Yesterday a Muslim man left jummah in Seattle and shortly thereafter went to the offices of the Jewish federation in Seattle and shot six women, killing one. I have no doubt that all of the major Muslim organizations will condemn this act, and most already have, but is condemning enough?
Today I opened my email box and found emails and action alerts on a variety of issues, and any time on important event happens in Palestine I will receive an email within hours; but I had no email from any Muslim organization today announcing their displeasure at this incident. Now I have no doubt that Muslim leaders in America frown on this kind of action, I do doubt their commitment to reigning in the rabid anti-Jewish rhetoric in the Muslim community.
It is not enough to condemn such a cowardly act as occurred yesterday; we have to condemn the fiery rhetoric aimed toward Jews and Israel in our masjids and amongst many leaders. I will never say that Muslims, or anyone else, does not have the right to criticize Israel and lobby against Israel, that is the American political process; what I will say is that in many American masjids, and amongst groups of Muslims, the suicide bombers of Palestine are lionized, and an anti-Israeli feeling morphs itself into something resembling classical European Christian anti-Semitism.
When Muslims receive emails everyday touting anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, European writings rewritten for a Muslim audience, and our given the same thing at the masjid, then can anyone be surprised that someone can say to himself “hey, if the guy who blows up a pizzeria in Israel is a hero and my imam told me he is a shahid, then why cant I become a hero and a shahid by shooting up a group of Jewish women?”
Will the Muslim community step up the plate? Or will the victims be blamed and the shooter apologized for? I am also not that concerned with the communiqués of Muslim organizations. What I a more concerned with is the dialogue that is happening within the community on a grassroots level.
From the masjid to shooting six Jews, wonder what he heard at the masjid? A message of peace and love?
Tariq Nelson has also wrote on this issue today