Noor Inayat Khan: Pacifist Muslim, British Spy, and WWII Heroine

Back in 2014, PBS aired a docudrama called Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Storywhich centered on one of World War Two’s most fascinating and unlikely war heroes: a Russian-born Indian-American Muslim who was steeped in pacifism yet went on to serve the British war effort in occupied Paris. (There’s a mouthful!)

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A British commemorative stamp, circa 2014. (Courtesy of NPR)

NPR did a feature on the film (which I still have yet to see), including an interview with its executive producer, Alex Kronemer. Continue reading

The Case of the Missing Martyrs

Since 9/11, there have been around 161 Muslim Americans that were suspects or perpetrators of domestic terrorism – out of a community of 2.5 to 7 million.

About 120 of these individuals were foiled with the help of tips or other assistance offered to law enforcement by fellow Muslims.

Also since 9/11, at least 11 Muslim Americans have killed 33 people – out of a total 150,000 Americans that have been murdered in that same span of time.

To read more on the subject, check out this rather in-depth study.

Granted, out of a community that represents 1% to almost 3% of the American population, the rate of terrorism is still higher than average, and thus something to be concerned about (though it’s declined precipitously since 2009). Furthermore, there is still the matter of Islamic extremism in other parts of the world, particularly in Pakistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan.

But domestically speaking, the reality of the situation doesn’t mesh with the public perception. Most Americans still believe that Muslim Americans are generally a major threat to the United States, including some of our congressmen. But the data makes it clear Muslims are far from a significant contributor to public safety issues. There are many more factors that are contributing to the deaths of nearly 15,000 Americans a year.