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Islamophobia in us(a)

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Nara

Well-known member
Greetings!

Since 9/11, islamophobia has taken root in many countries, including USA. One of the reasons for this is the climate created by mainly right-wing politicians in which looking at Muslims with suspicion is understandable. There has been cases when airline pilots refused to fly with Muslim looking passengers on board -- having cleared all the security checks not withstanding. Instead of calling on the pilot's islamophobia, the passengers are often made to deplane and take a different flight. In 2008 three Sikh passengers faced this treatment, yes the pilot thought the Sikhs were potential Muslim terrorists, read about it here.

There are many Mosques all over USA, there are many neighborhoods in the U.S. where Muslim live, work, and worship their god. But, they also live in fear of vandalism and more. There are scores of such incidences that get reported on a regular basis.

The sharp increase in islamophobia can be directly linked to the increasingly sweeping rhetoric coming from prominent people from the conservative right. I would like to present these cases here to give an idea of what is actually happening all across the U.S. I welcome people living in other countries, including India, to contribute.

Before I begin, I would like to mention that George W. Bush, whom I consider a war monger, must be commended for trying his best to separate Islam and more than a billion Muslims from the tiny sliver who engage in extremism and terrorism. Credit shall be given when and where due, even to the proverbial "devil". (Just in case my intent is misunderstood, this is just a figure of speech, I am not saying GW is a devil!)

The first politician I would like to cite is Newt Gingrich, who was the Speaker of the House of Representative -- Speaker of the House is one of the most powerful political positions in Washington -- and a prospective presidential candidate. He routinely equates the Sufi Muslims -- I doubt he knows or cares that Sufis are among the most gentle religious people -- trying to construct an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan, to Nazis. He keeps saying these Sufis are,“radical Islamists” who want to prove that “they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamists.”

I wonder who is an "Islamist" for Newt. If Islamists are responsible for 9/11, then people following Islam, i.e. Muslims are terrorists, this is the kind of connection ordinary right-wing people make. Their leaders keep harping on this theme, Islamic this, Islamic that. Such rhetoric cultivates hatred for Muslims in general so much so that being fearful of anyone who looks Muslim is considered reasonable. Most don't let this fear turn into violence, but that is no comfort to the Muslims who have to face the violence coming from just that odd handful of irrational people who get egged on by these politicians who are clever enough to couch what they say so that they can deny any responsibility.

Among the many instances of Newt's promotion of islamaphobia, here is one.
 
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RVR

Well-known member
When we say 9/11, we all think of the incident on 2001 but I would like to point two other 9/11 events of great significance, especially to Indians and students of Indian History.

The first was 9/11/1893 when Swami Vivenkananda addressed the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, USA. He spoke of universal brotherhood and the confluence of all religions.

The other one was in 9/11/1906 when Mahatma Gandhi launched his first Satyagraha movement in Transvaal province of South Africa against the enactment of Asiatic Amendment Act (aka Black Act). This was done in a peaceful and non-violent manner and the experience later enabled Gandhiji to take on and subsequently conquer the then mighty British Empire.

Perhaps the world forgot the significance of these two important 9/11s and the messages thereof and this had led to the 3rd 9/11. Had the world leaders listened to these apostles of peace and followed their sage advices to establish a world order based on Equity, Love, Brotherhood, Tolerance & Non Violence, the 3rd 9/11 would not have happened at all !!! I wonder if any of the present day leaders care to give these ideals an even passing thought - that includes Obama as well.

All the best
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Bleed the developers to death

Talking about the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan, the Republican candidate for Governor of the state of New York has pledged to stop the project, if elected, using any legal means. Then, he added, there were “many, many alternatives” to stopping the project, including “bleeding” the developers “to death.” This is the man running in the Republican party ticket for the top office in one of the most populous states in the U.S. within whose borders is the financial capital of the country, and some may even say the world!!!

More here.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor Nara Ji,

I first thought, what relevance is this topic for our Forum. But then on reflection, I think that this is a perfect way for us to understand ourselves also. So with that in mind, I'll post my thoughts here - I will not enter in to any discussions on either political party in America - here we know that our opinions differe, and I do not think that any use will come of it.

But for the NY 9/11 mosque issue, I will post relevant comments.

I am posting an article from New York Times below. Here is a poll of those residing in NY City about the mosque. Please read the anecdotal quotes of ordinary people to decide for yourself whether America has an Inslamaphobia. While reading this, please keep in mind that NY City is one of the most 'liberal' cities in USA.:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/nyregion/03poll.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2

Regards,
KRS
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
In Kentucky, a school principal, from whom we expect a modicum of restraint, sent out anti-Muslim e-mail that got circulated among all faculty. It reads in part,
"The Muslims are planning a great jihad against America. Arise, be viligent and don't let it happen,...."
Islamaphobia is not just a province of right-wing extremists, but these fear and hate-mongers have managed to permeate into many levels of American day-to-day life, for which the Republicans and the American right-wing bear a great deal of responsibility.

Read all about it here,
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Respectable members,

I sincerely think, this thread has no relevancy for our forum. What American's think about Islam or Muslims may not have any bearings to Tamil Brahmins or any common Indian living in India.

Islam is a political ideology that never fails to fish in troubled waters. Announcement of 'cordoba mosque' at ground zero is one more act of this political ideology. It already divided Americans debating for and against.

I sincerely think this should not divide the members in this forum.

Cheers!
 
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sangom

Well-known member
Respectable members,

I sincerely think, this thread has no relevancy for our forum. What American's think about Islam or Muslims may not have any bearings to Tamil Brahmins or any common Indian living in India.

Islam is a political ideology that never fails to fish in troubled waters. Announcement of 'cordoba mosque' at ground zero is one more act of this political ideology. It already divided Americans debating for and against.

I sincerely think this should not divide the members in this forum.

Cheers!
Dear Shri Raghy,

I do not foresee this topic dividing the members of this forum. Islam as most of us know has its emphasis on the faithful taking action against the non-believers (kafir). Such injunctions are explicit, and, however much a section of the Muslims would like to downplay these stipulations and highlight the more egalitarian aspects (which I think applies only to the islams and not even to dhimmi) contained in the Holy Quran, these aggressive aspects cannot just be wished away. The world now finds a resurgence of the Pan Islamic ideology. It has enough financial support and also volunteers who are ready to become martyrs for the cause. I believe that the moderate peace-loving section of the Muslims has absolutely no voice against the jihadist people and have to fall in line for fear of their lives.

Hence for non-Muslims, as a rule, it is prudent to be wary.
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Dear Shri Raghy,

I do not foresee this topic dividing the members of this forum. Islam as most of us know has its emphasis on the faithful taking action against the non-believers (kafir). Such injunctions are explicit, and, however much a section of the Muslims would like to downplay these stipulations and highlight the more egalitarian aspects (which I think applies only to the islams and not even to dhimmi) contained in the Holy Quran, these aggressive aspects cannot just be wished away. The world now finds a resurgence of the Pan Islamic ideology. It has enough financial support and also volunteers who are ready to become martyrs for the cause. I believe that the moderate peace-loving section of the Muslims has absolutely no voice against the jihadist people and have to fall in line for fear of their lives.

Hence for non-Muslims, as a rule, it is prudent to be wary.

Sri. Sangom Sir,

Greetings. Yes, leave alone Dhimmis, Islam's egalitarian aspects applies to only amoung Arab muslims, not even to black and brown Muslims. Since Hindus are not the 'people of the book', they are not even dhimmies. India has a Muslim population in double figures; second highest Muslim population in the world. 'Islomophobia' does not apply to India at all. Islam and Muslims are part of the furniture in India. That's why I didn't see the relevancy of this thread. Yes, it is always prudent to be wary.

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Raghy,

I just chanced to see this web page.

Religioscope: Islam in India: a journey through Deoband

The site seems to be an impartial and non-commercial one. The interesting part of the somewhat long, but very informative, web page is the following:

"Without outwardly condemning Islamist organisations, such as the Jammat-e-Islami in the Indian subcontinent, Madrassi makes it clear that for Deoband the exclusive mission is Islamic education and training, not the pursuit of political power [5]. However, he adds the caveat that the creation of an Islamic state on a global scale is an aspirational issue for all Muslims, including Deobandis."

If the above be true, India is the place to start working for achieving the aspiration; is it not?
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Travelling while looking Muslim

Last week a family was evicted from a Delta flight at Memphis for "dressed in attire that would indicate some Muslim-type religion". For the full story, click here.

This can happen to any of us, remember Kamalahasan being detained for having a name that sounded Muslim. People from India traveling in the U.S. need to be alert. To islamaphobes, we all look alike and the sarees our women wear indicate some kind of Muslim-type religion.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Last week a family was evicted from a Delta flight at Memphis for "dressed in attire that would indicate some Muslim-type religion". For the full story, click here.

This can happen to any of us, remember Kamalahasan being detained for having a name that sounded Muslim. People from India traveling in the U.S. need to be alert. To islamaphobes, we all look alike and the sarees our women wear indicate some kind of Muslim-type religion.
Dear Shri Nara,

The comments show that the aircraft crew's suspicion was not a knee-jerk but based on more realistic assessment. So, it does not seem to be islamophobia.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
...The comments show that the aircraft crew's suspicion was not a knee-jerk but based on more realistic assessment. So, it does not seem to be islamophobia.
The fellow spent too much time in the toilet and the crew thought there "seemed" some damage. Later inspection found nothing. Perhaps this is just an incidence of stupidity, not islamaphobia on the part of the crew, but, why did the reporting include this: "dressed in attire that would indicate some Muslim-type religion".

These things may seem quite alright when it happens to "other" people. But, when it happens to us, for nothing more than looking like the most recent "monster", it is frightening.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Folks,

Let us look at the facts in Delta airlines so called 'profiling' case. The most important words in the story are these:

"On taxi, the crew became concerned when a passenger exited the lavatory after an extended period of time and damage was found in the lavatory," said a Comair spokesperson in a written statement.


Air crew is nowadays specifically trained to examine the lavatory when someone spends a lot of time in the toilet, especially BEFORE TAKE OFF. Happened to me a couple of times. So, nowadays, I make sure that I finish all my toilet requirements before getting in to the aircraft.

Is my 'freedom' violated when they choose me to frisk more etc. at the airport? Do they do it because I have brown skin? Probably. But the fact is I gladly put up with these small inconveniences, because the lives of many people are involved. If these procedures save lives and all it causes a few indignities on me, so be it. Innocent lives are more important than me getting profiled.

And, let us not forget why these procedures are in place. Because, some muslims are intent on doing harm. So, when some event happens and the actors involved look like muslims, I have no problem with the crew taking extra precaution.

Islamaphobia in this instance is a good thing.

Regards,
KRS
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Opposition to the Islamic Center in lower Manhattan was quite intense. The comments ranged from the most vile to the most ridiculous. One of the oft cited justification for their opposition was the sacredness of the 9/11 attack site -- not so close to the "hallowed" ground. (Pointing out the presence of strip club even closer is too fine a point for these people.)

Be that as it may, how close is too close? The answer is, even 1200 miles is too close. Read about gun shots and vandalism against Mosque in Tennessee, here. All across the U.S. mosques are coming under various kinds of attacks. One more account here.

These are fuelled by the constant islamophobic vile being spewed out by such conservative beacons as Rush Limbah and Michael Savage, who are considered fountains of raw wisdom by many on the right.

In this atmosphere of hate created by these media mavens half a spark is all that is needed for violence to occur.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Folks,

Is 9/11 place of the proposed mosque, hollowed ground? This is a quote from a parent who lost his son on 9/11:

However, the imam, who came under intense scrutiny in the days before the 9/11 anniversary on Saturday, said the site of planned mosque should not be considered 'hallowed ground'.
Pointing to the location of a strip club and betting shop nearby, he said: 'It's absolutely disingenuous, as many have said, that that block is hallowed ground.
'So let's clarify that misperception.'
Some September 11 victims' families view the proposed mosque site - in a building damaged in the attacks - as very much part of the terrain of death and sorrow surrounding the World Trade Centre.
'I just think he's being very insensitive to say it's not hallowed ground because of who's occupying the buildings,' said Jim Riches, a former New York City deputy fire chief whose son, Jimmy, was killed there Source:Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Raif hints at compromise to end row | Mail Online.

Here again is another survey among New Yorkers about their attitude towards the mosque:
New Yorkers Say 9/11 Concerns Eclipse Right to Build Mosque, Survey Finds - Bloomberg

It is true that some republicans have been politicizing the issue, but some democrats have been too. Notoriously among them, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Reid and the ex chief of the democratic party, Dr.Dean. However, it must be admitted, though they both oppose building the mosque, their voices are low key, unlike those of Gingrich and Palin. These two folks, especially tend to speak in a way, that tend to raise their negative ratings among americans in opinion polls.

And this mosque project is termed as 'Cordoba Project. This name is itself controversial, with muslims behind the project claiming that this represents the time and place when islam was at it's zenith in terms of it's civilization, when it contributed to amity between muslims and dhimmies. But others refute it, claiming that as muslims have done throughout history, they have built a mosque in cordoba over the destroyed church there, using the building material of the destroyed place of worship. Suspicion over the real motives of muslims and the real wish to protect the sentiments of the 9/11 victims (most killed were Christians and Jews, even though about 61 muslims also died) is what is behind of almost 70% persons nationwide thinking that it would be best to build the mosque somewhere else. Please read the alleged significance of 'Cordoba Project' name here:
NOW THE END BEGINS: The Truth Behind The Ground Zero Mosque - Cordoba House

Lastly, even though hate crimes against 'perceived' to be muslims had spiked after 9/11, it has been decreasing steadily since then and stood at about 9% of all the hate crimes in USA in 2008, per FBI statistics. The group most affected by hate crimes in America are the jews, with the likelihood of being a victim, at three times more than the muslims, ADJUSTING FOR POPULATION size. Raw data wise hate crimes against them stand at more than 50% of all hate crimes. Please read:
time magazine islamophobia islam mosque ground zero cab driver hate crime statistics fbi muslims jews christians « Counterculture Con HQ

Incidents like the one at the Tennessee church should be condemned by all. There are extremists in every religion and I suspect that the act of vandalism was deliberately done to scare the community. However, these types of attacks are not common and as the statistics shows not prevalent by far.

Regards,
KRS
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
And then there is the cabbie whose throat got cut in NY for no other reason than being a Muslim. Here is the story when it happened, and by middle of last month the perpetrator was released on $500,000 bail, a stiff bail amount, story here.

The constant pounding by the conservative right from top political leaders like Newt Gingrich to the the unabashed hate-mongers that populate Fox News, has created a corrosive climate for ordinary, law-abiding Muslims that anything can set off a dangerous situation for not just them, but anyone who looks like a Muslim, i.e. all South Asians.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Folks,

Whenever a crazy isolated hate crime happens, the far left and the liberals in America always blame the conservatives as the cause. This man, who stabbed the cabbie, looks like a nice middle of the road (may be a bit liberal, as he was in agreement with the Cordoba Project), American lad. The only established fact was that he was heavily drunk. Looks like drinking seems to bring out a hidden violence in him.

But is there any evidence that he acted because of what the conservative Republicans said about the mosque or what FOX News broad casted about the issue?

Zilch.

Recently a very liberal black commentator on FOX News was fired over the phone by the VP of news at National Public Radio (NPR) where he has been working for the past 10 years. What was his crime? He said 'Sometimes when I am at the airport and see some folks wearing conservative muslim clothes, I become uncomfortable as I think, perhaps they put their religion first' talking about his post 9/11 fear of flying.
Almost everyone thinks that NPR's action was wrong, based on political correctness.

The liberals always seem to load up on conservatives on anything like this. This has become a routine. Yet they only do this only on crimes against certain people. If a Christian is killed like this (and those also happen as hate crimes, to the tune of almost 10% every year), they do not blame the perpetrator as being influence by the anti religious hate speech by the likes of atheists like, talk show host Maher, who routinely make hateful comments against christianity. Go figure.

What We Know About Michael Enright, The Alleged Slasher Of The Muslim Cabbie | TPMMuckraker

Regards,
KRS
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Here is a clip of what Gen. Colin Powel said about his own Republican party two years ago, the veiled suggestion, innuendo, at the highest level of his Republican party, trying to paint Obama as Muslim as though that in and of itself suggests something bad. Colin Powel is a Republican moderate, a breed that is extinct today.

There are crimes and hate crimes, and explanations, which BTW get rejected out of hand when they are given to put the "other" crimes in perspective, but the fact of the matter is, the right-wing conservatives have created a climate in which blatant islamophobia is at best understood and at worst enabled. The right-wing actually has a slew of "others", not just Muslims, they have their perennial "lazy" black-folks, Hispanics, but Muslims are the group they love to hate most, at the present time.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Folks,

Here is another case of raising a bogyman, a non-existent threat -- Shariah law. A favorite of the Republicans is to raise this threat of Muslims imposing Shariah Law on all Americans. We in India live with about 14% Muslim population and nobody in their right mind suggest that they are going to impose their Shariah law on all other Indians. Yet, these right-wing conservatives in the U.S. talk about America being overrun by Shariah law with blissful impunity.

One of the Republican candidates running for Governor of Tennessee kept talking about Muslims doing exactly that to Americans. The Republican representatives in Congress Trent Franks, Pete Hoekstra, and Michele Bachman, all endorsed what is called Team B Report that tried to give intellectual gravitas to this silly alarmist idea. The Republicans and the right-wing conservatives have been whipping up this anti-Muslim hatred for so long that there are polls that show that Americans are now more fearful of Muslims than they were even in the aftermath of 9/11.

Please understand, nobody is defending Shariah law, I find it abhorrent. But to say that Muslims are conspiring to impose it on all Americans is ludicrous, and this is exactly what some Republicans are trying to scare ordinary Americans with. They create this climate of fear and hatred which in turns throws up criminals like Michael Enright, and the right-wing simply brushes these aside saying criminals will be criminals, go figure!

Cheers!
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
This site is about "Exposing and combating liberal media bias". This says it all isn't?

I have been trying to give neutral sources for what I have been citing. If I am to resort to this tactic of giving web sites of partisan hacks I can inundate this thread with more than what I have already done. This Noel Shepherd is an extremely conservative hack.

Be that as it may, many people suffer hate crimes, gays do -- look at the spate of gay teens commiting suicide -- that does not take away the responsibility of the right-wing and the Republican party for the hate/fear environment they have created against Muslims.

Crimes against Jews are not tolerated by anyone. Just look at what happened to Rick Sanchez of CNN, for no more than saying some innocuous and silly thing about Jews and Jon Stewart (BTW, Jon Stewart himself wondered what the big fuss was about), Rick Sanchez was unceremoniously fired. Everybody approved by remaining silent, nobody came forward to offer him even tepid, qualified support -- like he erred, but go easy.

Contrast this with the so called liberal Juan Williams, who in fact is a Fox News contributor whose job at Fox was to tell the conservatives that they have a point, was fired for his long standing dispute with NPR, his islamaphobic remark was just the last straw, from his NPR gig and all hell broke loose. NPR was hung and quartered -- NPR deserved it but that is another story.

So this is the reality folks, any finger raised against Jews your arm will get cut off, as it should be, and you put your heavy establishment foot on the neck of ordinary Muslims who dare to dress in their traditional garb, even your foot will get a $2 million contract, as Juan did from Fox news. This is the truth, do google search and find out for yourself. The aim of the right-wing is to distract everyone from knowing the truth. They will never stop. Keeping the ordinary folks fearful of the "other" is their goal, the "other" may vary from time to time.

Thanks ...
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor Nara Ji,

You said:


This site is about "Exposing and combating liberal media bias". This says it all isn't?

I have been trying to give neutral sources for what I have been citing. If I am to resort to this tactic of giving web sites of partisan hacks I can inundate this thread with more than what I have already done. This Noel Shepherd is an extremely conservative hack.

I do not know anything about this author. As I have said before, on any given particular issue, I google and read many sources that come up. I do not go in and look inside to see what is the author's ideology. I am only interested in whether the information presented sounds logical and plausible. If it is, I post it. As I have also said, I do not shun good information just because it comes from so and so. Even 'hacks', such as this one or Professor Krugman, e.g., provide good information. I was searching for a differing view point from yours to present to our readers. So, instead of calling out the authors' ideology, if I post something, how about arguing against the merits of the content?

You have also said,
So this is the reality folks, any finger raised against Jews your arm will get cut off, as it should be, and you put your heavy establishment foot on the neck of ordinary Muslims who dare to dress in their traditional garb, even your foot will get a $2 million contract, as Juan did from Fox news. This is the truth, do google search and find out for yourself. The aim of the right-wing is to distract everyone from knowing the truth. They will never stop. Keeping the ordinary folks fearful of the "other" is their goal, the "other" may vary from time to time.
I'll leave out the Jews, Rick Sanchez, Juan Williams and the 'right-wing' all out of my response here, because they are peripheral to the issue.

My stand is that if there is CAUSE for alarm by the safety procedure of an airline, in this instance, then in ADDITION, the folks causing the alarm are known to be MORE LIKELY to be muslims, I want the said airlines to do anything in their power to remove any risk posed to the lives of the passengers in the plane. Because, I think, we all can agree, nowadays that almost all terrorist acts are done by muslims, especially in terms of their particular habit of trying to blow up passenger (and now, cargo) planes. If there is cause for alarm, yes, I want them profiled. Safety of majority trumps any politically correct minority personal freedoms.

Please see this story about the airplane related security incidents and their nature in the first 3 months of this year. You will note that even a jewish person caused an incident.
Security alerts divert more flights in 2010 - USATODAY.com

Your stand is: Damn the safety of the majority. Personal freedom is so important that when a person spends inordinate time in a plane's toilet, no action should be taken, let alone (or especially?) if that person is in a muslim garb.

Well, let me know whether I have summed up our stances correctly.

Regards,
KRS
 
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KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor Nara Ji,

You said:

Here is another case of raising a bogyman, a non-existent threat -- Shariah law. A favorite of the Republicans is to raise this threat of Muslims imposing Shariah Law on all Americans. We in India live with about 14% Muslim population and nobody in their right mind suggest that they are going to impose their Shariah law on all other Indians. Yet, these right-wing conservatives in the U.S. talk about America being overrun by Shariah law with blissful impunity.

Again, I would argue this is not a 'bogeyman' issue as you put it. It is a well accepted fact that all muslims believe that Sharia is given by God and supersede any national laws. I will cite some cases around the world to substantiate this fear among a large number of countries that have muslim populations in their countries.

1. In USA, two things drive this fear:
A. In England, since 2007, it is revealed that the Sharia civil adjudication are set up in several localities where muslims abound, under pressure from them. Americans can not believe that England, with whom they identify the most would do this. Please read: Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts -Times Online
B. There was a case in NJ, where at a lower court, a judge ruled based on Sharia, which was subsequently overturned (on constitutional principle of seperation of church and state alone, this would have been overturned anyway): The Real Impact of Sharia Law in America | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.
Add to it there are numerous cases, where the behavior of some muslims seem to be based on their perceptions of Sharia: A well known personality in Buffalo beheading his wife for insubordination, a number of honor killings of american children for not following islamic tenets (two beautiful teenage girls killed by their muslim cabbie father who, by the way married a christian white american, just because they would not follow his edict of not having boy friends - he has since been absconding with the help of his relatives, right near my backyard), number of wife abuse and beatings, anecdotally expressed by my wief's hairdresser here, who happens to be a muslim, a muslim family not allowing for post mortem of their deqar one, until the intervention of the courts etc.

2. Please read:
Vijayvaani.com
This is what is happening in India. And if I remember correctly, in one of the other threads, Sri Sangom Ji, talked about exactly this phenomenon happening in North India as well, where muslims live as a majority in some places.

So, I do not think that one can casually dismiss these fears as Islamaphobia. Just my opinion.

Regards,
KRS
 
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