They both offered a human shield -- in the best sense of the term -- protecting one of the most visibly Jewish locations in their city and condemned the murder last week of Dan Uzan, a Danish Jew, at a Copenhagen synagogue. These Oslo Muslims brought a message of peace and tolerance, one that rejects hate. They chanted, "No to anti-Semitism! No to Islamophobia!"
The thawing -- or re-humanizing -- of Ahmedu as we got to know each other was a testament to the power of the human spirit. Yet, to too many in the West a young man like Ahmedu represents an Islamic threat in which Muslims are hell-bent on re-conquering parts of Europe to impose an Islamic caliphate. As for the argument that immigrants simply mean more recruits for terrorists, not once did Ahmedu mention words like sharia or jihad. But for the right-wing movements growing exponentially across Europe, this would not matter.
Should the federal government task teachers, religious leaders, and mental health professionals with rating and reporting to law enforcement about the strength of a family's parent-child bond? A child's involvement in religious activities or his connection to a group identity? Whether there are "ideologues" within an American community or what its level of "cohesiveness" is?
Does American Sniper deserve special condemnation for its portrayals of Muslims? No, not special condemnation, particularly when you consider Hollywood's history. But the film's troubling depiction of Muslims deserves far more critical scrutiny than many journalists and film reviewers have been willing to give it.