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This Is Going To Be A Lousy Weekend
Amer Zahr
by Amer Zahr
April 19th, 2013 (13 Comments)
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I was planning on having a lazy Friday watching funny YouTube videos, reading my Facebook News Feed, and catching up on my TV shows.  No such luck.

This Saturday and Sunday, I was planning on relaxing in hotel rooms in Atlanta and Columbus after my shows.  That’s not going to happen.

Instead, I’ve been transfixed to CNN all day.  And now, all weekend I’ll be glued to my iPhone getting updates from Anderson Cooper.

This weekend is going to be lousy.

Most Arab and Muslim Americans were not watching the Boston Marathon.  We’ve done enough running in our home countries.  Some of us ran all the way to America.  By the time we got here, running was kind of last on our list of leisurely activities.

So it seems that the two main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are two brothers from Chechnya.  And it of course did not get lost on CNN and Fox News that they are also Muslim.

Saturday and Sunday are going to be so lousy.

Of course, today, a few Arab and Muslim American organizations put out statements condemning the attacks.  It has become common practice for these groups to “apologize” every time an Arab or Muslim does something crazy or stupid.  We have allowed a certain environment to develop, one where we are expected to denounce every idiotic act of every idiot who happens to be Arab or Muslim. Enough already.

And you know what’s really lousy?  We’re the only ones who ever apologize.  I don’t see white people ever apologizing for invading Iraq, or nominating Sarah Palin, or mayonnaise, or any of the dumb stuff their people did.

Why do we subjugate ourselves like that? By constantly denouncing, condemning, and apologizing, we are in part buying into the idea that these crazies somehow speak for us. We spend all the rest of our time crying out that they do not represent us, yet every time we voluntarily denounce them, we somehow are saying that they do. If someone asks me, I’ll condemn him, I guess. Anyone would, right?

So I guess I’ll have to denounce a little the next couple days.  What a lousy way to spend a weekend.

And I’m going to have to watch Wolf Blitzer give America a very bad education on Chechnya this weekend.  There will some sort of CNN special report by Christiane Amanpour.  She might even go to Chechnya and interview some real-life Chechens.  They will, of course, be of the crazy variety.  And since I’m an Arab, and therefore addicted to watching the news, I’ll be tuned in.

Lousy.

Oh, then I’m going to have to listen to “enlightened” people say the one thing all weekend I most hate hearing:

“Not all Muslims are terrorists.”

It is, of course, a true statement.  And everyone loves saying it.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists.”

Of course they’re not.  But we applaud people when someones utter it.  It’s funny how speaking an obvious truth can cause us to call someone a hero.  I’m sure President Obama will say it sometime over the weekend.  Of course, one would expect that from the Muslim president.

“Hey, Obama said ‘Not all Muslims are terrorists.’ How courageous!”

Arabs and Muslims are going to say it too. “Not all Muslims are terrorists” is frequently a prelude to some sort of educational diatribe about Islam by one of us who usually has no idea what he’s talking about.  Right-wing pundits, though, love it too.  This weekend, you will routinely find someone on FOX News proclaiming, “Not all Muslims are terrorists” right before he tells you how Islam is a dangerous threat to Western civilization.  In other words, “Not all Muslims are terrorists… but be careful, some of them are!”

Are we that defeated? Or are we just that dumb?  Have we been so programmed into proving our patriotism that we're thankful when someone pronounces a manifestly true statement?  Saying “Not all Muslims are terrorists” might make people feel good, but it’s not courageous.  Courage is not about speaking the obvious truths… it’s about speaking the hidden ones.

But this weekend, people will say it a lot.  I even might if I’m not careful.  How lousy.

I wonder if by Monday, things will start to look up… Probably not.

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* Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

Comments (13)
  1. Let a Muslim defend him. Let 12 American Muslims Judge him and let One Muslim(me) pull the switch. Scum bag Muslim terrorist will not hijack my religion! I refuse to be silent. Police our own. Allah demands it of us. And yeah Muslims run. Mustapha Dakroub, Amanda Hadous Dabroub and their marathon running daughter (3 hrs 11sec 50) were minutes from being maimed or killed by these misguided Muslims.

  2. One more thing. Our founding fathers fled their homelands to avoid religious prosecution. Then afforded Everyone the right to practice their own religion free of prosecution. Then they separated the Church from the State. We are first guest of America. Then have the opportunity to become citizens of America. Our children becoome citizens at birth. Nobody’s old country granted them such rights. As shiite’s my family were denied equal rights in lebanon! May allah bless America! Lkand of the free and home of the brave!

  3. Dear all, if some ignorant American insinuates that all Arabs/Muslims are guilty because of the actions of one or two Arabs/Muslims then please ask him if he thinks that all Christians are guilty because of the actions of Timothy McVeigh, if all Germans are guilty because of the actions of Hitler, or if all Americans are guilty because of the My Lai Massacre that was committed by the American army in Vietnam.

    You can’t be apologetic about this issue and remember that under American law you can’t hold a brother responsible for the actions of his own brother let alone some stranger that lives next door, a member of his church, or a co-worker – criminally, financially or otherwise!

  4. Spot on Amer.. all I could think, was thank goodness I am not in the US this week… How sad is it that I am more exhausted by the insidious discrimination/racism of the US public and reactionary proclamations of Arabs/Muslims, than I am at facing the entire Israeli apartheid/bureaucratic system…

  5. I get what you are saying- but when is the Muslim community going to really be honest with themselves and address what is at the core of the issue. Yes, all Muslims are not terrorist because they choose to ignore or cherry pick certain aspects of the religion. You cannot tell me that there are not violent and extreme elements in the Quran. There are those elements in Christianity as well. But the difference is that Christians have secularized. The Muslim world needs to do the same. And until the Muslim countries do this, we will continue to bread terrorists.

  6. Walid Yassir ... April 20th, 2013 - 13:28

    Unfortunate that he was a Muslim but glad he wasn’t Arab. “You want to bomb the Boston Marathon? You know what, I’m a little tired, trying to shake this cough. You go ahead – I’m going to sit this one out.” It sucks when that’s the first thing I thought when I found out they were Chechens, but it’s a reality even for me. Three major mass killings in America in the last couple of years with no Arabs involved? Lets keep that streak going.

  7. Why have any of us bought into the notion that we are responsible for anyone else’s behavior? It’s my hunch that terror starts with shaming. When I as a parent or a human feel judged, I judge myself and my children. From feeling judged, comes shame. From shame, comes anger. Anger leads to terrorizing. When I cast judgment, on myself or anyone else, I breed terror. It’s a really sad cycle. I don’t think this was ever God’s intent.

  8. While I agree and share the sentiment that Arabs and/or Muslims have every right not to be bullied into making such public statements in order to maintain their reputation, I think you ignore that Islam, like any other religion, is an ideology that transcends national identity. And while no one would put a German on the stand for Hitler’s atrocities, a self-proclaimed Nazi, irrespective of national identity, would not escape such a comparison. I’m not comparing Islam to Nazism in terms of ideological content, I am however pointing out that Islam entails a set of beliefs and actions, a spiritual contract of sorts, if you will, that naturally binds you to other adherers who live by that doctrine. National identity is not a choice, but religious belief is (Less so in Arab countries, I would argue) and so there remains a level of accountability. I know it’s not fair as Christians always tend to be immune to such associations, but it’s not an unfairness that exempts moderate Muslims from their duty to put their own faiths on the stand (regardless of whether the rest of the world points a finger at them or not) when radicals are the ones abiding by a strict interpretation of doctrine.

  9. When McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma, I never heard any announcers say: “a Right wing Christian Terrorist bombed the Federal Building”.
    I never heard CNN or Fox News or any local channel declare that a “Jew robbed a bank” or committed a home invasion.
    We don’t identify people by their religion, except for Muslims.
    Why is that?

  10. The article is breath of Fresh Air,no Apologetic Ranting,Alhamdulillah!

  11. CASE IN POINT: What I’m going to say is for the Open Minded the Free Thinker the outside the box thinker.This idea, that is put in the minds of the masses that anyone, particularly Muslims, are devout Muslims when a horrific act like terrorism is committed. A Devout Muslim, who Believes and follows Islam sincerely would not commit terrorism by killing innocent people. So it is oxymoron to use the term “Devout,” for a Muslim who is found, with clear evidence, commiting an dastardly act as terrorism, is not a Devout Muslim! When these Pundits and these media Think Tanks connect the term Islam with a negative prefix or suffix word, have no idea of the true meaning of Islamic concepts. The term Islam can not properly be prefixed or suffixed to any word that would change its meaning to something negative,like radical Islam,Islamist or Islamic terrorism. So as to take something as Islam which meanings stands by itself and intend to make it evil in the eyes of the masses! Islam literal meaning is to,Surrender to the Will of The Almighty- Only True-One God,Allah and that’s it. So to pre-fixed and Suf-fixed anything to the term Islam is to undo its true meaning, is a total distortion and to misconstrue its true intent!

  12. The Art of Deception: There are Anti-Islamic and Muslims groups like Pamela Geller,Robert Spencer and even some Politicians are sadly hoping the perpetrator of the Boston Bombing is a Muslim! This exposed the level of unrelentless hatred for Muslims and Islam is reaching a fever pitch! This kind of unreasonable Hatred is what lend license of Citizen of Nazi Germany to commit Genocide on a part of their citizenry! when I hear a Boston citizen tackled a Saudi National Student and handed him over to Police because he was sighted as acting suspicious! How was he acting suspicious,he was running away from the danger of the explosion like everyone else and sustain serious burns and injury from the blast,but because he was an Arab,he was unjustifiably profile and presume guilty! So he should have stayed and allowed the blast of the explosion to terminate his life,rather then save himself like everybody else because being an Arab he was not afforded the luxury of being innocent like everybody else,go figure! At the end of day as Allah and His Messenger(SAWS) has stated, in the Last Days Islam will be our only protection against Fitan(Affliction and Trials and Tribulations)!

  13. As a middle-aged, Mid-Western, white woman, I’d like to apologize for Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Pat Robertson!

    ‘Nuf said!


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