“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
— Albert Einstein
“If you think that it is ever excusable to murder babies and grandmothers for ideological reasons, you are not confused. You are evil.” — Rebbetzin Bracha Goldberger
Yet again I have heard apologists in social media and news programs stating that the reason Muslim communities throughout the world have not protested in significant numbers the heinous ISIS murders in France is because Europe hasn’t done enough to make Muslims feel integrated into the greater community. Really? It’s okay to shoot people down and blow people up because you feel like an outsider in your adopted society?
I need this information, because I have lived in Israel for eight years –and I don’t understand the language very well… and people still start speaking English to me as soon as I open my mouth, thereby reminding me that I don’t quite fit… and I still make foods and purchases that seem familiar to me, which sets me apart from my neighbors who have been here for a few generations, if not forever… and the government offices and businesses don’t always have recordings in my language, and send long letters in a language I can’t possibly grasp at that level… and I feel linguistically and culturally stupid more often than I feel clever… and it is hard for someone my age from outside the culture, without the language and time in the army and a tzevet name and so on, to get work… and there are red signs up that tell me I am forbidden to enter, simply because I belong to one group and not another… and I still find myself attending lectures in my native tongue… and most of my friends (though not all) came from the land of my birth…
Oh, wait… so much of what I wrote has to do with choices I have made. And most of the rest is just part of integrating ever-so-slowly into a new culture, even when one is trying assiduously to do so. (The red signs are another matter, but for another post.) Maybe instead of being enraged, I can choose to kvell at how well my children have integrated, by joining Bnei Akiva and the army and working hard to make Israeli friends… and chuckle at myself that my grandchildren will have to have a lot of patience to communicate with me, even as I try to teach myself the children’s books and playground songs they will recite with ease…
Or I could — according to the apologists — pick up a knife and start stabbing people, or an automatic weapon, and shoot up a bunch of people in a restaurant, or maybe blow myself up, thereby giving my pathetic life meaning where my new country hasn’t adequately bothered.
The apologists would perhaps think that was justifiable.
But I wouldn’t find it justifiable. Not even a little bit. Not even on the really, really frustrating days, when I know that I will never, ever fit in. Because my mother and father in Heaven, looking down on me, would be ashamed of me, rather than be proud. Because I know that my God would be really, really pissed. Because my children would be shocked and disgusted, and would never want to hear my name mentioned again.
There is nothing in my religion or my upbringing that would excuse my hand raised in slaughter of other people because I might have a lot of angst. Ever.
I still don’t understand why Muslims throughout the world aren’t protesting in greater numbers. But I am speaking to people who openly condone or rationalize such slaughter. If you can still make excuses for people who murder mothers and children at restaurants, or young lovers at football games or concerts, or fathers on their way to their daughters’ pre-wedding celebrations — I have nothing left to say to you. You have wedded yourself to Evil — and all I can do is turn away from you, and cry for the world.