Community Lauds Local Muslim Family For Not Being Terrorists
The well-respected and generally unsuspicious Mutalib family -- a group (or "tribe") of Muslims living in Browning, Indiana -- was honored on Tuesday in a civic ceremony, where they were recognized for not being terrorists, contributing to terrorist organizations, or wanting to use weapons of mass destruction on U.S. soil.
The Mutalibs accepted the award at City Hall during the weekly city council meeting. The event concluded without even one suicide bombing.
"For dedication to family, service to the community, and not making the majority of our residents nervous when they see you walk into a crowded store, we thank you and present to you the Browning Award of Familial Excellence," said mayor Robert Skully, as he presented the plaque to family patriarch Abdul Mutalib. It came with an official municipal certificate verifying the Mutalibs' status as non-terrorists.
"In a time when distrust and suspicion are so rampant," continued Skully, beaming, "it's especially important that Islamic families do not send the wrong message by driving car bombs into crowded high school arenas, or detonating themselves in bustling mosques. These are just two of the many traditional Muslim activities that the Mutalibs, together as a family, have so conspicuously refrained from doing. It's for this that the village of Browning says, 'Thank you, and please keep it up, for the love of God.'"
All five immediate family members were in attendance, as well as their neighbors, some of whom expressed gratitude towards the Mutalibs for helping them to overcome fears and anxieties associated with living so close to what they initially feared was an al-Qaeda sleeper cell.
"Through their lack of negative actions, Mr. and Mrs. Mutalib have been a positive influence on our block," said neighbor Nancy Breslin. "When they first moved in, we just about called the FBI, but since then, we've all come a long way."
"I did call the FBI," chimed in Breslin's husband, Terry, as the crowd chuckled warmly. "They said they were already had the Mutalibs under surveillance."
"The point is, they've gotten to know us, and we've gotten to know them," said Nancy Breslin. "We've seen them do work around the yard, talk with us without saying 'Death to America', and even watch some football. Sometimes I even think that if I closed my eyes and didn't look at them, I'd think I was talking to someone who was born in the country of America."
Staring meaningfully at Mrs. Mutalib, Breslin's voice filled with emotion as she said, "To me, they're not even Muslin [sic]."
Mrs. Mutalib, despite not wearing a burqa, declined to speak at the ceremony, but her husband did make a brief statement, thanking the audience for coming and for sharing the honor with him and his family.
"It is always hard when moving to a new place and struggling to be accepted, especially when simple things like daily prayer are looked upon with great suspicion and scorn," said Abdul Mutalib. "But it did not take people of Browning long to stop eying my family like we were plotting to take over city hall and replace the village charter with Sharia. We know now that this is the place where we will raise our children as good citizens, with strict instructions not to travel to Pakistan to train with al-Qaeda. Thanks, Browning."
Others that do not know the Mutalibs personally were heartened by the news of their award.
"You just know that it would have been so easy for them to hate America -- oh, excuse me, the Great Satan, as they call it -- because of our freedoms," said librarian Deborah Kintner. "But I, for one, am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who has chosen to come to this country and live as Americans by going to school, voting, and supporting the troops, even if they don't go to church, which is what our country was founded on. I guess you can't be too picky."