Whenever Muslims are involved in a terror attack, my Facebook page and email inbox explodes with people who live to say (and love to say): “See, I told you so.”
The latest was from one of my long-time correspondents who sent me a list of every member of the present administration who is a Muslim.
John Brennan, current head of the CIA. Valerie Jarrett. Homeland Security Advisor, Mohammed Alibiary.
“We now have a Muslim government!” she writes.
It reminds me of one of the most enduring lessons of American cultural history — the fear of alien invasion.
The Red scare, well, scared us — which is what made the various film versions of “War of the Worlds” so frightening (though the most recent one would most likely be a metaphor for the fear of Islam).
We could laugh at the Red scare, while watching “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” and realizing the not-so-subtle word play in Boris Badenov and Natasha.
We could shudder to think of how our minds were being taken over by foreign influences, as we watched “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
And meanwhile, my late mother lived in fear — that someone would come into our home, and see all of her books on the history of Russia, and decide that she was a Communist sympathizer.
A few days ago, I described how friggin’ tired I am of praying for massacre victims.
But, do you know what else I am tired of?
- I am tired of having to explain to otherwise smart people with advanced degrees that Islam is not the enemy — rather, a particularly pernicious, ascendant version of radical Islam. Read my lips: I hate radical Islam and jihadism — especially because my people have been its most numerous victims, historically. But that is not all of Islam, and that is not all Muslims.
- I am tired of telling non-Muslims that just because you have skimmed through the Koran’s greatest hits doesn’t mean that you know anything about Islam.
- I am tired of being called “naïve” and a “libtard”(!) by those who are frustrated by my unwillingness to hate as a blanket response to the current crisis.
- I am tired of telling non-Muslims that, yes, Muslims have protested the heinous acts that have been perpetrated in their name. No, not as many as we would like. But, they have. Give it a rest.
- I am tired of telling non-Muslims that their hatred cannot do anything other than metastasize and harm innocent, law-abiding, hard-working Muslims in this country — which is to say, the overwhelming majority of them.
- I am tired of telling non-Muslim global haters of Islam that, no, it’s not “politically correct” to defend Islam; it’s called nuance.
- I am tired of telling non-Muslim global haters of Islam that I am not an apologist for Islam.
And, in particular, I am tired of telling my Jewish anti-Muslim friends: when you shriek about the number of Muslims in the government, you are only echoing those who believe that there is an international Jewish conspiracy.
And I am tired of telling my Jewish friends that they could, if they wanted to, choose to view this another way: that, in fact, Muslims are becoming integrated (read: assimilated) into the very core of American life.
You cannot have it both ways, friends. You cannot bewail the otherness of the Muslims in America, and also bewail the fact that they are becoming successful here.
And I am tired of telling my Jewish friends that even the great Maimonides, whose life was torn asunder by the radical Muslims of his day, utterly refused to condemn Islam as a religion.
So, to my Jewish friends whose only response to the dead that lie before us is hate and fear, I want to say this.
Go ahead. Worship those strange gods of hatred and fear.
Just do us all a favor.
Don’t call what you do Judaism.