Posts Tagged ‘islamophobia’

The Mayor and His Myopia

by Mohammad Ali Naquvi

In response to the recent boycott of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual inter-faith breakfast this morning by over a dozen NYC Muslim leaders, the Mayor reasserted his support for the NYPD/CIA secret spying program by responding with the following statement:

 

“If you want to look for cases of measles, you’ll find a lot more of them among young people,” he said, according to an Associated Press account. “That’s not targeting young people to go see whether they have measles or not.”

 

It’s thoughtful of the Mayor to use an analogy, so that the rest of us can try to comprehend the wisdom of an illegal spying program on everyday Muslims.  I remember when I was studying for the SAT in high school, my course review teacher explained a simple test to see if an analogy works. You need to substitute the pairs of words into the same sentence, he told us.  So in this case, the pairs would be:

 

cases of measles : young people :: terrorists : Muslims

 

Since the Mayor has already provided us with a sentence, let’s just substitute in the second pair of words to see the brilliance of the analogy:

 

“If you want to look for [terrorists], you’ll find a lot more of them among [Muslims],” he said, according to an Associated Press account. “That’s not targeting [Muslims] to go see whether they [are terrorists] or not.”

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19

01 2012

Abruptly Arrested, Briefly Detained, Irreversibly Inspired

by Samer Abulaela

My primary motivation for starting this blog is to work with others in formulating a meaningful response to islamophobia that refuses to engage in the “good Muslim – bad Muslim” narrative, and to tie social and political consequences to islamophobic speech and actions of political, media, and government officials and institutions. Nevertheless, I’m finding myself rather pleased that my first post has little to do (at least directly) with the deluge of articles regarding the racist spying and community mapping perpetrated against Muslim Americans. Nor does it relate to the bigoted trainings conducted by FBI and Justice Department personnel, both within their respective institutions, and to first responders.

Instead of getting right into all that’s in need of being changed, I’m delighted to have caught a glimpse of the spirit that’s going to change it. Perhaps you heard of the Brooklyn Bridge mass arrest of 700 peaceful Occupy Wall Street protestors this past weekend… well, I happened to be among them. As the charges against us are being challenged, I’ve been warned not to discuss the details of the events that lead to our arrest – so for now, I won’t. Anyway, I think that’s much less interesting than what I want to talk about: the passion and dedication that was on display that day by more than just those of us who had to endure the inconvenience of arrest.

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19

10 2011

Attention America: We are Americans Too

Pamela Geller vs Imam on CNN Sunday Morning June 6, 2010

Note: I refer to we or us, sometimes in the context of ‘Muslims’ and at other times in the context of ‘the West.’ I do so not because I see any diametric opposition (clash of civilizations) between the two but because I consider myself a part of both.

First, let me get something off my chest.

ATTENTION AMERICA: WE DON’T HATE YOU.

We (Muslims) don’t. Really, we don’t. We really don’t.

In fact we are you. Believe it or not, we (Muslim Americans) are Americans too. We eat and sleep like you. We have families like you and we have similar concerns like you. We worry about the state of the economy when it is down. We worry about job security, about education, and about the future of our children. We attend mosques just like other Americans attend churches, synagogues, and other places of worship. And I assure you, in those mosques we engage in worship and social activities, just come by anytime. Mosques, contrary to what disinformers of Islam claim are open and welcome to the public, even to the pesky FBI agents who come around incognito looking for a smoking gun.

And let me tell you something else. We think the world sucks post 9/11 too. We’re not happy and we hate the terrorists who carry out acts of violence as much as you do. Perhaps even more because Muslim Americans died in those attacks just like any other Americans and on top of that the extremists who commit such egregious acts have hijacked and dishonored our religion.

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05

10 2010

Fighting Islamophobia

As much talk there is about Islamophobia nowadays, I think hatred toward Muslims is a classic case of “The Other.” Whatever you call it, Muslims are misunderstood and misrepresented.

The latest issue regarding the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” may not be a case of wanting to vilify Muslims. In some ways, I think it’s just finding someone to lash out against. Muslims just happen to fit the category in this moment in time.

The most distressing part of the discussion hasn’t been that people are angry or don’t want the mosque. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, and the issue brings out a lot of emotion in people.

No, the most troubling has been the insistence that ALL Muslims are a certain way, no matter the proof to the contrary.

Sure, there are Muslims who would like nothing more than to see the destruction of America. And there are those who will go to extremes to reach that end. But there are the rest of us – the majority of us, I would argue – that have the exact opposite views. Sure, we hear a lot about Islam as a “religion of peace,” but those words start sounding hollow after a while.

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27

08 2010