Muslim Actor Riz Ahmed: “Is This Going to be the Year When They Round Us Up?” (Part 2)

Riz Ahmed claims “it is really scary to be a Muslim right now.” He says this when he is at the top of his profession, flooded with acting offers, an Emmy winner without a care in the world. How “scary” is it to be a Muslim in America today? In Washington, two Muslim women — Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — have not only been elected to Congress, but have immediately become media stars, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for their “progressive” politics; the antisemitic remarks of Omar and Tlaib have been largely forgiven in the mainstream media. More mosques are opening around the country every week. More Ask-A-Muslim-Anything events are held in town halls, churches, mosques, colleges. The campaigns of Da’wa in prisons proceed apace, with no attempt to block them. Many non-Muslim prisoners are terrorized into converting to Islam; that is, they  join the prison’s biggest gang, the Muslims, for their own safety.

Riz Ahmed exaggerates for effect; life is not “really scary” for him. No one is going to come by to pick up him and other Muslims and, as he claims to worry, to “ship them out.” Where in the United States has any innocent Muslim here legally ever been picked up only to be “shipped out”? Does Ahmed also think that the Gestapo will soon be knocking at his door? His self-pity is indecent.

Here’s what’s “really scary” in this world: Life for Christians in Pakistan and Nigeria and Egypt, where they are routinely attacked and murdered by Muslim mobs and armed gangs. Life for Jews has become “really scary” in cities with large Muslim populations, in Malmö, Sweden, in Seine St-Denis in Paris, around Tower Hamlets in East London. Jews have been repeatedly attacked in these cities by Muslims, as they have been attacked by Muslims even in the middle of the Orthodox areas of Brooklyn. In Germany Jews have been advised not to wear their kippahs in public. Some Jews have been leaving those neighborhoods in European cities where Muslims dominate, moving elsewhere in those cities, or even moving outside those cities; other Jews are leaving Europe altogether, to find refuge in America or  Israel. Life is “really scary” for them, but Riz Ahmed shows no signs of recognition, much less sympathy, for the Jews now living in what has become an ever more islamized and, therefore, hostile Western Europe.

What should have been said, with more justice, is that it is “really scary” to be an Islamocritic right now, not just in the U.S., but in much of Europe, too. If you run a website like Jihad Watch, critical of Islam, that site will be subject to endless attacks by hackers determined to shut it down. Google and Facebook will direct traffic away from that site; the Southern Poverty Law Center, and similar left-wing NGOs, will declare your website to be a “hate site,” though the SPLC  has never offered a convincing  example of “hate speech” by the writers at Jihad Watch. It is Islamocritics, so often threatened with physical attack, who must sometimes pay for private security guards at their public appearances; the cost of such security can be prohibitive; this security cost naturally limits the Islamocritic’s appearances to a very few deep-pocketed  venues that can assume the security costs themselves.

In Europe, the situation of Islamocritics worsens. Tommy Robinson goes to jail for his mention of grooming gangs, while the extremist Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary receives weekly checks from the government, and lives in a $400,000 house — owned by his in-laws — with the rent paid by British taxpayers. In France, the Islamocritic Marine Le Pen has had her reputation deliberately sullied; she is described as “far-right,” though there is nothing in her policy pronouncements that suggest far-right views; it is enough that she is against Muslim immigration to earn her the fixed epithet “far right.” In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, who cannot go anywhere without security guards, is now on trial, for the second time, for a remark he made about Muslims. He simply asked a cafe full of people in the Hague whether they wanted “more or fewer Moroccans in this city and the Netherlands.” The audience responded by chanting “fewer, fewer, fewer.” And Wilders said: “Well, then we will arrange that.” He also said that The Hague “should be a city with fewer problems and, if possible, fewer Moroccans.” He was making an obvious point: that the more Muslims there were in the Netherlands, the more problems there were. as borne out by the statistics: higher rates of crime, especially of murder and rape, by Muslims; grooming gangs, as in the U.K. though on a smaller scale, much higher unemployment rates for Muslims than for any other immigrant groups, for Muslims seem in no hurry to find work, nor do many of them have marketable skills. The benefits supplied by the Dutch government are very generous and in some cases the unemployed, with benefits, are better off than the employed, without those benefits. These benefits include free or highly subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, unemployment payments, family allowances, and more. That is what Geert Wilders was objecting to when he asked people in that cafe if they wanted “more or fewer Moroccans” and they replied “fewer, fewer, fewer.” That’s not hate speech; it is an expression of frustration by those who feel taken advantage of financially by the Muslim economic migrants who have settled in their midst. Yet Geert Wilders has been hounded by the Dutch government in the courts, and he may yet be hit with a large fine for that single inquiry that he made of Dutch voters (“Do you want a lesser or a greater number of Moroccans?”). And even though he is an old-fashioned liberal in his economic policies, who is concerned about cuts in benefits to the elderly becoming necessary because of the vast sums expended by the government on Muslim migrants, he will forever be described in the mainstream media as “far right.” He has been, unsurprisingly, the recipient of many death threats. For Geert Wilders, life is, and will always be, “really scary.”

In Germany, the retired central banker Thilo Sarrazin, who wrote about the costs of Muslim migrants on German society, culture, and the economy in his best-selling Germany Does Away With Itself, has also had the Homeric epithet “right-wing” affixed to his name, though he was always a member of a centrist party; he became “right-wing” the moment he began to criticize Islam. He has dared to point out that “no other religion in Europe makes so many demands. No immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime. No group emphasizes their differences so strongly in public, especially through women’s clothing. In no other religion is the transition to violence, dictatorship and terrorism so fluid.” For these  remarks, Sarrazin has also been getting death threats over the last nine years, ever since he first published Germany Does Away With Itself. For Thilo Sarrazin, too, life is “really scary.”

Riz Ahmed, sitting in his well-appointed apartment with his Emmy no doubt on display, claims it is “really scary to be a Muslim right now.” I am certain Riz Ahmed has never required security guards to accompany him. He isn’t scared; no one has threatened him; he doesn’t know what real terror is like. Tommy Robinson,  Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, and Thilo Sarrazin, prominent Islamocritics who need security everywhere they go, could try to explain that kind of terror to Ahmed. So could the 12 cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, including  Stephane Charbonnier, who knew the dangers he and his collaborators were risking (they had received many death threats), but famously said that he would rather “die on his feet than live on his knees” — if any of them had survived the murderous attacks by the Muslim brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi. And a whole series of French Jews murdered in recent years by Muslims only because they were Jews —  Sébastien Selam, Ilan Halimi, Jonathan Sandler, Gabriel Sandler, Aryeh Sandler, Myriam Monsonégo, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham, François-Michel Saada, Yoav Hattab, Lucie Attal and Mireille Knoll — could have given Riz Ahmed a few lessons in what real terror feels like, if any of them had survived. But since they were all murdered, and Riz Ahmed is acclaimed by many and threatened by no one, having had to endure nothing more taxing than an extensive search before boarding planes, he should have the decency to shut up.

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