The Muslim deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan says she has "no reason to say sorry" for Islamic terrorism. And even if she did, she says, "Islamophobes won't believe me anyway."
Rana Elmir elaborated in a piece for Monday's Washington Post:
As an American Muslim, I am consistently and aggressively asked — by media figures, religious leaders, politicians and Internet trolls — to condemn terrorism to prove my patriotism.
I emphatically refuse.
The reason she says she refuses is because "terror imposed by those who sympathize with Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militant group), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and other groups is just as foreign to me as the terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country."
And because Elmir has never been asked to condemn mass shootings across America, she will likewise not apologize for Muslim terrorism:
I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated by psychopaths who misrepresent and distort Islam for their deranged purposes.
Of course, liberals ask the rest of us to apologize for our race, gender, sexuality, and religion. But Elmir exempts herself from having to do the same:
Asking us to apologize for violence that has orphaned generations of Muslims has the perverse effect of re-victimizing us by erasing our humanity and experiences. There is no other acceptable scenario in which the media, politicians and even our president would urge and expect victims to apologize publicly and rout out the ideology that contributed to their own persecution.
In her piece, Elmir points to a 2009 study by the Combating Terrorism Center that came to the conclusion that more Muslims are killed by al-Qaeda than non-Muslims at the rate of eight to one. Therefore, she concludes, "Muslims across the globe are not threats. They are threatened."
Furthermore, she blames Islamophobia for the spread of hate crimes against Muslims. The crimes she lists, by the way, were mostly non-violent.
In conclusion, Elmir doubles down on her non-apology:
But these calls for condemnation serve only zealots who will never be satisfied. They thrive and profit off of the fear-mongering, hate and violence generated by othering and silencing an entire community who has lived and contributed to our nation since its founding. The first Muslims in the United States were brought over bound as slaves, not immigrants. Muslims fought in every war starting with the American Revolution and have contributed to every facet of society — law, education, medicine, government, fashion, music, architecture and sports. And while some American Muslims have prospered, many face challenges — poverty, unemployment and undereducation — often overshadowed by foreign policy and compounded by pervasive discrimination in our country.
But I believe in a freedom that is true, that is real and that is unapologetically principled. I will always do my part and fight for justice.
But terrorism is not mine. I will not claim it, not even through an apology.