The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 September 2004

A letter to a friend

Dear Mo:

Yeah, I know, it's that time again. And if it's been tough being a Muslim in the States the past three years, it's really got to be tough when the 11th of September rolls around and the calls of "Never forget!" rise from the land and all you can do is hope they forget about you.

There's just one small problem, though: you're not going to be forgotten. And it's not because of anything you did, either; it's simply a fact that entirely too many acts of heinous violence have been committed by Muslims, not just on 9/11, but as some sort of ongoing process. "What's that got to do with me?" you ask.

It's simply this: while the tides of history roll over everyone, they don't necessarily maintain an even depth. We are at war, Mo. And we are at war, not because of something you did, but because of things that were done ostensibly in your name, and in the name of your God. Until such time as we can weed out every last terrorist who claims to be doing the will of Allah, it is only prudent to assume the worst. Professional complainers call this "racial profiling"; the real world calls it "self-defense."

And really, Mo, this is an area where you can actually help. I know you don't want anything to do with those murdering thugs swarming out of the Middle East, but until you say so, how does anyone else know? There has been very little outcry from the many Muslims about the activities of the few. While it may seem unfair, silence does breed suspicion, and that makes it hard on you and on your friends. It's not that you'd be speaking out against Islam; you'd be speaking out against murder.

Sure, I still believe in "innocent until proven guilty." That's a legal construct, though; it carries the force of law in the courtroom, but it's unenforceable anywhere else. Until such time as we can put an end to terrorism committed by Muslims, any Muslim, however innocent, may be the target of some sort of suspicion. For that matter, I have roots in Syria, a place which could qualify for the junior division of the Axis of Evil; they could just as easily suspect me.

Anyway, this will pass. It may take a few years; it may take a few lifetimes; but it will pass. Let's hope by this time next year, we've made some substantial progress rooting out the terrorists. After all, you live here too, Mo.

See you in about a year.

Posted at 5:47 AM to Outgoing Mail

TrackBack: 4:19 PM, 11 September 2004
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