The Ikhras editors are pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for April, 2013 is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR earned this prestigious honor for its reaction to Boston marathon bombings that killed three and injured more than 200 on April 15. The competition was stiff this month as the predictable buffoonery, expressions of moral outrage, and calls for the always ridiculous “interfaith meetings” commenced immediately after the bombing and continue as of the time of this writing. One community clown who recently discovered his Islamic heritage after the age of 40 as part of a new career path actually began a CNN segment with “I’m a Muslim and I despise terrorism.” April was a month in which we regret we have but one shoe to throw and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) were among the finalists. After an initially strong showing the ADC fell behind when it was reported that the suspects were Muslims, but not Arabs. The ADC is only responsible for the potential transgressions of 350 Million Arabs. Like CAIR, MPAC also assumed responsibility for about 1.5 billion Muslims and earned the dubbing Muslim Public Apology Center. However, after careful consideration the ikhras awards committee determined that the response of CAIR’s far more extensive network to the Boston bombings was the best illustration of the house behavior this award was established to recognize.
Less than two hours after the bombing and before any suspects were identified or arrested, the CAIR national office issued a press release condemning the attack. This was done in anticipation it may be a terrorist attack and possibly carried out by Muslims. Each and every CAIR chapter across the country quickly issued similar statements and CAIR activists began a futile campaign aimed at proving the humanity of the American Muslim community they purport to represent.
It goes without saying that what makes this behavior problematic is not the condemnations of the bombing, but rather the disingenuousness, and political motivation that drives them. To be clear, they are not disingenuous because CAIR activists are not sincerely opposed to exploding a bomb among a crowd of civilians, they are. However, the excessive and continuously repeated expressions of moral outrage are obviously amateurish political posturing rather than assertions of a basic moral objection which all minimally decent human beings of any ethnic or religious background would share.
Another troubling aspect of this behavior is the apparent acceptance of the principle of collective guilt. Even if the Boston marathon bombings turn out to be a terrorist attack (and that’s yet to be determined) carried out by two murderous misfits that happen to be Muslims (as of this writing both suspects are presumed innocent) it is certainly not the collective responsibility of 1.5 billion Muslims or even the much smaller American Muslim community.
CAIR’s response in the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombing also shows that the organization’s behavior is dictated by the very worst elements within American society. Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, and the other anti-Muslim, career agitators in this country are fringe elements unrepresentative of the vast majority of Americans that do not assign collective guilt or spend their days trying to convince everyone that Muslims are driven by an irrational hatred for the United States and prone to senseless violence against innocent civilians. CAIR’s impulsive and sophomoric reaction completely ignored these Americans and instead focused on making Muslims less repulsive to the same Islamophobes and religious bigots that are usually their favorite, and easiest, targets of condemnations.
Instead of this self-demeaning behavior what the American Muslim community would like to see from CAIR and others that claim to represent US Muslims is to simply condemn Islamophobia without accepting the burden of having to prove the humanity of Muslims each time one of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world is suspected of committing a crime. Moreover, whenever the issue of terrorism needs to be addressed CAIR and any other group purporting to speak for the community must also have the moral courage to speak candidly and truthfully about the root cause of terrorism which is entirely unrelated to Islam and cannot be addressed as part of any “interfaith meeting.” CAIR & other establishment Muslim organizations and individuals never address this issue, and it’s usually left to others Americans like Glenn Greenwald who, less than ten days after the Boston bombing, wrote the following about Muslims that have actually carried out or attempted to carry out terrorist attacks:
“…they emphatically all say the same thing: that they were motivated by the continuous, horrific violence brought by the US and its allies to the Muslim world – violence which routinely kills and oppresses innocent men, women and children… There seems to be this pervasive belief in the US that we can invade, bomb, drone, kill, occupy, and tyrannize whomever we want, and that they will never respond. That isn’t how human affairs function and it never has been. If you believe all that militarism and aggression are justified, then fine: make that argument. But don’t walk around acting surprised and bewildered and confounded (why do they hate us??) when violence is brought to US soil as well. It’s the inevitable outcome of these choices, and that’s not because Islam is some sort of bizarre or intrinsically violent and uncivilized religion. It’s because no group in the world is willing to sit by and be targeted with violence and aggression of that sort without also engaging in it (just look at the massive and ongoing violence unleashed by the US in response to a single one-day attack on its soil 12 years ago: imagine how Americans would react to a series of relentless attacks on US soil over the course of more than a decade, to say nothing of having their children put in prison indefinitely with no charges, tortured, kidnapped, and otherwise brutalized by a foreign power).”
It is unimaginable that CAIR would make such a statement lest they appear to be justifying terrorism, yet it’s this basic reality that needs to be understood by an American public repeatedly lied to by its government and regime media about the causes of terrorism and America’s own criminal behavior abroad. The folks at CAIR are well versed in the lexicon of American clichés and patriotic slogans about the constitution, but apparently they’re unable to explain the simple difference between causation and justification.
CAIR’s behavior in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing was slavish, counterproductive, and did not help address the very real and legitimate fears of the American Muslim community which lives in a climate of hostility, fear, and intimidation. It also failed to promote greater understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans, a stated objective of CAIR and one which it never tires of speaking about. American Muslims should not be striving to prove their humanity to anyone, let alone bigots and Islamophobes. Nor should Muslims be made to feel the primary responsibility of any civilized Muslim is to continuously condemn the alleged transgression of every single one of their coreligionists, a group which amounts to almost 25% of humanity. In the end, CAIR’s response to the Boston bombing served only to reinforce the never-ending cycle of negative self-identification and political weakness of the American Muslim community. So on behalf of American Muslims we are pleased to present CAIR with the April, 2013 Ikhras Shoe of the Month.
Every month Ikhras awards the Muntadhar Zaidi “Shoe of the month” to the House Arab or Muslim individual or organization whose behavior that month best exemplifies the behavior of what Malcolm X described, in the language of his own time, as the “house negro” (see video). The award is named in honor of the brave Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Zaidi who threw his shoes at the war criminal George W. Bush at a time House Arabs and Muslims were dining with him at the White House and inviting him to their mosques. Arab dictators and puppets of the empire are also qualified to enter the shoe of the month competition based on their own subservience to U.S.-led global imperialism. Contest guidelines prohibit any one individual or organization from winning the award more than 3 times a year.