Orange County Hate Video: the silver lining!

My initial reaction on watching the now infamous video released by CAIR recently, was one of fear and disgust. I was fearful for a moment because I wondered how safe Muslims would feel living next to such malignant hatred directed at them. Hate crimes and nasty incidents sprung to mind, making me shudder. I was also disgusted at the level to which people could sink, to dehumanise them, to refer to killing as if it is something of no consequence. Now, you're thinking, what's the positive side to this? There are several. And the first thing, I think, is how the spread of this video is exposing the hate mongers and prompting the decent ones amongst us, to raise their voices in support.

CAIR has issued another document, highlighting and thanking people who sent in messages of support – people who're not even Muslim… some even atheists. It's heartening how the humanity within them, a universal feeling, felt utter revulsion on watching that video.

You can read MM's coverage of the incident here, the CAIR document here, while some messages are posted below:

“When I saw this tape last night – I was brought to tears. The viciousness of the crowd is outdone only by the ignorance and hate that spews from the mouths of the frightened sheep that call themselves elected officials…The only thing that was missing in the crowd were the dogs and fire hoses from the Civil Rights movement so many years ago.”  – Richard C

“Thank you so much for releasing the video and increasing my awareness of the bigotry and xenophobia in our society. I am deeply grieved and outraged by what I saw. Those protesters do not speak for me and I am deeply shamed that they used patriotism as an excuse to degrade your community.” – Anne, Michigan

“As a citizen of the United States I respect the right of others to protest, however I strongly condemn their hateful words, intolerance and ignorance. It is truly an insult to the flag of the United States and all it stands for to be flown behind the hatred of these protestors…As a Catholic Christian and a proud citizen of the United States, I respect and support your right to practice your religion, honor the Prophet, and encourage your members to invest in charitable works in their community.” – Anonymous

I know how many readers would feel that, despite messages like these being awesome, there's still the fact that anti-Muslim news gets more coverage in the media and voices of reason are drowned out. Even so, these messages indicate that, when decent people do discover such hate-mongering propaganda, especially that's so reminiscent of the inhumane treatment meted out to African Americans as well as Antisemitism, they aren't fooled by empty words or the so-called “right to protest and free-speech”. This also stresses the importance of good PR within the Muslim community and should prompt discussion and thought about ways to make Islam and Muslims more familiar to the American people. Effective communication, not distancing oneself, is the key step to take when hate mongers are out spreading lies and instilling fear.

Times Square Rally: “Today I am Muslim Too!”

Here's an interesting event happening today at the Times Square in NY! An interfaith solidarity rally is taking place, mainly to protest the “Anti-Shariah” congressional hearings scheduled for the upcoming week. No matter which angle you look at it, the move to ban the practice of Islamic law is pretty messed up. Not only is it quite ridiculous and visibly infringing on the freedom to practice one's faith, the fact that is spurred on by the kind of propaganda spewed out by some in the media, makes it even more suspect. People of sense understand this, or seem to at least understand this is not a rational move, and are rallying against it.

What do you think of the rally? Will you be participating? Let us know what you think!

Cricket World Cup 2011: the game is on!

For those of you who're into cricket, the action has really begun to heat up over in the Indian subcontinent where the top teams (and newbies too) battle it out for the prized world cup trophy. We've seen a number of interesting matches, total turn arounds, record-breaking performances and unexpected outcomes. The Canadian team, the only one from North America this time, gave Pakistan a tough time during their match on Thursday. Meanwhile, the little-known Irish team totally floored their English neighbors when the two sides met on the field.

This raises some important questions for the cricket world: don't the minnows deserve some spotlight now? Aren't they indicating they've got talent to match the biggest names in the sport, which could really be helped develop further by scheduling regular bilateral and trilateral series? Tough questions for the International Cricket Council, especially since it's focus has primarily been on milking revenues off the established and well-known teams in the sport. Money and influence play a major role here, which is an undeniable fact. However, performances like the one put in by Ireland really do raise eyebrows and wow the viewers… it's not something that can be ignored or brushed aside. The ICC is already on the look out for ways to keep the game popular in the years ahead – they'd do well to inject fresh talent and new faces into the cricketing arena too!

12 Responses

  1. Patrick Adams

    The ICC have decided that only their full members will be allowed to compete in the next World Cup, effectively slamming the door on Ireland, despite many of their performances being better than those of Zimbabwe and (possibly) Bangladesh. The ICC’s solution is to offer more places for the Associate nations at the Twenty 20 World Cup. All this will do is widen the gulf between the elite sides and those in the second tier when they play the longer versions of the game.

    I understand that moves are afoot to develop a national Twenty20 cricket league on ths same lines as the NHL franchises. Twenty20 cricket easier to market but will make the ultimate aim of Test cricket even less likely for cricketers from Canada and USA.

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  2. The Shardul of Allah

    No, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will not get the free ride anymore. The news is not confirmed, but the speculation is, ICC will allow top 7 teams to participate automatically. The remaining three spots will be up for grabs by the 8th, 9th, 10th ranked teams, and the associates. This is a good plan in my humble opinion. If the associates are really better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, they should have no problem beating these nations and booking their place in the WC.

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  3. Amad

    The way that the WC is being played this time with 4 teams from each group, it effectively makes most of the games useless against the minnows. One surprise win (Ireland) doesn’t change the equation. There’s such a thing as fluke and don’t make that the deciding factor!

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  4. ummousama

    Amazing! Three news in the above article and the only one that received comments so far is the one about cricket. A sport which is, at best for those watching it, a hobby. As for the more important news, it is as if nothing happened!

    For the first event, yes, it is hopeful to see the reactions of those who condemn what happened. However, why is it we hear those voices and we don’t hear the voices of all Muslims who condemn acts of terrorism? What makes it really worse is that there was an elected member. Has that member resigned? She should? Has the party banned her? They should. Otherwise, they do approve what she said.

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    • Arif Kabir

      It could be because the article only explicitly mentions the World Cup, because it was the last news mentioned (and thus most fresh on the people’s minds), and/or because the other news have already been discussed on blogs and social media.

      It came as a surprise for me too to see the rally in support of Muslims (and especially their slogan “Today, I am Muslim too”) and to see it filled with so many from other religious faiths.

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  5. Humble Muslim

    Salam

    I hope Afghanistan make it to the World Cup next time. They could turn out to be very good.

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    • F

      I have a feeling Afghanistan would be awesome in a few years if they continue developing the game.

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  6. Mezba

    I am surprised the sheikhs who said the world cup of football (soccer) is haram or harmful to one’s iman (even one imam in a Toronto mosque delivered a sermon on why the World Cup distracts one from the deen) are not ranting against the cricket world cup. Actually I shouldn’t be surprised – after all cricket is their sport.

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    • Umar

      Its multi-faceted, but at least in cricket the awrah is covered.

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  7. Sarah S.

    I attended the Peter King protest in Times Square yesterday afternoon and it was really a heart-warming experience. It’s amazing to see Muslims, non-Muslims, and people from so many different races, religions, and walks of life come together to support this cause. I spoke with a woman over there who shared this sentiment and she was surprised that I hadn’t expected so many non-Muslims to attend.

    Something like this is truly a testament to the idea that people come together for causes that have repercussions for society as a whole… these Peter King hearings infringe on the rights of Muslims and the group of people who showed us their support yesterday realize that oppression is unacceptable no matter who is the target of it.

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