Reform urged to stem rise of hate crimes against Muslims

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Government And Politics Views: 5589
5589

Anti-Muslim acts increased by an unprecedented 70 percent last year compared with 2002, the Washington Post reported May 3. 

But Arizona's increase was the worst, at 584 percent. 

Nationwide, 1,019 complaints of discrimination or violence were received, up from 602 a year earlier, reported the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent civil rights group. 

These included 93 hate crimes, more than double the 2002 count. 

Most complaints concerned religious and ethnic profiling and denial of religious accommodation, along with the workplace discrimination. 

"There are a number of factors, including government policies targeting Muslims and pro-war rhetoric in the beginning of 2003, that we believe led to this disturbing increase in Muslim civil rights complaints," said Dr. Mohamed Nimer, the CAIR research director who wrote the "Unpatriotic Acts" report. 

Other contributing factors listed are a lingering atmosphere of post-9/11 fear, abuses associated with implementation of the Patriot Act and a disturbing increase in Muslim-bashing on radio talk shows. Also, in many cases, laws allegedly were applied more harshly because of ethnic or religious background. 

In view of this, CAIR on April 17 launched a campaign, "Hate Hurts America," based on the conviction that increased attacks on Islam by conservative talk show hosts is not only offensive to Muslims and other people of conscience, but also to America itself. 

The government blurred the clear distinction between immigrant and terrorism cases, reported the Office of Inspector General of the Justice Department. 

Between Sept. 11, 2001, and August 2002, expired visas led to arrests of 738 Muslims and Arabs - none of whom was given access to lawyers or family members. These people even were denied their basic constitutional right to know what charges had been filed against them. 

Furthermore, many of them were held in inhumane conditions: locked in cells 23 hours a day, taunted by officials and slammed against walls. Yet none of these "suspects" was found to be linked to any act of terrorism. 

Indeed, Muslim visitors and immigrants are singled out and required to report to government offices to be fingerprinted, photographed and assigned registration numbers. The 13,000 who complied still were subject to deportation for violation of minor immigration requirements. 

Law enforcement bias against Muslims is common, with widespread incidents of prosecution on minor violations, such as failure to mow lawns or leaving garbage cans outside a house. 

Banks and other financial institutions harass Muslims and Arabs in enforcing the Patriot Act by arbitrarily asking them to provide detailed documentation of their identities and financial and tax records. 

What will remedy such inexcusable discrimination against these Americans? 

Among the possible solutions is the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Russell Feingold to dissuade officials to engage in racial profiling and provide legal options for the victims. 

The Department of Justice should implement reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General, and it should adhere to constitutional protections during government investigations. 

Congress must hold open hearings on post-9/11 rules and procedures (including the Patriot Act) enacted by the Bush administration to examine their effects on security and civil liberties. Then Congress should endorse amendments to safeguard both, with care, concern and understanding. 

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission should reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine," passed by both houses of Congress in 1987 but vetoed by the president, to ensure coverage of controversial public issues is balanced and fair. 

Siraj Mufti, Ph.D., is a researcher and freelance journalist.


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Government And Politics
Views: 5589

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Older Comments:
BNAK said:
Wa Alaikum Assalam Br. Hudd,
Thanks for reading my comments and responding to them. Brothers like you remind me of the character of one of the beloved companions of our Prophet (SAWS), Hazrat Umar-bin-Khattab (RA), based on whatever little I have read about him.
Hazrat Umar (RA) is supposed to have been an angry kind of person who's sword will always be half ready to knock the head down of anyone who would even try to insinuate at insulting our Prophet (SAWS) or Islam.
I beleive that every muslim does need to strive to acquire atleast an iota of Hazrat Umar's (RA) Eeman, his kind of Taqwa and his kind of sense of Jihad. InshaAllah, May Allah bless us with that kind of Eeman, Taqwa and Tawheed.
Indeed, Sabr is one of the best attitudes a person can have and May Allah grant us all the ability to have Sabr.
May Allah Bless us with the gift of knowledge for knowledge is power. May Allah Bless all the Muslims of the world. May Allah deliver from tyranny and oppression, our Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Afghanistan and in all corners of the world where they are being oppressed, may Allah grant them the gift of Sabr, and Help them for indeed Allah's Help is the greatest Help and there's no substitute for it.

Ameen!

Peace!
2004-06-03

MARY TOWNSEND FROM UK said:
Michael Dowling...sigh! your observations ! Need I say more. You quote the New York Times? Well if you had been "reading" US papers you would have seen this story plastered everywhere:

http://www.iviews.com/Articles/articles.asp?ref=GU0406-2335

You claim US IQ being superior, you were probably talking about immigrant, Americans certainly NOT the average American who can barely sign his/her name let alone read. Regarding US education, my good man you are worse than an Ostrich. Get your head out of the sand and, as you Americans say, wake up and smell the coffee. US Math and Science test scores fared even worse than a number of Third World countries such as Sudan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Digibouti - good God Man even in English ? Michael smell the pure air of reality - not your arm pits and then cry. Your sentiments smack that of the average US soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan - just plain vapid and goofy. I bet you still think Saddam and the Taliban conspired to bring about the 9-11 debacle, don't you? The day you chaps appreciate stark cold reality, thats the day you might be on your road to recovery - you can start by throwing John Wayne out of the White House...and someone please teach him how to read...why does he strut about like a cowboy? he is not even from Texas, he is from Maine, where he has a DWI conviction - and he is your president?
2004-06-03

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
Bahrein, my brother, whoever holds Ahmad Deedat in esteem is automatically my friend. I grew up with him(not physically), in the city of Durban, South Africa and many times I saw him either pray or speak at the big mosque on Grey Street. I was a kid then, when he was already old. I loved him, still do, as an orphan he was sort of my father figure.
About the sharp tongue and a sharp sword? Whether I aggreed? The Chinese referred to the Muslim Arabs, "They came with the Quran in one hand and the scimitar in the other." The same Chinese said about the Muslim Turks, "They came with the scimitar(long sword) in one hand and the yataghan(short sword) in the other. Knowing what we know, maybe both the Arabs and the Turks would have entered China's empire with a scimitar in both hands! I know I would've! That's my assumption though, and nobody should come back on that and take it as truth and based on it consider the Muslims blood thirsty folk.
How did you know that I enjoyed eating hot? And I mean HOT! I remember a noted friend of mine that used to say, among our nation(Palestinian) the Ghazans are eating the hottest. I don't know if you eat as hot as them. One way to find out. We invited to my dinner a known Ghazan that was eating hotter than the regular Ghazans. He was eating the dinner crying and tearing all over the place. I asked him surprized:'Don't you eat hot?' He answered me wiping his tears,'Yes, I do Abu Muhammad, like normal people do. But this one is poison!' Like this I know, I really eat hot!
I remember a hadith when a bedouin came to the prophet,pbuh, in a very agitated state saying forcibly,"Oh prophet, councel me!" Muhammad,pbuh, answered,"Do not get angry.", The badouin asked him again and the same answer the prophet gave him over again untill his third time. Then the bedouin understood that the prophet was in fact councelling him not merely urging him to calm down. I always remember this hadith after my temper strike, unfortunately.
Allah hafith
2004-06-02

AHMED FROM UK said:
Oh Please Michael, Mary only spoke the truth. You Americans can't handle facts thats all.
2004-06-02

BAHRAIN FROM BAHRAIN said:
Dear Hudd

You sound JUST like my eldest brother. A true rebel with a great heart who never fails to defend the weak at his own peril!!

Still, he is a God-fearing man who never fails to speak his maind in front of whoever! but like you is still learning at the age of 56 to control himself and his lashing tongue. Truly life is wonderful and we all have so much in common and to offer. Allah has been kind to most of us, alahmdule'Allah.

Brother Deedat was a master speaker and knew his subject very well. I was fortunate to see him speak in Bahrain about two decades ago. God bless his soul. He is a good man to emulate.

Many thanks to islamcity for the courage to publish diverse views and close the gap of cultural divide. "Wa jadeloohum bi alati hia ahsan." A lesson we all need to learn. But my eldest brother would disagree that in some cases it would take a sharp tongue and may be even a sharp sword to quell the vicious ones? Hudd might agree?? For me the jury is still out. Yet it would take a lot to control ones temper if ones DNA is made up of hot chillies! Perhaps that is the reason for 'Jihad Al-Akbar".

Peace be upon all.
2004-06-02

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
As-Salamu Alaykoom Br. BNAK, may Allah bless you too,for to Him belongs the wisdom and he distributes from it to His servants as He pleases. I thank you for your kind comment, but I believe I could do better, it's just that I was trained by the lessons of Ahmad Deedat to focus on the argument from a different corner, this doesn't make me wiser, but rather blunter sometimes. It is a coping mechanism in a continuous Islamophobic reality.
Yes, very true, I have a very firy character that not once brought me in to trouble, not that I couldn't handle, but it wouldn't make me proud.
As for the "knowledge", I am an old man(50), that lived among many nations and on five continents. Australasia and Antartica are the single two continents I didn't visit. Seeing so many things and events I wanted to understand their origin, and that made me study cultures, religions and customs. No big deal, accomlishable the easy way nowadays, the computer. In my time this was still a matter of fiction.
No brother, I do not post on the name HA, but I enjoy his comments as well as yours and others. Yet I did not post on any other name but Hudd D'Alhamd. If I would, Hudd would stay, since this is an early nickname, given to me by Urdu speaking Muslims in Durban, South Africa, especially for my vehement and sometimes violent youth. But I like it especially because the implication with the gate of Hudd where ad-Dajjal will be killed by Issa in Palestine. And my paternal line is Palestinian.
I love Islam more than my own self. One can make personal attacks on my character or family, maybe he gets away with a missing tooth, but if Islam is attacked I break bones! That's the way I am, bad enough brother and believe me, I am used more to criticism than praise. I tried to change, I did over the years, I'm getting old that's one reason for improvement, but otherwise I am the scourge of Kalahari. Rather pray for me brother, I need Allah's mercy and guidance to Sabr(patience & constancy).
Maasa
2004-06-01

MICHAEL DOWLING FROM USA said:
This is to Mary,

That is the most prejudiced and ignorant statement I've ever read. And acutaly the top selling paper in NY is the New York Times (A very liberal paper, that is anti-war and clearly left wing). And considering the large Democratic following of NY it could be construed as liberal in itself. Plus there was a study done that Americans are the hardest working people on Earth, meaning we put in more hours and work longer in life than any other country. I myself work 60 hours a week at one job, go to school at night and on the weekends, and work 4 nights a week waiting tables for an extra 20 hours of work a week. Add the fact that a nations IQ is directly related to its GDP. America rates as the highest the nation with the highest IQ. Whether that's from our mixed cultures and backgrounds I really don't know. But to call us simple minded dolts is just patently untrue. In fact you being from the U.K. have no right to criticize. Your country is a replica of America after we took over as world power and the U.K. floundered they have followed our lead on everything. America has also defeated communism, Nazism, saved your hide in WWII, and we'll defeat terrorism too. God bless Mary and lighten up.
Other than that discriminating against any "American" is wrong and they must be afforded there constitutional rights. However foreigners that aren't citizens or legal residents have no real rights in America especially at a time of war, be them Muslim, Christian, Jewish, European, Black...
2004-06-01

BNAK said:
Assalam-U-Alaikum brother Hudd,
Indeed, you have tried to explain the sum and substance of Islam in a very simple way. I am not sure if it can be put forward in a more simpler way. Allah has gifted you with the power of words, and thoughtful expressions and you are putting that talent to a good use here, AlhamduLillah! May the Almighty Allah reward you, and benefit as many people that visit this site as possible, both Muslim and non-muslim, InshaAllah.
Though I should admit that you at times become indignant when someone here posts offensive comments, and use some improper words, I do enjoy your posts and learn from them.
Indeed, Allah has bestowed you with knowledge, and Islamicity.com has given you the opportunity to you to come here and share your knowledge with us. Please continue to post your comments, and let us benefit from your knowledge, and may Allah help us share among ourselves, whatever little knowledge we have. Peace unto you!

PS: BTW, just curious to know if you sometimes post comments as HA as well? or if HA is a different person? Thank you! and Allah Hafiz!
2004-06-01

SHAHEEMA FROM U.S said:
Assalamu Alaikum Dear All!
I was happy to read the input from everyone.This leads me to reflect on an ayah from the Quran where Allah swt says that 'do you believe[to all the believers] that salavation cannot be realised without any sacrifice.That is why all the Prophets from Adam to Moses, to Jesus & Muhammad p.b.u.t had to suffer during their tenure, to uphold what was right and to forbid what was evil.
So I pray and request all the true believers in God to be steadfast in their endeavours and hold the rope of GOD in happiness and sufferings!
Aameen. ]
*p.b.u.t-Peace and blessings of the Almighty be upon them.
2004-06-01

SADAQ AHMAD FROM US said:
Assalamu Alaikum,
For that matter I need to point out that, at one time or other,every minority group had to face similar problems.This was caused by unnecessary overemphasising and stereotyping by the mainstream media.It happened to the African-Americans,to the Jews,to Polish,to the Germans,to the Chinese,the Italians,the Catholics,the Japanese &so forth.Now it's time for the Muslims.So,inshallah I think this is the fist step of Islam being integrated into mainstream America.
After all, in Islam we find the true Christian values as embodied by Prophet Jesus pbuh.
Aameen1
2004-06-01

NEO FROM USA said:
Sir,

With all due respect, your article is a bit off base. I don't agree with hate crimes of any type, but apparently some muslims don't seem to have that same perspective. So far, we have seen 3,000 people get killed by some coward flying a plane into the side of a building...then another two men were beheaded, video taped and all in the name of Islam. God said "thall shall not kill"....apparently, Isalm missed this. I guess you expect the USA to wittness such an act and then in turn not do anything about it....well think again. The government tried to do what they felt was right....put a lockdown on any possilbe terrorist. I don't agree with violating peoples rights....and that includes muslims. But the USA had to act quickly and I don't think being P.C. was an issue to worry about at the time. No government is perfect and that inlcudes the USA, but at least we try to do the right thing for the most people. If someone is in this country illegally then America has the right to put them out. PERIOD! It's funny that you mention constitutional rights, but yet you hate America and all that it stands for. Well guess what, America was founded on that Constitution...so there is one of many of the muslim's double standards. You preach one thing, yet do another. Does the word: Hipocrit ring a bell? This is very simple....Muslim's attacked the USA and now the USA is attacking back.

Neo
2004-06-01

G.L. FROM U.S.A. said:
whoa, i have never heard such ignorant views by anyone when compared to the last two posters. if they really hold these views of americans, then i don't understand why they aren't calling for our complete destruction? to say these thing about the united states, or about christianity, judiasm, hinduism, etc. and then to say "well i know there are good people there as well" seems like a joke! how can you hold such despicable views of other people and then not call for lining us up in front of a firing squad? or do you secretly?
2004-05-31

MARY TOWNSEND FROM UK said:
Dear Dear Lee, I must say if delusion was a disease, I would advise you to run to the doctor. Good grief man everyone and his mother in the third world wants to come to the US in pursuit of the almighty dollar. I asked one poor wretch from Sudan, handcuffed to the seats at the John F Kennedy airport in New York why suffer such indignity? His answer was an echo for all the poor blokes like him seeking Political Asylum - a job; money and a chance to feed a burgeoning family back home. America is not the only country thronged by hopeful illegal and legal immigrants, so is all of Europe. Whenever you have a disparity in wealth, where one side of the world starves and the other is literally rolling in the dough, then you do not have to be Nostradamus to predict the obvious outcome-millions of hapless souls at your pearly gates, begging to be let in and share in your bounty. Yes Lee I did venture into Texas, where they are so proud of the fact that everything they have is so much bigger than elsewhere, but that does include their heads - yes very big heads, not at all bright heads, but yes very big, benighted heads- I grant them that. And I did happen to visit some of your state institutions, like the local unemployment office. Surprise surprise, all the grateful chaps who erstwhile were being hugged and kissed by your US Customs and Department of Justice chaps as you say, were all lined up, waiting for the dole. Did I mention once again most were Latin and obviously poor. I also observed a few fight at your local bars, where besides urine drenched bathroom floors, goofy "cowboy" delinquents strutted their masculinity, which seemed to be all in their cowboy boots and in wads of tobacco they chew and spit into beer bottles. I also could not understand the need for everyone n Texas to drive "Pick-up trucks", and sport a gun rack in the rear in clear view for all to see. And why does your president try to walk like John Wayne? He can't even speak, let alone walk.
2004-05-31

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
This comment is for Samir, on his comment on my Syrian friend and myself. Samir, I believe that your last name is Bolous and if that is true, I've already told you that your were unexcusably ignorant and you would need to educate yourself first then properly inform yourself on the subject you attempt to discuss. Otherwise, like with this comment, you make a laughing stock out of yourself. From your comment I understood that you have no clue what I was trying to say. If English was your second language then I consider the confusion as grounded, otherwise I regard you as a very special person. My sole dissertation was on Islam. How you reached to the conclusion that I would have meant all religions you mentioned is beyond sane expectations. Let me educate you on Islam my friend. I don't know in what tent Islam was preached to you or in what evangelical church they brainwashed you but your concept(leave alone knowledge) of Islam is inexistent. First, let's define Islam.
SPACE, an infinite emptiness, the sole presence, GOD. He creates the helpers, His Angels. The angels bow down in submission to God, birth of ISLAM! When God was ALONE without his first and continuous creation, there was no Islam. Reason, there was nothing to submit to Him. You dig?Thus with his first creation the angels, ISLAM was born. This GOD is not part of the reality we know, because God created reality and He cannot be part of his creation. Thus nothing can be compared to him, nothing can get to him nothing can hurt him and he cannot get in physical contact with nobody. As the Jewish scriptures state. "No one can see the Face of God and live after."Now, my retard brother, all the religions you mentioned, except Islam do not honour this GOD and His Definition. Let me explane:
JUDAISM: Jacob physically fought with God and won. Thus his name was changed to Israel. He could not fight GOD, he fought something else. Judaism dismissed.
2004-05-31

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
Dear Mary Townsend & Lee Glaesemann, you are both right in your statements. Sounds like an oxymoron, it may, but fact of the matter is that USA did in the last 200 years the most outrageous violations of human rights. This doesn't mean that other countries didn't, they might have and some did even worse vilotions of human rights than USA. Problem is that you expect USA to be a champion in human rights policing! USA denounces other regimes of violations, then she commits crimes like those of Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, GITMO, and God knows what other secret locations? I know it's not the common folk, and this gives me hope that the Americans as a freedom loving people will wake up from their intellectual slumber and would want to know the real truth about the makeup of their government. Maybe all the wrong people in USA have the power of decision making, this doesn't mean that the common folk are guilty, unless ignorance was a crime.
I have the feeling that you Mary speak against the government of USA and those numbskulls that blindly support it, either out of ignorance or shere stupidity. I am with you on this one.
You Lee, I think you speak on behalf of all those clairvoyant Americans that silently acknowledge that something is very wrotten in their government and honestly try to figure it out.
I personally disapprove entirely with the one-sided American policy in which they dismissed a world organization. Nations do not see themselves living in the shadow of USA, no country will accept that, and if USA does not see that pretty soon, she will have more than al-Qaeda on her list of terrorists, countries that once were her friends. I believe in world mutual colaboration. There is a difference between one thundering voice of a bully or the chorus of a croud! I believe that if you travelled away from the opposit limits where you reside in your arguments, toward a common goal of upholding the human values of people everywhere you would be on the same side of the fen
2004-05-30

BNAK said:
Dear Mary,
Hats off to you! You have indeed spoken the truth. I have deep and immense respect who are fair and just in their thoughts and actions. I appreciate your thoughts! May the Almighty reward you for your out spoken ness and for speaking the truth!
2004-05-30

LEE GLAESEMANN FROM USA said:
Asalaam alaikum, Mary:

I agree with some of your criticism of the U.S. government, but I disagree with much of your stereotyping of American people. Have you ever traveled to the United States? Not everyone is racist! I teach in Texas--home of President Bush--and 99 percent of the students, teachers, and administrators and community members are not racist!

Also, yes, I have extensive background knowledge about immigration in the U.S.--my wife is an Indian muslim from Singapore! Three days ago she received her legal residency. And guess what? She received her green card at the Department of Homeland Security! The agents there were so friendly that they actually walked with us, hugged, shook our hands, and congratulated us. The same thing happened when we told our Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu friends.

Yes, the U.S. has the most liberal immigration policy in the world. Sure, our government has stepped up interdiction efforts. But then again our government offers free education to illegals--they're in my classes--and also free medical. Have you ever been to an immigration office before in the U.S.? They're packed every day with immigrants trying to become Americans.

And no, my parents never said that my becoming muslim was akin to joining a terrorist organization. Definitely, too many Americans hold this view about Islam, but then again not enough muslim Americans interact with the public to refute this attitude. I don't know if you're muslim or not, but a requirement is for every muslim to check his own behavior before expecting anything from anyone else. The problem muslims have today is that they make little effort to interact with the public, the result being that muslims appear mysterious/dangerous to others.
Inshallah, I will pray that you become muslim so that you will understand our faith better. Also, I pray that you change your attitudes about American people. Most of us are not what you read in your medi
2004-05-30

MARY TOWNSEND FROM UK said:
Lee Glaesemann, I do appreciate and respect your opinion. I take it you are a converted Muslim. Good for you and all the power to you. However I am sure your parents warned you about converting to a "terrorist" religion or perhaps marrying a "terrorist". As obliging as Americans may seem superficially, as we English are, they too are complete racists. The difference between the Americans and us is that we are subtler. We will smile which hides grinding teeth. However we have far more interracial couples than America. I do concede that Blair is a complete duffer and a blithering idiot. I also ado admit that we have our share of racist pigs in the UK, amply exemplified by the National Front. However the fact that America has an "Open Door" policy towards immigrants is not true at all. Ever traveled from any London flight to the US? The scared looking people being lined up against the walls with whimpering children who are being manhandled and barked at by US Customs are predominantly from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the African states. Funny all "white" illegals are handled much better. I don't mind saying this because I am white myself, but I do hate hypocrisy and Americans and their America are shining and glaring examples of hypocrisy. Oh our soldiers give away candy and nic nacs to those poor Iraqi children ..but shhhh!! Later we blow them and their families to bits and come back to kick the dead bodies to make sure we were thorough. I like you for your bravery dear Lee, but I fear the US will or has probably already made concentration camps for Muslims all over. Don't believe me ask 1st generation US Japanese. They too were full of patriotism for the US. What did they get, 9 years of Concentration Camp and $21,000 in 2000 to compensate for all their seized bank accounts, real property and assets. What a joke. No you keep your 'America' and do return the Statue of Liberty to the French since you all so so hate them.
2004-05-29

JOHN PENA FROM USA said:
It sad that some Americans are treating Muslims this way. It is wrong and it makes me sad because it's only going to get worse. I do, however, want to warn us against making generalizations such as the U.S. being "a horrible, selfish nation of simple minded dolts". First of all this is not true. I've lived here all my life and have visited dozens of countries around the world and this U.S. is FAR from horrible. We are selfish, but still manage to give more aid to the world than most other countries COMBINED. And as far as being dolts, not any more than any other country. It's true, America has made many mistakes in it's 200 year history, but what country hasn't made mistakes. I think there's a greater evil in the world and it's not America or Iraq or any other human institution. And until we unite against that force, we only fight against those we should instead be loving.
2004-05-29

LEE GLAESEMANN FROM USA said:
Asalaam alaikum, Mary Townsend:

I am responding to your vitriolic criticism of Americans. As both Muslim and American, I find your comments to be both stereotypical and hurtful, considering that many Americans are some of the friendliest people a person could ever meet. My family is Christian and American, yet they welcome people from different religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds with open arms. I could point out to you how hypocritical it sounds to hear someone from Britian holding a moral highground when her country has been largely responsible for so much bloodshed, heartache, and violence in the last two hundred years--I'll let you do the research. You can point out to me how stupid, how childish, how ignorant Americans are all you want, but one must accept the simple fact that the U.S. accepts the most immigrants of any nation on the planet. Why? The real reason is that most people like living here, including most of us Muslims. Our government is the closest thing to an Islamic one. It's easy to criticize the U.S., but then again we're not the ones banning Muslim girls from wearing hijabs--it's "liberal" France and "Muslim" Turkey. Please be more considerate before lumping an entire nation of people together as nothing more than a bunch of thugs.
2004-05-29

LAURA FROM USA said:
Do you really think a change at an elevated level (government) is going to filter down to those who are committing hate crimes? I sure don't. They aren't respected enough to have a such an affect on their following. I agree with Peter's comment..it's possibly as simple as educating the masses. I've learned SO much about Islam in the past couple of months and have an unquenched thirst for even more. Just yesterday I was trying to come up w/ a plan to spread the word...not preach, but answer questions. If you create a non-threatening forum and go out into the communities and invite people to ask questions and not feel pressure to convert, because that is not what it's about, you could ease so much of the hate and tension regarding Muslims and Islam. Go out in diverse groups - not in groups of just Eastern Muslims (that could be intimidating and inviting discomfort). Form a group of white, black, asian and eastern Muslims. Show how diverse a group Muslims are, and more importantly how peaceful and non-judgemental we are. The rewards would be astronomical. Get out there...get into small towns - the heart of America- educate the young and the old. Don't sit back and accept the abuse and the hate. Don't revolt and fight back. Give them what they NEED...answers and proof of who you are. Do your best to explain the difference between you and the extremists. Explain about Muslim women and prayers and the importance of the Qu'ran, and the significance of the "calls to prayer" in Arabic. Explain it all....answer all questions. That's pretty simple isn't it? Then why don't we join up and just do it! - That's my 2 cents.
2004-05-28

AHMED FROM UK said:
Amen to that, Mary !
2004-05-28

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
Peter, although your comment is fair, you must realize that the onus of dissipating Islamophobia lays with the Western/American intelligentsia. The reason for it is simple. No matter what Muslims would say on the web or in their controlled media, the non-Muslim public at large would consider it as a self advocacy. Let me flip flop for you the situation. The Western/American media is one of the most powerful in the world. Still Arab and Muslim lesser media move the masses of Muslims with very little effort. Now if the Arab /Muslim media would have a positive attitude toward the West/USA things would dramatically change in the favour of the latter. This is because of dire lack of trust and pointing of fingers. USA/the West want to prove their supremacy on all levels. It cannot be done, even if it was true. The answer to why is simple. I spent my early life in South Africa. The most untouched by technology life-style there was practiced by the Kalahari Bushmen. I am very curious of nature and I love different cultures. Many tried to educate the Bushman, treat him with disrespect as some sort of low life retard remnant of human existence on the globe. It didn't work that way. The Bushmen became very hostile to these self-declared anthropologists and many times tricked them in to the depth of the desert and left them there and rescued them only when life was lingering on their lips. The manner they rescued them was most humiliating. It was not malicious, but a taught lesson to the stranger that in Kalahari the Bushman was king! When I went to visit them, I needed to behave, keep in mind that Kalahari was their home and I was a guest as long as I was worthy of respect. Therefore, there is no point in US flaunting her achievements to the less fortunate and believe that because of her advantage all the rest of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on worlds should bent over and let themselves sodomized. USA must give respect in order to receive respect. Up to now, USA only demanded it!
2004-05-28

MARY TOWNSEND FROM UK said:
I often wonder if there any decent, fair-minded, balanced, educated, humble Americans left. Good heavens ! these qualities do not apply to Americans at all. I recently visited NY, and I made it a point NOT to go to the site of the 9-11 disaster. However I observed that Americans by and large- and these were educated people mind you who work on Wall Street make pots of money- neither have a clue nor give a damn about what is happening in the world around them. On the tube I noticed they rarely read anything other than the pro-Israeli paper, New York Post and if perchance they open the paper to any other section other than sports - it's the cartoons. They are almost all racists and they all have bleeding hearts for Israel but if you ask them why, they don't know. In rare political debates they punctuate their arguments with a plethora of the "F" word, and to make their point they quote morons like the racist repugnant clown Bill O'Rielly, a show host of the rabidly pro-Israel, right wing, evangelical TV station, Fox News - because they show the most scantily dressed females. A horrible, selfish nation of simple minded dolts, that is you r average American. All in all I think if you take all the hard working foreigners and their money out of the US - America sinks.
2004-05-28

TONY S. FROM USA said:

Salamu Alaikim,

The article is quite edifying and informative. Whenever I read articles of this nature, I feel sadness in my heart. Nevertheless, after I ponder what the so called "Muslims" are doing, I get a sense of relief because I put a part of the blame on them. They are the ones who have set many bad examples throughout the world. They have no strong leadership of any kind. Even in the USA, it seems that the Muslim community is deaf-mute. Muslims do not organize interstate conventions to tackle all the hate and discrimination which are increasing throughout the country. Where are the Muslim lawyers, doctors, professors, merchants, intellectuals, etc.? Where are they? On anothoer footnote, what kind of mosque is this (look at the attached link) when we have millions of funds raised to build new ones and refurbish the old ones? Check this out:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040527/480/pxg10205272133&e=11&ncid=

Isn't Allah's house of worship supposed to be a house of cleanliness and a tight organizaiton? This is unbelievable!! No wonder, others from other faiths have taken us for jokes!
2004-05-28

PETER FROM USA said:
I agree with this article. Acts of hate are themselves unpatriotic. This country was founded on religious freedom. You'd be amazed (or maybe not) at some of the crazy things I've heard about Islam from fellow Christians; things that are simply untrue and not justified.
What to do about it? I think the solution is simpler than you might think: educate people about the religion (e.g. shows on TV, articles, websites like this, etc.)
2004-05-28

SADIQ FROM INDIA said:
It is true.
2004-05-28

ASIYA FROM CANADA said:
Everytime I read such articles, what comes to my mind is the fact that we Muslims must make hijrah to Muslim lands. It is a big sin to stay in a non-Muslim land when one could have made hijrah to a Muslim land. Only Allah knows, but perhaps it is a blessing in disguise to live under such hostile conditions, so that we won't become complacent by feeling safe and comfortable living in the lands where Allah does not want us to live. Rather than spending efforts creating reforms and signing petitions etc., we should be exerting that energy to learn our religion, and come back to Allah (Swt) before the trials He (Swt) gives us become even worse.
2004-05-28

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
Racism is based on a primitive way of distinguishing differences. The progeny might be mere endowed and more fortunate than the parents. This wouldn't render the parents as inferior, would it? Because the Anglo-Saxon world found marvelous ways to promote science and free-thought, it doesn't mean that our black parents are inferior. Yes, brothers and sisters, the oldest human remains were found in Africa and belonged to a black woman. Back to our origin we are all black. The whites, the Asians are the mutants. In the end it doesn't really matter, we are all the children of the original couple. Europeans liked to envision them white with blond hair and blue eyes. How pathetic. The same way as others liked to visualize a Jesus as a blackman. In no way was Jesus black, nor Adam and Eve white! If we all embraced our common heritage without distinction and be proud of whom we really were and are today, treat everybody with the dignity you treat your own brother and sister, there would be no terrorism on earth. My grandfather told me a story back in South Africa. "One morning a rider passed by in the distance. Three men were coming from the opposite direction toward Medina to the prophet,pbuh. All three crossed at intervals the way of the traveler. When the first man arrived, Muhammad,pbuh, asked,'who was the person you've just met?' the man answered,'a stranger going toward Mecca.' The seconed man came and the same question was put to him, he answered,'an Ethiopian going toward Mecca.' Finally the third man came and was put the same question, he answered,'I didn't meet the brother before, he was headed toward Mecca." The morale of this story was that, 'one should look upon anybody as upon his brother, lift himself above common ways of differentiating between people' I wonder, if Bush would have looked in to Sadam Hussein's face and saw his brother, would we have had a war after all?! After all Rumsfeld,hugged and shook brotherly hands with either Hussein and bin Laden!
2004-05-28