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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Attacks on Imam & Others in the UK – Islamophobia on the Rise

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In a post on my old blog, pre-broadcast of the Fakomentary on Channel 4, this is what I had stated:

Channel 4, here’s my message for you: …Your “icing on the cake” with this documentary will now only serve to enrage those who already hate. That rage will lead to violence against Muslims: bodily or to property. And guess where the blame will squarely lie: at YOUR hands… So, that you could perhaps turn the heart of one of those bigots planning violence against Muslims, and perhaps even save a life. SHAME ON YOU, and shame on your channel, and shame on all those who support you with advertisement revenue. Prepare your hands for Muslim blood, I guarantee you that your story will lead to it, may Allah protect all our Muslim brothers and sisters. And Allah knows best.

It didn’t take a genius to predict what would happen in the UK and why. Of course, some of the blame goes on our own with the bungled attack by some Muslims in Scotland. But, hate builds in layers, it just doesn’t happen overnight. Firstly, you inculcate hatred with a cut and paste job from what you describe as “moderates” in your program (Channel 4 Fakomentary), in other words, attaching the moderate Muslims with a violent message. And then when something violent happens, people are thinking, “All moderates are violent, thus, all Muslims are valid targets”. Are we then surprised by this savage attack on one of the leading Masjid’s Imam?

On Friday a 58-year-old imam [Dr Mohammad Sulaimani] was punched several times in the face by a visitor to the Regents Park mosque, known as the Islamic Cultural Centre, in Central London. He suffered heavy blood loss and injuries to both eyes and had to undergo emergency surgery. [Times UK]

Strathclyde Police said the number of racially motivated attacks it dealt with rose from 201 in June to 258 in July. It said 31 of those were definitely connected to the airport incident. [Independent UK]

The media has  a responsibility, and currently it is not only is it comprehensively failing in that responsibility, it is in fact propagating intolerance and hatred. Channel 4 needs to be sued… in my mind, it has blood on its hands!

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. aarij

    August 15, 2007 at 10:46 PM

    subhan Allah, this is painful.

    may Allah erase the sins of the Imam due to the suffering he is going through.

    the media, historically and till today, has been run by crooks and nothing better can or should be expected of them. i do like the suing channel 4 idea a lot, i hope all the major masajids of UK join hands and sue channel 4 and make ’em pay.

  2. MR

    August 15, 2007 at 10:47 PM

    Ya Allah!

    May Allah (swt) protect the Muslims!

  3. Yusuf Smith

    August 16, 2007 at 2:33 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    That mosque is a bundle of contradictions – the imams are mostly or all Egyptians trained at al-Azhar, but the bookshop is run by Dar-us-Salaam and there are a few “salafi” sectarians working in the mosque’s offices. A few years ago, when I visited it regularly, I tried to get the imams to stop the HT recruiters who were holding their “study circles” in there, but they said they couldn’t. As for the guy who injured the imam last Friday, reports on UmmahPulse.co.uk tell us that the man was known to the imam and had come in to debate with him in the recent past, so he’s not just some nut who was enraged by watching a skewed documentary.

  4. Amad

    August 16, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    Wasalam.. akhi Yusuf, not sure what all you mentioned has anything to do with the issue here? How does it matter if they were ikhwanis, salafis, HTs, whatever allowed there… doesn’t give anyone the right to beat up the Imam, does it?

    I am sure there is a time to talk about the issues of the Masjid, but not at this time when all Muslims should come together to condemn the attack in the most unambiguous of manners. Wallahi, I did not hesitate one second to find out which ideology the Imam or the Masjid followed… I had no idea, and to me, it did not and does not matter. EVEN if they were Shia or Brelwi or whatever. The point is that the man who terrorized the Imam didn’t care either… all he knew was that the Imam was a Muslim!

    As for the second point, even if the guy had known the Imam… as I mentioned, hatred and rage builds in layers. It just doesn’t happen overnight. So the fakomentary COULD be (I am not saying they have to be) something this nut-job saw and images of this Imam flashed through his mind as he watched it. Wallahu alam.

  5. Yusuf Smith

    August 16, 2007 at 8:50 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I mentioned the strange situation of that mosque because it was actually mentioned in the C4 documentary, and only the bookshop and the Saudi influence on the mosque’s management, which it claimed was able to flout sex discrimination laws with impunity because of the diplomatic status of one of the Saudis, but the Egyptian influence was left out. They did not mention that the imams at the mosque are basically traditionals.

    However, the fact remains that Ryan Donegan, the suspected attacker, was indeed known to the imam and to the mosque’s staff. Of course, we’ll find out in due course whether he was angry due to what he had read in the papers and seen on documentaries like this, or whether he was a religious fanatic anyway. From what I’ve read on ummahpulse.com I suspect the latter.

  6. Amad

    August 16, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    W/S… Oh ok Br. Yusuf. Got where you were coming from now.

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