The Slatest

“Why Aren’t Muslims Condemning the Attacks En Masse?” A Belgian Director Has the Perfect Response. 

A Belgian film and theater director named Ismaël Saidi has written a succinct, heartfelt response to a troubling question that Muslims often hear after an Islamist terrorist attack: “Why aren’t Muslims condemning the terrorist attacks en masse?” Saidi, who was born in Belgium to Moroccan parents, published his riposte on Facebook, where it was liked more than 15,000 times, and the Belgian newspaper La Libre has reprinted it. Saidi gave Slate permission to publish the post as well. My rough translation, which is hopefully a little more idiomatic than Facebook’s automatic translation, is below.

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“Why aren’t Muslims taking to the streets en masse to condemn the attacks?”

Because we’re driving the taxis that have been taking the population home for free since yesterday …

Because we’re caring for the wounded in hospitals …

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Because we’re driving the ambulances that are racing through the streets like shooting stars to try to save what life remains in us …

Because we’re at the reception desks of the hotels that have been welcoming onlookers for free since yesterday …

Because we’re driving the buses, the trams, and the subway cars so that life can continue, though wounded …

Because we’re still looking for criminals in our police, investigator, and magistrate outfits …

Because we’re crying for our dead, too …

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Because we are no more spared than anyone else …

Because we are doubly, triply bruised …

Because the same faith produced the executioner and the victim …

Because we’re groggy, lost, and we’re trying to understand …

Because we spent the night on our doorstep waiting for a person who won’t come back again …

Because we’re counting our dead …

Because we’re in mourning …

The rest is only silence …

Also in Slate:

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