Thursday, June 23, 2016

Was Donald Trump Really Wrong for Calling Out “Silent” American Muslims

Omar Mateen, the Muslim who shot up that gay club in Orlando was a Hillary supporter.

At least that’s what a friend of his, Mohammed A. Malik, says: “We talked about the presidential election and debated our views of the candidates that were running – he liked Hillary Clinton and I liked Bernie Sanders.”

That’s one small – though fascinating – detail in a lengthy Washington Post article Malik wrote to respectfully refute Donald Trump’s accusation that American Muslims stay silent about suspicious behavior in their community.

According to Malik, he did contact the FBI on two different occasions concerning two different individuals.

The first time was in 2014, after 22-year-old Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha became the first American-born suicide bomber after droving an explosives-filled truck into a government office in Syria. Since Abu-Salha attended the same mosque, Malik responded to the FBI’s open request for information to give what details he could despite not being close to his fellow worshipper.

The second time was about Omar Mateen.

A decent year or two before Mateen shot up the Orlando club, he told Malik he’d been watching videos by a radical imam who had already inspired multiple terrorists and terrorist attacks.

Okay. Good to know. Malik seems like a good guy. And it’s easy to believe his claim that he’s not alone in reaching out to authorities about suspicious behavior within the Muslim community.

To say otherwise is to generalize a humongous population - which is so very, very rarely right.

Even so, I’m not ready to discount Trump’s remarks based on Malik’s article. While Malik vents his frustration – and mentions Mateen’s frustrations – about Islamophobia in the U.S., the truth is there have been far too many terrorist attacks made by American Muslims… whereas you so very rarely hear about American Christians or American Jews or American Hindus or American Buddhists going out of their way to murder people in the name of their religion.

So it’s perfectly logical to wonder what the larger American Muslim community’s role is in all of this is.

It’s also completely logical to point out how Malik went to a mosque that two terrorists attended. I mean, how many terrorists have gone to your church? How many know you by face or name?

And perhaps it’s also valid to note again that this latest American Muslim terrorist was going to vote for Hillary.

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