Like everyone else I was horrified to hear of yet another mass shooting, this time in San Bernadino California. And “no,” I am not going to get into how I feel about the whole gun issue. There’s nothing left to say.
This post is about a press conference I saw when I was watching the TV coverage the day it all happened. Because this tragedy occurred so close to the terrorist attacks in Paris, and elsewhere, because we’ve seen so much barbarism, ‘terrorism’ is the first thing that comes to mind now when any act of violence takes place anywhere. I suppose that’s to be expected. And, sadly, in this case it did turn out that the two shooters were radicalized.
But for the first time I’ve been aware of since all this mayhem has unfortunately become part of our daily lives, a Muslim organization, the Council of American-Islamic Relations, held a press conference. They had several different people speaking, including the brother-in-law of one of the terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook.
As I watched I became acutely aware of the fear and discomfort on the faces of everyone there. I also noticed the slumped shoulders, the lowered heads and defeated attitudes.
And it was at that very moment that I thought about what it must be like to be a member of the Muslim faith right now. Not a follower, not a threat to anyone. Just an ordinary person like the rest of us. Honest, decent, with the same hopes and dreams and goals we all have.
With a very significant difference. They’re all in danger of being tarred with the same brush, of being persecuted, of being made to feel unwelcome and unwanted; and, even, unsafe. They’ve got to be fearing for their very lives. In fact, since the terrorist attacks in Paris and California, there have already been a record number of anti-Muslim attacks in the U.S.
In much the same way as not all Germans were nazis who wanted to rid the world of Jews, not all Muslims are terrorists and followers of ISIS.
I have no idea what the stats are, but it’s doubtful the majority are. But that being said, there is definitely a rush to judgement, a rush to condemn an entire race for the actions of some. And now that Donald Trump’s come out and said he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States it’s front page news, each and every day.
Of course we have to be diligent. We should be diligent for all kinds of threats, not just those posed by terrorists.
All I’m saying is, we’re not the only victims of these atrocious acts of senseless violence.