The All Too Evitable Backlash

Well, it happened again. Another crazed Baptist Jew Hindu Presybterian Zoroastrian Lutheran Animist Catholic Shinto Episcopalian Muslim went on a rampage. This time, the body count is 13 dead, 30 wounded.

Which means it’s time to trot out the standard playbook for Muslim leaders to distract Americans from yet another Muslim-perpetrated atrocity.

(The order of these is somewhat fluid, to avoid appearing too obviously stock)

First up, condemn the atrocity in no uncertain terms. It was terrible, a tragedy, just awful, and our devout prayers go to Allah for the victims of this awful incident.

It’s important to de-emphasize the details as much as possible. Words such as “tragedy” and “incident” work to disguise the sheer evil of the actions.

Next, start distancing Islam from the crime. Say that such things are abhorrent to “true” Muslims, that no “real” Muslim would ever do any such thing, and they find them as appalling and saddening (NOT enraging) as everyone else. If done right, the impression that is conveyed is that they are even more upset over it than everyone — but they’re too modest to say so clearly.

Then start rationalizing the deed itself. This must be done with a fine touch — talk about how sick the individual must be to have done it, and talk about what sorts of things might have triggered the psychosis. Be careful, though; it’s a fine line to tiptoe, between “what this guy did was justified” and “we need to know what caused it, so we might prevent it from happening again.”

This is when you go into the Crazed Muslim Of The Week’s line of excuses for why he did what he did and talk about how he was a bit off kilter, but there is some substance to his ravings. Muslims ARE being persecuted and oppressed around the world, and while it’s terrible that such a tragic thing happened, perhaps some good can come of it if some attention is shone on these abuses of the adherents of the Religion Of Peace…

Then there’s the final step. This one is the one that takes the biggest stones. (Which is entirely appropriate for a religion whose most sacred object is a big rock in the middle of the desert.) You have to pre-emptively claim victim status for yourselves.

Talk about how concerned you are that there will be a backlash against ordinary, peaceful Muslims around the nation. Oh, most Americans are fine, upstanding, decent folk who understand fully that this awful, awful tragedy in no way reflects on Islam (never mind what the nutcase was saying about his motives before, during, and after), but there are some who will wrongly blame Islam for it — and lash out at the poor, innocent, peaceful Muslims.

One minor problem with that: there’s never been a real backlash against Muslims in America.

When Muslims acting in the name of Allah tried to blow up the World Trade Center, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah shot up the El Al ticket counter at LAX, there was no massive backlash.

When two Muslims acting in the name of Allah went on a sniping spree in and around DC, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah drove his SUV through the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah ran down people all over San Francisco, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah shot up the Seattle Jewish Federation, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah shot seven people atop the Empire State Building, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah shot up a movie theatre in Baltimore, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah shot up a van filled with Orthodox Jews, there was no massive backlash.

When a Muslim acting in the name of Allah killed five people in a mall in Salt Lake City, there was no massive backlash.

And when Muslims acting in the name of Allah killed over 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, there certainly was no massive backlash whatsoever.

So now we have a United States Army Major and a licensed, trained, practicing physician choosing to betray his oaths to the Army, his profession, and his nation and instead honor what he sees as his duty to Allah — by killing those he had sworn to serve and protect.

There’s a part of me that is starting to wonder if the lack of backlash has been a bad thing. In the old days, Jews were oppressed by the fear that anything that they did would bring about collective punishment against the entire community.

Perhaps, if some of these would-be “Servants of Allah” had to take into account the possibility that as a response to their attacks, their loved ones and co-religionists might end up paying a hefty price in revenge, they might reconsider their plans.


No, we shouldn’t do that.

For two very differing reasons.

First, it probably wouldn’t work. These nutcases are absolutely committed to a death cult. To them, dying in the service of Allah makes them martyrs, ensuring a heavenly reward for their fidelity. The possibility of making more martyrs would be a plus to them.

Second, and more importantly, it is repugnant to our very nature and culture. We don’t punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty. Marina Oswald was never tried for the crime of being the wife of a presidential assassin. The families of Timothy McVeigh and Jeffrey Dahmer were the objects of morbid curiosity and pity, but not revenge. Our Constitution explicitly forbids it — Article III, Section 3 specifically rules out “corruption of blood.”

We. Don’t. Do. That.

But damn, it’s a tempting thought.

And the one example I can think of for a terrorist attack carried out against Muslims by a non-Muslim is the 1994 shooting in the Cave of the Patriarchs. There, Baruch Goldstein killed 39 Palestinians and wounded 125 more — before he was beaten to death. In response, the Israeli government outlawed Goldstein’s political party, paid restitution to the victims’ families, and in general treated the entire incident as a terrible black mark on the entire nation.

No, it’s far more common for Muslims to be the victims of Muslim terrorism. Muslim terrorists kill more of their fellow Muslims than they do of any other group.

What the American Muslim community needs to do is what it has needed to do for a long, long time — police itself. They need to start watching out for their brethren who start showing signs of Sudden Jihad Syndrome. They need to start practicing what they preach — to demonstrate that terrorism is, indeed, repugnant to Islam and learn to cast aside their misguided loyalty to those who have betrayed what we are told are the true tenets of Islam. They need to show their allegiance to our society and our nation by turning in those who are on the verge of “bringing shame and disgrace on Islam.”

That’s what they’ve been promising to do for time immemorial.

I’m not holding my breath waiting

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