Throughout media outlets, we have all seen the displays of anger, frustration and downright hatred by many Muslims toward the West for the political cartoons posted in Denmark portraying Muhammad in different lights, one depicting him turning away homicide bombers from the gates of heaven, saying “Stop, stop-we ran out of virgins!” Another was a cartoon of Muhammad with horns. The third showed him with a turban in the shape of a bomb.
Regardless of your opinion as to whether you agree or disagree with these depictions, Muslims around the world, those protesting and those who have not, have shown a great deal about themselves. It is sad to say, however, the real protests that Muslims should be engaged in, have not shown up.
With the outcry of fanatical Muslims storming U.S., Danish and other Western embassies, calling for the heads to be cut off of the cartoon artists and so on, where have the protests been from the so-called moderate Muslims? Why aren’t several Muslims protesting this behavior if Islam is a peaceful religion?
If someone went around telling people I had been saying things about him or her that are not true, I personally would stand up and clear my name so that people would not get a bad impression about me. Where is that in the American Muslim community, let alone the world?
If it is true that these fanatics represent only a small portion of the Muslim community, their actions and words sure seem to speak for the majority.
Is it fair for Arab countries to engage in everyday political cartoons that portray hatred toward other religions, ideals and beliefs? A double standard is applied, however, when someone disagrees with them.
I constantly hear on television, read in newspapers and hear that these are just a small group of people committing these acts. But when thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, come out in violent protest not just in one country but in many countries, this does not appear to be a small isolated incident or group of people.
So why hasn’t there been an outcry, protest, or displeasure expressed within the Muslim community over this type of behavior and rhetoric? If there is, where are they? Why haven’t they made themselves known?
An outsider to the community would draw one of two conclusions: Either the entire Muslim community believes in violent means to display their displeasure, or they just don’t care.
I truly believe that there are many good Muslims in the United States, throughout the world and on this campus, but they have failed to show me and other “Westerners” that they truly are moderate, that talk and peace over brutality is what they prefer.
I don’t agree with everything our country has done or is currently doing, let alone the actions of many other countries, but the fact remains that after 9/11, I didn’t go out and destroy Muslim mosques, threaten to cut anyone’s head off, or inflict physical harm to another human being. I looked at the attackers as sick people who didn’t care about anyone or anything but their own cause.
I know there were Muslims who died on 9/11, and they, to me, were Americans first and foremost. The fact remains: Where are the good ones to stand up and denounce this behavior, and say, “Here we are, and we aren’t going to let a few bad apples ruin the bunch”?
Phillip Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.