Since the Paris attacks, the internet has been overflowing with support for the victims and calls for freedom of expression. But, alarmingly and perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also been full of demands for Muslims to “take responsibility” and “condemn” the heinous acts — as if somehow all Muslims universally bear responsibility for every single deranged or vile act committed by any Muslim, anywhere. You can find these enlightening cries everywhere from the New York Times op-ed page to Rupert Murdoch’s delightful Twitter feed.
Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015
Muslim media outlet MuslimMatters.Org rose to the occasion and came up with an idea for a start-up called the “iCondemn” app. They even created a mock-up for the app, which would allow Muslims to condemn every awful Muslim action in the world, big or small, with a single click.
The app would even allow Muslims to issue condemnations “of events in the past, like the source of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and British imperialism.”
Plus, “with a $4.99 upgrade, the app comes with the Guilt-O-Meter®, which accurately gauges how nervous Western Muslims are feeling right about now.”
The app is a joke, of course. But Muslims all over the media have been taking these demands for condemnations very seriously.
And you do have to wonder about the double standard set by the public’s outcry for Muslim condemnations. Why aren’t Jews asked to condemn all racist comments, crimes and murders committed by Jews? Where is the “Not in my name, Son of Sam” meme? Do we need an iCondemn app for every racist or sexist comment made by a prominent Jewish figure?
Shouldn’t it be obvious that the perpetrators of the attacks in Paris have nothing to do with the majority of Muslim people? As our hero J. K. Rowling tweeted in reply to the aforementioned Rupert Murdoch tweet:
I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I'll auto-excommunicate. http://t.co/Atw1wNk8UX— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 11, 2015
Or as Muslim comedian Aziz Ansari put it:
Anytime a Christian person rear ended your car. #RupertsFault— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) January 12, 2015
Lior Zaltzman is the Forward’s Digital Fellow and a wearer of many hats. When she’s not tweeting from the Forward’s account, she’s creating illustrations, graphics and lists for the various Forward blogs. She can also make comics out of your bad dates in #OYDATE. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in cartooning. Lior Zaltzman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @liorca.