Many individuals will hear that statement and wonder what's wrong with it. An individual, is stooping so low as to even talk to a Muslim and basically reach out to them, and I, am not only being ungrateful but also rude and not willing to meet halfway.
First off, if 1% of Muslims were terrorists that'd be 15 million people, and the world would not exist. That's zombie apocalypse level mass terrorism. I choose to have faith that there aren't 15 Million terrorists out there, just from the Muslim community, which is a group with one of the smallest rates of terrorism by the way. The largest chunk of terrorists in the US are white men, but that doesn't mean we should fear all white men.
Second, saying something like that is not reaching out so I can meet you halfway, it's more like a jab in the chest, entirely unwelcome and intrusive.
Third, it’s Islamophobic. If you focus on only terrorism- defined as a violence committed by Muslims while neglecting to talk about all the state terrorism against Muslims, and all the terrorism that occurs by non-Muslims, then you’re an Islamophobia.
Everyday, so many of us fend off little comments left and right and you know what? It's exhausting. It's exhausting to be the victim of micro aggression's directed towards you, and being a bystander for everything else. It's exhausting living in a White Supremacist, Patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Ableist world where terrorists and misogynists exist. And you know what the worst part is? Most of the time it feels like you're the only one seeing this. It's exhausting standing up to it and trying to prove it.
My problem with that statement is that even though you’re trying to say it’s not true, you’re still validating the statement. You’re saying that what’s out there is warranted, but perhaps a bit extreme, that Islamophobia is okay, as long as it’s towards that 1%.
You have chosen me as an exception to a rule that does not exist. I do not want to be your token Muslim friend that you use as an example of you having Muslim friends that are not terrorists. You do not get to use me as an exception for all your racist friends. You do not have to justify my existence.
I am appreciative of what you deem as support, but do not dehumanize me in an attempt to make me feel better. You sir, do not have that right, nor will you ever. You want to be my ally? Than be an ally. Ask me how I feel about this. Ask me how I want to feel supported, and understand when I don’t trust you from the moment we meet. Be patient with me. Be kind. Be supportive. But know that I do not need you, or anyone, but I appreciate you being there, and I am always willing to meet you halfway, but I am not going to tell you it’s okay to be Islamophobic because that will be a greater injustice to you, and to the world.
o, thank you, but no thanks, you do not get credit for being an ally when you're building bridges in the wrong direction.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter orfacebook.