Avon, OH — Islamophobia in America is reaching a tipping point. Thanks to ignorant bigots peddling anti-Muslim rhetoric, the masses are in a constant state of irrational fear and hatred. A recent incident an Avon, Ohio shows just how dangerous this unfounded fear can be.
Without any reason, an ignorant woman called police when she saw a Muslim man dressed in his traditional thobe. She told the police that there is a man in “full head dress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to ISIS.”
None of this was true.
However, that fact did not matter to police who showed up with their AR-15s locked and loaded — ready to shoot the innocent tourist.
The incident was captured on an officer’s body cam. It shows multiple officers with their rifles trained on the man as they scream for him to get down. The man was nearly killed as he had no idea that police were talking to him, so he didn’t immediately obey their orders to get on the ground.
According to WEWS news,
Police spoke to the clerk and found out that the man did not, in fact, make any statements related to ISIS. Officers said at that time it was clear there was a miscommunication.
Officers took the handcuffs off the man and tried to explain the situation. At that time, he collapsed on the ground for unknown reasons.
An ambulance that was already at the scene transported the man to St. John Medical Center where he is now in stable condition.
Luckily this man wasn’t blown away because of bigotry and fear.
“Once a report comes in, police have to act, but they have to act in an appropriate manner, not based on someone’s anti-Muslim bigotry,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ national spokesperson.
Aside from the insanely off keel generalization that highlights a deliberate ignorance among those pushing such fear, the effects of said fear are dangerous as evidenced by the video above.
The impact of fools spreading hate have already begun to materialize, sending ISIS into a fury of celebration – as creating a divide between Muslims and everyone else is their stated mission.
As the Free Thought Project’s Jay Syrmopolous points out, if there is one thing that Islamic fundamentalists and Islamophobic fascists like Trump agree on, it’s that there should be no “gray zone;” only black and white.
The gray zone is the zone of peaceful coexistence. Eliminating the gray zone – and rendering a world as black & white as the flag of the Islamic state is the ultimate goal of fundamentalists on all sides.
In fact, a recent ISIS publication, titled Extinction of the Grayzone made clear that the strategy has been at play for the past 14 years.
“The grayzone is critically endangered, rather on the brink of extinction. It’s endangerment began with the blessed operation of September 11th, as these operations manifested two camps before the world for mankind to choose between, a camp of Islam… and a camp of kufr – the crusader coalition.”
These are the same sentiments expressed by George W. Bush when he infamously said,
“Either you are with us or with the terrorists.”
ISIS's goal from their own publication. A black & white world. What they call "grayzone" is our coexistence zone. pic.twitter.com/dDPqigam4t
— İyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 14, 2015
Now, the terrorists and the demagogues in the West are getting closer to their goal of divide and conquer than ever before.
We are witnessing Muslims being thrown off of buses because of ignorant passengers fearing for their lives. We see physical assaults waged by fearful pawns in ISIS’s propaganda campaign against peaceful Muslims, who’ve harmed no one.
Since the Paris attacks alone, there have been dozens of anti-Muslim attacks in the United States. These attacks range from rubbing human feces and leaving pigs heads outside of mosques, to beating and even killing people for their religion.
If you are willing to harass, hurt, or kill an innocent person because of their religion, you are no better than ISIS.
You are also hurting the fight against terrorism.
According to recent polls and studies conducted in the last few years, Muslims have been crucial in helping law enforcement find terror suspects in the United States. Many have served in the military protecting the country against terrorists. And, many Muslims have been highly outspoken against terrorist organizations.
Last December, 70,000 clerics came together, representing the majority of the Muslim world and publicly denounced ISIS as a threat to humanity.
Also, a Duke University study found more terrorism suspects and perpetrators were brought to the attention of law enforcement by members of the Muslim-American community than were discovered through U.S. government investigations. And a Pew survey found that roughly half of U.S. Muslims say their religious leaders aren’t speaking out enough against Islamic extremism, reports CNN.
The way to truly defeat ISIS is by rendering their fear and divisive tactics impotent. The US needs to show ISIS, and those being manipulated by their tactics, like Donald Trump, that tolerance and freedom are far more powerful than bigotry and hate.
Also, Americans will do well to remember how it was that ISIS came to be in the first place, and avoid future murderous blunders that will inevitably fill the ranks of extremist groups with even more susceptible victims of Western foreign policy.
You can bow down to the will of ISIS by allowing their hate-filled rhetoric and divisive tactics to cloud your mind with fear and hatred. Or, you can rise up and stand against those who would drive a wedge through the heart of humankind. The choice is yours.