When Naveed Haq invaded the Seattle Jewish Federation in Seattle last month and methodically shot six women, killing one, the coverage was quiet. The stories tended to focus on Haq's (you guessed it) history of mental instability, and while officials did not hesitate to call it a hate crime, there was a good deal of reassurance about an "isolated act" and all that.
A few years before that, an Egyptian-born immigrant shot up the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. No significance, we were instructed. Isolated act.
"Beltway snipers" and Muslim converts John Allen Mohammed and Lee Malvo terrorized the Washington area for weeks when they went on a shooting spree. Their religious motivation (they admired the 9/11 hijackers) was soft-pedaled.
What is missing from the response to all of these attacks is some attention to the Muslim spirit of the day. Doubtless all of these criminals are mentally borderline types. But the environment in which they are nurtured affects their willingness to resort to violence as well as their choice of victims. In no case have Muslim leaders stepped forward to proclaim that an attack on a Jewish community center, for example, "is an attack on all of us." Nor do they condemn the assaults as contrary to the tenets of Islam.
CAIR's website offers a link to "Muslim condemnations of terrorism," but all of the quotes date from September 11, 2001. There has been an eerie silence since.
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