Posts Tagged ‘The Cosby Show’

Meet some American Muslims on TLC’s All-American Muslim

November 24, 2011

 

Muslims are jihadis. Muslims subjugate women. Muslims stone adulterers. Sound familiar? Perhaps as familiar as Jews are stingy and control the media, Irish are drunks and raise one child to be a priest or nun, and blacks are ignorant and want special treatment.

These ethnic stereotypes are held by people who don’t know. If you know some Muslims or Jews or blacks you know that they’re just people, some like the stereotype, most not.

I was raised in segregated Delaware and went to segregated schools. The first black family I knew was the Huxtables: obstetrician Cliff, attorney Clair, dyslexic son Theo, and normal daughter Denise, from The Cosby Show. The first Jewish family many people of my generation knew was the Goldbergs, Molly and Jake and their kids Rosalie and Sammy. And the first Indian-Americans many people knew were Gogol Ganguli and his parents, Ashima and Ashoke, from The Namesake.

Most Americans don’t know any Muslims, even though there are almost three million Muslims in America. You can meet several Muslim families from Dearborn, Michigan on All-American Muslim, telecast Sunday nights on the TLC channel.

Some on the right say the program is nothing more than (more…)

Five myths about Muslims in America

April 4, 2011

 

Anti-Muslim prejudice is hurting America at home and abroad: at home because it divides Americans from each other and hurts our Muslim citizens, and abroad because it signals to many of the world’s billion Muslims that America is their enemy. Sometimes it leads directly to anti-American savagery, like last week’s murders in Afghanistan over the burning of the Quran by a deranged Christian pastor.

The prejudice can take root and spread because too many non-Muslim Americans know too little about their Muslim countrymen, or, indeed, about Islam. Katie Couric recently proposed, apparently in all seriousness, that to combat bigotry against Muslims, “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”

Faisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the make-shift mosque now holding prayers 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero in New York, is doing his part to contribute to inter-faith understanding. Last year he authored What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right With America, called by the Christian Science Monitor “An invigorating glimpse into the heart and mind of a wise Muslim seeking the higher ground.” Now he’s published a column in the Washington Post called Five myths about Muslims in America. The five myths are:

  1. American Muslims are foreigners.
  2. American Muslims are ethnically, culturally and politically monolithic.
  3. American Muslims oppress women.
  4. American Muslims often become “homegrown” terrorists
  5. American Muslims want to bring sharia law to the United States

The column is easy reading. If you care one way or the other about Muslims in America, I urge you to read this short article.