Opinions

  • Colson: U.S. Muslims correctly nervous about hate

    Opinions March 5, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Aspen Times. I just can’t seem to shake my concern that the rising rate of ill-informed, if not outright stupid, anti-Muslim sentiment around the world and in the U.S. is something we should be very worried about. I regularly get an email blast from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with news on such matters as hate mail, screaming of insults and other indications that Neanderthals are stalking anyone who professes a belief in the Quran and all things Islam, and it’s a scary thing, I’ve got to say.

     
  • The Atlantic ignores Muslim intellectuals, defines “true Islam” as ISIS

    Opinions February 20, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Despite what its many critics (including President Obama) will tell you, the Islamic State is indeed Islamic, and actually very Islamic, according to ISIS itself — and also according to The Atlantic, which endorsed the group’s narrative in a widely circulated essay published this week entitled “What ISIS Really Wants.” In the piece, author Graeme Wood makes the case that the militant group — whose actions have sparked protests and widespread revulsion around the world — represents a highly authentic version of Islam. . . . While the author notes that the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not share the views of Islamic State, and indeed see the group as un-Islamic, he denies that their version of the religion is more genuine. . . . While Wood is correct to push back against the flawed notion that Islamic State has absolutely no relation to Islam, he neglects to engage the predominant view that the group embodies one of the heretical versions of the religion that have cropped up periodically throughout history. The end result is a 10,000-word exercise in confirmation bias. If the Islamic State is indeed, as Wood claims, “very Islamic,” his essay makes an unconvincing case of it to anyone familiar with the historical and religious context in which the group has arisen.

     
  • Law alone can’t dismantle Islamophobia

    Opinions February 20, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: AlJazeera America. Without systemic solutions and practices that challenge and change the culture and climate of hostility toward Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities, efforts to counter hate violence through only legal solutions will not stick…Fostering a climate based on mutual understanding and respect of the multiracial communities we are fast becoming in America will take vigilance from each of us. It starts with a better understanding of one another’s stories, histories and experiences, with the intention of finding common threads and identifying one another’s humanity. Civic, faith, education and business leaders, in partnership with artists and cultural bridge builders, can create spaces and opportunities that allow people to engage in dialogue with one another. We can learn from movements such as #BlackLivesMatter that have allowed us to have honest national conversations about how people of color experience violence and discrimination.

     
  • Chapel Hill shooting and western media bigotry

    Opinions February 11, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Aljazeera. Many scholars – including Edward Said, Elizabeth Poole, Kai Hafez, Milly Williamson, Karim Karim, Teun Van Dijk, Kimberly Powell, and Dina Ibrahim, among others – have carried out academic studies examining western news coverage of Islam and Muslims. Results suggest that Muslims are often portrayed in western news media as violent, backwards, fundamentalist and as threats to western civilisation. Western news coverage rarely highlights Islam except to show its possible relation to some atrocity, and Muslims are rarely mentioned in the context of news that is positive or benign. Other studies show inconsistent coverage of violent global and regional conflicts. When Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims are killed by Muslims, Islam is identified as playing a direct role. When Muslims are killed by Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims, however, the religious identity of the violent perpetrators is downplayed or ignored.

     
  • The most common type of American terrorist Is a white man with a weapon and a grudge

    Opinions February 11, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Nation. Yesterday, an outspoken white atheist murdered three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We don’t yet know for sure whether this was a hate crime or whether the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, had some other motivation; police have said the crime may have grown out of a dispute over parking. We do know that had Hicks been a Muslim and his victims atheists, few would be waiting for all the facts to come in before declaring him a terrorist. We know that there would be the usual calls for other Muslims to condemn the killings, coupled with the usual failure to take note of the many Muslims who did. And we know that demands for Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins to distance themselves from Hicks are largely facetious, because no one really blames them. Violence perpetrated by Muslims is almost always seen as part of a global conspiracy, whereas white men like Hicks are usually seen as isolated psychopaths.

     
  • American Sniper and the Muslim ‘savage’

    Source: Huffington Post. I know, I know. It’s just a movie. But that’s why I take it so seriously. Movies have the power to shape and frankly distort the way we view the world, particularly those elements of the world that fall beyond our everyday experience. Keep in mind that the only Muslims many non-Muslim Americans “know” are the ones they see on a movie screen. When you add Eastwood’s film to the hundreds upon hundreds of films that rely on racist, Orientalist stereotypes, from Old Ironsides (1926) to Rules of Engagement (2000) to Zero Dark Thirty (2012), it becomes difficult for many moviegoers to see these characters as fictional caricatures. The Muslim enemy onscreen is simply assumed to be the mirror image of the Muslim enemy off-screen.

     
  • Muslims Infiltrate the White House! Me included!

    Op-Eds, Opinions February 8, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Daily Beast. I can’t believe it but Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann were right after all. Muslims have infiltrated the White House—and at the highest levels. Sharia law can’t be far behind, so I hope you like turkey bacon and non-alcoholic beer because that’s all you will be getting once these Muslims have their say. What am I talking about? Well, on Wednesday, I was one of 15 Muslim-American leaders to attend a one-hour meeting with President Obama at the White House. . . My next comment echoed the sentiment we heard often in the meeting. In fact, it was clearly the No. 1 issue raised: The alarming rise in anti-Muslim bigotry in America. . . . My point was that while bigotry from certain Republicans is nothing new, I’m alarmed about the Democratic response to these comments. What is the Democrats’ response, you ask? Simple: silence.

     
  • America’s domestic terrorists? Who are they?

    Opinions February 4, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Louisiana Weekly. There is a very real threat to law enforcement officers in America; however, the primary threat is not coming from ISIS, al-Qaida or any radicalized Muslims in the United States as the controlled media would have you believe. A direct threat has emerged from within the sovereign citizens movement, an ideologically committed group of people with documented views against the U.S. government, who advocate violent overthrow of existing government structures, laws and call for citizen arrests of high-ranking political officials. It is also referred to in some circles as the “Patriot” movement. Many white supremacists, militias and sovereign citizen groups are located in conservative so-called “Red States,” and their existence is well-known, however, it would appear that the government is spending more time and resources infiltrating mosques and attempting to enlist high-level informants within the Muslim community in America. . . . A report titled “Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution,” by Project SALAM (Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims) found that “the war on terror has been largely a charade designed to make the American public believe that a terrorist army is loose in the U.S., when the truth is that most of the people convicted of terrorism-related crimes posed no danger to the U.S. and were entrapped by a preventive strategy known as preemptive prosecution.”

     
  • The police state is upon us

    Opinions February 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Information Clearing House. Anyone paying attention knows that 9/11 has been used to create a police/warfare state. Years ago NSA official William Binney warned Americans about the universal spying by the National Security Agency, to little effect. Recently Edward Snowden proved the all-inclusive NSA spying by releasing spy documents, enough of which have been made available by Glenn Greenwald to establish the fact of NSA illegal and unconstitutional spying, spying that has no legal, constitutional, or “national security” reasons.Yet Americans are not up in arms. Americans have accepted the government’s offenses against them as necessary protection against “terrorists.”

     
  • Chomsky blasts ‘American Sniper’ and the media that glorifies it

    Opinions January 26, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. Noam Chomsky had some choice words about the popularity of “American Sniper,” its glowing New York Times review, and what the worship of a movie about a cold-blooded killer says about the American people. It’s not good.