Here is a short list of reasons why it is dumb, despite what Fox News will tell you, for Americans of other faiths to brand Muslims, and especially Muslim-Americans, as fearsome potential enemies.
1. We are at war with a very small percentage of the world’s Muslim population--the Islamic jihadists--and the determining factor in our eventual victory is the cooperation of the peaceful Muslim majority. Believe it or not, knuckleheads, it’s the good Muslims who are telling us where the bad Muslims are, so we can go kill them, which we are doing with ever-greater success.
2. A constant stream of Muslim baiting by prominent Americans, carried around the globe by the media, will only persuade the billion or so Muslims that we are, after all, the bigoted imperialists that the bad guys say we are, and aid jihadist recruiting.
3. The love of country shown by Muslim-Americans is an invaluable asset in preventing jihadist attacks. Patriotic Muslim-Americans of Iranian, Turkish, Pakistani, Lebanese, Afghan, Indonesian, African, and other descent know what is happening in their communities, and work with law enforcement to help keep all of us safe. It’s been almost nine years since 9/11, with no major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, in part because American Muslims serve as an early warning system and refuse to give jihadists a toehold in this country.
4. We have a Constitution that safeguards free speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and assemble politically. But it protects those of us who wear crosses or stars of David or no religious symbols at all only as far as it safeguards the right of a Muslim woman to wear a veil on an airplane. Don’t forget it.
5. Choosing fear is unworthy of Americans. So is selling fear. Don’t forget that, either.