After being written off as a racist Islamophobe for fifteen years because I raised precisely the same points that both Carl Bernstein (!) and Barney Frank (!) raised earlier today; after viewing the sweet, doomed faces of the 49 murdered gay and perhaps non-gay people, mainly Latinos and Latinas, often people of color, on my TV screen—what do I have to say?
The question I and others have raised since 9/11 (for me, since the Intifada against the Jews that began in 2000), was: “How many bodies will it take for Americans, especially the intelligentsia, including the feminists, including gay people, including our elected officials, before they understand that we: (the West, America, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents) have a very real enemy?” It is radical Islam or Islamism, Islamic Jihad or, if you prefer, Islamist Jihad; and it is not going away anytime soon.
This is precisely what Israel alone has been up against since its founding in 1948. Actually, long before that, Jews suffered the most profound Islamic anti-Semitism. Buddhists in Afghanistan were murdered or forcibly converted. Hindus in India were slaughtered by Muslims by the millions—simply because they were Hindus. Christians have long been persecuted by Muslims for the same reason; that persecution continues today.
Clearly, more than 3,000 bodies on 9/11 were not enough. Clearly, the many millions of Muslims murdered by Muslim Jihadists have not been enough. Will the murder of 49 gay Americans finally be “enough?”
Somehow I doubt it but I certainly hope so. Of course, sure, yes, let’s ban assault rifles completely. That will not stop someone like Omar Mateen. But the handguns and the rifles are not as important as banning and abolishing the routine hate of women, the “wrong” kind of Muslim, ex-Muslim apostates, homosexuals—hatreds that are intimately part of historic Islam.
How many deaths before we become effective in identifying potential Jihadists? Within our borders? Arriving as refugees and immigrants? How many deaths before we are willing to use the word “Muslim terrorist” without fearing we will be demonized for doing so?
The gay websites are more focused on general “hate” against gays and gun control than they are focused on the nature and the danger of radical Islam. The gay communities have been willing to march against Israel—but never against Jihad?
Long ago, Natan Sharansky asked me if I thought I could “turn the feminists, the leftists, the gays around.” I told him that I doubted it, but that I would try.
Will these 49 dead and 53 wounded start that “turning?”
We shall see.Phyllis Chesler