Posts Tagged ‘Irish’

New York lessons from the ‘ground zero mosque’

April 7, 2011

 

The story of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” has spread halfway around the world to Turkey and to Hurriyet, the Turkish daily I scan (the English edition) on my iPhone every day. Today’s edition has an article by David Dyssegaard Kallick about lessons from the mosque. It’s not so much about the mosque as it is about the endless rhythmic flow of immigrants to New York.

Germans, Irish, Italians, Chinese and Jews, they were all considered “other” at first, despised and feared, but eventually each group became integrated into the New York scene, “not by shedding their culture, but by making a place for it in America.”

Kallick says he’s seen this movie before and it always has a happy ending. He explains why he’s certain that Muslims will find their rightful place in New York—shaping the city and being shaped by it. It’ll be another building block in America’s exceptionalism.

 

Advertisements

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…)