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MuslimMatters.org Statement on Hate Crime Posts

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I have close to a one hour commute back and forth to work, and besides coffee, I’d found the only way to keep myself awake was through listening to far right, neo-conservative talk radio. Anger, as it turned out, was a great substitute for Red Bull.

One particular morning on the early morning drive, a report came out about a group of Imams who were removed from a flight for seemingly strange behavior – they were praying onboard the plane, blocking the way of flight attendants, and consequently unnerving the non-Muslim passengers. There were further reports during that show alleging they moved around the plane suspiciously, “coincidentally” positioning themselves in a manner that would strategically allow them to more easily take over a plane.

Calls came in to the show, attacking the imams and their motivations. My natural instinct was to defend them – they are, after all, my brothers in Islam, and here were all these callers, calling in and alleging that it was done purposefully for another attack, or that it was a plan orchestrated by CAIR to prevent Americans from reporting suspicious behavior, and in order to get more rights for Muslims to pray on board planes. The deluge of conspiracy theories raining in did not abate except for commercial breaks.

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So I called in, explaining that it was not abnormal for Muslims to pray on planes. I also mentioned that I myself, when praying in an airport, will tell a staff member nearby that I’m praying to preempt fears due to uncertainty about that bearded fellow off in the corner.

Too bad I called in to defend a major inaccuracy in the story. As many of you know, the imams prayed in the airport itself by their boarding gate, and this is what scared the passengers on that flight, and what eventually led to their being escorted off the plane. In other words, my time on the radio was spent elaborating on why it was OK for them to pray on a plane, when in fact, that was not even the issue.

The rest is history.

Which brings us to the present.  The past two weeks, we’ve covered stories related to what appeared to be increasing violence and prejudice against Islam and Muslims within the US community. I would be surprised to hear that there is not a natural reaction within each and every one of us, of compassion, and of empathy, when we first read of harm to our brothers and sisters, where ever in the world they may be.

A natural consequence of that feeling is a need to act, to provide support, to provide comfort, to raise awareness, and to help ensure that as much as can be done within our power, such actions against Muslims are prevented in the future.

To that end, MuslimMatters.org has endeavored to bring issues relevant to the Muslim community in a timely fashion.  As such, it will cause us to often rely on sources found in the mainstream media as well as personal resources we consider reliable, and it is left to all of us (readers and writers alike) to follow up and form our own conclusions as regards the information presented.

Unfortunately, as we learned in the case of the Qatif girl, we don’t always have the facts presented before us when stories break, and while initially the reporting is presented as definitive, it need not be and often isn’t.

Still, it is our belief that it is correct for us, upon collaboration with generally acceptable and reliable sources, we can, and in fact we should, publish stories as they are released to the public.  Furthermore, we believe that we ought to be careful of passing verdicts of any sort until we are certain of the conclusions we have arrived at and we would like to thank our readers of reminding us of this point.

In the case of Dayton masjid story as well as the Elmhurst college incident, both stories were published in good faith, giving the benefit of the doubt to our Muslim brothers and sisters, lending our support as best we knew how, and it is our plan to continue doing so, insha’Allah.  As more information is released from these stories, we will continue to update you.

May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala make these trials a means of bringing us together and uniting our hearts.

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Siraaj is the Operations Director of MuslimMatters as well as its new lead web developer. He's spent nearly two decades working in dawah organizations, starting with his chapter MSA in Purdue University, and leading efforts with AlMaghrib Institute, MuslimMatters, and AlJumuah magazine. Somewhere in there, he finds time for his full-time profession as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He holds a bachelor's in Computer Science from Purdue University and a Master's certificate from UC Berkeley. He's very married and has 5 wonderful children

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. AsimG

    October 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Wait, so someone has cast doubt upon the gassing of masjid story?

    I think the biggest mistake I and others are making is trying to play the victim status card.

    We want to be strangers, we want to be victors, but we don’t want to be victims.

    The ummah cannot afford to falsely cry out wolf while lions and tigers are attacking us elsewhere.

  2. Frustrated

    October 20, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    We can never expect to be fully integrated into a society where we inherently believe that anyone who happens to be muslim is probably right, and there’s a greater conspiracy of oppression that is being executed to oppress us.
    By propagating conspiracy theories about institutional oppression by law enforcement agencies and the like, we show ourselves to be a paranoid, cynical community that is unwilling to cooperate with mainstream society. No system is ever perfect, but by not showing a sliver of faith in it only means that we place ourselves outside it ourselves, and should not complain anymore if we are consistently misunderstood and mistreated.
    With our knee-jerk reactions to everything that is in the media, we are no better than the sensationalist media that we complain about so much; they want us to react irrationality, and we do so very well.

    On the issue of trivializing islamophobia:
    By making everything an issue of islamophobia, we trivialize the issue to the point where it no longer means anything anymore- the false calls of wolf are heard too often, and we need to be careful of making sure that the allegation of islamophobia is one that remains ‘heavy’ and ‘serious’, not one that makes people reluctant to talk to muslims in the first place.

    Personal experience: I have heard sisters complain about islamophobia on the train, or the checkout counter because someone was rude to them. What amazes me is that these are sisters who are south asian, do not wear hijab or full sleeves and are in no way identifiable. And yet, I have heard them complain about the plight of muslims in this country. I wear a hijab, and i’ve never had an unpleasant encounter- maybe my luck, maybe my temperament, maybe im protected and respected, I don’t know. But that to me symbolizes how screaming islamophobia is also extremely trendy. Being the activist muslim, reclaiming your identity and all that is great, but you have to realize that sometimes people misbehave with you, not because you are muslim, but maybe because they’ve had a bad day- or because you actually have had a bad day and interpreted something in the wrong way. Anger is never productive, because it never produces a rational response.

    Lets stop and think, as opposed to feel, once in a while.
    And lets also drop the assumption that all muslims are always better than all non-muslims and everyone is out to get us all the time. The benefit of the doubt puts many people, including corrupt oppressive and cruel world leaders on a higher plane than people who have done a lot of good in the world. It also reeks of arrogance, when we should really if we adhere to our faith, be the most humble.

  3. Asim

    October 20, 2008 at 6:39 PM

  4. Fulaanah5

    October 20, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    Frustrated, thank you!

  5. Amad

    October 20, 2008 at 8:48 PM

    Abdur-Rahman, I was going to post a link to your post, but then I thought not to expose the unfortunate garbage you posted. You actually defend the “Obsession” DVD for God’s sake… even the non-Muslims see it for the trash it is!

    Bro, so unfortunate, that all your energies are directed towards hating other Muslims, instead of working towards the betterment of your own BAM community. Stop blaming immigrants, and as Tariq often suggests, take responsibility for your own community, and expend your energies where they will do good. All the support of LGF and other islamophobes will not help you, when Allah stops helping you for turning on your own.

    May Allah forgive us all.

  6. Abdul-Kareem

    October 20, 2008 at 9:03 PM

    Frustrated is 100% right. We can’t look for Islamophobia under every single rock.

  7. AsimG

    October 20, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    ^Nor can we continue to blame everything on some salafi conspiracy and pretend everyone loves Muslims.

  8. Qas

    October 20, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    You guys actually think MM scours the net all day looking for islamophobic content? Gimme a break.

  9. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 20, 2008 at 11:12 PM

    innalhamdolillah. bismillah. jazak Allah khayr, Siraaj for a thoughtfully-worded and relevant statement.

    i repeat my call, though, for guidance that discusses examples from the Seerah, from the times of the Rightly Guided Khulufaa, and from the righteous scholars of Islam.

    here are parameters that may help the scholars understand my request. common characteristics of the dilemma we face:
    1. news of an alleged crime…
    2. …against Muslims, a Muslim institution, a Muslim country, or any innocent person…
    3. …before the resolution of the crime, perhaps (as here in two instances) before any suspect is even identified…
    4. …is reported by credible sources (a respected newspaper, and in another instance a blog trsusted by a staff person).

    we need guidance first and foremost on what are the affirmative responsibilities of Muslim groups (like MM) and individuals (like the commentators in all these threads) when these four conditions arise.

    then we also need guidance on responding to the following:
    a. allegations or…
    b. …incontrovertible proof…
    c. …that a Muslim has falsified or grossly exaggerated claims…
    d. …that he or she was abused or injured, or of a crime taking place, etc.

    human nature being as weak as Allah has decreed, the situations i have described have arisen in every community on earth, Muslim, and non-Muslim, small and large.

    Salem had witch trials, fable had the boy who cried wolf, and Islam has instances like the false rumors against Aisha radi Allaho anha. what we need from scholars is at least a reference to works that discuss what the etiquettes should be of someone who says “la ilaha illAllah.” scholars who rely on the best sources for delineating proper etiquette, the Qur’an, the Seerah, the examples of the Rightly Guided Khulufaa, and the wisdom of the righteous scholars of Islam.

  10. Siraaj

    October 21, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Salaam alaykum sister Frustrated,

    I agree with you to a point in what you’ve mentioned – that there is not a greater conspiracy of all or the majority of society against Islam and Muslims presently, I would agree with you. However, to say that there are not individuals and coalitions with some level of power and prestige within America to do damage to Islam and Muslims would be naive.

    Off the top of my head, besides 28 million DVDs published (the mind boggles at the costs of printing, distributing, and paying for placement in papers) and distributed, I still wonder at the impact of the Rand report, Michelle Malkin’s case for internment, Colin Powell’s remarks about statements against Islam and Muslims in the senior leadership of the Republican party, and Ann Coulter’s ability to slither away after repeatedly on national television calling Arabs ragheads and camel jockeys, justifying it by saying, “They did 9/11 to us, and we’re bad for calling them names?” I turn on those popular neo-conservative radio stations that have millions of listeners and a passionate hatred for anything Muslim. If I sit down and think about it, I can find plenty of “true positives” for you.

    Lets stop and think, as opposed to feel, once in a while.
    And lets also drop the assumption that all muslims are always better than all non-muslims and everyone is out to get us all the time. The benefit of the doubt puts many people, including corrupt oppressive and cruel world leaders on a higher plane than people who have done a lot of good in the world. It also reeks of arrogance, when we should really if we adhere to our faith, be the most humble.

    Sister, to be very blunt with you, my criterion for sorting out the best and the worst among creation is their belief in Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. Kufr is a gamechanger, PC or not. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that there are nonMuslims who excellent in their character, nor does that mean that I don’t denounce the evil actions of Muslims, ruler or ruled, when I see it. But as it relates to our brothers and sisters in Islam, all of them are innocent until proven guilty, not the reverse. If a Muslim sister comes and asks my help after claiming to be pistol-whipped, I’m not going to say, “Well, hmmm, you know, I think I’ll wait and see how the case goes before I help or believe you.”

    What if I took that attitude, the wait and see attitude, and it was real, and the person returned and killed someone else – what would you say then – that we were irresponsible, and we should have, or the media should have, or the school should have warned that this was going on? From my perspective, better safe than sorry. I live not too far from where the incident took place with the sister from Elmhurst, and there’s a prominent national masjid down the street from where I live (also not too far from Elmhurst) and the new school being built was vandalized – a type of flammable liquid was poured into the school, but not lit. It’s not that hard, even now in Chicago, to believe that there was some validity, given what we are experiencing not far from the sisters school.

    I say, better safe and mistaken rather than sorry and mistaken. That’s just me.

    Siraaj

  11. Frustrated

    October 21, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    “But as it relates to our brothers and sisters in Islam, all of them are innocent until proven guilty, not the reverse. If a Muslim sister comes and asks my help after claiming to be pistol-whipped, I’m not going to say, “Well, hmmm, you know, I think I’ll wait and see how the case goes before I help or believe you.”

    What if I took that attitude, the wait and see attitude, and it was real, and the person returned and killed someone else – what would you say then – that we were irresponsible, and we should have, or the media should have, or the school should have warned that this was going on? From my perspective, better safe than sorry.”

    Everyone should be innocent until proven guilty, don’t you think? And I’m not saying, ‘wait and see’ if you’re right there and someone may need help. I’m just saying, lets stop with the knee jerk reactions to everything that is muslim related in the media.
    I’m not talking about first response, helping someone in need when there’s physical danger and there’s something you can do about it.
    I’m talking about, for eg, the sort of attitude that leads some people to say, no, this is a conspiracy, she couldn’t have made a story up, even when there is no real evidence.

    As for sorting out the best and worst of creation, no offence brother, but that’s for God to do, not for you, or me. Shouldn’t we all just treat everyone who hasn’t done any harm to anyone the same, and judge people on their actions toward us and each other, not on their beliefs? I’ve been hurt and mistreated by more muslims than non-muslims in my life, but I don’t use that to pass a judgement on muslims, but I don’t use it to pass a judgement on non-muslims either. And I don’t like my faith placing me above someone else, who might be a kind, generous, sensitive person who’d done a lot of good. its unfair. and again. arrogance. But then, that’s just me.

  12. AmaturRahman

    October 21, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    And I don’t like my faith placing me above someone else, who might be a kind, generous, sensitive person who’d done a lot of good. its unfair. and again. arrogance. But then, that’s just me.

    Frustrated:
    One human being becomes superior for the reason that he recognizes his Master, obeys His orders and fears the consequences of disobeying Him, while the other human being falls from the high rank because he does not recognize his Master and does not carry out His orders. If you look through the quran, you’ll see many verses in which Allah compares the two and says they are not equal.. Example on top of my head: أَفَمَن كَانَ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا كَمَن كَانَ فَاسِقً۬ا‌ۚ لَّا يَسۡتَوُ ۥنَ
    “Is then he who is a believer like him who is Fâsiq (disbeliever and disobedient to Allâh)? Not equal are they
    There are a lot of other examples, but I just can’t seem to remember as of know..
    Also, ask yourself this question, is it better to be good to the creation of the Creator? (as muslims both is important but the Creator always comes first)..

  13. AmaturRahman

    October 21, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    By the way that was surah Sajdah verse 18.. and the translation ends at “they”…

  14. Frustrated

    October 21, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    AmaturRahman,
    If muslims truly follow the teachings of Islam, everyone should be kind, generous, humble, charitable, polite, just, patient, honest.
    Ground reality: a lot of muslims arent. alot of non-muslims arent, either. People are people. tainted by their experiences, their cultures, their surroundings. Which, sometimes makes them, including muslims, less than perfect. No one is perfect. I know I’m not.
    Because of that, I don’t judge people by whether they’re muslim or not. Many muslims are wonderful, inspiring, kind, gentle people.
    It’s just how i function in the world, and it serves me well.

  15. Siraaj

    October 21, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    AmaturRahman,
    If muslims truly follow the teachings of Islam, everyone should be kind, generous, humble, charitable, polite, just, patient, honest.
    Ground reality: a lot of muslims arent. alot of non-muslims arent, either. People are people. tainted by their experiences, their cultures, their surroundings. Which, sometimes makes them, including muslims, less than perfect. No one is perfect. I know I’m not.
    Because of that, I don’t judge people by whether they’re muslim or not. Many muslims are wonderful, inspiring, kind, gentle people.
    It’s just how i function in the world, and it serves me well.

    That people are not ideal doesn’t change how we’re required to deal with them. If we fall short in that, fine, we fall short, but at least we can admit to it. If this works for you, all well in good, and I’m sure it works for others as well. For myself, it doesn’t, and I think we can agree to disagree on it and leave it at that, insha’Allah.

    Siraaj

  16. Mustafaa

    October 21, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Abdur-Rahman, I was going to post a link to your post, but then I thought not to expose the unfortunate garbage you posted. You actually defend the “Obsession” DVD for God’s sake… even the non-Muslims see it for the trash it is!

    I don’t agree with you often Amad, but you are correct here in that he has written filth.

    -Edited for personal attacks. Br. Mustafaa, while we appreciate your desire to stand up for your brothers, we have to be still fair in our criticism, otherwise we are doing the same thing as the brother we are refuting. Only Allah guides whom He wills, so we should always make dua’ for guidance, and pray that those who are misled return to the brotherhood of our deen. -Amad

  17. Mustafaa

    October 21, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    @ Amad

    Not when they don’t deserve it! I really wish that you had not edited my post because it is out of context. I hate that man. I have told him that and I think the Muslims should tell him that

    -Edited for takfeer. Mustafa, any more comments, and we’ll have no choice to moderate all your comments out. Pls respect MM’s rules. -Editor

  18. Mustafaa

    October 21, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Verily Allah does not guide a people the oppressors [Al-Maa’ida: 51]

    Allah does not guide his likes. We only pray against him

  19. AsimG

    October 21, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    It is too easy to respond to that blog with emotion rather than reason and compassion.

    Be careful with your words and do not make takfir on someone because they say things you don’t like.

  20. Mustafaa

    October 21, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    @ Asim

    Mercy and compassion is something that man and those like him do not deserve.

    -Edited. No takfeer allowed on MM

  21. AsimG

    October 21, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    ^Astigfurallah, I’ve said so many wrongs things about Islam out of anger and/or ignorance.
    If I read comments like yours when I was in this mode, you would have chased me out of Islam.

    We need to be careful with our rhetoric and takfir is nothing you should be taking part in.

  22. AbdelRahman

    October 22, 2008 at 8:04 AM

    On another note, I feel it is a bit unfair to be so critical of non-Muslims when these types of things happen, and try to “brush it under the rug” when we find out the Muslims were in the wrong. I think we should be openly critical of the actions of the sister in Elmhurst, seeing as how now they’ve pretty much said it was a faked event based upon very conflicting reports. These actions shouldn’t go by without being criticized and a lesson being learned.

  23. AsimG

    October 22, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    But we have to be careful with early condemnation without facts.

    If she faked it then she was wrong and not only hurt herself and her family, but the Muslim community at larage.

  24. Naima A

    October 22, 2008 at 1:31 PM

    No matter where you go in the US you’ll come across muslim haters. I use to work inside the airport for over 2 yrs and got to know the TSA very well while I was there but it didn’t stop them to randomly search me everyday when I was going through security. It’s really sad and makes me really upset to see our fellow brothers go through this kind of situation.

    I was in London recenlty and coming back to homeI noticed the guy sitting next was US marshal, not only was he a marshal he also had a gun that was vissible to me and it scared me really bad subhanaAllah. I was asking myself why his gun was visible and he kept showing me his passport. The fron of his passport had US mMarshal writen on it in capital letters. I felt like he was warning me. I think the my fellow Muslim brothers have it hard though when it comes to random searching.

    After coming back to Ohio I realized my name was on the watchlist and I get the random check everytime I travel abroad. SO sad.

    May Allah make it easy for us.

  25. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 22, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    bismillah. sister naima, your plane trip is the type of incident that Muslims should report to CAIR or similar groups. i can imagine at least three explanations for the man’s behavior, all worthy of being reported.

    either he was trying to hit on you — meaning make personal advances — which would arguably be inappropriate for a Marshal on duty wearing his sidearm. or he was trying to intimidate you as part of his job, which would be disturbing for anyone, and should be reported, too. or he may have realized he had made you nervous, and was trying to calm you down — perversely — by “reassuring you” that he was a marshal, and hence carrying the weapon for official business. the same sort of “you don’t need to fear, my machine gun and i are here to protect you” cowboy-on-crack mindset that Dick Cheney assumed would make US troops so welcome among populaces it had just “shocked and awed.”

  26. Naima A

    October 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    I don’t think he was trying to hit on me lol.. I got scared and told my mother about it afterwards and she told me to move to England because that’s where she lives and those kind of incidents don’t happen over there.

    I don’t think CAIR would’ve done anything even if I told them so I decided to let it go. I am again traveling to London soon inshaAllah I hope the same incident doesn’t happen to me again.

    I remember one time one of my niqabi friends telling me how she went inside a gas station and the cashier told her that she was scaring her, she also told her to take that thing off because it scared her and her customers subhanaAllah it’s makes me upset to know some people can be so ignorant. Soon after september the 11th my aunt and her husband were burned down in their home by their neighbors, my aunt and her husband had to jumb from 3rd floor building while she was pregnant subhanAllah nothing happened to the baby, he’s grown boy now in 1st grade, my aunt and her husband suffered cuts and bruises nothing bog. WE knew their neighobors did this to them because they cops told them someone tossed something inside their home from the window outside and they never found out who did it. My aunts husband is the imam at the local masjid and was at the time of the incident. He use to have halaqas every wknd at his house so that might have triggered the incident. May Alllah protect our fellow ummah. Ameen.

  27. Naima A

    October 22, 2008 at 2:32 PM

    I agree brother AbuAbdullah. It just made me really scared and didn’t want to travel again.

  28. Amad

    October 22, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    IL: 2 HORRIBLE HOAXES, BUT IT’S MUSLIM STUDENT WHO’S CHARGED
    SUE ONTIVEROS, Sun-Times, 10/22/08
    Talk about timing. The same day the Sun-Times ran my last column, in which I denounced a fake rape story by a south suburban high school senior who described her alleged attacker as Arab-looking, police said a Muslim student at west suburban Elmhurst College admitted she was not the victim of a hate crime on the school’s campus.
    Boy, did that get my “fans” busy, sending e-mails and calling, certain they had an “a-ha” moment. “Hey Sue,” one sneering voice asked, “you gonna do a story on the Muslim student at Elmhurst College now?”
    Why, yes I am.
    If Safia Z. Jilani, the Elmhurst College sophomore, thought she was going to bring attention to the discrimination and hate crimes that befall Arabs and Muslims, she failed miserably. If anything, she just gave the haters of the world a little more ammunition.
    Since Sept. 11, 2001, many Arab Americans have wrongly found their patriotism questioned. The trash talk in the current campaign — that if Barack Obama is Arab (he is not) that’s reason to disqualify him as presidential material — has made Arabs feel marginalized.
    Faking a hate crime or rape is an outrage. Real people are victims of both, and they are physically and emotionally damaged. And in both situations, victims sometimes are damaged a second time when law enforcement doesn’t take them seriously…
    When I wrote my initial column, I interviewed Shafic Budron, a member of the national board of directors of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and past president of the Chicago chapter. During our conversation, he offered the supposition that if the tables were turned and an Arab student had been involved in the Palos Heights hoax, serious criminal charges would have been leveled against her, and her photo would have been shown.
    I thought about that when I read that Jilani, the Muslim student at Elmhurst College, was charged with filing a false police report, which is a Class Four felony. If found guilty, she could face one to four years in prison. Her name and photo appeared in newspapers and on the TV news.
    The Stagg senior remains anonymous, probably because she faces no criminal charges. We’ve heard vague promises of some community service in the future.
    Two misguided teens have admitted to police they did very wrong things, but the handling sure is different. Makes you wonder why.

    MORE HERE: SUN-TIMES

  29. AsimG

    October 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    ^interesting

  30. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 22, 2008 at 7:32 PM

    bismillah. sister naima, ameen to your duas. and may you and your family be among those whose patience in adversity pleases Allah. i do not work for CAIR, so i can’t say how they would have used the information. my understanding is that they (and other groups like the ACLU) want to document as many such incidents as possible so that proponents of such measures cannot use silence to their advantage.

    but i fully respect your decision and responses.

  31. Naima A.

    October 22, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    Jazakalahu khair brother. InshaAllah I’ll do that next time incident like this happens to me.

  32. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 22, 2008 at 7:38 PM

    innalhamdolillah. i was sad when i saw the tribune article containing the accusations of the Elmhurst sister. and it would be worth it for local Muslim organizations to audit similar stories of hoaxes and alleged hoaxes by college students and youth in that newspaper. is there a double-standard? if it turns out that the pictures are always published when charges have been filed (and again, charges do not equal guilt), then someone should look, too, at the breakdown of when charges are filed and when not. is there prejudice against minorities generally? against certain minorities?

    i am not making any allegations — just calling for responsible journalism that does more good than harm. and on Muslims to be part of making sure journalists are responsible.

  33. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 22, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    bismillah. sister Naima, I am praying for you, too, that you will travel safely and without incident. for you and for every Muslim sister and brother. ameen. thumma ameen.

  34. Naima A.

    October 22, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Jazakallahu khair brother. Ameen to all your duas. I am always afraid of traveling for some reason. Maybe because on sept 11th I was traveling from Logan airport in Boston to Ohio that same morning and I just get scared for a reason. May Allah protect us all.

  35. Abdur-Rahman Muhammad

    October 26, 2008 at 3:40 AM

    Man, will you people just get a life. Will you not accept the fact that you are not African Americans, a people who were oppressed for no other reason than their skin color? Many of you have advanced degrees ,or at least one degree, and live quite comfortable lives, better than the average American even. Can you just learn to be happy and not angry and ungrateful all the damn time.

    To the extent that there is any anti-Muslim bigotry in this country it is because Muslims attacked it on 9/11. And even then, whatever inconvenieces we muslims experience as America tries to keep herself safe from the maniacs among us is nothing – I repeat – nothing compared to what African-Americans suffered in this country. It is actually a great offense to African Americans to even draw this comparison. African Americans were brutally enslaved, raped, murdered, lynched, segregated into a second-class caste, and had their families torn apart! Most of you who post these ridiculous comments attend or have attended colleges and universities (some of them quite elite) that were barred to my fathers and grandfathers. In fact, it is because of the brave struggle that they waged that the door was open for you guys. And that is fine. No one has a problem with that. But please, stop all the nonsense about how you all are the new African Americans. This political line is a brutal assault on history.

    Also, if we love this country as much as we say we do, then why not condemn the anti-American hate collected and documented in films like “Obesession”? This is what I try to do on my blog and most of the American public, not just the “Islamophobes”, appreciate it. However when we don’t condemn people burning the flag, or calling for the death of all Jews, or proclaiming an “Islamic State” in America, or Imams promoting slavery and death for non-muslims (all of which can be found in Obsession), then what are they supposed to think about us? They are going to think we are down with all that stuff. COULD IT BE THAT SOME OF ARE? Stop being so narcissistic and put yourself in the shoes of your fellow Americans.

    By the way, I do criticize you second generations that’s true, but this stuff about me hating all immigrants is simply untrue. If you remember correctly, I took apart Khalid Yasin for defrauding the immigrant Muslim community. He couldn’t do it to us because we already knew he was a crook! Its immigrants he went after, and I exposed him and shut down his fraudulent operation in the states. If you want people to take you seriuosly you have to be honest and just, and not impugn someones Islam simply because they criticize you, even harshly.

  36. Naima A.

    October 26, 2008 at 7:11 AM

    WIll someone please answer brother Abdurahman, I have nothing to say to him…

  37. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 26, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    innalhamdolillah. i would not worry about it, sister Naima. the brother is entitled to his own views. if he had visited more (recent) pages on this site, especially in the civil rights category, he would have found ongoing discussions to participate in. this page had had no new posts for four days, so why did he post his rant here?

    wAllaho’Alim, but maybe because six days ago he came to this page and plugged his own blog. Amad gave him exactly the response he deserved. and the rest of us ignored him completely. so this guy came back to a page where he had plugged his own site, gotten no takers, and then he enjoyed himself immensely. maybe he thought no one would read his comments, and thus they would go “unchallenged.” wAllaho’Alim. but definitely not worth much more thought.

  38. Abdul-Kareem

    October 26, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    Abdur-Rahman,

    In today’s times, there is no question that Muslim-Americans have it worse than African-Americans. It is not a slur to be accused of being an “African-American” like it is to be a Muslim. Have you not been paying attention? The media coverage of African-Americans is generally positive while that of Muslims is generally bad. I am not going to compare it to the past, but no African-American LIVING TODAY is going through slavery or Jim Crow. African-Americans are not stopped at the airport and harassed for no reason like Muslims are. African-Americans were not rounded up after 9/11 as Muslims were. Have there been racist DVDs produced against African-Americans as there have been against Muslim-Americans? Would anyone have allowed that to happen with African-Americans? You know the answer to that! Are African-Americans stared and harassed the way Muslim women are?

    That is the point in pointing out the hate crimes against Muslims and it would seem that an African-American would recognize the trials of Muslim-Americans, as Colin Powell did, and see the striking similarities.

    Calm down and see the truth for what it is.

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