Don’t collectively punish Muslims

Posted on December 16, 2015


Sahar Aziz on CNN.COm

(CNN)When news broke Wednesday that 14 people were killed and 21 wounded in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Americans were rightfully outraged. After all, it was yet another in a string of mass shootings in the United States. And Americans are also justified in wanting to know the motives behind such senseless violence.

But as we search for answers, we should not lose sight of the fundamental American principle of individual responsibility for wrongdoing, something that applies to all Americans, regardless of their religious background.

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik — not the other 5 million Muslims in America — committed this horrendous crime. And they appear to have planned it without the knowledge of their religious leaders or community’s mosque. So, whether the couple’s motives were an act of terrorism or otherwise, Muslims in their own community, much less across America, cannot collectively be deemed responsible for the crime. […]

What few seem to be saying amid all this is that the motives of two criminals who are Muslims should not be imputed to millions of other Americans who happen to have the same religious faith. The same applies to pro-life advocates in the wake of the attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and anti-affirmative action advocates after the killing of nine African Americans in a South Carolina church. Accused church shooter Dylann Roof faces federal hate crime charges related to murder or attempted murder on the basis of race or color.

[Please click here to read the whole article on the CNN website.]