The Trumpster continues to bedevil the GOP and delight a large number of supporters who believe the party cronyism has failed the constituency. Voting for Jeb Bush (until recently, the heir apparent) would be as exciting as a visit to the county health clinic. So when a candidate bursts onto the scene who trashes the script, derides his opponents and refuses to “take back” what he says, politics its resurrected from the dead. Trump is speaking out on issues which effect Americans. And at this moment in time, there is no bigger issue on the front burner than what transpired in San Bernardino, California during the morning of December 2nd. The debate is being driven by a man known for his negotiating strength. He is the man who is knocking all others off of their game.
Mr. Trump released a campaign statement on Monday, December 7th. Recent poll findings were included that gave a metric of a sizable segment of the Muslim population with “great hatred towards Americans.” The press release also stated in part:
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension… Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” Donald Trump kicks the door shut with a mighty thud heard across the globe. No more Muslim migration. Enough is enough!
There is furor of course. We are Americans. We are reminded by the candidates and the average media bobble-head that our deepest value is to embrace immigrants. The sentiment is good but the understanding of basic human need is misplaced. The deepest value of any given individual is self preservation. And in that quest, man both stoops and strains to his baser instincts to keep the oxygen thieves at bay.
Behind the furor and far away from the cacophony of sound are important discussions. These discussions are taking place in the quiet corners of America. I was a part of the same last week whilst in Washington, D.C. Over drinks and across dining room tables, non-Muslim Americans are assessing the Muslim presence on our soil. We are not the policy makers. But we are refining our opinions, hardening our stances and casting aside our cloaks of compassion. We remember the Americans who leapt from the Twin Towers. We remember Nidal Hassan, Faisal Shahzad, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Mohammad Abdulazeez. After greater than fourteen years in which Muslims have been given opportunity to right their ship in America, we are greeted with the news of a Christmas party sarcophagus, courtesy of a Muslim “Bonnie and Clyde”.
We are increasingly uneasy about Muslim migration to the West. Donald Trump touches on the deepest of human emotions. Our deepest human emotion is not that warm and fuzzy feeling reserved for the other. It is that feeling reserved for ourselves. It is that cry which first emanates from the lungs of a small child. It is that plaintive emotion which announces to the world that we are alive. We are part of the human race. And now that we are here, we intend to stay for as long as possible. And so it is that those who support Donald Trump are growing the ranks. He has not only promised us a future bright with better jobs. He has offered us our very lives on a nice platter. That platter does not include the Muslim experience in America.
Why not? Why not listen to the outrageous words of this candidate? Too many of us have seen Michael Wetzel and his children light a candle of hope. That candle was lit three days before this father of six was gunned down in San Bernardino, California in an act of incomprehensible violence.
Why not? Why not consider an America without Muslims? Too many of us have seen the image of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik coming through customs at Chicago O’Hare Airport on 27 July 2014. The groom was born on U.S. soil to parents of Pakistani descent. The bride from Pakistan came on a K-1 visa. Both of them came through the airport with one deadly intention. They came to America. But they came to kill the innocent.
“Coming to America” by Neil Diamond, takes on a whole new meaning:
“Got a dream to take them there. They’re coming to America. Got a dream they’ve come to share. They’re coming to America.”
We are aware of the Muslims who give themselves titular rank as Amir. Nope. You cannot be an Amir in America. But you can be a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. You do not own America. It belongs to all of us.
We are aware of the Muslim man in the U.K. that baited the public to give him a hug (after the Paris massacre) only to find he is busy sending out bomb threats.
We are aware of the mosques on U.S. soil where adolescent youth are being hardened against assimilation and integration into the public square. We remain cognizant of these things on varying levels. Within driving distance of my own residence, an imam who instructs his congregants to “slap a Christian” if passing one on the street.
And what can be said about Tashfeen Malik? While her daughter was still kicking in the womb; before Allah revealed what had been hidden – her thoughts were not on a bright future for her child. Her thoughts – were about killing Americans. Mission shakes hands with madness. And as acts of madness continue to be played out, those with decency and kindness will begin to differentiate based on recognizable patterns. Let the pattern of violence be broken. And let Muslim Americans be a part of the solution.