Mar 10 2016

Yes Muslims, we are also responsible for the rise of Trump.

trump_flicker_face_yess I know the title has probably angered you, but it’s time we take a long hard look as a community at some harsh realities of our situation.

Namely that we caused this, or at the very least refused to do anything that wasn’t easy, to fix or prevent it.

Now I know what you’re going to say, we did fast-a-thons, we built bridges with the left, we poured money into ineffectual national rights organizations!!! Yeah we did all that, and then did everything in our power to avoid doing what should have been done, what needed to be done, but it was uncomfortable, it wasn’t easy. It didn’t come prepackaged handed to us with a bow…..so we left it undone. Even at times criticizing, undermining, or simply ignoring those who WERE doing it.

When we, as a community, saw that our tactics of choice weren’t working, rather than modify, or abandoned them, we simply doubled them. Refusing to acknowledge that there could better ideas, more efficient and effective means of making the changes we so desperately were trying to make.

When Tea Party groups in Florida extended a hand of friendship to Muslims in Central Florida it was rejected, ignored, or simply avoided due to suspicion. We as a community, allowed our own fear of the “other” to prevent us from creating allies that could have defended the Muslim community in our current state. When Muslims were invited by local tea party leaders and candidates to attend a Freedom of Religion rally in 2010, none showed. Not a single Muslim, responded to their calls for open dialogue and friendship.

When Tea party groups in East Tennessee came out against the 2011 ‘anti shariah’ legislation being considered in the Tennessee legislature, a well known Muslim group blocked them from expressing that condemnation at a national press conference, and instead pushed a national scaremongering campaign, ignoring the republicans in Tennessee who condemned the legislation. Preferring instead to use it as a means of raising money, through fear, from the community.

When The Libertarian Party of Florida made plans to protect Muslims at the 2015 Florida Muslim Capitol day, Florida Muslim activists, actively worked to sabotage, and undermine those efforts. Treating open supporters of the Muslim community, and their rights, with abject disdain, and complete disrespect. All because of political prejudices.

So you see, we are just as much to blame for the rise of Trump, as Beck, or Hannity, or Limbaugh or Fox news, because we refused to engage. We preferred to apply the same type of collective suspicion to the “other” as we condemn so vocally in them. When opportunity presented itself to refute the message of the haters, to their intended audience, we allowed fear, suspicion, partisanship, and yes hate, to cloud our vision, and close doors that should have been used to prevent this from happening to begin with.

We prevented our children from being activists for fear of Gitmo, we refused to reach out directly to those who hate us, for fear of it being hard or uncomfortable.

We love to ask the hater “have you ever even met a muslim, do you know any muslims?”

to which my response is:

“What have you done to personally insure that he has met a muslim, that he does know one?”

Pointing fingers is easy, practicing what you preach takes effort.

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