+

After Monday's deadly bombing in Manchester, England, several commentators began invoking a familiar villain: ordinary Muslims who didn't speak out soon enough.

Among the first to cast blame was British journalist Piers Morgan, who tweeted his criticism a few days after the attack:

It's an unfortunately familiar refrain after a deadly terror incident.

Where were the Muslims? Why did they ignore the warning signs?If they only spoke out more, these attacks could be prevented, the thinking goes.


With the proliferation of terrorist attacks in the U.S. and U.K., it might seem like common sense to wonder. But putting the responsibility of preventing terrorist attacks on Muslims only reinforces the idea that all Muslims are complicit in acts of terror.

Not only is that divisive, it's been proven false — in case after case after case.

Photo by Ben Stansall/Getty Images.

Authorities were warned about Manchester bomber Salman Abedi — five times. And they refused (or were unable) to act.

That's according to a startling report in The Telegraph, which noted that several Muslim religious leaders, friends of Abedi, and fellow Muslims from his community came forward to tell law enforcement officials about the attacker's turn toward extremism.

"The missed opportunities to catch Abedi were beginning to mount up last night. The Telegraph has spoken to a community leader who said that Abedi was reported two years ago 'because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism'.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "People in the community expressed concerns about the way this man was behaving and reported it in the right way using the right channels.

'They did not hear anything since.'"



The paper reports that in addition to the community leader, two of Abedi's friends reported him to a counterterrorism hotline twice — once in 2012 and once last year.

Contrary to popular belief, Muslims help law enforcement root out extremists all the time.

Mohammad Malik, an acquaintance of Omar Mateen, reported the Pulse nightclub shooter to the FBI two years before the attack after discovering he had been imbibing al-Qaeda propaganda videos.

In August 2015, Virginia resident Amani Ibrahim warned authorities about her son Ali, who was raising money for ISIS online.

Muslims are on the front lines of fighting extremism — and they are also its primary victims.

A London mosque holds a memorial service for bombing victims. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Law enforcement agencies from the FBI to the Los Angeles Police Department have reported deep and frequent cooperation with Muslim communities in terror investigations.

"I personally have been called by community members about several things, very significant things,” LAPD deputy chief Michael Downing told Reuters in 2015. "What we say to communities is that we don’t want you to profile humans, we want you to profile behavior."

As in Orlando, as in Virginia, and as in countless cases where attacks were successfully prevented, Muslims tried valiantly to stop another senseless outburst of violence.

In Manchester, it simply wasn't enough.  

All over the world, Muslims are offering their support, their ideas, and most critically, their help in fighting terror.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

We need to stop ignoring them, stop accusing them, and listen to what they have to say.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Keep ReadingShow less