by Manda Zand Ervin
When a group of us — American Muslims — went to New York City to voice the concerns of the silent majority and support the law enforcement there, we were confronted by the mainstream media's unabashed hostility.
I was surprised at how some of them practically harassed us, rather than wanting to know our opinions. They were argumentative and seemed to resent us for siding with the NYPD; they clearly had a highly suspicious attitude toward us Muslims, who were not falling in line with the pronouncements of those who echo the edict handed down from their local pulpit and did not represent those Muslims who prefer to represent themselves as perpetual victims.
In reality, a large majority of American Muslims want to live in peace and not be the bearers of some outdated Cold-War anti-American agenda. That silent majority, whose voices have been hijacked and misrepresented by Islamists, have no problem with law enforcement and have never been spied on or harassed by anyone. And even if they were vetted, one has to realize that at a time of war, if one has nothing to hide, these are the norms that under the rule of law need to be respected or observed. Organizations that are known lobbies of the Islamists' formula, like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, NIAC, etc., promote themselves and claim to speak for that silent majority.
As a matter of fact, the only time I had two policemen come to my house was when an Islamist woman had sent them. I had told her, in the shopping center parking lot, not to beat up on her little girl and not to force her to wear hijab.
When I saw The Five on March 6, I was amazed at Bob Beckel's rejection of our group and message. "There were only 43 people, that was a complete set up, it was a public relations move, brining these guys," Beckel said with a dismissive attitude.
What this arbiter of political correctness is clearly unaware of is that his labels are irrelevant here and that he cannot use us to rationalize his weltanshauung. We were not set up, and we were not just hired extras. We are all educated and thinking people who will not be used by either Mr. Beckel or the hijackers of Islam in order to fit into a prefab social and ideological pigeonhole. Thanks to the U.S. Constitution, we are free to speak our minds in America and organize genuine grassroots organization that celebrates the diverse American Muslim community, and counters those very Islamists and their apologists who reject the heterogeneity of Muslims, rather than some runaway unilateral dominion run by elitist insiders.
I suggest that Mr. Beckel and the rest of the media who disagree with our position do some research on the crowd that was purportedly "set up by NYPD," as Beckel put it. Visit our site and read our biographies and get to know the real patriotic American Muslims.
If it is acceptable for Mr. Beckel to confront or take issue with the American ultra-conservative Christian establishment, then why are we as Muslims prohibited from arguing that very point in the Muslim community? Our question is: can't Muslims be progressives or intellectuals? Can't there be any secular, non-practicing, or liberal Muslims? Must we all be extremist radicals at war with the Western culture and way of life? Can't there be any gays among the Muslim men and women? Can't there be patriotic Muslims who are not totally submissive to or defined entirely by their religion, and who have a palpable appreciation for freedom, democracy, and the civil rule of law? And we should all go along with the propaganda war that has been perpetrated by the petro-funded Islamist organizations and their media supporters.
We have come to America from three different continents, 57 different countries, many different races of people, different languages, different cultures and historical backgrounds and many different sects of Islam. American Muslims are as diverse as American Christians are.
Muslims have come to America for the same reasons as other immigrants: economic prosperity and freedom. Many of us have fled the same radical Islamists who are now here with the same anti-American agendas, and this democracy has given them the power to speak.
American Muslims are Democrats, Republicans, or independents. They are mostly educated and fiercely independent, and no one can set them up. We came to America to get away from the Islamist dictatorships, and we now want to be left alone.
This article was published originally in American Thinker