Rana Elmir, an American Muslim and deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan, says that she “emphatically” refuses to condemn jihadist terrorists “just because I’m Muslim.”
In her provocative article in Monday’s Washington Post, Elmir claims that she is often asked to condemn Islamic terrorism, to which she replies: “I emphatically refuse.”
She then goes on to compare the systematic slaughters wrought under the name of Islamic terrorism with “the terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country.”
Elmir draws a parallel between the Islamic State and “Dylann Storm Roof’s attack on parishioners of a historic black church in South Carolina, Robert Dear’s attack on a Planned Parenthood facility, the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” and “the slaughter of moviegoers in Colorado or Louisiana.”
“I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated by psychopaths who misrepresent and distort Islam for their deranged purposes,” she wrote.
“Muslims across the globe are not threats. They are threatened,” she wrote.
As an example of the terror experienced by Muslims, Elmir recounts how “an American Muslim woman who wears hijab spoke to me of a paralyzing fear she feels every time she leaves the house.” Not exactly having your throat slit, but one can see her point. Sort of.
Elmir argues that Muslims “contribute to our own oppression by erroneously believing that if we just apologize, then the anti-Muslim rhetoric will end.”
“Condemnation,” she says, “becomes our admission of guilt.”
For all their faults, one cannot help but wonder what the response of Christian leaders would be if a renegade sect claiming to be Christian began carrying out atrocities in the name of Jesus. If a so-called Christian “Caliphate” were to arise, gobbling up territory, demolishing historic monuments, executing non-Christians, raping non-Christian women, and slitting the throats of “apostates” while citing Gospel texts, would Christians be silent, afraid to denounce such actions carried out in the name of the Prince of Peace?
Perhaps, but probably not. More likely they would scramble to disassociate themselves from actions that were so egregiously “unchristian.”
Would the condemnation of such horrific actions be an “admission of guilt”? Hardly.
On November 21, several hundred Muslims came from all over Italy to protest the actions of the Islamic State in a public manifestation in Rome, calling ISIS a “cancer” and insisting that it did not represent the position of Islam.
The rally took place under the title of “Not in My Name” as a public refutation of ISIS as representative of the majority of Muslims, while another similar protest was taking place in the northern Italian city of Milan.
At intervals the protesters chanted, “No ISIS, no terrorism.” A large banner read: “ISIS is a cancer on the body of Islam. What they did is an attack on the entire community.”
“It is our duty to assume a clear, non-negotiable position against the promoters of terrorism. It’s the duty of every Muslim to condemn violence and terrorism, and in this Muslims must assume their responsibility,” announced the secretary general of Rome’s Great Mosque, Abdellah Redouane.
This event garnered much needed goodwill toward the Muslim community in Italy, and helped people understand that many Muslims reject the actions of the Islamic State.
It is unlikely that Rana Elmir’s arrogant and misguided rantings will do the same.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome