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Hypothetical ‘Islamophobia’

Hours before police announced the death of Texas hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram, Wajahat Ali warned that Akram's actions might inspire "Islamophobia."

Norm MacDonald joked that if ISIS were to detonate a nuclear bomb and kill 50 million Americans, the most terrifying part would be the backlash against peaceful Muslims.

Hours before police announced the death of Texas hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram and the safe retrieval of the Jewish worshippers whom he had been holding at gunpoint, the Daily Beast‘s Wajahat Ali warned that Akram’s actions might inspire “Islamophobia.”

“You’re about to hear some ugly [and] vicious Islamophobia [and] anti-Muslim bigotry this weekend from elected officials, commentators and even mainstream media,” Ali predicted in a tweet Saturday. “Hope I’m wrong. People will use it to divide Jewish and Muslim communities for their political agenda. Don’t fall for it.”

Akram, a British national, had been holding members of a Texas synagogue hostage in an ill-fated attempt to secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a federal prisoner who has been detained in Texas since her 2010 conviction for firing a weapon at U.S. military personnel.

The day after Akram was killed by police, Ali lamented Muslims’ perceived obligation to denounce acts of violence committed by other Muslims.

“[MSNBC host] Mehdi [Hasan] and Muslims shouldn’t have to condemn violent acts done by violent Muslims we’ve never met but that’s the double standard and norm expected after 9/11. Maybe it’s time to finally stop. Or, we apply it to every group across the board? (Nah, let’s just stop it.),” Ali tweeted.

It is wrong to hold an entire group of people responsible for the actions of an individual whom they have never met. Ali does it regularly.

Before Glenn Youngkin’s election victory, Ali said he feared “[w]hite rage” would toss the race to the Republicans. After his victory, Ali wrote a column on the “#whitewomen who voted for Youngkin.” The piece is littered with racial slurs:

As a student of American history and a person of color, I never underestimate the white, hot rage, anxiety, and resentment of a Karen scorned. You might think you’ve won them over with Beyonce, Oprah, chai latte, and henna, but the cult of Karen will always turn on people of color on a dime to uphold oppressive systems that ensure they remain influential and powerful handmaidens of white supremacy…. These Virginia Karens can now sleep peacefully at night knowing their cultural warriors will confront and annihilate that loathsome and fearsome beast known as CRT…. However, [Youngkin] should reserve the parade for white women who came out for whiteness like a Bath and Body Works candle sale.

The “racial reckoning,” endorsed by Ali and others after George Floyd’s death, is predicated on the idea that white people bear corporate guilt for the sins of other white people, both past and present. It is immoral to punish people for sins they did not commit or demand that they apologize on behalf of those who happen to belong to their identity group. It would be nice, as Ali says, if we could “just stop it” with collective punishment. He should go first.

about the author

John Hirschauer is assistant editor of The American Conservative. He was previously a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at National Review and a staff writer at RealClear.

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