The CNN Network presented a program on 3/27/2011 “The Unwelcome Muslims Next Door”. The one-hour program focused on the discrimination being practiced against Muslim Americans. The emphasis was placed on some public opposition to the building of mosques in some southern states. Muslim Americans have the right to practice their religious faith according to the Constitution. However, I would venture to say that the majority of Americans have never read or are knowledgeable on the content of the American Constitution.
Furthermore, prior to the 1960s, American society was known as a racist, ageist and sexist society. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the passage of federal law prohibiting discrimination, quite a bit of positive changes have taken place during the past four decades. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go to convince the unenlightened and ignorant of conservative racists that all Americans are equal in front of the law and should be treated that way. It is regrettable to say that American Muslims are the target of discrimination on many fronts, especially since the tragic attack of 9/11. Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda have given a boost to the hypocrites, the extreme right, Zionists, evangelical Christians, conservative politicians and other interest groups to capitalize on bin Laden’s attack on 9/11. Let me make myself clear: bin Laden is a criminal who is using Islam to hide his political agenda. Second, the American public is not aware that Bin Laden was the creation of the CIA. He was recruited with around 10,000 – 11,000 young Muslims from the Middle East to fight America’s war in Afghanistan during the 1970s and 1980s. The Muslim jihadists were trained, armed and financed by the CIA. They have defeated the Communists and bled them to death. As a matter of fact, President Reagan welcomed representatives of those who fought Russian troops and referred to them, in front of the White House, as the “freedom fighters”.
These men were Muslims as well. However and unfortunately, bin Laden turned out to be a demon. But he does not represent 1.5 billion Muslims around the world who represent more than one fifth of the world population.
To condemn Muslims and discriminate against them as has been the case against Muslim Americans, is unjust and in contradiction with the American Constitution.
Since 9/11, acts of discrimination against Muslims have been increasing, not just in some southern states, but also in every region in the U.S. as well as in Western Europe.
For example, the recent congressional investigation conducted by Mr. King of the Committee on Homeland Security (3/11/2011) to investigate his foolish claim that is based on ignorance that 80% of American mosques are run by radical Muslims. He failed to produce any evidence to substantiate his claim.
Mr. King’s action as I see it is to appease some of his hardcore Jewish Zionist and Christian conservative constituents in New York. It is not unusual to see that some politicians will sell their consciences and souls for a contribution to ensure their reelections.
Another example that created a lot of publicity a year ago is the opposition to the construction of an Islamic Cultural Center in New York. Some opposed the plan because it was too close to Ground Zero. This is the site of the 9/11 attacks that caused the deaths of many people of nearly all religious backgrounds, including Muslim Americans. The attack against the construction of the Islamic Cultural Center was orchestrated by racists, including some politicians from both sides of the aisle. The reaction to the construction of the center is not only a violation of the America Constitution, but a disgraceful act against the basic principle that the founding fathers set for the American people.
Islamophobia was encouraged prior and after to the attack on 9/11. For example, some organized Jewish Zionist and evangelical Christian Zionist groups have used negative tactics against Islam in general and Muslim Americans in particular. The tactics used by both groups is reflected in their negative public actions against Muslims. The anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the American Jewish Committee opposed the unconditional rights of Muslim Americans to build their cultural center and mosque in New York. This regrettable behavior is not consistent with both the American Constitution nor compatible with Jewish values. As Sydney Levy, Jewish Voice for Peace, puts it “Standing against Islamophobia, again and always.”
It was explained well by Rabbi Haim, Dov Beliok “Jewish Voice for Peace”, that “It is painful to see some Jewish groups promoting hatred and fear of Muslims because they mistakenly believe it will help Israel. It is also deeply distressing to see this disturbing trend of scapegoating Muslim Americans being echoed at the highest levels of our government.” (Jewishvoiceforpeace.org, 3/10/2011).
American Evangelic Christian Zionist groups have been conducting negative campaigns against Islam and Muslim Americans and present Islam as a source of evil. For example, among other things, is the campaign that was conducted last year by Rev. Terry Jones of an evangelical church in Florida to burn 200 copies of the Koran because Islam is not a religion. I wonder if the REVEREND has the ability to understand what he reads. There are quite a few like Jones among evangelical Christian Zionist leaders who share negative views of Islam and refer to it as a religion of the devil.
Also, some American mass media have played negative roles in promoting Islamophobia. The Fox News Network gets the lion’s share in promoting Islamophobia, especially under the direction of Glenn Beck. He stated that 10% of Muslims are terrorists. I am sure that Mr. beck is an ignorant man and does not have the ability to calculate what the 10% means in actual statistical numbers. It means that there are 150 million Muslims who are terrorists out of the total 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. Anyway, he is a promoter of hate and biases.
Also it is unfortunate that directly and indirectly some of the lobbyists of the American military industrial complex have promoted Islamic terrorism to justify more military spending. Islam has replaced Communism that was used during the Cold War as the demon that threatened the free world. After the collapse of Communism during the later part of the 1980s, Islam was use as a replacement for the Communist demons. A classic example is President George W. Bush’s description of the Iraq invasion as a “Crusaders’ war”.
One of the major blunders on the part of those who encourage Islamophobia is that they don’t have the ability to differentiate between Islam and terrorism. Associating Islam with evil can create and inflame passions, especially among the younger Muslim generation, which pushes them to retaliate.