Prominent Australian Muslims say their community is being unfairly targeted by law enforcement and threatened by right-wing groups, as the government's tough policies aimed at combating radical Islamists threaten to create a backlash.
Actual attacks (two incidents in the article) cause no concern. But the "backlash" that might happen? Well, that's the real problem, now isn't it?
And here, too, the response to a beheading by a Moslem man (even if it was a personal dispute, the method of attack says something about his motivations) by local Moslem leaders has been less than comforting:
Saad Mohammad, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, told NewsOK.com that leaders of the society’s mosque are taking security precautions to protect Muslims who gather there from any potential retaliatory violence.
Mohammad said any anti-Muslim sentiments local residents might have could be heightened due to the beheadings and violence overseas by Islamic State militants.
Ah yes. A Moslem man attacks non-Moslems, beheading one, and the real problem is the "potential retaliatory violence" is the first concern?
This incident was at worst a warm up for real murder:
A man driving a distinctive Toyota fired on a group of three men walking along Old Pimlico Road after shouting “Jews, Jews, Jews" from his driver’s side window, according to a release from Baltimore County police.
The men were unhurt and the weapon was apparently an air gun or BB gun. So far just the hate is present. Just be patient.
Moslem leaders do their followers no favors by acting like the rest of society is the problem when people who claim membership in their community commit violence against people not part of their community.
I'll be among the first to say that few Moslems are the problem. The vast majority are decent and good people, as I wrote in the days following the 9/11 attacks here:
We must trust that our Moslem and Arab neighbors share our values. They or their parents or grandparents immigrated to America because they too cherish our freedoms and way of life. Like most Americans, they are here because someone in their family fled poverty, oppression, or both, to build a better life for their children. They are horrified and angry like all Americans. "They" are our friends and neighbors and are part of "us." Some, whether citizens or residents, will be guilty of cooperating with the enemy or even actively fighting us. This is not new. Fascism and communism had their admirers here even in our darkest hours during those fights. Those betrayers were guilty as individuals and not as members of any religion or ethnic group. Let us not descend into the logic of our enemies that the perceived or actual guilt of one condemns all similar innocents.
Too many Moslems, however, look the other way when they see Islamists in their communities out of indifference or fear.
We share the blame in that fear of taking on the Islamists who tarnish the image of all Moslems. If we were forceful in distinguishing between Moslems as neighbors and fellow citizens while vigorously going after the jihadi individuals, that majority of Moslems who don't support murder and personal jihad could stand up to oppose the Islamists more easily.
And so-called leaders in the Moslem community risk creating that so-far potential backlash of retaliatory violence by failing to condemn the Islamist jihadis who emerge from their communities.
After all, if leaders of the Moslem community refuse to condemn the killers and attackers as their first impulse, why shouldn't people who aren't members of the community conclude that all Moslems must think like the killers?
After 13 years since 9/11 with no backlash, you'd think that the wider community would get a little benefit of the doubt by these Moslem leaders, allowing them to focus first on the actual violence itself rather than the still-potential backlash.
I'm thinking that President Obama needs another outreach speech to the Moslem world--our Moslem world. With a shout-out to the Australians, too. If the foreign jihadis now think that random acts of violence are better than elaborate plots to kill us in spectacular fashion, we'll see more of these incidents, as we've seen at the Boston Marathon and even Fort Hood, as the most spectacular actions thus far.