Islamophobia

A Muslim leader in the United States was threatened via voicemail from a someone purporting to be from ISIS. This community leader did what he was told he was supposed to do: report the call to the FBI. And what happened?

That threat had come to El-Siddig’s cellphone on December 26, 2015. It heralded an ordeal of fear and displacement that has continued to this day. El-Siddig began by contacting his local FBI office. But where he had expected help from an agency that was notionally committed to fighting terrorism, he got none. The FBI merely recommended that he move out of his home, where he had lived for the past 22 years, and keep a low profile. “They told me, ‘You should be discreet,’” El-Siddig recalls. “They didn’t offer any help or support. They just told me to move and that I should check in with them once in a while to let them know what I’m doing.” Since then, El-Siddig, 61, and his wife have existed in a state of limbo, moving between the homes of their children living across the United States.

“Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism?” is a common refrain from conservatives in the United States. This ignores the oodles and oodles of cases where Muslims do, in fact, condemn it. But, as this case shows, sometimes Muslims doing the right thing aren’t shown the support they deserve.