General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Imagine yourself a Muslim-American living in a Western country today. How would you respond to the Paris attacks?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) November 15th, 2015

This question is about empathy, or understanding what others are feeling.

Defend?
Justify?
Denounce?

Other options?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

I’d probably just find a place to hide. Every time something like this happens, it is immediately denounced by millions of Muslims all around the world. But that gets ignored, and there are dozens of revenge killings (often aimed at people who just “look” Muslim even if they’re not actually Muslim).

SQUEEKY2's avatar

A true muslim would denounce, and condemn them, but like ^^ he said that gets pretty much ignored by the rest of the world.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not one answer. Just like there are Jewish-Americans or Hindu-Americans or Christian Americans have political and religious views that are all over the map. There is not one single model of muslim-American. In Detroit (which has the single highest concentration of Muslims in the US), there is everything from muslims-in-name-only to serious mosque goers and believers.

So there’s no one answer.\

But @JeSuisRickSpringfield probably has it correct. Keep your head down.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard to say, because I haven’t grown up as a Muslim in the Western world, so it’s hard to know what I might do. I can say, though, that I would vehemently denounce them, genuinely, but I don’t think a lot of people would be willing to listen. Other than that, like everyone has also already said, I would be somewhat scared and would probably try to keep a low profile.

clairedanajames's avatar

I’ve a few muslim freinds and I’am sure that no true muslim would do such a pathetic thing. So if I were in their shoes, I would definitely DENOUNCE

johnpowell's avatar

Denounce to who? Twitter? They do. The majority are fleeing from these idiots.

funkdaddy's avatar

Probably the same thing I did when that skinny white guy walked into a church and started shooting people.

Because as a skinny white guy, I probably should have organized a PR release of some sort, so people didn’t think all skinny white guys wanted a race war and would do whatever it takes to get one started. After all, I’d hate to get rounded up, assaulted, or deported for not letting my feelings be known clearly enough.

Maybe next time.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

In public I’d keep my head down and live to denounce another day. I don’t expect people to be rational right now. But I’d be all over the net, starting with the sites that would guarantee me the most exposure. I’d be loud and clear about denouncing these actions, digging up quotations from my Koran as references, digging up stats galore that show most Muslims do not share sympathy with these madmen and are themselves victims of the jihadists, cutting and pasting reports and statements of large Muslim organizations that have come out against this violence—anything I could find to support my stand and show that the majority of Muslims do not support this so-called jihad. I would strive to highlight the commonalities between myself as a human being and the society that feels victimized by my presence as a Muslim. I would write about our common school experiences, work experiences, the lives we all live as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, etc., etc—-as Americans. I would do this calmly, in a rational voice, avoid argument, and answer questions my correspondents may have about lifestyle, beliefs, etc. And I would be urging my fellow Muslims everywhere to do the same.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Want to do something good?

We can all help preempt the on-coming backlash against innocent Muslims in our own country and abroad. Many of us have stated on other threads that we are in contact with Muslims on FB, etc. We can let them know that we find this type of violence against them abhorrent and unacceptable, just as many of them have denounced the Paris attack to us.

Imagine that you’re a Muslim man, or a man that many people in a Western country would mistake for being Muslim––a Sikh, a Syrian Christian, a Hindu from India. You live in London or Paris or Queens with a wife and a ten-year-old child. If you heard that Islamist radicals had just carried out an attack on your city, or your country, or even in another country, would you worry about a backlash?

Would you worry a bit putting your child on the bus to school the next day?

If you were a Muslim or a Sikh or a Christian of Syrian descent in Paris or London or Queens, sitting up at your computer after your wife and child had gone to bed, wouldn’t it make you feel a bit more safe, and experience a little bit less dread, if your Twitter stream and RSS feeds included a dozen people––a political leader, a few journalists, a blogger, six or seven everyday folks you follow––trying to inculcate the norm that it’s wrong and irrational and discrediting to harm or hate people like you?

We can all give comfort to these total innocents at a moment of understandable anxiety, and perhaps make it less likely that they will be targeted. Urging people against turning their anger against innocent people is a serious priority. It is a reasonable, pragmatic, decent act.

That does help millions feel a little bit less dread.

LuckyGuy's avatar

OK I will close my eyes and pretend I live in a Muslim (an admittedly overly generalized word) country where 99% of the people just want to get on with their lives: raising their kids, going to weddings, attending funerals, playing with their grandchildren. It is the 1% that ruin it for the rest of society.
Now I am imagining a few of the local hot-head radicals are spouting off to everyone about what they will do to the Great Satan.
I’d say nothing. I’d do a lot. There are so many subtle and not so subtle ways to thwart or impede the progress of nut jobs.
You must recognize 4 points .
1) They are playing by different rules. My rules don’t matter.
2) They have nothing to lose.
3) They will not stop until they are dead.
4) Every second they are left unopposed they get stronger.

If each of the 99% put in 2% effort the bad guys would be outresourced and outnumbered.

So. What would I do?
1)If I know a hot head I would post his name everywhere on social media using a fake account set up with a TOR.
2) If weapons are everywhere as they are is certain markets I would be willing to invest 2% of my net worth to buy equipment and tools to resist or make my own. .
3) If I live in an area with apartment buildings the radicals would fear driving down the road.
4) If forced from my home I would leave it a death trap to anyone trying to enter by force or take it over without permission. No jar of food would be left unpoisoned. No can would be left unopened. No package of dry goods would be without a dose of warfarin.
No gasoline can would be left without sugar. No engine ignition would be left wired correctly.
I can go on but I won’t .

The point is I would DO something. I would not spend one second praying for peace or walking in the street holding a candle.

If outnumbered I would say nothing nor draw any attention to myself. I cannot fight back if I am dead.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
JLeslie's avatar

I think I respond just as most of my Muslim-Americans have. I’d be horrified. I’d be deeply saddened by what happened in Paris and worry there is more yet to come to Europe, America, and even Australia and Canada. I don’t think my response would be much different if I’m Muslim, Jewish, Christian, because these terrorist are against a western way of life, which if I’m American, any religion, that’s my way of life. I would bet Muslims died in Paris during the attack. It’s not like the terrorist try to protect Muslim-Parisiens. It’s not like Muslims aren’t in the same restaurants and concert halls. It’s a big metropolitan city. Diverse in every way.

I’m on the fence about what to do. Part of me thinks if we have enough intelligence to bomb, shoot, and apprehend ISIS to the point of destroying their operation then probably go for it. It of course risks units around the world getting even more antagonized and retaliating before the whole mess is over. I doubt we (the western world) knows everywhere they exist.

I think back to 9/11 and it seems to me we did not do anything close to that, so maybe what the French are doing is the right thing. The US of course is helping the French at this time.

If their schtick was peace and they just wanted to be able to live in their own communities and towns in their backwards ways I would probably ignore it all, even though I would be heartbroken for the girls and women and even the boys growing up in that. But, since there deal is to kill people to have their way of life, and change the whole world to live as they do, well that just is not going to happen. It must be stopped.

flutherother's avatar

I would be horrified, first because of the nature of the attacks themselves and second because of the shame it would bring to my religion.

chelle21689's avatar

I feel like history repeat itself :( happened with the blacks, Jews, Japanese, etc. people persecuted for being different oh and also being lumped together with other groups.

msh's avatar

Here’s an interesting point:

It’s up to the rest of Islam to show guts and root out ISIS 
http://dailym.ai/1SU8uTz
via http://dailym.ai/ios

ibstubro's avatar

If I were a Muslim living where I am in the Midwest, USA, I’d probably stay with my routine. If I heard someone condemn the Paris attacks, I’d add my voice. I would likely be active on-line, contributing a mainstream Muslim point of view, and trying to dampen some of the hate the extremists are causing.

Conversely, as a middle aged white male American, if I’d had opportunity to visit my favorite Muslim restaurant the day after the Paris attacks, I would have. Next time I’m in their town, I will.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)

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