Yesterday, CAIR issued a press release demanding that leaders in our country repudiate anti-Islam hate.
It seems that the only acceptable open form of bigotry is the anti-Muslim one. Religious and political extremists seem to be exused by our society to make vile attacks on Islam and its followers in a way that is similar to the racist Nazi attacks on Jews in Germany in the 30's and 40's of last century. Makes you wonder what those extremists here in America have in mind.
No one can deny that extremism and intolerance are an unfortunate human phenomena that attract a small minority of people. However, even a small minority can cause a lot of damage to all of us. Therefore, we all have to do our share to expose extremism, reject it and challenge it.
Whether we hear it at our church, mosque, or synagogue. Whether we listen to it on radio, read in a newspaper, see it on the internet or watch it on television. Whether we hear it at a lecture, a meeting, or a social gathering. Let's be that person who stands up and makes a difference. Let's be the one who publicly says (or writes) that it is wrong to negatively streotype others. Let's make it harder for the hatemongers to freely express hate in public. If we can not convince such people that it is immoral to be a bigot, let's at least shame them for being one.
As an American Muslim, I have the double role of speaking against the two types of extremists: those who hide behind my religion and those who hide behind my country's flag to justify their vile.
Philosopher Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
I refuse to allow evil to triumph.
Sample recent Islamophobic comments:
A county commissioner in Florida said Tuesday that he agrees with a letter his wife wrote to a local newspaper calling Islam a "hateful, frightening religion."
SEE: Muslim Bashing Sets Off Furor (St. Petersburg Times)
In Missouri, a top Baptist leader in that state told 1,200 convention delegates: "Today, Islam has a strategic plan to defeat and occupy America." He said Muslims are planning to take over America one city at a time, starting with Detroit. "They are trying to establish a Muslim state inside America, and they are going to take the city of Detroit back to the 15th century and practice Sharia (or Islamic) law there."
SEE: Muslims 'Are Here to Take Over Our Country' (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
SEE ALSO: 'The Message is Clear. The Enemy is Real' (Southeast Missourian)
Also in Missouri, "KKK" and "Kill Muslim" were scrawled in spray paint on the garage door of a family of Pakistani heritage.
SEE: Racist Graffiti Scrawled on Garage Door (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum compared the Islamic concept of "Jihad" to Nazism. "Mein Kampf means struggle; jihad means struggle," said Santorum.
(Jihad is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle on the battlefield by using a standing army for national defense, or fighting against tyranny or oppression.)
SEE: Incumbent Says He's Not 'Fear-Mongering' (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
In New York, Rep. Peter King claimed the vast majority of mosques in his state and nationwide are being run by "radicals." In California, a Muslim candidate for the Anaheim City Council was labeled "anti-American" by his Republican opponents. In Wisconsin, a congressional candidate questioned about his call for profiling of Muslims suggested looking for anyone who is "wearing a turban and his name is Muhammad." And in Minnesota, another candidate for Congress said that "as a Jew" he is offended by his Muslim opponent's candidacy.
Last week, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that dialogue with American Muslims is a "pipe dream" because "there's nobody to talk to." Last month on his "700 Club" television program, Pat Robertson called the Quran "fraudulent."
SEE: The Truth about Muhammad (CBN)
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html