December 2, 2014 Leave a comment
Islam is not some Johnny come lately; it has a long, colorful and storied history in America. Some of that history can be seen and heard here.
"I have often been forced to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that there was no place else to go.”
November 13, 2014 Leave a comment
Much has been said about the woman who walked around in the streets of New York city for ten hours while men of all descriptions made unwanted advances to her. Of course it shows how uncivilized men’s desires can become but it also shows a degree of acclimation and expectation people have when confronted with their notions of beauty and attraction in today’s America. The link to the Hollaback video for your viewing pleasure is here.
However, there is another video in two parts that shows both the predictable reaction of men to women regular wearing regular attire walking for several hours and the same woman wearing a black abaya and hijab walking with vastly different results. In the case of the woman with the “Islamic” clothes there are no recorded interactions between the veiled woman and men she passes on the streets. In fact they seem not to even notice her as she walks mere inches away in some cases. Perhaps the reason is because of the clothes…..Muslim women are told in their sacred scripture, The Quran, one of the reasons for the covering is to be easily identified as women of modesty and faith yet perhaps another reason is because men know that interacting with women like that will result in no reaction at all. Operating on the principle that if one randomly approaches scores of women solicitously they may get one to accept their advances they have come to realize through interaction with Muslims that no matter how many times they make similar advances with Muslim women they will get no response at all. If that’s the case, it is a praiseworthy on the part of the Muslim woman not to advance such societal norms with interaction. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself what is the reason for the difference in how men react to the two examples…..
October 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Peter Kassig, an American is also an American Muslim who went to Syria to HELP Syrians not fight them and he is the latest hostage of the terror group ISIS to be threatened with death. In a letter to his parents he talks about how he is at peace with his religion and his decisions he made that took him to Syria but also that he is afraid of the uncertainty of death at the hands of this terror group. Is there anyone who still thinks the group has anything to do with Islam? It kills its native sons from all over the world; sounds more fascist than Islamist.
October 1, 2014 Leave a comment
Even people with supposed intelligence are not able to get around their prejudices despite the attempt of a prominent academic to lead them out of it.
October 1, 2014 Leave a comment
Stop it now!! No other group, nation, tribe, religion has borne the burden of the infamy of a small fraction of its associates like Muslims. No group of people has had to explain the actions of people they don’t know except tangentially as Muslims have had to do and despite their explanations and protestations not have their exposition accepted.
Juan Cole asks, Must Muslim Americans condemn ISIL; see where he takes you to arrive at an answer
Asking people to take stances based on their ascribed identity (what they were born into most often) rather than on the basis of their individual choices in life goes against everything that modern human rights thinking stands for. It is like forcing all Russian-Americans to say publicly what they think about Vladimir Putin.
So if all this is correct, and it certainly is, why do right wing Americans continue to demand that Muslim-Americans condemn Muslim extremists in the Middle East? They have nothing to do with the latter and aren’t responsible for them. Some of the inhabitants of the American Southwest in the early modern period were secret Muslims from southern Spain who had been forcibly converted to Catholicism by the Inquisition. My birthplace, Albuquerque, is an Arabic word (al-Barquqi). Some 10% of the some 4 million Africans kidnapped and trafficked to Southern landowners as slaves in the US before the slave trade was abolished were Muslim. Hundreds of thousands of people practiced Islam in North America long before there was a United States. The White House was built with slave labor and likely some of that was Muslim labor. Some of the founding Fathers likely owned Muslim slaves. As late as the 1930s, elderly ex-slaves reported in interviews that they remembered their mothers bowing toward the east at dawn. Some Arab-American Muslims can trace their family roots in the US back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The religion is an American religion, deeply interwoven with American history and Muslim-Americans are not responsible for developments in the contemporary Middle East.
So they shouldn’t have to, but they do.
When Turkey’s Jews were asked to condemn the atrocities of Israel in Gaza their response was
No citizen of this country is under any obligation to account for, interpret or comment on any event that takes place elsewhere in the world, and in which he/she has no involvement. There is no onus on the Jewish community of Turkey, therefore, to declare an opinion on any matter at all.
“It is anyway not possible for a community of 20,000 to declare a unified opinion. No human community can be monolithic and the Jewish community is not. Its members include people of all kinds, with a great variety of views.
“In the same way the people of Turkey cannot be held responsible for the barbarity of what the Islamic State [of Iraq and Levent, ISIL] does because a number of Turks are among its fighters, the Jewish community of Turkey cannot be held responsible for what the state of Israel does. It is racism to hold a whole people responsible for the actions of a state and we wish to declare that we are opposed to this.
American Muslims should be equally assertive in saying they are not responsible for nor do they need to explain the actions of people who are in faraway places of the world. Even though Muslims do try to explain an Islamic position it has never been good enough to get people to accept what are in some cases detailed and pointed explanations of their positions so STOP it! Stop it now!
August 31, 2014 Leave a comment
That’s what Tariq Ramadan says should be the attitude of Muslims in the West and anything less than that is unacceptable.
The leaders of ISNA can boast a proud record of service to American Muslims, for which they must be thanked and congratulated. The annual ISNA convention is an important gathering, featuring a multiplicity of participants and a broad cross-section of activities. In recent years, however, the political positions taken by the organization’s leadership have not always been clear-cut. Though it is essential, I believe, to remain open to dialogue with the authorities, it is likewise essential that positions of principle must be maintained, re-affirmed and defended. Not simply for the good of the Muslims, but in the name of the contribution of American Muslims to their society. Criticism of the domestic policy of the current administration, like those that preceded it, is a moral obligation. Summary arrests, arbitrary prison terms, inhuman psychological torture and solitary confinement, the shadowy role of informers and the deeply troubling and unacceptable methods used by the FBI, which has provoked young people to engage in extremist actions, must be unconditionally condemned. Not in the name of Islam, but in the name of the values proclaimed by the United States. However, the ISNA leadership is too often silent, as if paralyzed by fear. It fares no better with respect to American foreign policy. Its silence over American support for the outlaw and inhuman policies of Israel cannot be justified, even less so after attending an iftar organized by the White House during which President Obama defended Israel while the Israeli ambassador tweeted his delight! We cannot be forever silent: what kind of active and responsible citizenship does the ISNA leadership offer young American Muslims? What kind of example? That of silent, fearful sycophants–or of free, public-spirited citizens who, while defending the values of human dignity and justice, serve their country in the most sincere and critical way? That of the unconditional loyalty of the timorous, or the critical loyalty of free individuals? To attend the ISNA convention would be to endorse their silence.