Thursday, December 14, 2006

The American Muslim

The American Muslim is an excellent online journal to browse through when one has the time. There are two articles in particular that stood out to me today, because they speak to the problems I have encountered on the net and in real life in defending Islam and muslims.

Selective Hearing of Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism addresses the pervasive assertion that muslims in general and american muslims in particular are silent on the issue of terrorism. During college, I was a board member of my university's Muslim Student Association. Part of being a muslim student representative and a hijabi on campus is that you're visibly muslim, and as such, often called upon to answer people's questions about Islam. For the most part, I enjoy these questions coming from my fellow students and from the occasional reporter. But, there was always that underlying assumption that even if I wasn't a member of a terrorist organization, I was at least a terrorist sympathizer. No matter what proof I would bring, the long lists of condemnations, it all fell on deaf ears. I guess this is a problem many muslims encounter.

The second article is The Dehumanization of American Muslims, another phenomenon I've witnessed and experienced with growing concern over the years. Read it.

Dehumanization is defined as a process by which members of a group of people assert the “inferiority” of another group through subtle or overt acts or statements. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization or may be the composite of individual sentiments and actions.

A coalition of anti-Muslim bigots have formed that sit at their computers full time seeking out news – no matter how vague – of bad Muslim behavior to demonstrate to their growing numbers of readers that all Muslims are irreparably evil and ultimately must be put into internment camps and/or systematically eliminated whether by getting them to leave Islam or by killing them.

Their assault on Islam and the Muslims is unrelenting and uncompromising. There are no good Muslims. If you meet a good Muslim, then he/she is making ‘tuqiyyah’ and/or part of a “sleeper cell”. Muslims can do no good. NONE!

Their blogs are growing in readership. They are coming out with more and more best selling books smearing and slandering Islam and the Muslims, and are continuously invited back to major media outlets to promote their books and offer their “expertise” on Islam.

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