Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Movement (re prior blog entry, 'Stereotypes')

Salvete, qui legentes --

Just after I'd posted the blog entry 'Stereotypes' the other day, the news came out that the attack in San Bernardino was indeed politically and religiously motivated -- although strangely targeted.  It's apparently the same old Wahhabist anti-Western violence, this time on a more modest suburban scale.  (Guns furnished, gladly, by the membership of the NRA. That's another and potentially salutary group, apparently currently composed of nincompoops, that needs to wake up -- but that'll be a different story.) 

The news-worthier part of the story is this:  that American Muslims are raising money to give help the families of the victims of that attack.  Here's a link to the article: , and to the organization: .  The fund itself is called "Muslims United for San Bernardino"; they acknowledge that donations of money will not correct the evil done or ameliorate the suffering of the survivors, "but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way."  God knows, there will be funeral expenses and more such petty miseries.  But what is news-worthy is this:  American Muslims are human, and despite their particulars many of them have simple human sympathy for the victims and their devastated friends and families. 

“Since 9/11, we’ve felt we need to come out of our cocoons,” said Shaykh Mohammed Faqih of the Islamic Institute of Orange County [ ]. “We’re as American as anyone else … but if society is not feeling it, it means I’m not doing enough.”  Again, Sheik Faqih is of a younger and American-grown generation of Muslims, but by God! he's got the right attitude.  He is connected with a religious organization called the AlMaghrib Institute [ ]. 
Dr. Faisal Qazi, the Southern Californian neurosurgeon who initiated the fund for the families, has several interesting things to say.  "The American Muslim community has had extensive and intense conversations in the last decade about our role in society.  What you’re seeing is the coming of a new generation of American Muslims being emotionally and physically invested in whatever transpires in society.” 

Some Muslims do speak out against the violence, despite those voices sounding weak.  But they are there, nonetheless.  For example, see , a Canadian Muslim organization that speaks against it, albeit with a conservatively religious voice.  Across the pond in the UK, there is a yearly "UK Arbaeen Procession" which is a Muslim-organized multi-faith march for "unity and friendship between people of all ages and cultures" [ ]. 
Better still, to me, is , a group proud to be an American-Muslim organization "willing to attack extremism and terrorism unambiguously."  They acknowledge that too many Muslim-American authority figures are not so willing and some are indeed sympathetic to terrorist aims.  This adds a note of realism to their stance, that they admit that people in Muslim-American communities have divergent opinions on the crisis.  "Free Muslims will challenge these beliefs and target the sympathetic support given to terrorists by Muslims", says their 'About Us' blurb on their website (above).  

All in all, this gives me hope.  American Muslims may finally be waking up, especially the younger of them.  Now, could some of these sympathetic organizations actually be concealing terrorist supporters?  Sure, it's possible.  But in what part of human history has there not been angry people?  The Republican Party is made of little else, it sometimes seems.  There have been more peaceful times, certainly.  But think about it:  the USA and her republic have survived the Depression, World War II's Nazi Bund, urban riots in the 60's, and (of course) the September 11 attack.  Even if -- okay, when -- there is more terrorist bloodshed here at home, still the republic, the American way of life, will survive.  It's too good to be thrown away.  And I think a lot of American Muslims would say the same.

Bene valete.

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