What If Home Depot Had Refused to Rent A Truck to Sayfullo Saipov?

Would any employee dare?

John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said Wednesday: “We did extensive outreach to the truck rental business. We visited over 148 truck rental locations in this area. The industry has had a high level of awareness on this matter from the NYPD.” And “Miller said that if a company is suspicious of a would-be renter, they usually delay or simply deny a rental to let police investigate.”

Really? The companies deny rentals to suspicious characters? Is that so?

Sayfullo Saipov, the New York City truck jihad mass murderer, looks like a jihadi. But to acknowledge that would be to engage in racial profiling, and given the decidedly Islamic style of his facial hair (a hadith depicts Muhammad telling Muslims to trim their mustaches but not their beards, because the Jews and Christians trim their beards but not their mustaches), religious profiling, a manifestation of “Islamophobia,” as well.

Imagine now that you were the clerk at Home Depot when Saipov came in to rent his truck. You notice his beard, his demeanor, his overall appearance. The vehicular jihad attacks in London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Nice, Jerusalem, Ohio State University and so many other places flash across your mind. It occurs to you that the man standing before you wanting to rent a truck could be intending to mow down non-Muslim pedestrians with it. You may even have heard about the Islamic State’s directive to Muslims to use, for vehicular jihad attacks, exactly the kind of truck that Saipov wants to rent.

But then you stop yourself. You admonish your inner voice. “You can’t think this way,” you tell yourself. It’s racist. It’s bigoted. It’s Islamophobic. Just because this fellow looks like a jihadi doesn’t mean that he is one. So what if he is devout and observant in Islam; hundreds of millions of people who will never be terrorists are as well. You’ve got to fight this Islamophobia in your heart.

You watch as Saipov fills out the forms. You run his credit card through the system. You imagine what would happen if you did deny him a rental: tomorrow the Council on American-Islamic Relations would be there, complaining about Islamophobia in Home Depot. Your face would be on NY1, CNN, MSNBC. You might even make the front page of the New York Times: “Home Depot Clerk Denies Service to Man Because He Was Muslim.”

You can see it all, like a dying man seeing his life flash before his eyes. You wouldn’t just lose your job. You’d lose your name, your reputation, maybe even your chances for future employment anywhere. You’d be known and hated nationwide as an “Islamophobe.”

You opt for self-preservation. You rent Saipov his truck.

A farfetched scenario? Hardly. The Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Nidal Hasan frightened his coworkers with his jihad talk, but his superiors didn’t investigate or reprimand him, they promoted him. They didn’t want “Islamophobia in the Military” exposés with their names on them. The neighbors of the San Bernardino jihad murderers saw all kinds of suspicious activity at the murderous couple’s house, but didn’t call the police: they were afraid of being seen as racially profiling the couple. The Fort Dix jihad massacre plot was foiled by a young man who found out about it but at first hesitated to call police for fear of being “racist.”

This is the fruit of the “Islamophobia” propaganda that has been pounded into Americans on a daily basis for years now. People are afraid to “say something” if they “see something,” for fear of the ostracism and career ruin that charges of “Islamophobia” could bring. That is the focus of my new book Confessions of an Islamophobe, which details the full cost of this propaganda initiative: the cost to women, gays, Jews, Christians, secular liberals, secular Muslims, and others. Eight are dead in New York because of the fear of “Islamophobia.” How many more must die before we discard this propaganda straitjacket? Preorder your copy of Confessions of an Islamophobe here now.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. Coming in November is his new book Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.