After 9/11, Americans had to do a hard reset on our perceptions of Islam and the people who practice it. Although most Muslims aren’t looking to blow up a shopping mall or drive into a crowd of people, there are some who will. As a result, we’ve gotten jittery because the latter Muslims typically don’t walk up and introduce themselves to you as radicals before they kill you.
We keep asking for the “good Muslims” to stand up and be counted because they typically don’t. One has, but his story has gotten very little attention in favor of another Muslim. The former, Abdul Aziz, is a man who risked his life by confronting the mosque shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand recently. The latter is a woman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been able to parlay an election to the House of Representatives into a lucrative soapbox to advance anti-Semitic ideas while claiming to be a victim of Islamophobia when she gets called out.
Why the difference in approaches? Bad news sells better than good news. It’s easier to make a woman of color a sympathetic figure than it is to make a man, of color or otherwise, into one because we are trained to see women as weaker. Although this is no longer the case by and large, it’s the way we’re “programmed” as it were. And before you Leftists start screaming about The Patriarchy, it’s not solely the work of The Man. It’s genetic and has been for a loooooooong time.
There is something else at work here, one that should make Leftists’ heads explode. Rep. Omar isn’t a poor victim here. She is a woman with a degree of power currently that most American will never have. And how is she using that power? To deceive people about her personal feelings towards Israel and Jewish people in general while pushing a narrative about hate crimes that isn’t backed up by facts from reputable sources (i.e. entities not named the Southern Poverty Law Center).
In contrast, Aziz has no power to speak of, save for the power of his resolve and bravery in confronting an active shooter and getting him to stand down. Going back to the genetic programming I mentioned earlier, men are expected to protect the weak, so there really is no story there, at least in the eyes of the media fawning over Omar. Just a little sexist there, don’t you think?
Adding to the context is American media’s attitude towards foreign news. The short version is they’re only concerned about foreign countries when there’s a tragedy, which the Christchurch shooting certainly was. Good news coming out of a tragedy isn’t always the news we hear, however, because it goes against our media’s predisposition to ignore foreign news until there’s unrest. In the media’s eyes, Omar is closer to home, so any stories about her are immediately “interesting.”
Then, there’s the narrative, or in this case narratives. Our media are Leftist stenographers, so anything they cover is done so to advance an agenda. With the Omar situation, there was an opportunity to promote the idea of rising white supremacist and anti-woman sentiments in America. With the Christchurch shooting, there was an opportunity to push a pro-gun control message. However, the fly in the ointment in the latter situation is the fact Aziz used a gun to repel the shooter, which means his story has to get buried in favor of pushing the notion guns are only used for killing. As a result, our media decided to ignore Aziz’s actions because they ruin the Left’s narrative.
It also doesn’t help matters that Aziz has been silent about President Donald Trump, while Omar has been attacking the President for a while.
At this point, the media aren’t going to stop giving Omar a platform to spew, spin, and ask forgiveness when she get called out, but the fact they aren’t giving Aziz any platform should be troubling to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Left really doesn’t care about the plight of Muslims, just about the optics and what supporting them can do for the Left’s brand. That’s right, kids. Leftists are perfectly fine with bigotry as long as they get what they want out of it. That’s why you won’t see them condemn Rep. Omar. She is a useful tool. Aziz isn’t because he doesn’t help the Left advance anything. Yet, these same Leftists will go after any conservative who even slightly criticizes Omar as Islamophobic.
Spoiler Alert: the denial of the good Muslims do is Islamophobia. Even by the Left’s definition.
I’m not denying there are still Muslims out there who want America and Israel brought down, but I don’t have any evidence that Abdul Aziz is one of them. But I do have evidence Ilham Omar is. Instead of focusing and whitewashing every single hateful “gaffe” the latter makes, we should be elevating the former and calling out when anyone deserves a pat on the back.
You may never read this, Mr. Aziz, but know there are plenty like me who say thank you for your bravery in the face of death. You have earned my respect. May others like you come forward and show the world Islam isn’t the violent religion some have made it out to be.