"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

Where is the Muslim Gandhi?

Muckraking headlines scream “Islamic Terrorists” in one ear. In the other, the President of the United States, perhaps in an excess of responsibility, has a hard time saying out loud that our western way of life is imminently threatened by an evil originating within the doctrines of Islam.

Liberals have a harder time admitting their fear-based bigotry than Conservatives. The latter have no qualms in applauding Donald Trump’s ideas of registering, if not rounding up, Muslims in the free world and putting them into some sort of modern surveillance version of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But after the Brussels’ attacks, even Liberals admit that the western system doesn’t seem capable, or even willing, to protect itself from these jihadists.

The Islamic jihadist purpose is clear: to use fear to destroy us.

What is our purpose?

While we’re sitting around at our freedom bars and libraries trying to figure that out, here’s a quicker and more effective hope:

A Muslim Gandhi.

The profound silence of the mainstream, non-fanatic, Muslim community is deafening. Random imams saying that “Islam is a religion of peace” just ain’t cuttin’ it. They’re so unconvincing we can’t even remember their names. An Arabic-American friend, who was raised in Saudi culture, confirms that children are regularly taught to hate us and to earn Muhammed’s eternal love by offing us.

The relative silence from peaceful Islam is also worsening anti-Islamic prejudice that’s increasing daily in the threatened countries of the west—a prejudice that’s further worsened by the perceived refusal of Muslims to integrate with their adoptive societies and demanding, in many cases, that we be ruled by their sharia law instead of their being ruled by the laws of the country that welcomed them to its shores. This situation will deteriorate even more as Muslim populations continue to grow within western countries due to immigration and their per-family fecundity. Twenty-five years from now, from sheer force of numbers, they will be dominating congresses, parliaments, and diets.

Three theories for mainstream Muslim silence heard most often:

1)    Mainstream Muslims are terrified by the terrorists too.
2)    Mainstream Muslims are hedging their allegiances, ready to jump either way depending on whether the jihadists succeed or fail.
3)    The press, intent on selling sensationalism, isn’t covering the “peaceful Islam.”

We can all hope it’s the first reason. But we’re getting impatient with the spate of recent reports that mainstream Muslims complain about “growing anti-Islam sentiment.” Why don’t the complainers acknowledge the reasons for it?

Reasons for profiling are written in blood on our sidewalks.

Sure, most enlightened folk understand that the whole cannot be blamed for the sins of the part. But the human race has never been suffused with enlightenment. If ten mafia murders happen in your town in a month, citizens begin looking askance at all Italians. Ironic, isn’t it, that African Americans look harmless in an airport compared to Muslim tourists. As much as Hillary, Bernie, Kasich, and other fair-minded politicians proclaim political correctness, you can’t really expect the common man or woman to blanket forgive all past and future transgressions against their security by people who just happen to be Muslim. To most normal folk, 1 + 1 + 1 = 15. One transgression after another, all in the same pattern of being committed by Muslims against their tolerant, majority-non-Muslim neighbors, will add up in most peoples’ math as: “Islamic people want to kill us.” Occasional random Muslim victims don’t change this simple-minded math. Ask Donald Trump.

Why hasn’t the enormous worldwide Muslim community long ago come forward with a mainstream Muslim visionary, who can speak out on behalf of their common interest with the western mainstream in preserving freedom for all? To insist the Muslims worldwide publically proclaim Islam a religion of peace?

Surely there must be such potential leaders in a neighborhood mosque near you. Why aren’t they speaking out? Why don’t we know who they are? Why isn’t the most vocal of them a household word by now? Why aren’t we able to list their good works on behalf of the greater community?

Maybe time for Muslims to use Craig’s List?

Wajeeh Y. Nuseibeh (by David Blumenfeld)
Photo by David Blumenfeld/Special to The Chronicle
Photo by David Blumenfeld/Special to The Chronicle
“Wanted: Non-fanatic, distinguished, eloquent practicing Muslim needed immediately for all media appearances, live speaking engagements, reeducating liaison with jihadists, and interventions during terrorist attacks. Must be willing to stand up to jihadist threats and fatwahs, put family’s security on the line, be relentless in spreading the vision of Muslims throughout the world living in daily harmony with non-Muslims--like the Nuseibeh family who for 1300 years has been keeper of the key at the most sacred non-Muslim shrine in Israel (See San Francisco Chronicle)--tolerant of all religious beliefs despite his or her own allegiance to Allah—and be willing to lose head if necessary.”
Gandhi was willing. Martin Luther King was. Pope Francis demonstrates his willingness every time he meets the public in Africa or America, or even in St. Peter’s Square. 

“A man or woman whose commitment to the promise of humanity transcends self and fear. Compensation: Nobel Prize, and the gratitude of a beleaguered humanity.”

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