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What we’re reading: Islamophobia edition

News & Commentary  |  Sep 16, 2016
Photo: AFSC

As Muslims in the U.S. and around the world face increased violence, surveillance, and discrimination, we take a look at what is being written about Islamophobia and what we can do to put an end to it.

A Muslim woman was set on fire in New York. Now just going out requires courage, by Linda Sarsour, via the Guardian

“It is time for all Americans to speak out. When we allow one faith community to be targets then we open the doors for others to be targeted. I believe the worst is yet to come unless more people actively intervene with their voices, their votes and in public acts of solidarity with their Muslim neighbors. In a time of growing tensions we must uphold our fundamental freedom to worship in the land of religious freedom and its why I choose to be unapologetically Muslim every day. As a Muslim woman, not only is wearing my religious headscarf in public an act of faith, but it has become an act of courage.”

 

15 years after 9/11, this Muslim writer is fearlessly writing from the World Trade Center, by Sarah Harvard, via .Mic

“In Bridgeview, Illinois, a densely populated Arab neighborhood where my family once provided martial arts classes to children, Big Brother isn't a hypothetical Orwellian concept. It was real life. When my parents set up shop, the entire town, ironically including the village of Justice, was under complete FBI surveillance through a covert program called Operation Vulgar Betrayal. Wiretappings, informants and other forms of surveillance led to an escalated level of paranoia where my family, and other Muslims, felt like they couldn't trust their own neighbors or community members. The surveillance program robbed us of the very few places where we feel safe and secure.”

 

The Reduction of Muslim Americans, by Raed Jarrar, via Common Dreams

“First of all, Islam has deep roots in American history. It was brought to the United States in the hearts of many of the Africans who were forced here on slave ships. So Islam is not some foreign entity to the U.S. that can choose to “stay here.” It has been here for centuries.

But even if Muslims just landed on the shores of this country more recently, they shouldn’t be subjected to additional tests that gauge how much they love America in order to earn the right to live here.

As a Muslim-American myself, I’m appalled by the suggestion that unless I prove I love freedom and hate terror, I may not be afforded the right to “stay.” I don’t see any other groups faced with this prerequisite.”

 

Muslims Are the Sacrificial Lambs of Our Surveillance Security Apparatus: We Should Pay Attention, by Aviva Stahl, via Alternet

“Muslim-Americans are the sacrificial lambs of our security apparatus; they are the means by which the government justifies spying on the rest of us. Unless we take into account the experiences of American Muslims, we will never confront the myth that is essential to our government’s crackdown on civil liberties—that the threat of terrorism is as real as the government claims, and that surveillance (“done right”) is our primary means of protection.”

 

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Islamophobia Edition, via On the Media

"In the fifteen years since 9/11, the American media landscape has been rife with misconceptions and fear surrounding Islam, commonly depicting Muslims as violent, foreign intruders in America. Meanwhile, extremists use Islam to justify violent acts, while a vast majority of American Muslims decry them. With help from journalist Haroon Moghul, social activist Linda Sarsour, and religious scholar Reza Aslan, we've put together a guide for navigating the stream of Islamophobic coverage that, unfortunately, isn't showing signs of abating any time soon."