For New Yorkers like me, whose mosque was just blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11, the terrorist attack in Paris this week brought back shuddering memories.
Once again terrorists, saying they were acting in the name of Islam, perpetrated a horrific crime, which has rightly outraged the Western world and smeared the name of the religion I cherish.
It gets harder and harder for me to convince my non-Muslim American friends that these crimes have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with terrorists trying to enhance their political agenda.
We must not play into the terrorists’ narrative — yet I fear that this is already precisely what is happening. Because a few fanatical terrorists slaughtered the editors of a satirical publication for printing insulting cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad, the French people have taken to the streets, some directly protesting what they see as a violent, repressive religion that they blame for the carnage.
With a large presence of Muslim immigrants in France, the terrorists are counting on the aftermath of the attack to cause the French to crackdown more broadly on Muslims in their country.
“See?” The terrorists will then say. “This is a war between Christians and Muslims, and all true Muslims must join us in our fight.”