic. And yet the news coverage for the anniversary was amazingly apologetic to Muslims. Any mention of Islam has been purged from the media. If it is mentioned, there is a caveat that only a tiny percentage of Muslims harbor ill will toward the West.

It's creepy: it's as if the Twin Towers were sucked into the earth by an earthquake, or that this involved spontaneous combustion. It is now viewed as a natural disaster that just randomly affected thousands of people directly, and millions indirectly.

And yet, we know that the 19 actual hijackers who participated represented a huge, international movement dedicated to bringing down the West. They saw themselves, and were accepted by millions of fellow believers, as holy warriors acting in accordance with the Qur'an.

Did they represent the view of every Muslim in the world? Of course not. We all know that. But it is insulting to be told that you can't ever mention militant Islam without putting it in its larger context of civility. No: militant Islam is dangerous, it is growing, and it is cloaked by people, Muslim and non-Muslim, who keep trying to say its existence has been extinguished by the presence of non-militant Muslims.

I subscribe to the Chicago Tribune, and the front section contained stories that offered nothing but tea and sympathy for followers of Islam, with advice from our president on how to be kinder and gentler to our Muslim neighbors.

Yes, Barack, we've heard it all before. In fact, news features that focus on the poor beleaguered Muslim community have increased over the past few years, and the past few months they've been running more and more frequently. The tone of these articles is always the same: Muslim Americans are true-blue, yet inexplicably have been singled out for the most humiliating and vicious attacks EVER experienced by ANY sociocultural group in America.

I don't know how much loyalty the average Muslim would show to the US if actually pressed--the Fort Hood massacre springs to mind--but lots have gone on record to say they would never pick up arms against their Muslim brothers. (That's so weird, because the Muslim Iranians and the Muslim Iraqis were blowing each other to pieces for years. But whatever.)

However, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that the vast majority (we always have to talk about the Vast Majority of Muslims, such as, the vast majority that are moderate, the vast majority that love the US...) are fairly patriotic in a benign sort of way: law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who vote, buy American and eschew dressing in a way that broadcasts their religiopolitical agenda (ie, hijab).

And yet they endure daily torment for just being Muslim....people "look at them funny" (back in their countries of origin, this is known as "casting the evil eye")...people think they have strange names....people make terrorist jokes....the women go to K-Mart and strangers come up and YANK OFF THEIR HIJABS !

Yesterday's paper carried a story that was written by a member of CAIR (already, a conflict of interest, but that's how the Trib rolls these days) about young Muslims who feel vicitimized and pushed to the margins of high school society. And they had NOTHING to do with 9/11, so they don't get it.  But they deal with this daily abuse by contacting organizations like CAIR, which then help them set up Muslim youth groups so they can raise awareness and gain self-esteem, etc.

This is so creepy, it amazes me that the editors at the Trib allow these stories to run without question, yet shut down any ensuing discussion.

Because here's what's going on, and it's like a page out of a book called "How to Start a Homegrown Terrorist Cell":

1. Identify a group that feels marginalized.

2. Convince that group that they are really victims, that society as a whole really believes that they are horrible people.

3. Give them a new, stronger identity with a group that reinforces the idea that they are different. Emphasize those differences. Watch to see how that gels: the kid will feel more out of place, and angry about that, and people not in the group will see the anger and react negatively, which will fulfill that prophecy.

4. Involve an agency that bills itself as a civil rights advocacy group but which really has a shady  agendum.

5. Plant reporters who belong to the group in major press outlets so they can promote this propaganda and fan the flames of really feeling persecuted.

6. When these kids are really angry, but all grown up with jobs and money, watch to see what they do.

Adolescents often feel marginalized or "different." It's an awkward phase in most people's lives. Teasing a kid about their differences is obnoxious, but it's common, especially among boys. The person who is teased is allowed to tease back. I think hazing is stupid, but kidding is not necessarily malicious. Teenagers say dumb things, and if they're not told to knock it off, they can say things that are unintentionally mean. Or if they do say intentionally mean things, and it's hazing, adults need to be told so they can step in.

As for actual versus perceived cases of discrimination, I've pointed out before that something like a hijab is an in-your-face political statement, worn by women who often never wore it in their home countries, but who begin wearing it here in the US.  It is not religiously mandated; it's not cultural (or else why wait until they're here, or why do native-born Americans wear it?). It's political. And the political statement it makes is exactly the opposite of what the Vast Majority of Muslims supposedly want: it says, we are not part of your culture, we are different, we want to be treated differently--we want extra privileges, we want extra consideration, we want exceptions made for us. If you don't like that, too bad, we will make you look like a bully.

I think Americans are aware of this, and if they shun someone wearing hijab, it's the same as shunning someone who wears a white supremacist t-shirt. If you're not a white supremacist, and you think that's a terrible mindset, then shun away.

The one case I've ever come across regarding a woman having the hijab yanked from her head involved an incident in a department store. It was right after the Fort Hood massacre, and a shopper apparently reached her limit with this in-your-face display of superiority. She yanked off a Muslima's hijab, was arrested and forced to pay a fine. End of story.

Not! Because CAIR has been trotting out this incident, and multiplying it over and over. It's like that trick were you tell someone if they give you a penny, and double it the next day, and keep on doubling it for a whole month...you'll end up with millions of dollars. Well, that penny of the Hijabogate has been doubled about 15 times now.

I think that's all fake, and I wonder how many people really believe that it's happening out there.

I, for one, will not be yanking any hijabs. When I see women wearing them, I STEER CLEAR. Not because I think they're wearing an explosive suicide belt, but because I find them --not the Vast Majority, mind you!--about as attractive as white supremacists.

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