In 2016, Sheikh Mustafa Umar, Director of Education and Outreach at the Islamic Institute of Orange County, California, talked about the hypocrisy prevalent in attitudes toward Muslims and Islam in the West, saying that Catholics and Catholicism, Jews and Judaism, and Buddhists and Buddhism are not held to the same standards. Sheikh Umar said that some people accept Islam right after a terrorist attack, despite the "anti-Islamic propaganda," mentioning a friend of his who converted to Islam on September 11, 2001. This sermon was posted on the Islamic Institute of Orange County YouTube channel on March 25, 2016. On January 20, 2018, Sheikh Umar published an opinion piece in The New York Times, titled "Islam Teaches Us That Life Is a Test. So Is This President."
Sheikh Mustafa Umar: "I know that you're screaming in the back of your mind hypocrisy, every single time an incident occurs that happens to have a Muslim involved in it. That all of a sudden, we have people on TV and the radio, shouting out and blaming all 1.6 billion innocent Muslims around the world, saying that it's their fault. And their putting the blame on the religion of Islam and saying it's the religion's fault. And we know that this is a hypocrisy because they don't put blame on Catholics or on Catholicism every single time a child is molested inside of a church. They don't put the blame on Jews or Judaism every single time that Palestinians are being terrorized and killed. They don't put the blame on Christians and Christianity, every single time there is a mass shooting, or there is an invasion of a country like Afghanistan, or like Iraq, or like Panama, or any of these places. They don't put the blame on Buddhism or Buddhists, every time there's an oppression or murder of innocent Rohingya Muslims in Burma, or what's called Myanmar today. We know that and I know that, and I understand that.
"We sit there and say not again, no not another incident, it's going to demonize Muslims again. I want you to remember and I'm reminding myself, that these people despite them being loud, sometimes obnoxious, having control over the airways, having control over media domination. I want you to remember that they do not influence everybody. They do not influence everybody. In the last twelve months, here at the Islamic Institute of Orange County, we had 130 people accept Islam. Just one masjid [mosque]. One hundred and thirty people accepted Islam. And the vast majority of these people, we did not go out and reach out to them. We did not knock on their front door and say: 'This is Islam, are you interested in accepting Islam. Here is a copy of the Quran, why don't you go read it.' They came to us. Despite the propaganda, despite what is being said about Islam and Muslims. They came to us, and that's only one masjid. A hundred and thirty only in the last 12 months.
"I want you to think about that and sometimes I, you know, I start to wonder too. Literally the same day as some politicized incident takes place. Paris shootings, the next day someone walk in saying: 'I want to learn about Islam.' They walk out saying: 'I believe in Allah and I believe in the messenger of Allah, the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him.' They declare their shahada [declaration of faith]. There's San Bernardino incidents, and we're watching the news saying: 'Oh no, not again. Oh Allah, help us please.' And all of a sudden, literally the same day or the next day, people walking in, taking shahada accepting Islam, and walking out. And sometimes for my own sanity, I'm trying to figure out what's going on. I mean, doesn't this influence them, because it influences me and it influences you. And sometimes we are trying to rip our hair out or sometimes what's left of it. And you're thinking: 'Why is this, this keeps on happening, how could these people be accepting Islam? How can they be walking in here?' This is from the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala [may He be glorified and exalted], it's from the mercy of our Creator.
"But sometimes I ask them, I said: 'You know, sorry to ask you, but how could you walk in right after this incident happened and there's all this propaganda everywhere, against Islam, against Muslims, and literally you're walking in the same day and you're accepting Islam. Didn't it affect you or something like that?' And you know what the vast majority of people tell me, when I asked them this question? They say: 'We know that all of this is politics, we know it's propaganda, we know the game.' A friend of mine, Justin, some of you know him. He accepted Islam on September 11th, 2001. Not out of some political stance, not because he supported any of that, whatever theory you may have. He just said: 'You know what? I know that the Muslims now, the hammer is on their head, it's time I stop waiting. And I should be part of that Muslim community so I can support my real brothers and sisters.'"