Belkin's well-intentioned side-step aside, the article itself is quite unsatisfactory. Moina Noor, the guest blogger, merely gives her child and her readers an unsatisfactory recitation, "bad guys attack, buildings collapse. Don’t worry, I assured him, we’ll get the bad guys so they won’t do it again."
The child is eight, that he is only now curious about this phrase so rife in the public imagination, is indicative of the protective bubble that Noor considers necessary to Muslim parenting. That she describes it in such cartoonish terms gives him no respect. Or protection; it does not prepare the child for either playground taunts or religious school misinformation.
The hermeneutic guilt, media-assigned and Muslim-internalized and the resultant contrition, extraneous and so unnecessary, is writ so large in the Muslim consciousness, and in Noor's, that she fails. She is so busy explaining her Muslim upbringing ("devout but weren’t necessarily interested in teaching their neighbors about Islam."), Defensively interpreting her Muslim faith, ("We are like you. Islam is peaceful."), Vigilantly establishing her motherhood ("how do I, as a parent, explain the slaughter of innocent people in the name of a religion that I am trying to pass on to my boy?"), that there is little time or space left to formulate any real argument. Yes, the article lacks value, but it is because American society has decided not to value its Muslim citizens to such a dimension that this woman is unable to speak directly to her projected readers or honestly with her child.