In a haughty essay for the Washington Post, ACLU Michigan’s Rana Elmir wrote Monday that, as an American Muslim, she is often asked to condemn terrorism. Her response to this understandable query? To “emphatically refuse” to do so.
I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated by psychopaths who misrepresent and distort Islam for their deranged purposes.
Elmir compares Islamic terror to the violence “advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country,” and provides a brief list of example shootings that most Americans would be readily familiar with. In her opinion, the greatest threats come not from ISIS but from American racists.
“The pernicious disease that is Islamophobia is spreading at home, thanks to a steady diet of repugnant rhetoric and equally misguided policies,” she wrote.
Right. Rhetoric and policies. Not bloodshed.
“Terrorism is not mine,” she concluded. “I will not claim it, not even through an apology.”
It’s interesting that in her list of White Man Killing Sprees, Elmir chose to include Robert Dear’s attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. That episode, more than any other, proves that Muslims are not the only group called upon to denounce extremists. In the days after that shooting, nearly every single Republican presidential candidate was asked to condemn the attack.
“Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism,” said Mike Huckabee, one of the most passionate pro-life candidates.
A Catholic priest in Colorado Springs, Bill Carmody, was actually protesting outside the clinic in the hours before the shooting. He, too, rushed to condemn the attack. “I am absolutely heartbroken about this,” he said. “I’m against all violence, and whether you’re in the womb or outside the womb, killing is wrong.”
But even these vehement condemnations weren’t enough for pro-choice liberals; they attacked Republicans for failing to condemn anti-abortion rhetoric (there’s that word again) along with the violence.
If we are sympathetic to Elmir’s argument, then we must admit there’s a double standard in place. Muslims must not be associated with terrorism; pro-life activists must not be separated from it.
It’s impossible not to feel sorry for ordinary, peaceful Muslims who are targeted for violence. No one is trying to excuse that kind of ignorant response to terrorism. But once we start towards this theory of American security that says “Islamophobia” is a bigger problem than Islamic terrorism, groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda will be only too happy to show us the error of our ways.