Since the San Bernardino shootings the public sphere has been rife with demands that Muslims do more to combat extremism in their midst. There has never been an era in US history when actions were more needed than words.
It’s an inescapable reality that the Muslim-American community’s widely perceived collective guilt requires unprecedented strategies to confront radicalization. The country is no longer content with hearing armchair condemnations and apologies for coreligionists’ terrorist attacks.
The terrorism threat level is too urgent to afford the luxury of waiting for imams to issue fatwas for reforming Islam. Change begins at home first and foremost. Here are ten easy suggestions for Muslim-Americans. Muslim minorities in other countries, especially France, are advised to adopt similar measures.
- Denounce yourself and your family.
- Suspend Islamic prayers and Qur’an recitation for the duration of the war on terrorism (except to praise the creator for western civilization). Don’t practice Islam in the privacy of your home as that may disturb sensitive ears at the NSA.
- If you must fly, and if a fellow traveler stares at you with suspicion, immediately reassure them. Ask the TSA to subject you to a strip search and a cavity search on the spot. If the TSA officer insists that the security measures you’re requesting are unnecessary, politely demand to see a supervisor.
- As a gesture of interfaith outreach go for the pepperoni pizza at the next office party, especially if it’s Ramadan.
- Make it convenient for the authorities and the general public to identify you as a Muslim even if you wear a hijab or kufi. Take the initiative to create an online Muslim database and register yourself. Don’t wait until you’re required to chalk an “M” on your front door and wear a crescent at all times.
- When you’re properly identified as per #5, consider the sensitivities of any officers, reporters or angry mobs that may visit you someday. Discard prayer rugs, pictures of your immigrant parents and books in foreign languages (and any languages for that matter).
- In times of national crisis it is un-American to be opportunistic, especially with regard to the Constitution. Proactively waive your entitlement to the Bill of Rights. Censor yourself. Embrace unreasonable searches and seizures. Solicit cruel and unusual punishment.
- Spare the US government the hassle of ascertaining the Muslims among refugees from Syria and other countries. To prevent war victims from fleeing their lands in the first place, call for securing the Mediterranean’s eastern and southern borders with watchtowers and barbed wire. Be careful with this tactic as it may have the unintended consequence of obstructing the flow of democracy-delivering armies to the Middle East.
- Deport yourself even if you were born in the US. If you can’t afford it or fear flying, do #10.
- Check in to the nearest internment camp. As a patriot, don’t expect government to spend hardworking Americans’ dollars on building new camps. Surrender yourself at the same camps used to intern Japanese-Americans in WWII.
Those of you checking in to internment camps in drought-stricken California should opt for paperless internment registration in order to avoid killing American trees and wasting American water.