ACLU Muslim Official 'Emphatically Refuses' to Denounce Radical Islamic Terrorism

ACLU Michigan Deputy Director Rana Elmir.
ACLU Michigan Deputy Director Rana Elmir. | (Screengrab: YouTube/ACCESScommunications)

A Muslim official with the American Civil Liberties Union has drawn criticism for "emphatically" refusing to condemn atrocious acts of terrorism committed jihadis who seek to murder all who don't believe in their radical brand of Islam.

In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Monday, Rana Elmir, the deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan, argued that moderate American Muslims do not and should not have to condemn the heinous acts of terror committed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and other radical extremist groups and individuals in the name of Allah because doing so would be an "admission of guilt."

She reasoned that beheadings and executions carried out in the name of Islam are just as "foreign" to her as the alleged "terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country."

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Elmir chastised "nativist rhetoric," "policies targeting American Muslims," and calls for American Muslims to denounce and "apologize" for acts committed by individuals with a distorted understanding of Islam.

She asserted that forcing Muslims to condemn acts of terror effectively re-victimizes those who are the most common victims of jihad, adding that 90 percent of IS' victims are Muslim.

"I emphatically refuse," Elmir wrote. "[J]ust as I have never been asked to condemn Dylann Storm Roof's attack on parishioners of a historic black church in South Carolina, Robert Dear's attack on a Planned Parenthood facility, the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the slaughter of moviegoers in Colorado or Louisiana, I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated by psychopaths who misrepresent and distort Islam for their deranged purposes."

Elmir argued that not only are Muslims being victimized by radical jihadi violence abroad, stating that al-Qaeda has killed eight times as many Muslims as non-Muslims, Muslims are also being victimized by "Islamophobia" and anti-Muslim hate crimes that have become widespread in the United States following the attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

She stated that there are five times as many anti-Muslim hate crimes being committed in the U.S. today than before 9/11.

"Muslims across the globe are not threats. They are threatened," she argued. "The pernicious disease that is Islamophobia is spreading at home, thanks to a steady diet of repugnant rhetoric and equally misguided policies."

"Sadly, as Muslims, we contribute to our own oppression by erroneously believing that if we just apologize, then the anti-Muslim rhetoric will end. And it never does," Elmir continued. "Condemnation becomes our admission of guilt, and we indirectly concede that terror is borne of us, and, therefore, we must atone and condone policies that criminalize us to prove 'we have nothing to hide.'"

In a Breitbart op-ed, Thomas D. Williams, a Christian theologian and author who is a research fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture, wrote that it is not wrong for moderate Muslims to simply denounce acts committed by the Islamic State.

"If a so-called Christian 'Caliphate' were to arise, gobbling up territory, demolishing historic monuments, executing non-Christians, raping non-Christian women, and slitting the throats of 'apostates' while citing Gospel texts, would Christians be silent, afraid to denounce such actions carried out in the name of the Prince of Peace?" Williams asked. "Perhaps, but probably not. More likely they would scramble to disassociate themselves from actions that were so egregiously 'unchristian.'"

Williams also argued that condemning acts of terror is not an "admission of guilt" and added that several hundred Muslims from all over the world had no problem condemning Islamic terror on Nov. 21 when they came together in Italy to protest the actions of IS.

"Would the condemnation of such horrific actions be an 'admission of guilt'? Hardly," Williams contended. "At intervals the protesters chanted, 'No ISIS, no terrorism.' A large banner read: 'ISIS is a cancer on the body of Islam. What they did is an attack on the entire community.'"

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