Over the past couple of months I’ve had time to not only get some of my personal affairs in order, but more importantly, to contemplate and reflect on the state of the Muslim community(s) in America. This, in my judgment, is something we all need to do from time to time in order to cut through the cacophony of so much over-heated rhetoric and political spin, and bring some clarity to the things that really matter in life. It seems to me that it is this clarity which is sorely lacking in the Muslim discourse today.
When I began this blog in late 2007, it was, and continues to be, my hope to share with readers whatever knowledge and insights I’ve gained as an Islamic activist and committed Muslim for over twenty years, and to do so not from some uncommitted, “I’m just a Muslim“ perspective, but rather, the perspective of a Black American who has witnessed a frightening deterioration not only in the progress of African-American Muslims, but the entire Black community, of which they are an integral part. Admittedly my style at times has been provocative and hopefully engaging, and I believe informative and substantive as well. As everyone who reads me knows, I have no problem attacking sacred cows (pardon the metaphor) or criticizing that which has stood for the conventional wisdom over all these many decades. And of course, those who dish it out ought to be able to take it, so I expected that my views would attract critics, convinced at the time that the Muslims, ostensibly the upholders of truth and righteousness, would give this new, divergent perspective a fair hearing.
Firstly, let me say that many readers understood immediately what I was attempting to do with this blog, and while not always agreeing with its positions, fully appreciated the discussion it sought to generate. They recognized the importance of this type of forum in an intellectual environment almost entirely dominated by the “immigrant Muslim Syndicate“and its dubious political agenda. For those sincere people who supported this blog, I am deeply grateful and appreciative. For the honest critics, who despite taking issue with our positions, maintained a respectful, Islamic decorum in their disagreement, I also tender my thanks.
What I could not anticipate was the complete dishonesty, cowardice, intellectual shallowness, and just plain thuggery that has come to characterize much of the Muslim blogosphere. When I looked into this pathetic reality further, I discovered that it merely reflects the overall decay and backwardness of Muslim discourse the world over. I learned that Muslims would much rather believe their own angelic notions of themselves, which is to say, always the victim and never the culprit, rather than take a long, hard look at the gross defects in their collective character. We “thrive” (if that is the correct word) on demagoguery and demagogues, with a morbid attachment to, if not a relish for, conspiracy theories, half-truths, indignation, and protest. And when all of else fails, we exhibit no compunction in accepting outright fraud and deceit. It would be one thing if Muslims were to meet their critics, both from within (myself, Tariq Nelson, Charles Catchings) and from without (Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, Fox News, etc.) argument for argument, which is how modernity settles its disputes and controversies . In the real world, the one outside the Muslim echo chamber, rational proof and evidence remains the determining factor, not character assassination and shrill, baseless charges of government oppression. Sadly though, this is precisely how the Muslims in America handle their critics, through personal attack and fear mongering, usually under the demagogic influence of, but not exclusively, the immigrant Muslim establishment.
Unable to refute their detractors intellectually, they resort to thuggery, obfuscation, deceit, evasion, and name-calling. In most Muslim countries the matter is simply resolved by assassinating the opposition ( King Faisal, Anwar Sadat, Benazir Bhutto, her own father, and on and on), which is course unthinkable in America as it would spell the end for these evil people . But this self-defeating, transparently deceitful approach to opposition is deeply embedded in Muslim culture, and only serves to weaken our moral authority in the eyes of the world. Unless and until we decide to intelligently engage our critics with strong, fair, and factually based arguments, and give up the base, underhanded tactics of personal smear and unwarranted protest (ie. victimology), we’ll never be taken seriously by anyone. And this includes our own children, who are not only turning away from these disgraceful tactics, but in far too many instances Islam itself (God forbid).
To illustrate this point, one dishonest and cowardly critic of mine, unable to disprove the irrefutable facts contained in my expose of the aforementioned “Syndicate”, completely evaded the substance of the piece in order to hurl some bogus charge of “tribalism” at me. The only “evidence” he could muster in making this ridiculous assertion is that the website Little Green Footballs – and its owner the “bogey man” Charles Johnson – happened to agree with some of my thoughts and posted them. Thankfully, most of the Blackamerican Muslims who offered comments on the post didn’t buy this rubbish, and saw it for what it was, immigrant paternalism (the author is Pakistan born) and an insult! This is also an old and once reliable tactic, that is, attach a negative stigma like “Black nationalism”, “divisiveness”, “racism”, or in this sorry example “tribalism”, to any Blackamerican Muslim position which doesn’t conform to the “official line”.
And of course everyone witnessed the scurrilous and despicable attack launched against me by officials and employees of a Muslim organization. Their failure to produce even one shred of proof for their evil accusations and unmitigated slander – even after being challenged to do so – should alert all discerning Muslims to what those people are really about. I have already said enough about this loathsome group.
And finally, I will continue to devote this blog to hard-hitting analysis of the social problems that confront us everyday, however unsettling or unpopular they may be. In our absence these past weeks, we experienced one of the most infamous crimes ever committed by American Muslims, the Philadelphia bank robbery and police murder. It has already been covered extensively in the blogging community so I’ll leave off the details, only to say that this blog and others like it (Tariq Nelson) were sounding the alarm about the criminal subculture in the Muslim community long before it was acceptable to do so. At the time we were accused of elitism and class prejudice, but in the aftermath of this outrages crime, everyone now acknowledges that the problem is real and must be addressed. And I believe to some extent it is is being addressed, as more and more leaders are condemning this anti-social behavior. If we had any role in helping the Muslims understand this issue, then all praise belongs to Allah. It was a vindication won at an awful price.