Sunday, June 25, 2017

The London Mosque Attack Does Not Change the Facts

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

A few days ago, a British man drove his vehicle into a crowd of Muslims leaving the London Finsbury Park Mosque after prayers. He killed one person and injured about ten others before he was taken into custody. It turns out he was a white man of 47 years. As he was led away, he declared his intent to "kill all Muslims".

No doubt, the rash of terror attacks in England and other places had left the man enraged, and he chose to strike back. The Finsbury mosque had for years been known as a hotbed of radicalism, but had largely changed its image in the last decade. At any rate, the man's actions were flat out wrong. Mimicking Islamic terrorists and attempting to retaliate against innocent Muslims is not the answer.

However, lest we allow our politicians and the media to run wild with this narrative, we need to put it in perspective. As Fox News' Greg Gutfeld put it last night, this is not a game of ping-pong, where one act is followed by another from the other side. Terrorists and criminal acts against Muslims are quite rare, in fact. Terrorists acts by Muslim fanatics are not. They have become routine, and we have every right to draw the conclusions.

It is natural that Europeans (and Americans, for that matter) are frustrated and enraged by what some Muslims are doing. They are also frustrated by the silence and acquiescence of other Muslims who say Islam is being hijacked but do nothing to fight against the jihadis. We know of thousands, tens of thousands of Western-based Muslims who have gone to the Middle East to join ISIS. We know of virtually none who have gone to fight against ISIS. Who are the Muslims fighting and dying at the hands of terrorists? Largely those fighting in their national armies in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia etc.

It is true that most of the terrorists' victims are other Muslims, a fact often quoted by Muslims and their non-Muslim apologists. However, once you take away the soldiers, the victims of "honour-killings", those charged with apostasy,  and the internecine violence of Sunni vs. Shia, those numbers decrease dramatically.

Nevertheless, this is no cause to take the law into one's own hands and strike back at innocent Muslims who live among us. That we must leave to our police and intelligence services. In the US, we also have two advantages that our European friends lack. We have the right to bear arms in our own defense, and we have the First Amendment. You can call me an Islamophobe all you want (depending on how you define that tricky term). You can't put me in jail or fine me as can happen to Europeans. We must continue to exercise that right and ignore those who call us bigots. Unlike true hate groups like the KKK or neo-Nazis, we are trying to save innocent lives-including our own.

Of course, we should condemn what the motorist in Britain did, but it does not change the fact that too many Muslims are out there trying to kill us. The rare man-bites-dog attack must not be allowed to change the narrative.

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