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On Friday a camera crew with the David Horowitz Freedom Center released a video posted to Robert Spencer’s blog, Jihad Watch, in which documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz captures Somali men and women on the streets of Cedar Riverside answering simple questions.
Their answers to questions about Islamic law, American law and issues of peace and freedom were revealing.
Several of the Muslim men told the interviewer it was “easy” to be Muslim in America. They said persecution was non-existent. They’re free to worship as they please.
One Somali-American stood out from the rest.
“This is a free country; that’s the beauty of it. We love America, it’s a great country, freedom of choice, freedom of religion, so we don’t have any issues,” said the neatly dressed man with a sport coat and tie.
Things devolved from there.
One young man with dark sunglasses and a big smile, followed by another in a plaid dress shirt, and another with long hair stuffed under a Brooklyn Nets baseball cap, all said they would prefer to live under Islamic law rather than American law.
“I’m a Muslim. I prefer Shariah law,” the man in the dress shirt said.
“Shariah law, yes,” said another.
“Of course, yeah,” said the one in the Nets baseball cap.
Asked if most of his friends felt the same way, he responded, “Of course if you’re a Muslim, yeah.”
A woman wearing a pink hijab and traditional dress was asked if it’s OK for a father to make his young daughter marry a man of his choice.
“Yeah, yeah, he can, he can. He has the authority, you know, yeah, to do that.”
“How young do you think it is OK?” the interviewer asked.
“Ah, yeah, 15,” she answered.
The youngest person interviewed, a boy who appeared no more than 14 or 15, said it was easy to be a Muslim in his local school. He said he did not experience any persecution being a Muslim in Minneapolis.
He said he would prefer Shariah, however, because it was a much “tighter” society and, therefore, less prone to crime.
“Shariah law, it says that if you steal something, they cut off your hand,” the boy said, making a cutting motion with one hand against the other. “So, basically, they can leave their doors open. Nobody’s going to steal anything because Shariah is so tight. Usually, they don’t do anything. The smallest things usually have big consequences.
Blaspheming the ‘prophet’
Then the questions turned to Islamic blasphemy laws and the controversy with people depicting the Muslim “prophet” Muhammad in cartoons.
“How does that whole thing make you feel?” the interviewer asked.
“That really pisses me off, you know what I mean. I mean, they know it is a button to push,” said the young man in the baseball cap.
“It makes me angry,” said the man in the sunglasses. “Everyone gets like the big freedom. And then, they don’t see that, the freedom that they’re getting is causing a problem. And causing hatreds for other people.”
Would it be better if we made it illegal in America to make fun of the prophet Muhammad?
“Definitely yeah,” he said.
“So in a way, they kind of deserve whatever happens to them?” he is asked.
“Yeah, yeah, every action has a consequence,” the young man in the ball cap said.
“Do you think we should make a law that makes it illegal?”
“That would be better, yeah, that would be better,” said the man in the plaid dress shirt. “To stop, you know, aggression.”
‘I was so upset, so mad’
Then came another Somali man with a beard and a jacket. He was more animated than the others.
“I was so upset, and I was so mad. They insulted our religion. They insulted our prophet, and we couldn’t take it,” he said, shaking his fist and flailing his arms.
“And you shouldn’t be allowed to do that?” the interviewer asked.
“Oh my God, big time, yes!” he answered.
They were then asked if they understood the motivation of people who struck back violently against such depictions of the prophet.
“Yeah, I understand totally where they’re coming from, yeah,” said the young man in the ball cap.
‘Is it right to kill someone who insults the prophet?’
“Yes,” said the bearded man with the animated personality. “Because when you, every day you face frustration. And you know, every day you have, uh, you’re mad, or somebody says that, and you feel hate your soul. You could do anything you wanted. If you committed suicide, you don’t care, because your heart, your heart is telling you, ‘I don’t want to live no more,’ because you couldn’t take that much hate. Or you, you kill someone.”
The interviewer got even more pointed with a reference to Pamela Geller, who hosted the cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, earlier this month that was attacked by two Muslim men.
“Is it right to kill someone who insults Muhammad?”
“Yeah,” said the woman in the pink hijab. “Because she is just, she had her religion, I understand, but she shouldn’t pick on the prophet, you know.”
“So you understand why people would want to attack her?”
“Yeah,” the woman stated.
Would you rather live in America or Somalia?
The interviewer asked one final question: If they had a choice, would the Somalis rather live in America or back in Somalia?
“I’d rather to live in a Muslim country with my people,” the young man with the Brooklyn Nets cap said without hesitation. “I’m not Americanized. I just speak fluent (English) and I’m articulate, and I can articulate what I’m trying to say. That’s about it. But as far as that my culture and my preferences and everything, it’s still Somali, you know what I mean?”
“I would rather live in Somalia,” said the man in the sunglasses.
“For me, I think Somalia,” said the woman in the pink hijab.
Somaliers zijn een eng volkje. Ik zie ze liever niet in Nederland. Zweden heeft een grote populatie Somaliers, en die maken het leven van de Zweedse bevolking moeilijk. Ze zijn nooit tevreden.