Posts Tagged ‘intolerance’

Don’t eat that sausage or you’ll be converted to Islam. And stay away from the Hebrew National hot dogs lest you unknowingly become Jewish

November 28, 2011

 

Sometimes intolerance can be so wildly nonsensical that you can only laugh. Thursday in the Australian parliament Luke Simpkins, Liberal MP from Western Australia, sounded a warning* about the sinister implications of unwittingly eating meat from animals that had been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.

“Mohammed, the prophet of Islam—as reported in the Hadith, the traditions of Islam, the book second only to the Koran—talked of how Islam would be furthered to those parts of the world that had not yet embraced it. He reportedly said, ‘The non-believers will become Muslims when, amongst other things, they eat the meat that we have slaughtered.’ This is one of the key aspects to converting nonbelievers to Islam.”

“By having Australians unwittingly eating halal food we are all one step down the path towards the conversion, and that is a step we should only make with full knowledge and one that should not be imposed upon us without us knowing.”

If Mr. Simpkins is right, we probably should stay away from the Hebrew National hot dogs sold at Costco snack bars (more…)

The ethics of flying while Muslim

May 14, 2011

Most African-Americans are familiar with the charge of DWB. By now many even joke about being stopped by police for “driving while black.” The practice survives, even while police across the country have become sensitized to its wrongs.

It even reached the Presidency when a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates for attempting to enter his own house without a key. President Obama commented off-handedly that the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly,” then apologized and invited the arresting officer and the professor to the White House to talk things over at a “beer summit.”

Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul can add another to the list of offenses that can attract the unwelcome attention of the authorities: FWM, or “flying while Muslim. They were removed from an Atlantic Southeast Airlines (“The Delta Connection”) flight because their garb made the pilots nervous. Fortunately for them, the pilots of a later flight from Memphis to Charlotte weren’t as skitish, and the two Muslim travelers reached their destination safely, albeit, tardily.

George Jonas of Canada’s National Post describes the incident and its meaning here.

Worth watching: the CNN documentary, Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door– Soledad O’Brien

April 1, 2011

 

CNN last week ran an excellent documentary about the controversy over a planned new mosque/community center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It’s called Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door– Soledad O’Brien. The video runs 42 minutes. An excellent summary of it is here.

It’s upsetting to contrast how ordinary American are the Muslims of Murfreesboro with how fearful and suspicious are the mosque’s opponents. The idea that the American Muslims are “other” is reminiscent of similar arguments made about African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Jewish Americans, and, much earlier, Irish-Americans.

We Americans take pride in our diversity, and in America as a melting pot, but we still have the capacity to summon up a layer of hate and suspicion from just under the surface.

 

NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim comments: intolerance, political correctness, or a stand against bigotry?

October 21, 2010

 

“Juan Williams, Martyr to Tolerance.” That’s the title of a provocative Ethics Alarms piece by Jack Marshall. Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying this on to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Marshall excoriates NPR’s action as the intolerable “intolerance of the self-righteous heralds of toleration.”

I’m conflicted over this one. I don’t think Juan Williams should have been fired, but I find his statement very unfair, and somewhere between ignorant and bigoted.

Ignorant, because Muslims wear all kinds of garb, including the sporty American look that the 9/11 hijackers apparently tried to present. Bigoted, because it’s bigotry to assign stereotypical characteristics to individuals, whether to assume that Jews are money-grubbing, that Irish are drunks, that black men are sex-crazed, or that evangelical Christians are gay-bashers.

For Americans in 2010 it’s particularly hurtful to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, as many on the political right are now doing. A scary portion of the population is buying into the idea of Muslims as “other.” It’s horribly unfair to people who are (more…)


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