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Tag: Muslims
The insult, the injury and indignities of empire (October 5 2012) The insult, the injury and indignities of empire (October 5 2012)

Abdullah Al-Arian the 31 year old Assistant Professor of history specializing in the modern Middle East has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The insult, the injury and the indignities of empire’, citing during colonial times, scathing critiques of Islam were often met by Muslims with thoughtful and measured responses. Al-Arian states “…the United States and its European allies hope to absolve themselves of any culpability for the recurring hostility expressed by populations in the Middle East and beyond. To deny historical experiences and current political realities allows one to miss the point entirely: that the offence caused by the steady flow of anti-Islamic cultural production is quite literally adding insult to injury. And it is much easier for all of those involved to focus on the insult rather than the injury. There is little new in the amateurish hate-filled film that emerged out of the bowels of an Islamophobia industry that has picked up considerable steam in the last decade. Aside from trading the physical soapbox for the digital one of YouTube, anti-Islamic screeds have not evolved much since the era of the Crusades, relying primarily on a thoroughly discredited historical narrative of Prophet Muhammad’s life and mission that acted as a kind of medieval war propaganda. …Anyone seeking to understand the recent upheavals need only contrast the latest response with historical ones. Internal Muslim condemnations against the protests have relied primarily on Muhammad’s example of ignoring insults against his person. But in fact, there is a long tradition of Muslim tolerance for insults against their faith and its founder.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source usavsalarian

Controversial figure in Netherlands and abroad (September 29 2012) Controversial figure in Netherlands and abroad (September 29 2012)

Geert Wilders the 49 year old Dutch far-right politician, founder and leader of the Party for Freedom the fourth-largest political party in the Netherlands best known for his criticism of Islam, summing up his views by saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam”, views that have made him a controversial figure in the Netherlands and abroad. Anno Bunnik has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The rise and fall of Geert Wilders?’ stating “…Wilders is labelled the sorcerer’s apprentice. Trained by one of the most prominent Dutch politicians in recent decades – “sorcerer” Frits Bolkesteijn – Wilders transformed from a relatively unknown Member of Parliament into the most outspoken and influential politician in the Netherlands. But his magic seems to have worn off, as Dutch voters are increasingly getting tired of his yearning for political hysteria. …Even when Wilders-admirer Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 children and young adults in Norway it did not harm his position. PVV-voters are able to distinguish between a terrorist and a legitimate politician, even if they share similar views. Nothing seemed to stop Wilders rise to power. …Wilders, however, failed to observe … the majority of voters simply do not want more political crises, but instead long for politicians to take up their responsibilities – even if that means tough austerity measures. Not a single person that I spoke to in recent weeks, irrespective of their background, is really looking forward to yet another general election. Most voters hold Wilders accountable for tearing down the minority government and blame him for prioritising his own interest over national interest.”


Inspired by Anno Bunnik image source Twitter

Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012) Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012)

William Lloyd George the British freelance journalist warns of an impending humanitarian crisis in western Myanmar where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are threatened by an increase in sectarian violence. George in an article published on Aljazeera states “There is a thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide. Hitler carried out ethnic cleansing on Jewish communities for years before he attempted genocide. With the whole country, including the democracy movement, seemingly behind the government’s plans to expel the Rohingya, urgent intervention is needed to save the Rohginya from a humanitarian crisis, and the potential for a violent campaign by the state, alongside Rhakine extremists backed by local authorities. The two communities should not be separated as the government plans; instead there is an urgent need to bring the communities back together, and return the region to normality. Conflict resolution programmes and development is needed as soon as possible. The longer the two communities are apart, the more radicalisation – of both groups – will fester, and whether the government allows it to take place, supports it, or just turns a blind eye, a return to some form of violence will be almost inevitable. …Myanmar’s democracy activists, human rights defenders, and vibrant civil society, should immediately address the impending humanitarian crisis and potential devastation of the Rohingya people.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source rtrfm

Something’s gone terribly wrong (July 26 2012) Something’s gone terribly wrong (July 26 2012)

Moustafa Bayoumi the Swiss-American award-winning writer and associate professor has published an article in The Nation titled ‘Something’s gone terribly wrong’. In the article Bayoumi states “Every group has its loonies. And yet the idea that American Muslim communities are foul nests of hatred, where dark-skinned men plot Arabic violence while combing one another’s beards, persists. In fact, it’s worse than that. In the past few years, another narrative about American Muslims has come along, which sows a different kind of paranoia. While the old story revolves around security, portraying American Muslims as potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, the new narrative operates more along the axis of culture. Simple acts of religious or cultural expression and the straightforward activities of Muslim daily life have become suspicious. …What happens when ordinary life becomes grounds for suspicion without a hint of wrongdoing; when law enforcement premises its work on spying on the quotidian and policing the unremarkable; and when the everyday affairs of American Muslim life can so easily be transformed into nefarious intent? Something has gone terribly wrong for American Muslims when, more than a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States continues to grow. …There is a real danger that the same tools that enable today’s Islamophobia will continue to migrate and expand with little or no public outcry. …mission creep is as good a reason as any to pay attention to Islamophobia today – because when the ordinary affairs of the United States include such actions, the stakes are nothing less than extraordinary.”


Inspired by The Nation image source Neville Elder

Jonathan Laurence the US associate professor of Political Science has published an article on Aljazeera discussing Europe’s alienation of Muslims through laws restricting Islamic symbols that fuel political distrust. Laurence states “As Muslims and non-Muslims despair about the prospect of long-term Islamic integration in 21st century Europe, disagreement over the urgency and necessity to restrict Islamic symbols in the public sphere – from clothing to architecture and food – is at the origin of a potentially grave misunderstanding. Religion is not the primary factor of identity for most European Muslims, but the current atmosphere has enhanced a feeling of group stigmatisation and a shared sense of injustice where previously few bonds existed. This has fed a growing confrontation, foreshadowed in two competing narratives of victimisation dividing Muslims from non-Muslims in Europe, which continue to gain strength… There is the growing danger that the modest accomplishments of religious integration will be undone before Muslims’ incorporation has taken place. Europe’s Muslims increasingly perceive the sum total of public debate about them as simple religious persecution – an uncanny admixture of the political distrust that drove the Kulturkampf and the religious resentment that fuelled traditional anti-Semitism.”


Inspired by Jonathan Laurence image source NYC French Consulate

Barry Wingard the 41 year old US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel of 28 years service and a Judge Advocate General (JAG) has written a damning condemnation of the dual US legal systems. In an Aljazeera article, Wingard states “Why does the US assert its right to hold human beings for life without trial in its never-ending battle against “terror”? The only justification that I can see is “because it can”…the most visible example of “American justice” has been the confinement of Muslims at Guantanamo Bay without a trial of any kind… For 10 years, the US has clearly demonstrated it applies one set of legal rules to Americans and another to non-Americans. The first set respects due process, the rule of law, individual rights and the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, the second set involves enhanced interrogation, indefinite detention and a presumption of guilt without any opportunity to prove innocence.”


Inspired by Barry Wingard image source

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