Muslims Should Raise the Other Finger
During the salat, or prayer, Muslims raise their index finger to bear witness to the oneness of God. In America today, with all the calls for Muslims to condemn every little act of violence committed in the name of their religion, Muslims should start raising up the other finger. The middle one.
There is no need for one Muslim to condemn the crimes of another. Collective responsibility cannot, and should not, be accepted. Where one accepts collective responsibility one opens the door to collective punishment. Are Muslims individuals? Or are they one singular marionette that pirouettes each time its string is pulled?
One of the most egregious acts of kowtowing to the “massa” occurred recently in the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings. At Huffington Post, Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Salam al-Maryati wrote an article directed to Muslim-Americans, extolling them to “amplify our Muslim American identity.” No thanks. The only thing I’ll amplify is the length of my middle finger. A law-abiding American-Muslim has no need to do anything, one way or the other, when someone with a Muslim sounding name goes off the rail. The reason for this abstention-from-condemnation is not because “Christians don’t do it” or “Jews don’t do it.” It is nothing communal. Rather, it has to do with individual dignity, and individual accountability. We are all, each one of us, responsible for our actions, and liable for our mistakes. The ambit of our accountability cannot be allowed to extend beyond that. Why are the boundaries between one Muslim and another blurred and the individualities fused together? Muslims are not inkblots.
I have been against the notion of Muslims having to condemn this or that for years now, but previously my tone was restrained as I felt that calm persuasion was the right way to go about presenting this position. Not any more. Next time someone asks me to tell them why x or y Muslim murderer is evil I will bear witness in ways that are rated R.
Now in the name of Allah I’m going to go slaughter a turkey.