Posts Tagged ‘Islamophobia’

Open Letter to President Obama from a Muslim Family

May 20, 2011

Here is an “Open Letter to President Obama from a Muslim Family.” It contrasts his message to the Muslim world of dignity and civil rights with the treatment many American Muslims face in the United States. If you believe in the Bill of Rights and in American values this letter will alarm you. It’s a call for Presidential leadership. I hope the President heeds it.


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.

Muslims celebrate–Newt and Pamela Geller and the hate-mongers should apologize. Don’t hold your breath

May 3, 2011

The most Muslim city in the US, Dearborn, Michigan, celebrated the killing of Bin Laden as exuberantly as anyplace, according to this article from the Detroit News.

Will the hate mongers of the right apologize? Not very likely.

The developer of the “Ground Zero” “mosque” says his piece

April 23, 2011

Today’s New York Daily News has an op-ed by Sharif El-Gamal, developer of the so-called “Ground Zero,” so-called “mosque.” It’s his explanation of what he’s tried to accomplish and why. If you’re a supporter, or especially if you’re an opponent of the development you should hear his side of the story.

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.


Alabama’s governor of all the people, as long as “you’re a Christian and if you’re saved”— no insult intended to Jews, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, and others

January 18, 2011


Alabama’s Governor Robert Bentley gave a rousing Martin Luther King, Jr day speech at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where the late civil rights leader once was pastor. He told Alabamians that it was important ”that we love and care for each other.” He went on to proclaim, ”I think that Dr. Martin Luther King was one of the greatest men that has ever lived.”

Bentley said that even though he was a Republican he was governor of all the people. Except…maybe…

“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit. But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”


”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

Bentley later explained, ”We’re not trying to insult anybody.” Not trying, but succeeding.


From Islamophobia to brotherhood in Sidney Center, New York, pop. 1666

December 12, 2010


If you’re disturbed by the apparent growth of anti-Muslim prejudice in America, read this AP article by Helen O’Neill about 1 small town’s battle for tolerance. It’s about how the tiny village of Sidney Center, New York (photo, left, of “downtown”), came together in brotherhood after town leaders voted to investigate—and possibly remove—two graves of Sufi Muslims from the town cemetary. It’s America at its best, it’s about the America our immigrant grandparents dreamed of becoming a part of.


Israeli leaders condemn Jewish mosque-burners as “criminals” and “terrorists”

October 6, 2010

EthicsBob recently slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his failure to denounce Israel’s former chief rabbi for calling for death to all Palestinians: his office merely issued a statement that the rabbi’s views “don’t represent” Netanyahu’s. But when Jewish settlers set fire to a West Bank mosque this week the Israeli Prime Minister quickly ordered Israeli security forces to “act firmly to quickly uncover the criminals and bring them to justice.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak went further, calling the perpetrators “terrorists in every sense of the word.”

It’s beyond my memory that any senior Israeli official publicly called violent religious settlers terrorists. Hooray for Barak; hooray even for Netanyahu.

Sadly there are people on both sides of the Jewish/Arab divide who use the incident to inflame. The UK-based Middle East Monitor headlined its coverage, “Israeli settlers burn yet another mosque in occupied Palestine.” It implied that the crime had the assent of the Israeli establishment, saying that “In the current climate of global Islamophobia these uncivilised and intolerant acts will evoke little or no condemnation or censure.”

Not true. Netanyahu and Barak are siding against the Israeli terrorists. That’s a good thing. There’s no excuse for failing to credit it.