If Muslims did what others do…
I published a story, “Detroit Muslims force women to sit in the back of buses” a few days ago, it was not correct, I had in fact, changed a few words that then affected the perspective of the story in a different manner. The actual headline was: “At Front of Brooklyn Bus, a Clash of Religious and Women’s Rights” from a New York Times story and it was about the use of a private, but publicly-funded busline for the Orthodox Jewish Community of Brooklyn.
My motivations for sending out the changed story were to find out how people (Muslims and non-Muslims) would react to Muslims doing such a thing and how differently this story would be viewed BECAUSE Muslims were thought to be doing such a thing in this land of “Freedom and Democracy”. My point was also to illustrate that the aberrations and the evils that are so magnified among Muslims, are really no different from those practiced by non-Muslims; that Muslims must be seen as being no different from any other faith, whether they are in the US or, “out there”.
People contacted me back directly (most did not reply) and through some of the group discussion lists that I also sent the “story” to.
A few people saw through what I had done and one even saw through what I was trying to do, but the rest varied in their responses.
- Some Muslims were disgusted and even suggested that Muslims who force women into such positions, should consider returning to the Old Country.
- Some Muslims tried to defend the rights of people to practice their own traditions as long as nobody else was being hurt…the fact that women werebeing hurt in this scenario got buried under “tradition”.
- Many non-Muslims voiced similar reactions although there were a couple of “I KNEW it!” responses about us Muzlems trying to Islamize “The Land of the Free”
None of these reactions were particularly surprising.
The fact is that there are quite a few communities where gender-segregation is practiced, Orthodox Jews and Christian communities like the Amish come to mind immediately. There are entire communities where even speaking English, is seen as being the language of the undesirable “foreigners”, as well as communities where non-English languages (German, Spanish, French, Hebrew etc.,) are used, more so than English. All of them are non-Muslim communities that have existed in this country for well over a hundred years, they continue to live and be seen as all-American communities.
But let some Muslims walk around in “Muslim garb” (anything perceived as Middle-Eastern clothing) and prepare for a maelstrom of vindictive opinions, threats to the individuals and to Muslims in general, screams that America is about to be swamped by the Muzlem hordes…even the FBI gets involved in “investigating” this possible threat to the Fatherland (Oops!, “Homeland”).
One has to ask why such attitudes are so widely shared among REAL Americans.
The simple answer is the Muslims are terrible at public relations and because Muslims don’t generally engage on the public platform (politics and other civic and civil life), we have no influence. Muslims also believe that all we have to do is show people the truth of what Islam is and who we are, that everything will be okay because Truth always triumphs.
On the other side of the coin, there is a mighty array of forces against Muslims. For the most part, these forces include Jews and Christians of the right wing. This alliance ignores facts, cook their own “facts” and depend heavily on sincere, impressionable Americans, to swallow false but powerfully emotional appeals to why Muslims and Islam must be feared and hated.
Jewish groups promote anti-Muslim sentiments because they fear Muslims might destroy Israel and better to fight them now, than to try and take them on when they are really effective later. Christian groups promote anti-Muslim sentiments because they revere the Biblical reference to “The Chosen People” (Jews) and “The Promised Land” (Israel) and they too, see Muslims as potential threats to Israel and to Christianity as a whole.
The Alliance between Right-Wing Christians and Jews grows in spite of the fact that these Christians believe all Jews must “return” to Israel, where they must all convert to Christianity or, be destroyed, before Judgment Day comes. Jews take the attitude that since the Torah does not have such a prediction, Judgment Day is unlikely to happen soon and why not take advantage of the situation while it is there? No Jew seems to ask what will happen if some day, the Right Wing Christians get powerful and get tired of waiting for Jews to voluntarily “return” to Israel.
Muslims’ approach is short-term; go out there and inform people about Islam and Muslims and they will believe we are as American as they are, with the same diversity amongst us.
The “Judeo-Christian” Alliance on the other hand, takes both, the short-term and the long-term outlook.
In the short term, they bring in speakers (“experts”) on Islam and Muslims who tell their audiences about the fantasy destructive nature of Islam and Muslims and how we Muslims are bent on destroying the so-called, “Judeo-Christian Civilization” and replace it with the other fantasy, “The Caliphate”. “Islam must be stopped and eradicated from America before it destroys us“, they say. Nobody questions what precisely is envisioned in this “Stop and Eradicate” measure.
In the long term, the Alliance is working on the minds of the future. Anti-Islam lectures and lessons are being presented in schools, thus, sowing the seeds of hate in our future generations. Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim lectures and presentation are being hammered into the minds of new entrants in Police, FBI, CIA and all branches of the military
thus, ensuring an enduring hate of Muslims in American minds (here is just one example
These efforts are extremely well-organized and extremely well-funded. Funds come from willing individuals to the tune of tens of MILLIONS of dollars every year; the funds are given without question and with the full knowledge that the money will be used to fight Islam and Muslims. The Alliance has effectively vetted politicians so they too, support the anti-Muslim goals and again, tens of MILLIONS of dollars are directed to anti-Islam efforts, funded entirely by the American tax-payer.
The Alliance is so successful that if the words “Muslim” or Islam” are uttered, the picture that pops up (even in the minds of many Muslims), is a foaming, turbaned Muslim fanatic with a knife in one hand and a gun in the other…possibly wearing a suicide-bomb vest.
Where are the Jews and Christians of good will?
In the face of this Goebbels-like onslaught, their number are shrinking every year. They continue to believe that their America has enduring values that will not get corrupted by the evil ones; that the Alliance should be ignored because is made up of a small number of idiots who can never succeed and America, the most civilized among The Civilized, will never persecute Muslims.
Does this picture evoke any older memories?
Where are the Muslims?
Most of us come from the Old country where anyone who raised his head, lost it. Most of us are keeping a low profile, doing our jobs and continue to hope that this ill-wind will also blow away. The fear of involvement is covered up by saying we should pray more and we should not get involved in “politics”…meaning anything to do with activism or the pursuit of civil rights. Rich Muslims pour hundreds of thousands of dollars in their localities, into building Mosques or, funding classes to learn about Islam, for their children, but nothing to counter the efforts of The Alliance.
It should not take a genius to figure out who will win this one-sided “War!” or, how badly the losers stand to lose.
My efforts right or wrong, are devoted to fighting anti-Muslim bigotry and in my fantasy I might live to see the tide turn against The Alliance.