Muslims

My Fellow American

A message from My Fellow American:


Muslims are our fellow Americans

They are part of the national fabric that holds our country together. They contribute to America in many ways, and deserve the same respect as any of us. I pledge to spread this message, and affirm our country’s principles of liberty and justice for all.

 

Too often, the politics of hate and fearmongering are used without care or consequence to achieve goals that are anything but consistent with our nation's founding principles.

Thank you, to My Fellow American, for sharing this with us and giving us the opportunity to help bring more attention to it.

 

Reinventing Our Relations With the Muslim World: An Interview With Former CIA Analyst Emile Nakhleh

originally posted 2009-02-08 20:30:11 -0500, bumped by carol



The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Building consensus within America’s body politic and national security establishment for a new way forward with Muslims worldwide is a formidable challenge. Many Americans still don’t appreciate the complex nuances of Muslim society and remain stubbornly Islamophobic almost seven and half years after 9/11. Equally formidable is earning the goodwill of Muslims worldwide following the Iraq War as well as American atrocities perpetrated upon Islamic detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Hopefully, President Obama’s historic election has finally opened a path for constructive conversation about how America can most effectively engage the Muslim world.

What is Discrimination?

Promoted -- GH. Originally posted 2008-05-12 21:03:07 -0500.

What is discrimination? Discrimination is defined as the act or an instance of distinguishing one person unjustly over another according to aspects unrelated to their ability, based on age, disability, religion, sex, or national origin. Within the past years, discrimination is a word that has adapted the nature of a negative subtext in society. From the beginning of the Equal Rights Movement, the denotation of the word “discrimination” has been modified from a practical asset to an act of insult. In my utmost opinion, the discrimination of one’s faith/way of life is a quite serious notion that has taken over the lives of Americans since the attack of 9/11.

The unconscionable disaster that has overwhelmed the nation of America on September 11th has touched the hearts of almost every single person throughout the world, including Muslims. The destruction of the beloved Twin Towers along with the many innocent lives victimized by this terror has brought grief-stricken tears to the eyes of countless individuals. The images of violence traveling the globe have proved how powerless the world is to terrorism and its immorality.

Nevertheless, as the shock of the tragedy turned into detestation, a dangerous combination of emotions began to settle throughout America. As we all know, 9/11 has began many supposed beneficial things among the world—the endless war against Iraq, the hunt of Osama Bin Laden, the attack on Saddam Hussein, airport tight security measures, the crackdown against terrorists (bearded men), and the daily increase of Islamic hatred. And seven years after 19 men hijacked four packed planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, a majority of Americans has still kept their loathing against Muslims activated. As for Muslims, it has opened the gates of constant discrimination. In unison, Americans found a reason to attack us, police to pester us, politicians and journalists to insult our religion.

As an American Muslim living in New York, who respects and admires the teaching of Islam, I must say that listening to various radio stations, shortly after the attacks, while callers filled the phone lines venting their anger, spitting “We need to kill them all!” and “Throws all those damn Muslims out of this country,” labeling the religion as "a bloody, bloody, brutal type of religion," completely took a stab at my heart, brought tears to my eyes, and broke my peace of silence. Television mainstream broadcasts were constantly interviewing supposed experts of Islam discussing the disposition of terrorists, the Islamic teaching of terrorism; concluding that every Muslim possess a characteristic link with terrorism.

Muslims in the Media

Is Islam portrayed justly by the mainstream media? According to a new CBS News poll, less than one in five say their impression of the religion is favorable. Also, forty-five percent of respondents questioned said they are distrustful of Islam, which is a huge increase in the last four years. Now, who should these innocent Muslims point fingers to for tarnishing the name of their peaceful religion? Who should be held responsible for the shame Islam has endured?

The Vast Majority of Muslims Condemn The 9-11 Attacks

From the story 'Politics, not piety' dictate radicals in Muslim world: poll (hat tip Lordrag) it appears that over 90% of the Muslim world condemns the attacks of September 11, 2001. Of the 7% who condoned them, it was not due to religious justification -- it was political.

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One of the largest-ever opinion polls conducted in the Islamic world found that seven percent of Muslims condoned the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on the US, but none of them gave religious justification for their beliefs, according to the figures released Tuesday.

The Gallup organisation’s poll of some 50,000 people in over 35 predominantly Muslim countries found that what motivated those considered "politically radicalised" was their fear of occupation by the West and the US, though most even admired and hoped for democratic principles.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims - 93 percent - condemned the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, and most said the biggest obstacle to better relations with the West was the latter’s lack of respect for Islam.
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Well, so much for the American Taliban's insistence that the followers of Islam are trying to destroy us and are required by their religion to do so.

Funny thing, the interesting double-standard that is invoked here: it's almost reminiscent of the magnificently hypocritical shell game that evoked the Crusades. Remember them?

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The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal threats. Crusades were fought against Muslims, pagan Slavs, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, and political enemies of the popes.[1] Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.[1]
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I think I have found, however, a key reason why radical right-wingers and conservatives want to paint all Muslims with the same broad brush: Muslims worldwide apparently admire our liberal democracy.

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Substantial majorities in all Muslim countries said they supported bringing democratic principles to their own countries and admired the US primarily for its technological innovation and liberal democracy, but less than 50 percent believed the US was serious about bringing that democracy to the Islamic world.
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Emphasis mine.

I guess that explains why Conservatives are scared, too -- there are billions of Muslims in the world, and they like liberals. If I were conservative, I suppose I'd be feeling pretty put-out at being dissed and ignored by billions across the planet too.

An interesting sidelight on minority politics

Ali Eteraz has written an interesting commentary on the role being played by Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the House: Keith Ellison: First Muslim in Congress Makes His Mark

Eleven months have passed since America's first Muslim congressman -- Keith Ellison, from Minnesota's fifth district -- was elected to office. In that time he has exposed bigotry in the media and Congress, and served as a bridge for American relations with the Muslim world.