Muslim Americans became the topic of discussion during the second Presidential debate last night, when the elections reaffirmed that our country only sees value in us as superhuman thwarters of terrorism; as Muslims who report stuff, because obviously we have exclusive access to magical information that could be of use to the global War on Terror; as people to whom our lawmakers should be kind to only because otherwise we won’t comply with law enforcement, and thus we would harbor said important information and whatnot.
Let me be clear in saying that, first off, yes, we are superhuman thwarters of terrorism: Muslims have foiled countless potential terrorist plots to date, in addition to being victims of terrorist attacks, and first responders during terrorist attacks. But that’s just because we’re good people, if you care to acknowledge the 99.08% of Muslims around the world who aren’t blowing things up.
Second, framing our only use to society as being informants against terrorism is a perpetuation of baseline Islamophobia that contains terrorism within religious lines, and implicates an entire people as a result of it.
Regardless, I would like to do my part in contributing to society in the best way I’ve been told I can. I would like to report a terrorist that has presented a threat to me and my fellow Americans on an everyday basis. I’d like to report The White Guy.
Every single time I’ve been harassed, verbally attacked, and even physically assaulted for my religion, it’s always been at the hands of The White Guy.
Regardless, I would like to do my part in contributing to society in the best way I’ve been told I can. I would like to report a terrorist that has presented a threat to me and my fellow Americans on an everyday basis. I’d like to report The White Guy. tweet
When I walk down the street in New York, it’s not extremists that I fear, unless you count the Bible thumpers I have to dodge on the subway who really want to convert a hijabi. In my day to day life, as a Muslim woman who equally fears ISIS just like my non-Muslim counterparts, it’s not them I unrealistically worry about encountering, as our hyperbolic media would have us assume. When I avoid the edge of the subway platform for fear of getting pushed onto the tracks, or I defensively turn my headphones off to stay alert to anti-Muslim tension around me, the person I am always fearing is The White Guy.
By the logic of our esteemed laws, and our American affinity for racial profiling, The White Guy really, really needs to get banned from our country. And it’s not just because he has a taste for attacking Muslims, even though anti-Muslim hate crimes have been on the rise since this election began, especially targeting veiled Muslim women like me. It’s also because The White Guy really loves playing with weapons, and justifying his globally outlandish behavior by citing a Constitutional amendment or something.
CNN reports that a whopping two-thirds of mass shootings in America are committed by — drum roll, please — The White Guy.
According to a report last year, based on statistics provided by the U.S. State Department itself, gun violence has claimed over 100 times more lives than terrorist attacks over the past decade.
Let me think about all the various ways I can say this: In 2001 alone, gun violence claimed ten times as many lives as the Sept. 11 attack. If you add up all the lives lost to terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from then until 2013, they still don’t add up to the lowest calendar year of gun casualties during that time.
It’s the question I posed to The White Guy on the street who asked me if I was part of ISIS while I was walking home in Brooklyn this summer: I retorted, “Well, are you a part of the KKK?”
If you can see the latter being ludicrous and not the first, then you are an example of the type of bias that our American politics both inspire and affirm. Both ways, it neglects the most paramount violence afflicting not just Muslim Americans, but Americans as a whole.
I would like to call on white Americans to take responsibility for The White Guy. We can’t contain this terrorist ourselves — we really need your help to identify, report, and foil. Surely you know more about his ways than we do. I’d ask for a collective apology on his behalf, but I wouldn’t want to offend any white people, lest they continue to choose to not comply with law enforcement.