“Wimpy” delivery of denunciations

A Muslim reader writes:

On the point of Muslims’ “wimpy delivery of denunciations”:

I agree with you that Muslims are wimpy when they denounce terror, but here’s why it generally happens:

Imagine if your people get murdered and butchered daily with little to no media coverage, including heinous crimes against children as well (how else do you explain the numbers by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, showing exponentially more Palestinians being killed than Israelis, even though the media presents the opposite image).  Here’s a brief excerpt taken from http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/net-report.html

Reporting of Children’s Deaths – 2004

Actual Number of Children’s Deaths
Israeli: 8
Palestinian: 179

Children’s Deaths Reported
Israeli: 8
Palestinian: 20

Children’s Deaths Reported
Israeli: 4
Palestinian: 7

Children’s Deaths Reported
Israeli: 8
Palestinian: 18

It appears that American media (and, naturally, American people) don’t seem to care.  So when a heinous murder happens against Israelis, everyone is at attention and Muslims are in the spotlight and asked about their position.  These Muslims want to denounce it because it is wrong and they don’t agree with it, but in those 15 seconds of media coverage can you really blame them to want to “get the point in there one way or another” that people shouldn’t forget the other crimes happening on the other side, those are just as bad.  After all, it’s a human issue not a religious or ethnic one.  Isn’t every life equally sacred, especially of children? 

Any reasonable person would understand the need to “fit this in there” especially since there is no other way that info will make it to the news or to the public.

However, I personally like to think “outside the box” and I realize that fitting a quick thing in there about the Palestinians also being murdered isn’t going to really help, at least not in that moment.  The way I see it, why take away from the otherwise great and sincere denunciation of violence, and not give non-bigots a reason to wonder why everything has to be tit-for-tat.  In the short run Muslims don’t get the frustration off their chests, but in the long run it may help their cause, and the other data of their people being murdered may eventually be exposed as well.

So I agree with you and I’d make this point to Muslims as well, but you really need to understand why they do what they do when they do it wimpy.  Almost any average American in a similar position would do the same exact thing.  I mean, who wouldn’t.  Think about it, it’s just human nature.  When my boss gets mad at me for not meeting a deadline for a customer, I (usually) don’t just say yes you are right and stay quiet, I am just boiling inside to put forth to my boss the message that the customer is also to blame for this and that—it’s just my natural defense mechanism when I’m in that situation.  However, I know that in the long run, my boss would respect me more if I just say sorry and not a word more and promise to not let him down again.  If he ever found out about the customer being partially at fault and knowing that I didn’t even bring it up as an excuse, he’d be even more impressed.  That’s the lesson Muslims should learn…i.e. to rise above the normal average human level and raise their moral bar to a higher standard.  That’s really their best weapon in this fight where the playing field is not level for them.

If Muslims have no outlet, and instead just complete silence and disregard by Americans for their plight, it only follows that when they do denounce terror they have a need to fit in a word or two about what is being overlooked on their people, but they should resist this and do better.

Tim Kowal

Tim Kowal is a husband, father, and attorney in Orange County, California, Vice President of the Orange County Federalist Society, commissioner on the OC Human Relations Commission, and Treasurer of Huntington Beach Tomorrow. The views expressed on this blog are his own. You can follow this blog via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. Email is welcome at timkowal at gmail.com.