When you hear the term American Muslim or Muslim American, what do you see? To many non-Muslim Americans and certainly Fox News and their viewers, visions of Middle Eastern guys in long robes and turbans come to mind. Camels, Desert, women dressed in black, and a myriad of cultural stereotypes are often added in for good measure. So it should be no surprise that whenever there is a terrorist attack that involves a Muslim such as the tragedy that occurred at this year’s Boston Marathon, the immediate backlash is all manner of xenophobic commentary in conjunction with the usual “Islam is Evil” rhetoric from Islamophobes. But what happens when the attacker doesn’t look like an “Arab” or one of “Middle Eastern” descent? Continue reading
Relief may soon be at hand for victims, their families, American and the world as Law Enforcement and the media have already pursued and killed one of the Boston Marathon terrorists and surrounded the other. My heart and prayers go out to all those personally affected and though the capture and killing of these terrorists will not bring back loved ones or repair injuries, the solace that the criminals are receiving justice is at least one step closer to our eventual healing.
Like so many others I was shocked, disheartened, and unnerved when news of the attack broke. I wondered who could and would do such a thing and what it all meant. Candidly, I along with so many other American Muslims were afraid and very concerned that the terrorists would turn out to be Muslims. In fact, the thought prominently echoed across the nation and the world was “Please don’t let this be a Muslim”. As we witnessed prior to any facts being released, we saw a rash of statements condemning all Muslims, a victim of Saudi national origin was questioned and his name plastered across the media, a local teenager of Middle Eastern descent was harassed as he was misidentified as being one of the suspects, and there have been reports of hate mail, incidents in public, and other attacks against Muslims in the hours after the tragedy. Continue reading
Life as an American Muslim has it’s ups and downs no more or less than any other hyphenated American in general, but there are times when it seems like life itself pauses and your only thought when a horrific news alert flashes across the television or smartphone is “I hope that it wasn’t a Muslim”. Self-serving as it may seem at first glance, I like many fellow American Muslims find ourselves in that uneasy nether-realm where what began as an ordinary, uneventful day, ends with most American Muslims becoming amateur private detectives and journalists. Many American Muslims at this very moment are refreshing their Twitter, Facebook and favorite online news sources, watching the television, listening to the radio, or texting and calling fellow Muslims sharing similar paranoid sentiments. Some of us are doing all of the above at the same time. Continue reading
What caused a 52-year-old former Marine to leave his home in Indiana and drive for 2 hours to a Mosque in Ohio, with the intention to burn it down? According to Randy Linn, it was television’s constant portrayal of Muslims as wanting to do nothing more than kill Americans. After some heavy drinking, Linn made his way to the Mosque, carrying a firearm. He broke in and started the fire. He went room to room presumably to do God only knows what. Fortunately no one was at the Mosque at the time. Also fortunately, the sprinkler system kicked in and extinguished the flames. Randy Linn was later caught after being identified in surveillance photos.
In court, when asked whether he thought all Muslims were terrorists, Linn responded in the affirmative. Continue reading
The last few weeks have seen an increase in hostilities and ultimately a ceasefire in Gaza along with the United Nations recognizing Palestine as a non-member State. With all the tension, drama, and confusion in a region known for instability, the world wonders what is next? Having decided to resume my podcast, I have asked two of my dear friends Qasim Rashid and Imam Sami Shamma to join me in a discussion about this topic and to share their experiences, thoughts, and ideas about the region, the people, and the issues facing Israel, Palestine, and the world.
I happen to believe that now the time is ripe for serious negotiations that are fair, balanced, and have the direct goal(s) of bringing stability to a part of the world that desperately needs it. I hope that our timely discussion will help spark interest in those who have not had much or any and engage those who do by getting them to share their ideas concerning what we can all do to help bring about a lasting peace.
Please Join me on the relaunch of The American Muslim Podcast and each and every Sunday from 12-12:30pm Eastern time on blogtalkradio.
Editors note: This article appears in it’s entirety on The Daily Beast. Qasim will be joining us December 2, 2012 at 12pm ET on The American Muslim Podcast to discuss this article and more.
As the volatility between Israel and Gaza continues to transform, one constant remains: rising “collateral damage.” Unrest in Israel traces back six decades but the concept of collateral damage stretches back several millennia. And while in modern times we are allegedly “more civilized,” 11-month-old Omar Masharawi’s funeral, three dead Israelis, and a horrifying 120 killed Palestinians, tell a different story. Continue reading
Sometimes I know that Ron Paul is right when he advocates America completely withdrawing troops, treasure, etc. from outside our borders. It’s seriously a smack in the face when we give billions in aid, help you topple a dictator, etc. and in response to a stupid film, you attack our embassies, killed our staff, and desecrate our national flag. Don’t mistake this rebuke as me turning a blind eye to America’s foreign policy blunders, missteps, or engagement in that region: it is not. However, I’m getting tired of my fellow Muslims acting like children who need to go to timeout. Continue reading