How would a normal leftist assess what just happened at Ohio State University? As you know by now, the attacker was a Somali born Muslim man. Not long ago, he was featured in Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern. In the story he said,
I mean, I’m new here. This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray. I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they are going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that’s put that picture in their heads so their just going to have it, and it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.
Reading that quote, you might come away feeling a little sorry for Artan. He feels uncomfortable because people have a misconception of Islam and being Muslim. What would that misconception be? Presumably, that Islam is a violent religion that creates terrorists.
A question arises. How did Artan turn from the guy who said the above quote, concerned about the aforementioned misconception, into the guy who drove a truck into people and stabbed them? The leftist steps in, with conviction that is easily mistaken as knowledge, and says he was radicalized because of the media fervor around the election, and Trump, and all the nasty things that Trump and his supporters say about Islam and Muslims.
How dangerous and backward an answer this is! We know that Islam has a radical element to it, and even though most Muslims are peaceful (and quite irrelevant), far more terrorists are inspired by Islam than any other ideology or religion currently does in our culture. Yet, when Donald Trump and his supporters identify these terrorists as belonging to “radical Islam”, they are labeled bigots. To fail to label terrorists as followers of radical Islam, and to label those who do as bigots actually helps create the very environment of fear and discomfort that they blame conservatives for creating. Because the left acts as though Islam, whole cart, is a peaceful religion, we are hindered in distinguishing peaceful Muslims from those with radical tendencies (to say nothing of those with radical beliefs, which, as it turns out, is not a minority). Peaceful Muslim Americans often feel like they have to look over their shoulder, because the rest of us can’t tell whether they are radicals or not.
I feel bad for the Somali Muslim community in Columbus, many of whom are kind and good, no doubt. They undoubtedly feel uncomfortable when in the larger public, especially after attacks like the one carried out by Artan. They are now more likely to suffer from harassment. The end result is that they circle the wagons even tighter and engage the surrounding culture even less, resulting in an environment even more hospitable to radicalization. It is the left that is largely responsible for creating the environment in which these events are too likely. “Bigots who hate you and think you’re evil and violent are lurking behind bushes and hiding in shadows,” leftists repeat. And you know what? Peaceful Muslims start to believe it. And once they do, they are more likely to think that, hey, maybe my radical brothers and sisters are right; maybe driving trucks into crowds and slashing people with machetes is what these bigots deserve.
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