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Stop asking me to condemn terrorists just because I’m Muslim

I have no reason to say sorry, and Islamophobes won’t believe me anyway.



As an American Muslim, I am consistently and aggressively asked — by media figures, religious leaders, politicians and Internet trolls — to condemn terrorism to prove my patriotism.

I emphatically refuse.

Make no mistake: The terror imposed by those who sympathize with Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militant group), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and other groups is just as foreign to me as the terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country.

Therefore, just as I have never been asked to condemn Dylann Storm Roof’s attack on parishioners of a historic black church in South Carolina, Robert Dear’s attack on a Planned Parenthood facility, the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the slaughter of moviegoers in Colorado or Louisiana, I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated by psychopaths who misrepresent and distort Islam for their deranged purposes.

Not surprisingly, nativist rhetoric and policies targeting American Muslims always start with the same feral calls for condemnation. Asking us to apologize for violence that has orphaned generations of Muslims has the perverse effect of re-victimizing us by erasing our humanity and experiences. There is no other acceptable scenario in which the media, politicians and even our president would urge and expect victims to apologize publicly and rout out the ideology that contributed to their own persecution.

[Trump supporters are angry at the wrong people]

Since 2000, the majority of terror attacks have occurred in five countries — Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, all Muslim-majority countries.Close to 90 percent of the victims of Daesh are Muslims. A 2009 studyconducted by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point concluded conservatively that al-Qaeda has killed eight times as many Muslims as non-Muslims.

Muslims across the globe are not threats. They are threatened.

Muslim vulnerability is not just contained abroad. The pernicious disease that is Islamophobia is spreading at home, thanks to a steady diet of repugnant rhetoric and equally misguided policies. While the number of hate crimes reported to the FBI fell in 2014 in most categories, the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes rose, with Muslim Americans experiencing five times the number of hate crimes today than they did before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

[Four ways the U.S. is banning Muslims already]

Examples of crimes, threats and harassment against American Muslims abound. Last month, a group of individuals euphemistically called “armed protesters” by the media rallied outside the Islamic Center of Irving in Texas, greeting worshipers with assault rifles and other weapons. Later, the organizing group published the names and addresses of Muslim families and “sympathizers” on social media. In New York, a store clerk was beaten by a man who yelled “I kill Muslims.” In California, a woman berated a group of Muslims praying in a park and then


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